Amidst Las Vegas’s glitz and glamour, there’s an indie music record label and distributor helping new voices get heard. Owned by Roger Tiborczszeghy and his wife, Julia Pasillas, Keep Records‘ beginning was inspired by Roger’s own recording experience as a member of hip hop group Speach Impediments (you can read all about it here).
Like the artists it represents, Keep Records has a strong voice. The label’s main purpose may be distribution, but it does a lot to support the artists and projects that resonate with Roger and Julia. Explains Roger, “We also organize hip-hop events and tours that focus on the independent underdogs that are otherwise overlooked.” As part of those efforts, Keep Records in 2015 introduced Coffee Shop Hip Hop, which, as Roger puts it, is “a recurring pop-up showcase brand.”
To give artists an opportunity to have an impact, Coffee Shop Hip Hop shows are organized at smaller venues, including skate shops, record stores, clothing stores, and, of course, coffee shops.
Though some events have taken place at a bar, Julia and Roger try to avoid that whenever possible—they prefer to make the performance available to all ages. This approach is what has made the Coffee Shop Hip Hop such a great method of getting music out there. Says Roger, “…the strongest point of Coffee Shop Hip Hop events is the intimacy. Because we purposely pick smaller venues (200 capacity or less), it really gives the audience an up-close and personal touch. The performers are also encouraged to interact with the audience, making it feel more like they’re witnessing a live rehearsal or studio session than actually being at a ‘concert.'”
To promote the shows, Keep Records uses social media, but what Roger has to say about successfully marketing the shows may surprise you: “It’s very easy to think the digital angle is enough to create awareness, but that’s really not the case if you’re trying to get a serious response.” His recommendation for generating concert publicity? “Be sure to hit the streets with posters, drop flyers off with retailers, and in places that might create awareness in the eyes of your target audience. Promoting on social media is definitely important, and should absolutely be implemented, but don’t fall into the dangerous habit of thinking it’s enough all by itself.”
Keep Records sells tickets for each Coffee Shop Hip Hop event and discovered Eventgroove a few months ago. Since then, he says, “We’ve ordered presale tickets from the site for Coffee Shop Hip Hop events on 3 or 4 different occasions. At this point there’s no maybe; we’re getting tickets for every event from now on. It really helps the events feel more official, both for the fans who come to the shows as well as the performers who are on the lineup. Even the venues have mentioned it being a nice professional touch.”
As part of Roger’s efforts to accommodate fan requests and ensure the events stay organized (more on that below), Keep Records recently started offering VIP entry to all Coffee Shop Hip Hop shows. To track general admission and VIP attendees, Roger went with our custom wristbands: “That way it’s easy for everyone (venue staff, performers, etc.) to see who got the VIP option so we can give them some free goodies and special treatment at the merch and concessions booths. It’s perfect!”
We asked Roger how he successfully puts on Coffee Shop Hip Hop shows. Answered Roger, “Stay organized (for everyone’s sake) and don’t neglect the physical promotions aspect. As for organization, I’m referring to everything. Make sure all the financial numbers make sense and are completely transparent so nobody feels like they’re getting ripped off, have set times and show details clearly outlined before the night of the event, and generally be prepared for any possible hiccups.”
It’s super exciting for all of us at Eventgroove to be connected with Keep Records and help such a great record label in staying organized and on budget! Get details about the next Coffee Shop Hip Hop event and check out their artists’ music here.
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