Yoh of thetapedeck.net hits us with another interview from the other side of the business with creative agency 24West. They are an all purpose creative agency that provide a range of services such as Social Media, Digital PR and Asset Design, Website Design and real world initiatives. Check out the interview below and if you need their services, hit them up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yoh: Give us an introduction about 24West and the role you play in the company.
Richard Nardo: 24west is a digital marketing agency that has its roots in the music industry. We pretty much run the gamut in terms of what we offer artists; everything from digital PR to social media strategy to website and asset building. We also do some non-digital marketing initiatives such as event planning/marketing and guerilla campaigns. I am a co-founder of the company, but we’re a boutique shop so I still get my hands dirty with the day-to-day work!
Yoh: If you had to condense 24West’s entire ethos into a quote or phrase that perfectly captures the firms spirit what would it be? Feel free to chose a famous cliche, or your own personal maxim
Richard Nardo: Use our own creativity to amplify the tremendous creative talents of our clients.
Yoh: 24West has quite the extensive clientele. You have Baltimore’s progressive rock group Vinny Vegas, genre blending masters Riot in Paris, Washington, D.C. Independent label Eight Gang Switch, and many more. What exactly is it that 24West plays when bands, labels, and artist wish for your expertise?
Richard Nardo: Every artist is different and we believe our campaigns should reflect that. The key to putting together the right campaign is to really get to know your client and their fanbase. Even though we have the pleasure of thinking creatively in our job, very little of it is ‘off-the-cuff’. Due Diligence is key to maximizing any campaign!
Yoh: One of your more notable clients is Mansions on the Moon, who recently released a new EP entitled: The Full Moon EP. What involvement did 24West play?
Richard Nardo: Mansions on the Moon are a phenomenal band, and we’re so stoked to be working with them. Right now we’re doing digital public relations for them. What that boils down to is that we’re making sure they’re getting the best looks possible across the blogosphere and the word is getting out there about their new EP.
Yoh: Let’s back track a bit. It’s 2009, the President is black, the music industry is going through a transformation while the world is going through a “recession”. What compels you to start a creative agency? Did the 2009 Rich gamble on a dream, or did you know this venture would be a profitable career move?
Richard Nardo: To tell you the truth, we started 24west back in 2009 as sort of a pet project to promote my band Dussel Has Friends and some of those of our friends. It wasn’t until this past August (two months ago) that the agency really took form. Up until then it was sort of a ‘for-fun’ venture. Now I’m fortunate enough to be doing it full time.
Yoh: You must have an undying love for music. What’s currently blaring out of your headphones? How has your taste changed throughout the years?
Richard Nardo: Oh man, I don’t even know where to begin. I’m all over the boards in terms of what I’m listening to. I think we as a generation are extremely eclectic in our tastes, kind of fitting for the “ADD generation”. Right now I’m really into Mansions on the Moon, Ace Reporter, APSPDR+, Tanya Morgan, Action Bronson, Panama Wedding, Lorde, The Kickdrums, The Deadmen and that’s just new stuff. I’m a huge fan of Radiohead, Billy Joel and John Mayer so those are constantly in rotation for me, as is the new Katy Perry single “Roar” believe it or not. In terms of how my taste has changed throughout the years, I’d say its more expanded than switched course. My parents brought me up on Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Genesis and Bob Seger and I still listen to a lot of classic rock. I was put on to backpack rap pretty early on and have always held a special place in my heart for hip hop. But I also grew up on Long Island hardcore music. I listen to everything. I think most real music fans that have been around the blog a few times feel the same. As Duke Ellington once said “There’s only two types of music: good and the other kind”.
Yoh: 24West is no stranger to CMJ festivities. Did you attend this year? If so how’d you rank it in comparison to past year showcases?
Richard Nardo: Yes I did! CMJ was great this year! 24west was fortunate enough to host our own official showcase and it went amazing. We had Ella Lounge in the East Village at capacity. They actually had to delay our show 20 minutes in order to try to thin out the crowd. We were blessed with awesome bands playing for us and the best partners we could ask for (Noisy, Ghost PR, Stay Positive Clothing, Emerging Artist Connect, Entertainment Talk Shop and the Arts and Business Council of New York). We also had a lot of really talented visual artists displaying their work as well. I’d say this was the best CMJ year in a while. It was sort of dying off the past few years but I feel like the whole experience was reinvigorated this year.
Yoh: From a completely dream standpoint, three artist you’d love to bring under the 24West umbrella?
Richard Nardo: All Time: Billy Joel, Radiohead & Glassjaw. Recent Artists: Action Bronson, Minus The Bear, Lorde.
Yoh: What does success means to Rich? What does success mean to 24West?
Richard Nardo: Success to me is the opportunity to work with artists I’m passionate about and to be able to push myself to think outside the box on a daily basis. I want to gain as much real life experience and spend the maximum amount of time with my friends and family as possible while still striving to reach the upper echelon of the game in my professional field. In regards to 24west, success is having every client we work with knowing that we put our all into the campaign and having them be happy enough with the results to recommend us to their friends and colleagues!