Magazine article Variety

Breaking ‘Redbone’

Magazine article Variety

Breaking ‘Redbone’

Article excerpt

Childish Gambino's "Redbone" is an irresistible slice of sweaty, sultry, vintage R&B - but it's also a song that's difficult to imagine on the radio alongside DJ Khaled, The Chainsmokers or Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito." Add to that, Childish Gambino is the stage name of actor Donald Glover, who, owing to a stacked schedule including the TV series "Atlanta," forthcoming Star Wars film "Solo" and "The Lion King" remake, was largely unavailable to promote the album, "Awaken, My Love!" from which the song comes. The kicker? Gambino is known as a rapper - and "Awaken" has no rapping.

Such situations often lead labels to scale down promotion on the premise that they might be throwing good money after bad. However, the opposite was true for Gambino on Glassnote, the proudly independent label founded by four-decade industry veteran Daniel Glass, celebrating its 10th anniversary.

"We got the complete album in August of 2016 - and when we heard it, we knew we had something so special and unique," says Glass. "So we urged our entire staffto get out of their offices and play it for clients. Then the fire got lit when [Beats 1 DJ] Zane Lowe played the record nine times in a row. That lit a fuse at Apple Music, within the industry, and our distribution company."

In December, shortly after the album's release and during a brief window of availability, Glover taped a high-profile performance of "Redbone" on "The Late Show With Jimmy Fallon" in which he appeared shirtless.

"Our publicity team timed that perfectly," Glass says. …

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