This article originally appeared in the

Dance Trax section of the

November 23, 1996 issue of Billboard.

Used with permission.










This article originally appeared in the

December 14, 1996 issue of Billboard.

Used with permission.
























































More, More, More:

By Larry Flick


Add Global Beat to the growing list of new indies aiming to merge mainstream dance sounds with culturally pure world beat music. The label is off and running with "The Pulse Of The Earth," a compilation showcasing the cream of its roster. Accessible jams are plentiful here, though we're betting that Symbiose will win the lion's share of attention with its hybrid of African chants with classic soul rhythms.

The Florida-based Coconutheads are also quite intriguing as they coat their beats with mellow, Caribbean-styled horns and reggae-tinged melodies. The band's forthcoming album, "The Roots Side," has a potential crossover hit in "I-3 Step," which has an adorable hook and a chorus that instantly sticks to the brain.


©1996 BPI Communications, Inc.

Used with permission from Billboard.



Building Of Dual Foundation Precedes Global Beat's Debut Releases

By Terri Horak

Taking a cue from the adage "slow and steady wins the race," 3-year-old label Global Beat has set a street date of January 15, 1997, for its first raft of four or five releases. It believes that it is well-situated to achieve its goal of creating a strong label identity and pop music followings for its diverse stable of artists.

With a focus on the concept of blending world music influences with distinctly contemporary, and accessible, styles such as dance and R&B, Global Beat Media Corporation founder and chairman/CEO Laurence Singer says that building a strong foundation was key for the imprint before issuing any product.

"It took longer than I expected, but my experience in business has been that if the infrastructure isn't solid and in place, it's difficult to build something for the long term, which is what I'm interested in," Singer says.

Attorney/entrepreneur Singer has been nurturing the idea of Global Beat since a 1981 trip to Ghana, though he did not begin working full time on it until forming the New York-based company in 1993.

Finally, with private investors and talent in place, Singer says, "Global Beat has positioned itself to take advantage of current trends, such as the emerging importance of global markets and the crossover of talent on an international basis."

So far, Global Beat artists scheduled to release product in January are African group
Symbiose and Native American Wayquay, both of which have strong dance influences; Miami-based reggae/soca-influenced band the Coconutheads; and solo pianist/composer Tian, who hails from China and has a notable career as a classical performer.

Terrcotta, which mixes jazz and rock with Indian accents, is also tentatively slated for a January 15 release.

Global Beat will be distributed by M.S. Distributing in the U.S.

All the artists will be marketed individually to traditional radio formats, and the label will produce music videos and singles and provide tour support. Initially, the singles will go to appropriate formats in the U.S., including dance, R&B, top 40, and AC. The videos, meanwhile, will be worked at both American and international outlets.

"I think people are looking for something new. We're trying to establish a different format in a sense, but in marketing the music we have to go through the established formats," Singer says. "Because I can't compete promotionally dollar-wise with the major label, the idea is to sign groups that are distinguishable and unique. As with anything new, it's not easy to get attention, but the structure of the company is all geared toward that."

While Global Beat's staff is small, Singer will draw from a pool of independent contractors for services ranging from promotion to
graphic design.

Regional development is a key goal in the marketing plan, and touring will play a big part in that, according to Singer. London-based, Paris-bred
Symbiose will initially concentrate on touring in Europe. The Coconutheads will continue to build on their fan base in Florida, while Tian and Wayquay will work from New York. Tian, who is managed by Columbia Artists Management, performed a five-city American tour in October and has an Asian tour scheduled for next year.

There will be club mixes of Symbiose's single, "I Need Love," which will be worked initially in New York and London (
Dance Trax, Billboard, Nov. 23). Remixes of the Coconutheads single and title track, "Roots Side," and a single from Wayquay, tentatively "Navigate," are also planned.

"Tribal Grind" is the debut album from singer/songwriter/poet Wayquay. Working with producer Strafe, Wayquay draws on styles from rock to ambient to jazz and describes her music as being "of the soul."

"It's a little bit of everything rolled into one, and the string that holds it all together is the message. It's geared toward healing whatever ails you," she says.

"There is an underlying spirituality, or positivity, to all of Global Beat's music and, combined with contemporary sounds, it will be hard to deny the music's appeal," claims Singer. "If you can capture the spirit of the times and the spirit of people, then you have something to offer, and they will pay attention."

Singer's openness to embrace the artists' vision was a key consideration for Symbiose in choosing to sign with Global Beat, according to Philo Lo-Tutala, Symbiose's guitarist. "We were very lucky because it's most important to do our thing [our way] without pressure to do it some other way. We're trying to offer something original, and it's very important in music to be free to express oneself," he says.

M.S. Distributing's national audio marketing director, Steve Glos, says that Global Beat product will fill the hole left when PolyGram's Independent Label Sales, which included the label Mango, jumped to Independent National Distributors Inc. last year.

"We got a taste of selling good reggae and world music, and Global Beat fills that gap. Plus, they're coming out with more pop-oriented stuff," Glos says. Initially, M.S. will focus on adult-leaning chains such as Borders and Hear Music.

Global Beat will have full international distribution in place in 1997, according to Singer, but already has a deal in China with the Shanghai Audio Video Publishing Co. to distribute Symbiose and Tian there next year.

@1996 BPI Communications, Inc. Used with permission from Billboard.

[NOTE: Words emphasized with bold type or italisized are those of Global Beat's webmaster and not those of the original author.]