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Business News (more headlines) 10-07-2004

'Salon Sounds' Joint Venture Between Audio Fidelity And Paul Mitchell Hair Products To Bring Music Into Hair Salons Across U.S.A.

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Having been in the indie music scene's spotlight for several years now as an artist to be reckoned with, Australia's gilli moon has touched music lovers with her songs from Australia, Europe, Asia and America garnering high praise from the most jaded of critics. She has opened for noted artists including Simple Minds, has been interviewed alongside Aimee Mann in Music Connection Magazine discussing their mutual success in the indie music scene, and she recently finished touring as both featured singer and stage manager with Eric Idle of Monty Python fame. Last year she won Best Female Artist at L.A's Rock City Music Awards (2nd year in a row) and this year she is nominated for Best Female Singer-Songwriter for the Los Angeles Music Awards. Her music has been No. 1 on the Australian mp3.com site and featured on numerous online e-zines, radio stations and music sites. Warrior Girl Music, her record label, was honored with 'Label of the Year' award at Philadelphia's 2003's Independent Music Conference.

gilli has been chosen as one of 12 artists to represent the first SALON SOUNDS CDs distributed through the John Paul Mitchell Salon network. gilli moon shares the company on the CD, with artists Norah Jones, Wynonna, Alison Krauss, Keane, Richard Marx, Tom Jones, Burt Bacharach and Carpenters. For gilli, this is a coup for a totally independent artist and refreshing to see.

In an innovative move to expose new music releases to the important female 18+ demographic, Audio Fidelity is launching a new venture in conjunction with John Paul Mitchell Systems, the industry leader in hair care products called SALON SOUNDS. Dubbed "where music meets style," Salon Sounds is a new way to bring music into independent and chain beauty salons nationally.

The premiere SALON SOUNDS collection, featuring a dozen selections aimed at the 18-49 female market, is shipping to more than 10000 independent and Paul Mitchell affiliated hair salons this week. The compilation represents both new and well-known recording artists with cuts selected from current CDs.

"This project was conceived as a new way for record labels to expose both established and developing artists to a specific target demographic," explains Marshall Blonstein, president of Audio Fidelity. "Patrons in a salon are a captive audience for an average of two hours at any given salon visit." 

For John Paul DeJoria, Chairman and CEO of John Paul Mitchell Systems, SALON SOUNDS is very much in keeping with the standards set by his hair care line. "The average Paul Mitchell customer is someone that wants to look good and feel good about themselves," he says. "They are as selective about the music they listen to as they are about the type of hairstyle they choose."

Artists represented on the premiere SALON SOUNDS CD run the gamut from multi-million sellers to Grammy winners to new kids on the block. The tracks include: "Those Sweet Words" by Norah Jones; "Every TimeYou Say Goodbye" by Alison Krauss + Union Station; "The Look of Love" by Ronald Isley & Burt Bacharach; "I Want to Know What Love Is" by Wynonna (with special appearance by Jeff Beck); "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane; "Mama Told Me Not to Come" by Tom Jones (with Sterophonics); "When You're Gone" by Richard Marx; "Someone to Love" by Gilli Moon; "Solitaire" by the Carpenters; "Another White Dash" by Butterfly Boucher; "Almost" by Sarah Harmer; and "Black & White" by Three Dog Night.

From a record company standpoint, this is an exciting new marketing tool. "It's such a great idea, teaming music with a brand name that people trust," says Zach Hochkeppel, Vice-President of Marketing for Angel/Blue Note/Manhattan Records. "For us, the timing couldn't have been better to have Richard Marx' "When You're Gone" on the first compilation just as we are reintroducing him. What attracted me to this product, in general, was that you have a good chance of the music starting conversations in salons, and the hairdressers becoming our street team, if you will. Lifestyle marketing has already proven very effective with Norah Jones, and, in this case, we want to keep hitting Norah's audience with the fact that there is a second record out there that they may not have checked out yet." 

Blonstein and DeJoria, who have known each other for more than 15 years, will introduce SALON SOUNDS to the 2300 hairstylists attending Paul Mitchell Systems' Signature Salon Gathering at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas this month. They are looking at the possibility of some future SALON SOUNDS compilations having musical genre themes.

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