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August 30, 2012 - Image 30

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-08-30

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Harnessing A Star

Local team puts Detroit artist Brilliance on track for success.

By Alison Schwartz

ike so many great
collaborations, the
meeting between
Brilliance, a talented
songwriter, hip-hop
artist and producer,
and his eventual man-
agement and produc-
tion team happened
by chance.
Brad Kallen, 41, of
Commerce, had been
Kevin Goldman, Jeff Bass and Brad Kallen
working as a DJ in De-
troit for more than 20
cially and legally secure:'
years and, like his mother, legendary
Rounding out the Brilliance team
boxing promoter and Detroit native
was Grammy and Oscar-winning mu-
Jackie Kallen, he wanted to get into
sic producer Jeff Bass (also from West
talent management.
Bloomfield), who helped skyrocket
When he listened to a demo from
another Detroit artist, Eminem, to
Brilliance — fortuitously passed his
fame. He first heard about the singer
way by Kevin Goldman, a friend and
from his secretary who had been sent
CPA who had been asked to help
a link of a Brilliance video and showed
manage Brilliance's finances — it was
it to her boss.
like a bolt of lightning."This kid has
"I was impressed enough that I was
really got it," he remembers thinking.
willing to work with him and help him
"It's star potential!'
find out musically what is really go-
But harnessing that star potential
ing to work for him — not to be like
and creating a marketable artist is
everyone else out there, but making
another story. Within weeks, Kallen
his own mark," said Bass, 51, who is
had joined forces with Goldman to
married to Julie and has five children,
form a company, Park City Manage-
ages 9 to 23.
ment, with the express aim of getting
Bass and another legendary pro-
Brilliance heard loud and clear.
ducer from Detroit, Jared Lee Gosselin
"We were a perfect match," ex-
(who has also produced for Macy
plained Goldman, 42, of West Bloom-
Gray, Flo Rida and Bobby Brown), are
field."Brad knows so much about
responsible for Brilliance's new single
the music scene here, and I had the
"Where Did I Go?" which became
business background necessary to
available on iTunes last month, and
ensure that Brilliance could establish
combines elements of hip hop, tech-
his credit and make sure he was finan-
no and dubstep, resulting in a high-


energy dance track that has been
setting local airwaves and club dance
floors on fire this summer. Think of the
movie The Hangover made into song.
Bass, a member ofTemple Shir
Shalom, has worked with some of the
biggest names in music."We had no
idea when Eminem first started where
it would go," he said. "The same is true
for Brilliance. Anything is possible!'
Kallen's role at Park City Manage-
ment is the hard grind of music
management — booking
shows, organizing events,
ensuring the details
of concerts go to plan.
And there has been real
success. Brilliance has
opened up for such well-
known artists as LL Cool
J and Mike Posner, and,
on Aug. 24, one of his
songs was featured in the
major new family movie
Thunderstruck, about bas-
ketball star Kevin Durant
switching his talent with
a clumsy 16 year old.
Kallen, who, like Goldman, is a
member of Temple Israel, explained
that the music industry has changed
so dramatically in the last 10 years
that the old model of trying to secure
a record deal for an artist no longer
exists."Instead, it's about staying
independent, controlling the artist's
destiny, promoting the artist on social
media and building their brand," he
"Who knows what the future holds,"

said Kallen, who also works in the
building industry. "But as my wife,
Molly, is pregnant with twins and
we've got another daughter Jenna,
who's 3, a couple of big hits would
be perfect. And that's exactly what I
believe we're going to get with Bril-
liance, and that's just the start!"
For Goldman, who is married to
Amy and has two sons, Max, 16, and
Zack, 13, Brilliance is his first foray into
the music business. During the day
he works as a mortgage
broker at Kaye Financial in
Bloomfield Hills."It's fun
and more exciting than
mortgages," he jokes, while
admitting that being at
concerts late can be tough.
"Zack thinks it's wonder-
ful and likes nothing more
than being at shows at
night; he definitely thinks
my new job is cool!"
As for Brilliance, 26, aka
Michael Sundberg of Novi
— whose name sounds
Jewish although he is not — having
such a strong team is "an incredible
"In the music industry, as in any
other business, I believe it's crucial to
have a good foundation and support
system at home that believes in you,"
he explained."I couldn't ask for more
between Jeff Bass Music and Park City
Management.They are pushing my
career to the next level and have all
been so supportive since day one. I'm
truly blessed." RT

New Zealand sweetheart Kimbra has
released a soulful and artsy debut
album with Vows. Don't recognize the
name Kimbra? You may have heard her
popular radio hit collaboration with
Goyte called "SomebodyThat I Used to
Know!' If you're a fan of Florence and
the Machine, Kimbra is definitely an
artist you'll want to check out.

music floats in the vein of Tori Amos
or Sarah McLachlan but remains
distinctly her own. What We Saw from
the Cheap Seats will charm you with
its melodic and hypnotic expression
of music.


5 Hot Albums
for Summer

By Natalie Sugarman


s the dog days of summer begin
to wane and the cooler days of
autumn approach, enjoy the last
of the warm weather this Labor Day
with a cool, fruity beverage, a back-
yard barbecue with friends and some
hot music. Here are some ideas to get
you started.

The Baltimore-based duo Alex Scally
and Victoria Legrand formed Beach
House in 2005 and have been creat-
ing dark and dreamy music since
then. They have an indie/dream pop
sound that has been gaining ground
and garnering their music positive

30 September 2012 I


reviews and attention. Their newest
release, Bloom, debuted at No. 7 on
the Billboard 200. This is an album to
kick back and relax to and enjoy the
musical waves that take you out to

Best Coast's album The Only Place
is reminiscent of '60s surf rock. It is
fizzy, poppy and full of sun and surf,
with Beth Cosentino on lead vocals.
The band hails from Los Angeles,
and, as the name Best Coast implies,
the West Coast is the best coast.



Songstress and pianist Regina Spektor
has released yet another heartfelt,
lofty and honey-sweet album. Her

Born in Halifax, West Yorkshire,
England, Ed Sheeran has released an
acoustic gem of an album with new
release +. He currently has a popular
radio hit with the song "The A Team."
On the new album, he blends his
acoustic sound with catchy beats that
fuse with folk and a little bit of rap and
beatbox style. R-L7


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