Award show advances artists with varied criteria

by Ryan Snyder

Give him your tired, your poor, yourjust-not-famous-enough and one musicindustry pitchman will lift his lampbeside the golden award. Aulando Frazierhas created an award to supply somedegree of recognition for promising localacts that, well, just aren’t famous enough.Between its red-carpet arrivals andunlimited online voting, the inauguralevent in Greensboro on Friday is a littlebit of the Grammys and a whole lot of“American Idol.”Promoter Frazier, who startedAfrazmusic, Inc. and Just Not FamousEnough Publicity, knows a little bit aboutthe music industry.

He was an R&Bsinger/songwriter who started recordingprofessionally in 1993 after signing withUSA Records, but it was his relationshipwith Trans World Entertainment thatallowed him widespread unencumbereddistribution.“I’ve always enjoyed the fact that I don’t have to adhere to anyone else’s rules,” Frazier said. “My aim in doing music is not necessarily to be so commercial like everybody else.” But Frazier fell in love with the celebrity lifestyle after constantly being surrounded by it during his recording career, which led him into slightly different pursuits. He started working on the publicity side with Speech of Arrested Development and the Pharcyde, where he had a knack for writing press releases and networking with others in the industry.

“As a publicist, I don’t just sit behind my office desk and propagate e-mails and plug the client’s name in there, hoping that it gets something going,” Frazier said. “I try to be very active in creating campaigns that actually move.” One of those campaigns is the Just Not Famous Awards itself, also being held in Connecticut, California, Florida and New York, with at least one of the artists he represents being a heavy favorite for the Pop category. Karla Davis, who is managed by JNFE employee Gabrielle DiMora, topped out the online fan voting by over 1,000 votes, beating out 19-year old Jimmy Robbins of Rocky Mount. “The polls are a barometer for me to see who’s serious and who’s not,” Frazier said. “If I look at the polls and I see people fighting and voting back and forth, well that’s what they’re supposed to do.” Fans were allowed to vote as many times as they wanted from November

Give him your tired, your poor, your just-not-famous-enough and one music industry pitchman will lift his lamp beside the golden award. Aulando Frazier has created an award to supply some degree of recognition for promising local acts that, well, just aren’t famous enough. Between its red-carpet arrivals and unlimited online voting, the inaugural event in Greensboro on Friday is a little bit of the Grammys and a whole lot of “American Idol.” Promoter Frazier, who started Afrazmusic, Inc. and Just Not Famous Enough Publicity, knows a little bit about the music industry. He was an R&B singer/songwriter who started recording professionally in 1993 after signing with USA Records, but it was his relationship with Trans World Entertainment that allowed him widespread unencumbered distribution. “I’ve always enjoyed the fact that I don’t to February and though that might guarantee victory on “American Idol,” there is another set of qualitative criteria that goes into selecting the JNFE winner. According to Frazier, those are “the drive, the talent, the commercial viability and the respect for industry executives as well as the respect for the music.” The award was created for artists who lack the clout or are not popular enough to get the marketing they need to be successful. Frazier says that his ultimate goal is to get these acts signed, but even bands with major label deals are eligible since that doesn’t always guarantee the label’s constant support. While the nomination process for a major award like the Grammys rely on the objective opinions of over 150 experts from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, JNFE streamlined its process by consulting one expert in each of the six categories: pop, rock, R&B, country, alternative and hip hop. “I have different people who give me advice on should win from a talent standpoint because that’s what they do for a living,” Frazier said. Many of those experts will be among the VIPs to parade across the red carpet to open the event and include Johnny Patterson of Russell Simmons Music Group, Matt Williams of Trans World Entertainment, Amadeus of Bad Boy Entertainment, Trenyce Cobbins of “American Idol” and Lisa Dames of 94.1 WMAJ. In as faithful a reproduction of major awards as possible, local paparazzi will be on hand to capture the arrivals and entrances of presenters and nominees alike. Local comedians Ben Jones and Comic Monte will host the evening, while performers from each of the categories will perform upstairs. Those performances will be televised downstairs, however, as preparations for each presentation is being made. Due to it being an all-ages event, alcohol sales will be suspended until the conclusion.