Robert Black
Robert Black

Captain of Industry

On a sunny Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles, R&B singer Ciara (born Ciara Princess Harris) was all the buzz at Epic Records’ Epic Moment party, a pre BET Awards event held at the W Hotel Hollywood’s boutique outdoor bar, Hollywood Station. The party, which ran from 2p to 6p, got off to a bit of a slow start as many artists, managers and executives involved in the BET Awards were busy across town at the Shrine Auditorium running through sound checks and working the radio room in preparation for the live broadcast of the awards show the following night. (Also pulling attention that afternoon: Kevin Liles’ KWL Management’s swanky 2nd annual Summer Soiree pool party at a private residence in the Hollywood Hills, sponsored by Adidas and Grey Goose.) But the party turned over as the day wore on.

Guests were encouraged to dress “fashionably chic,” and many signed a large “Epic” card addressed to event planner Patty Laurent and set up near the entrance to the event. Drinks were flowed courtesy of Courvoisier, and snipes were positioned around the plush patio furniture promoting Epic’s roster of up and coming urban talent including singer Leah LaBelle and rappers Future and Ca$h Out. Naturally, L.A. Reid’s new Epic had a significant presence at the event, with guests including EVP of Urban Music Benny Pough, President of A&R Tricky Stewart, VP of Promotions Traci Adams, Director of Marketing LaTrice Burnette, VPs of A&R Malik Rasheed and Dada Mills, and Dan Smalls, Senior Manager Lifestyle Marketing. Also in attendance: Craig Davis, VP of Urban Promotions at Capitol Records, manager Orlando McGhee (Future, Organized Noize), producer Willpower aka Supa Hot Beats (Wiz Khalifa, Yelawolf), and Interscope Records’ Randy Henderson. Motion Family director/photographer Diwang Valdez, who recently relocated from Atlanta to L.A., was on hand to shoot footage for a series of upcoming Ca$h Out webisodes, as was celebrity photographer Johnny Nunez, who, as always, was a fixture of all of the weekend’s major events.

Ciara, whose appearance late in the afternoon accompanied by Epic Records’ Senior Director of Publicity Courtney Lowery would later cause a stir on urban fashion blogs, wasn’t the only artist to make the event. Epic artists Ca$h Out, Astro and Leah LaBelle were all also in attendance. Said one partygoer who left the event earlier in the afternoon only to return, “We were going to go to Kevin Liles’ thing, but it was just too much. This Epic party turned out to be pretty hot, though.”

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