When A-Trak and Milo & Otis' single "Out The Speakers" (featuring Rich Kidz) debuted at No. 14 on the Feb. 14 Dance/Electronic Songs Chart, it wasn't just the long-awaited chart debut for DJ/producer A-Trak as a lead artist. The song also marks the biggest hit to date from Mountain Dew's Green Label Sound, the soda brand's seven-year-old in-house record label that featured "Out The Speakers" in a commercial for Mtn Dew Kickstart energy drink during the Super Bowl, Grammys and NBA All-Star Game.
After three weeks of strong sales (the track sold more than 26,000 downloads in the first three weeks of the commercial placement, according to Nielsen Music), "Out The Speakers" is being re-released through a partnership with Republic's Casablanca Records, marking Green Label Sound's first "up-stream" deal with a major label. (In years past, Green Label has released singles and sponsored tours for acts like The Cool Kids, Holy Ghost and Chromeo, among many others.) Casablanca will work the song to top 40, rhythm crossover and dance radio, as well as help fund an official music video for the single. A brand-new topline vocal is also in the works from an unknown guest star, with more details to be revealed at Mountain Dew's showcase at South By Southwest (March 18) and Casablanca's Miami Music Week party (March 26).
"When this program first started years ago, it was probably more anti-major [label]," says Jamal Henderson, Mountain Dew's director of brand marketing. "Now the way the world works, with music discovery and most importantly the consumers that we covet on Mountain Dew, it's sort of all natural to them. This just helps us to get the story of Kickstart and now the story of this great track out there."
"Out The Speakers" was placed by music agency RPM Group, which has worked closely with Dew's sister brand Pepsi over the years on campaigns like Outasight's "Tonight's The Night" 2011 synch for The X Factor and last year's World Cup-themed compilation Beats Of The Beautiful Game in partnership with labels Warner Bros. Records and Caroline Distribution, respectively. "We work with pretty much all the majors on projects like this, and it's great when you've got someone who gets it and want to grab the ball and run with it," says RPM founder Rene McLean.
Brett Alperowitz, senior VP-A&R at Republic and general manager of Casablanca, says the deal for "Out The Speakers" represents the fulfillment of a lot of desires to work with the artists involved, as well as A-Trak's own indie label Fool's Gold Records. "A-Trak is a living legend, Milo & Otis are up and coming producers who we've been looking to do something with at Casablanca, so all these great names with a great platform made a lot of sense for us to jump in and do what we do with these records. We're looking forward to this next phase and taking the record as far as it can go."