His second mixtape, "One Foot Out the Door," was released in October 2009. Like the first tape, it was distributed on iTunes U. But this time, iTunes caught on to his chicanery and the tapes were removed two weeks later. Still, "One Foot Out the Door" managed to boost his downloads to more than 100,000 combined during those weeks, according to Posner.
By the time "One Foot Out the Door" was released, Posner had already been courted by various labels, including Jay-Z's Roc Nation. But J Records understood his vision the best, he says, and so he went with his "gut feeling."
"He had a very novel and interesting way to distribute music, and it hit a chord with us," RCA Music Group executive VP/GM Tom Corson says. "We give mixtapes away for free all the time, and those don't connect. But somehow, his did and he sold over 100,000 between the two of them. That's magic. Kids don't share things that way unless they're excited."
While "Cooler Than Me" is the only single to be released before the actual album, Posner's label is confident the song's momentum will carry him through release week. The second single for "31 Minutes to Take Off" is yet to be announced.
To promote the album, the plan is to continue taking Posner's show on the road, manager Dan Weisman says. He is currently on the Vans Warped tour through Aug. 15. Posner will do some European dates shortly after, and then begin his U.S. headlining tour, Up in the Air, which runs through October. He will travel to Australia in November, return to the States for Christmas and will start recording a new album in January.
"We have a college tour from February to April, and hopefully by the time that's done, we'll have a new album ready to go out," Weisman says.
"31 Minutes to Take Off" will also be streamed on MySpace a week before release.
While Justin Timberlake takes a hiatus from the spotlight and Robin Thicke figures out which direction to take his music next, Posner has found that there may be an opening for a blue-eyed soul singer with some swagger. And he plans on taking full advantage of the opportunity.
"I want to make songs that will bring people together," he says. "My music doesn't sound like anyone else's, and it's important for me that it stays that way. If I regurgitate what others are doing, then there's no point in me living this lifestyle. I would probably quit."