Detroit Creative Agency, Verse And Hook, shortlisted for American Independent Music Association – CBS Detroit Fellowship

(CBS DETROIT) – Two Detroiters have been selected as inaugural fellows for the American Independent Music Association as part of their very first Black Independent Music Accelerator program. The initiative aims to benefit the black voices of the independent music community.

Verse and Hook – a Detroit-based creative agency that creates a unique experience through music and advertising – was founded by Jay Norm and Miso Brown, who have been silent weapons behind the creative, musical and cultural aspects of many. notable brands. Both are responsible for what you’ve seen and heard on Pepsi, Jeep, YouTube Music, PayPal, and Bacardi, to name a few.

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Jay Norm and Miso Brown, co-founders of Verse and Hook.
Credit: Justin Milhouse

As part of the program, Norm and Brown will benefit from a membership in the American Association of Independent Music and have their annual dues subsidized.

Growing up, Brown said that as a teenager all he wanted to do was work in music.

“I started working with some of the street promotion teams that run around town by people like T da Penmp (sic) and Wolff. At the same time, I was working for a local weekly, MetroTimes, as a promo intern, doing marketing and events for them. Through networking and hard work, I was able to have the opportunity to do an internship at Universal Music and this eventually led me to be hired at Sony Music as a marketing representative where I stayed for a few years until what I want to become. an entrepreneur, ”said Brown.

As for Norm, he wanted to be a DJ in the early 2000s but was an intern for a local newspaper.

“At the time, I was an intern at the Detroit Free Press as a graphic designer and I discovered music production software through other interns. A few years creating beats for local artists and designs for local businesses led me to opportunities in New York where I honed these skills. From there my two passions merged and years later I found myself both in advertising as a creative director and in music as a signed producer at BMG Chrysalis, ”Norm said.

The two started their first company, SIREN, in 2013 without a plan and knowing nothing about what to offer as services.

“All we knew was that we wanted to help artists make a living and get their music out there for as many people as possible. We’ve been through a lot of growing pains and trials by fire, from minor headaches to the need to rework misaligned partnerships, but without those first few years of head-banging, we could never have become this. that Verse and Hook have become. “

Brown and Norm are two black men who are dismantling the creative space as Detroit natives with a vast portfolio, and with the announcement during Black Music Month, they explained what the stock market means for their career trajectory.

“With the fellowship, we saw it as an opportunity to foster a support network that spans both the country and the world, and we’re glad we were right. Having connections and having access to people doing similar work in places you can’t be is phenomenal. This support gives your artists these new fans and visibility which is invaluable when you launch this new project or promote a tour. We have already had the opportunity to network and collaborate with other BIMA fellows on future projects and to do a kind of “haggling” of services and support. The things that took us maybe months before are now just email conversations to finish, and that’s amazing.

They added, “Our people are so represented in front of the cameras and on the playing fields, but when you start looking at the back offices of these companies, we’re not there as much as you might think. Not only must there be more A&R BIPOC, but also product managers, royalty and rights management administrators, human resources administrators, etc. ; having that inclusion and internal advocacy helps these artists to grow, which makes their projects grow. “

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The people of Detroit want to give back to their city. Right now, Verse and Hook are focused on creating opportunities with brands and then selecting the best independent musicians and artists for those opportunities. They have future plans to bring about “all kinds of monumental changes for Michigan musicians and creatives.”

“Because we’ve spent so much time with artists, we understand that one of the biggest conflicts with being a professional artist is that the money isn’t always there. We want artists to be paid for their art. It’s a lot easier to make that big scrapbook, or paint that big mural, when you don’t care about keeping the lights on and the food on the table. One of our main goals, therefore, is to involve artists in licensing opportunities, which luckily has been exposed a lot more in recent years as a viable way for artists to make money, but there are still so many who do not know the first steps. to start or have the network.

The two say they would also like to draw more attention to Detroit’s music-based economic developments and try to advance opportunities to add to the billion dollar music industry.

In further efforts to give back to their community, Verse and Hook are creating a nonprofit that will focus on exposing children to business strategies and the music industry at an earlier age. The association will also develop policy ideas to advocate for things like tax incentives for the city’s creative community.

“There are a lot of things on our future plate, and everything is focused on Detroit!”

As for the annual conference, the founders of Verse and Hook see it as “a fantastic opportunity not only to be exposed to new music and art, but also to examine the independent music market as a whole and to explore the independent music market as a whole. ‘identify which trends are here to stay and what strategies are being used to bring the next group of artists to the top.

They also believe in approaching things with a “student first” mindset.

“You can’t create something meaningful without understanding some of the intricacies of the subject. Listening to what industry leaders are doing and focusing helps us refine our most viable services to offer and learn what new strategies we can begin to implement for our artists.

And when it comes to the creatives behind them, Verse and Hook say there’s three things to remember.

“First off, there will be bumps in the road, so learn to buckle up, ride like an off-roader and have fun. Second, stay as nimble as possible. When you only do one thing, you close the door to the opportunity to do everything else at the same time. And third, don’t be afraid to send that cold email, text, make that phone call, etc. The worst that the person you contact can say is “No”. which can sometimes feel like an end, but then you have an answer, and from the answers you can make things happen.

For more information on Verse and Hook, visit here.

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