Last night, The Knockturnal had the chance to attend an intimate Advertising Week concert featuring Universal Music Group recording artists: Demi Lovato, DNCE led by Joe Jonas and Alessia Cara in celebration of the new UMG and Complex partnership and launch of UMG+COMPLEX STUDIOS.
The “Music Is Universal” showcase gave attendees a taste of what the new partnership will deliver. In combining Complex’s wide network of media platforms and social communities with Universal Music Group’s artists, the millennial audience will be offered an up close and personal engagement with music.
Complex founder and CEO Rich Antoniello commented, “With UMG, we have a partner that brings direct relationships with the world’s leading artists to the table. When we combine that with Complex’s track record for being an authoritative voice in music journalism and discovery and our unparalleled millennial scale, we have the ability to deliver to our brand partners a complete content offering that will be compelling and relevant to their customers.”
While the ambience of the HighLine Ballroom was modern and vivid, the live performances were all about audience members connecting with great music. Newcomer Alessia Cara opened the concert with hits written from her personal episodes like “Seventeen” and “Here.” Her lyrics struck a cord with everyone.
DNCE, “Soon to be everyone’s new favorite band”, followed with serendipitously catchy tunes described as “a silky, swaggering piece of groove-heavy pop built on disco-jangly riffs but saturated with plenty of pure emotion and undeniable soul.” Their debut single “Cake By The Ocean” shows huge promise. The quirky title plays off an euphemism about having fun by the ocean with an electric 70’s vibe. We’re pretty sure the whole audience was converted to fans midway through the band’s performance.
Finally, superstar Demi Lovato closed the showcase with a live performance of “Cool for the Summer.” Her vocals were killer. The number one hit across the world talks about her experimentation with sexuality and enjoying curiosity with lyrics like “Got a taste for the cherry, I just need to take a bite.” Following, Demi belted out an impressive cover of “Take Me to Church” by Hozier and closed off with her first live performance of “Stone Cold” from her new album Confident set to release Oct. 16.
Current UMG+COMPLEX STUDIOS projects include a documentary on Def Jam’s Jeremih as well as a docu-series on Capitol Records’ artists, Disclosure, both of which will be available this fall exclusively on Complex.com with brand partners to be announced.
Notables in attendance included: Avery Lipman, President & COO, Republic Records David Massey, President & CEO, Island Records Eric Wong, EVP/GM Island Records Faisel Durrani, EVP/GM Def Jam Recordings Michele Anthony, EVP Recorded Music, U.S Mike Tunnicliffe, EVP Business Development & Partnerships Monte Lipman, President & COO, Republic Records, Steve Bartels, CEO Def Jam Recordings and Complex’s Marc Ecko, Founder, Chief Branding Officer Moksha Fitzgibbons, Chief Revenue Officer Noah Callahan-Bever, Chief Content Officer Rich Antoniello, CEO & Founder Richard Sheldon, Chief Financial Officer.
Photo Credit: Drew Gurian/AP Invision