Left to Right: Evan Greene, chief marketing officer of the Recording Academy; Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park; Steve Shannon, VP of marketing for Hyundai Motor America.
Looking to extend the Grammy experience beyond Sunday’s extravaganza awards show, the Recording Academy on Friday announced it has tapped Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park to spearhead a promotional campaign aimed at running through South By Southwest and beyond.
Through the program, called Center Stage, Shinoda and a “blue ribbon panel” of judges will sift through song submissions uploaded on the Academy’s Grammy Amplifier site to select three promising artists for professional mentoring. The effort is one of many tactics that the Recording Academy is deploying to keep its audience engaged year-round, said Evan Greene, the Academy’s chief marketing officer.
“We have a 365-day-a-year brand,” Greene said. “Things like this add to the conversation we want to have year-round with people.”
“Every Monday morning after the Grammys, I wake up feeling good for about five minutes,” Greene said half-jokingly. “Then I start worrying about what I need to do next.”
The program is also an effort to reach out to younger blood, future musicians who are not part of the traditional music industry or label system.
“The Grammys has a heritage that speaks for itself,” Shinoda told Billboard.biz. “But in the moment, the Grammys brand is in transition. It’s adapting to the fact that the music landscape is very fragmented right now. The line between professional musician and amateur has completely vanished. People at any level can now have a successful career as musicians. This project is the Academy’s way of adapting to those changes.”
The three winners, who will be announced at South By Southwest in March, will either get to work with a professional director to produce a music video, a chance to open for an established band, or a recording session with a Grammy-winning producer. The project is being sponsored by Hyundai Motor America.