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Big Noise lives up to its name

by Martin Baker
Newport This Week Music Writer

When you talk to Al Gomes and A. Michelle, you can't help but share their excitement about the music business. Their enthusiasm for their work is always apparent, and their positive vision for the future punctuates every sentence.

Few people have been so closely allied with independent recording artists, as well as superstar artists. Gomes and Michelle may be the musician's best business partners we can hope for in the recording industry.

Ever since they began Big Noise in 1990 - their Artist Development and Music Promotion Firm - they've been making some serious waves. Big Noise has been providing guidance and a chance for exposure that artists might otherwise have had to go without.

Big Noise is committed to exposing great recording artists, and all of their artists have always impressed me with their marketability. Radio-ready music all the way around and the musicianship and songwriting is always exceptional.

Big Noise has assisted with the release of 300+ recordings of diverse musical genres. They have managed many of the projects from concept to completion including helping artists set their recording budget, choice of the artist's material and producer, hands-on A&R direction in the studio, art direction of recording package, and the publicity, marketing and distribution of the release. Big Noise also assists with the branding of an artist, image, their business strategy and decisions, and the overall direction of their career. Their company website - www.bignoisenow.com - features full information about Big Noise, its roster of artists, Big Noise's projects, company history and their achievements.

Many independent recording artists have benefited from working with Big Noise: Chicago's D.U.I. signed a record deal with RCA / BMG in Europe (and through Big Noise produced a #1 dance remix single for Christina Aguilera), Sweden's Skinner inked a publishing deal with Sony Music in Europe, Providence's Comic Book Super Heroes signed a management deal with Marquee Management in New York City (the firm that discovered Christina Aguilera), Boston's Fortune scored a recording deal with Alfa/Brunette/EMI in Japan (by way of one of Big Noise's award-winning compilations), North Carolina's Ethoriah inked a European deal with Massacre Records of Germany, and Providence's Young Neal & the Vipers were picked up by a strong blues outfit, Florida's Kingsnake Records.

In addition, Big Noise oversaw the release of Megan Nicole's debut single 'B-e-a-utiful,' which helped lead to her being signed to Interscope Records. Al and A. Michelle managed the entire project of the single (which had worldwide success).

Other record and publishing deals that Big Noise assisted with include: Morgan Bracy (Scott Lynch & Co./Nashville), Cecile Clement Grobe (Fresh Music/Boston), Ron C. Walters (TMJ Music Group-Grace Records/Los Angeles), Shawnn Monteiro (Monad Records/New York City), Exxplorer (Massacre Records/Germany and Alfa-EMI/Japan), The Gift (Monolith Records/Seattle), and Painful Pleasure (Azra/Los Angeles).

Big Noise's impressive roster of artists includes pop megastar Christina Aguilera, for which Al Gomes and A. Michelle served as Directors of Online Entertainment and Marketing from 1998 to 2003 for Aguilera's Three Wishes Productions, Inc., working as her webmasters, publicists, biographers and archivists. Al Gomes and A. Michelle's work for Aguilera earned Big Noise gold and multi-platinum awards from the Recording Industry Association of America, and lead Entertainment Weekly to name Christina's Official Website (under Big Noise's tenure) as one of the 'Best Sites of the 21st Century.'

Other superstar artists include the 40 million-selling legendary R&B vocal group Little Anthony & The Imperials. Al Gomes and A. Michelle served as Directors of Projects & Special Events for the group from 2002 to 2009 which included designing and overseeing the group's popular Official Website. Big Noise secured a permanent spot on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Annual Ballot which led to The Imperials being inducted in April 2009.

Big Noise has also worked with Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beach Boys (helping the band to win their first-ever Grammy Award), Katharine McPhee, Jim Brickman, Freddy Cole, Bela Fleck, Dionne Warwick, Tiffani Thiessen, Bill Harley, Nils Lofgren, Kittie, Jay Geils, Glenn Tilbrook (Squeeze), box office star Andrew McCarthy (Big Noise produced the CD soundtrack for his directorial debut film, 'News for the Church' - official Academy Award contender for Best Live Action Short Film), producer Shelly Yakus, and many others.

Into the Future

With the success of their work for their indie and superstar artists, Big Noise continues to send artists directly to major and indie labels, managers and publishers. Big Noise is also now a full voting and nominating member of the The Recording Academy and has gotten dozens of their artists on the official ballot for The Grammy Awards, leading to eight Grammy nominations and four Grammy Award wins.

Gomes and Michelle continue to accept musicians' material from around the world and expand their base to get the artists even more exposure. "We get calls from all over the globe," Gomes said.

From the hundreds of emails, calls, and demo submissions, Gomes and Michelle will narrow the field, picking the best and most promising of the artists.

Once Big Noise completes the process of deciding which artists to work with, Gomes and Michelle spend at least 6 months getting everything perfectly in place for each artist starting with providing consultation on a finished recording or serving as executive producers and project managers for a whole new CD recording. That involves doing everything from selecting a studio and producer to conducting marketing research for the song selection to designing the finished package.

Gomes and Michelle then try to raise the artist's profile by scoring industry accolades and promoting them to on-line media (including getting their artists onto the Grammy Awards ballot), and to music fans, trying to create that all-important buzz for the artist.

Once all this is done, they begin the process of showing their artists to their colleagues at record labels, management, and publishing companies in hopes of enticing a deal.

Big Noise believes that song selection and a great recording is a key factor in creating excitement for the artist. "The best compliment we receive is when people tell us how great the tracks we choose for each individual artist works as a finished package," says Gomes.

"The artists start thinking of themselves in a whole new light as soon as we get started," Michelle said. "Just by doing everything we do, we carve out the direction they're looking for." Indeed, their goal is always to make their artists "look and sound like they're ready to be signed to a label or management firm."

And now, a new campaign to take new artists to the next step is in full swing. Criteria for submission? According to Michelle, "Originality, great musicianship, great performances, an artist that's easy to work with." "And most importantly," adds Gomes, "songs, songs, songs."

Congrats to all! For more info on Big Noise, call 401-274-4770 or email Al Gomes and A. Michelle about submitting a demo.


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