The 8th Annual Primary Wave Music Pre-Grammy party took over West Hollywood's RivaBella restaurant Saturday (Jan. 25). As one of the largest independent music marketing, management and music publishing companies in the U.S., a number of major artists came through, including: Cee Lo Green, Melissa Etheridge, Trevor Jackson, Ginuwine, Chaka Khan, Natalie Imbruglia, Jeremy Piven, Big Gipp, V. Bozemen, Goapele, and electro pop band DWNTWN--all of whom were among those grooving to the sounds of guest spinner DJ Eque.
While Eque manned the turntables, attendees had space enough to move around with a dance floor and two large bars taking up the first half of RivaBella in addition to a full patio-style dinning area. "It's regal, it's refined, but it's not reclusive," Green told Billboard.biz of the party's atmosphere. "We're well out in front. Well endowed with talent and tenacity."
Despite the space and bold faced names around him, Cee Lo -- who signed on as Primary Wave's chief creative officer in Aug. 2012 -- spent much of the night tucked away in VIP, with him and his date wearing all white, but he did make a point to greet just about everyone who came up to him, and posed for several photos.
Cee Lo Green, artist and Primary Wave's Chief Creative Officer, with legendary singer Chaka Khan. (Photo: Latifah Muhammed)
There's no denying that 38-year-old multi-talent was one of the night's main attractions, and rightfully so. He and fellow Primary Wave artist Ginuwine are both up for Grammy's this year. Green's nomination however is a reminder that "anything is possible," noted Gipp, longtime friend and Goodie Mob group member. "This man has been in the business for 20 years and he found the right record [Green's 2010 single, "F**k You"] and blew up all over again," Gipp said. "It just tells you that if you love music, music will take care of you."
Sharing in Gipp's pride is Primary Wave CEO Larry Mestel. "Between our artists and our staff, it's like a partnership with everybody, and it's one gigantic family," Mestel explained. "That's how we approach all of our artists, and that how we've built our company, on partnerships and people that we've had -- or I've had-- relationships with for a very long time."
DJ Eque on the decks at the Primary Wave Pre-Grammy party. (Photo: Latifah Muhammed)
He continued, "When Cee Lo wins an award or is up for an award it's very special for our whole company because he really means a lot to us. I'm not sure there's another company with such a high profile artist that's available to the entire roster to give his creative input." According to Mestel, Green will debut his fifth studio album this fall.