Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

March 13, 2008

Ashley Alexandra Dupre: Sudden Celebrity

There aren't many things that can thrust an independent musician into the national spotlight. One way is to become a finalist on American Idol (or its equivalent outside the U.S.). Another way is to be identified as the high-end call girl who brought down the governor of New York.

As it turns out, what's disastrous for Eliot Spitzer may pay big dividends for the 22-year-old woman who hooked to pay the bills while also crafting hooks with her dance club style music.
Since her identity has been revealed, hits on Ashley Alexandra Dupre's MySpace profile have skyrocketed, plays and sales on her Amie Street page have jumped, and -- get this -- radio stations around the country are playing her tracks (she appears to have only two available).

On top of that, Penthouse and other men's magazines are knocking on her door, and there's talk of a book deal. However, according to this MSNBC story, "Major labels would be unlikely to sign Dupre."

(Oh well, when you have notoriety on your side, who needs a label? Come to think of it, if you're completely unknown, who needs a label? Oh, and by the way, what IS a record label these days?)

So, what's the point of blogging about Ashley Dupre and her music? What can you learn from this?

For starters, I don't recommend you run out and start renting your body for any amount of money. But you might learn that ...

  • Attention gives you leverage. Consumers can generally pay you with two things: Their time (also known as their attention or awareness), and their money. Money doesn't always follow attention. Ms. Dupre may very well gets loads of short-term exposure and still not sell much music, but she'll likely cash in some way. Money grows where attention goes.

  • You can take a perceived burden and turn it into an opportunity. For instance, Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles could have used their sensory limitations as a justification for inaction. Instead, they moved forward anyway, despite the obvious challenge. (Strange comparison, I know. But you get the point.)

  • Guard your brand. Usually, your brand identity is what you present via all of your promotional avenues -- your web site, album covers, photos, live shows, press kits, etc. Most people slack off beyond that. But, as speaker Jim Bunch says, "The game is always on." The decisions you make in all areas of life can affect your brand. So conduct yourself with the big picture in mind.

Who knows what will become of Ashley Alexandra Dupre. But one thing's for sure: she's an indie artist who suddenly has a lot of media attention. What she does with it, only time will tell.


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posted by Unknown @ 11:18 PM   1 comments


At Mar 14, 2008, 4:52:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

For artists, I believe there's a major factor (which is related to what you call your brand identity), and it is your image.
Take a big name such as The Eagles, if they wanted to start writing electronic music, people wouldn't even try to listen to it, because you think Eagles, you think rock from the 70's. If Madonna started to play rock, she wouldn't be taken seriously.
So unfortunately for Dupre, her image is everything but related to music. Think Paris Hilton, who will listen to her songs?
It's a shame, because I visited her myspace and she seems to be really genuine about making music, but her image of the girl who went down to some politician's pants is already a big prejudice against her music.
Who cares about a label, when you have notoriety, right, but when the ones who visit your page just care about naked pictures of you, it's a different story. I bet it won't be a problem for her find some label that will make her release a crappy record, just for instant money, but if she wants to become a credible artist, this current notoriety is not gonna help her.


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