Kreayshawn working the Coolhaus ice cream sandwhich truck at her album release party for Something 'Bout Kreay (Columbia) at Hollywood's Dim Mak Studios. (Photo: Mark Hunter/Cobra Snake)
Kreayshawn and Columbia Records are about to discover if " Gucci Gucci"'s 38 million YouTube views translates into sales with the arrival of the Bay Area rapper's album debut, Somethin 'Bout Kreay.
Despite the pressure to build upon the online momentum that put the 22-year old recording artist and music video director in the " B est New Artist" category at last year's MTV Video Music Awards before she had even released an album, the mood was nothing but celebratory in Hollywood Monday (Sept 17) night as Kreay and friends celebrated her album's street date at an intimate party.
Kreayshawn on the wheels of Serato (Photo: Mark Hunter/Cobra Snake)
Dim Mak Studios was filled to its 250 person capacity with managers, producers, label folks and even lucky fans who RSVP'd to Kreay's Twitter and Facebook blasts. Kreayshawn performed a set as "KJ Dreayshawn" and Christian Rich spun, too. Partygoers were treated to ice cream sandwiches from Coolhaus, dished out by Kreayshawn herself, before she went on.
Attendees included Kreayshawn's manager, Stretch; producer Jean Baptiste, who worked on her album; Erika Alfredson Marketing Director), Harley Werthmeimer and Mark Williams (A&R) from Columbia Records; Jesse Lee from marketing company/party organizer DfM (Dub Frequency); Naim Ali (VP of A&R) from Universal Republic; T-Mills manager John Zagata (T-Mills was a no-show, but T weeted an apology to Kreayshawn); Dillinger Escape Plan singer Greg Puciato, adult film star Jenna Haze; and Young Hawaii from Chill Black Dudes.
Vibing With The Food Truck Girl: Young Hawaii from Chill Black Dudes giving his ice cream sandwich order to Kreayshawn. (Photo: Mark Hunter/Cobra Snake)
The girl whose driver's license reads Natassie Gail Zolot knows there's pressure to follow the success of her breakout video, which helped put the White Girl Mob and associated acts on the map. "I came out of nowhere. I started off with hella views. So since then, I've kind of been working backwards," she told Billboard.biz. "I had to build more of a fanbase."
The Invite to Kreayshawn's release party at Hollywood's Dim Mak
Studios for Something 'Bout Kreay, her new album on Columbia.
Part of that involved touring for the first time. "Everyone was so excited for 'Gucci, Gucci' that everybody wanted that show as soon as possible, so I did all that," she said of the past year. "What was good about it is I got to tour, I traveled everywhere. I was able to see what my fans like and experiment with them and see how far I can be myself without freaking people out. I had time to work on my album. I was experimenting with songs that didn't end up making the album. I was also performing songs from my mixtapes. I got to see what the crowd really responded to; what got people really going."
"Not every song is designed to be a radio hit," she added. "It's just meant to represent me."
Christian Rich DJing -- apparently on the West Coast. (Photo: Mark Hunter/Cobra Snake)
Producer Baptiste, who has worked with Rihanna, Chris Brown and Black Eyed Peas, said there was "something pretty ingenious" about "Gucci, Gucci." He also credited her familial lineage, in part, with her creativity in the studio. "She's a punk baby. Her mom had a punk band," he pointed out. Kreayshawn's mother, Elka Zolot, was a member of the Bay Area garage band T he Trashwomen. "She's very present, but she's also aware of the past and of the future," he added.
Kreayshawn said her mom has been continually excited for each step in her daughter's developing career, while offering her insight and balance. "She's been through it. Not like, on MTV and stuff like that, but she was really big in the underground," said Kreay. "She really helps me with my relationships. She's had bandmates, managers; we can always relate. She keeps me grounded with my personal life, which is the most important. Fuck the industry, you know what I'm saying?"
Dillinger Escape Plan singer Greg Puciato (left), adult film star Jenna Haze. (Photo: Mark Hunter/Cobra Snake)