Saturday, September 12, 2009


There are signs everywhere. That line was repeated a lot in the romantic comedy “Fool’s Rush In". Sure it’s easy to read into something if you want to believe it bad enough. But sometimes logic just tells you that the signs are real, they are important and they are leading to something good.

Lately, the signs surrounding Clay Aiken have reminded me of watching that staging light that professional dragster racers watch before they hit the gas. Ever since it was announced that Clay has signed with Universal Music Group’s Decca Records, good things are evident. I sense motion and change that will serve as the foundation of better things. I can hear the engines revving in my head as the pulse of activity grows stronger.

Clay’s official fan club site made a brief announcement about the Decca signing and a new album in 2010. Decca is expected to make an official announcement as they typically do when they sign a new artist. But they aren’t standing still. They added him to their artist roster and began building his artist page. His social media sites like MySpace and Facebook have also been updated and now his management will operate his official Twitter site, @Clayaiken.

Decca and Universal have always been active in online marketing but they are also paying attention. When Jimmy Fallon made a joke about Clay signing with Decca, the folks at Decca tweeted back with some information to counter it. As an aside, why is it Fallon jokes about Clay so much? As a fan pondered recently, did all the writers not good enough to follow Conan to the Tonight Show (which is a scary thought on its own) get stuck writing for Fallon? Was there a sign when they turned in their resumes that said line forms to the right for those with a fourteen year old’s mentality? Sorry, I digress.

Recently, Decca posted a picture on Twitter of Clay with David Novik, who is the VP of A&R at Decca. A&R professionals match the artist with the songs and material that they will record. Clay looked gorgeous. Mr. Novik looked quite happy and filled with his own kind of anticipation at having this kind of talent to work with. Or is that “with which to work”. Sometimes good grammar makes a dull sentence. I know, I know. I digress once again.

The fans happily tweeted back and Decca noticed. They responded with a tweet of their own (boy, the lexicon of Twitter makes me feel like a pre-schooler). They were quite happy to see how enthusiastic we were (original meaning, not Clay’s synonym for crazy) because they shared that enthusiasm with us. A music label interacting with the fans? What a novel idea…

Mr. Novik has said in online interviews that he feels strongly about an artist combining music with touring and merchandise. Clay’s always been a strong seller of merch and so fan anticipation grew a little more when the official store was down for upgrade. Clay indicated they are working on a calendar. My anticipation grew exponentially with that comment because he hasn’t sold one in a few years. He must like what’s coming down the road if he plans on releasing one. (Most especially because he hates photo shoots!) I wonder if they ever read that thread about fan suggestions for items in the store. One can never have enough striped socks, although I’m an argyle person myself.

Anticipation... For a new album produced by a company whose first comment about their artist is “enthusiastic” and not the snide comments from the old label found in the 2003 TIME Magazine article.

Anticipation... For utilizing all avenues of promotion and a core fanbase that knows how to help spread the word.

Anticipation... For new pictures and new merchandise

Anticipation... For seeing and hearing him at his annual charity gala next month. Forget the national day of service, this man has dedicated himself to a lifetime of service and I’m happy to go along for the ride.

Anticipation... To hear the Voice again in concert.

Maybe Carly Simon will open for him.

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