Reservoir Media Management - FAITH NEWMAN'S 'ILL' MOMENT: THE RESERVOIR A&R CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF NAS
 
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FAITH NEWMAN'S 'ILL' MOMENT: THE RESERVOIR A&R CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF NAS

FAITH NEWMAN'S 'ILL' MOMENT: THE RESERVOIR A&R CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF NAS

4/24/2014

Of the A&R accomplishments Reservoir SVP of Creative and Business Development Faith Newman has seen over the years—and there have been several, from her sole female presence during Def Jam's days as a niche start-up label, to her success in developing Columbia Records' street cred through the addition of acts like the Fugees and Big L—perhaps none have proved as timeless as her work on the debut album from rapper NasIllmatic.

Having pursued and eventually signed the teenaged rapper to Columbia Records in 1991, Newman provided championship and creative support for Illmatic through its two-year development amidst pressure from label executives.  Well worth the wait, Illmatic is regarded today as one of the most rare, raw, and culturally impactful releases in the history of hip-hop, with Newman immortalized right alongside it.  (Years after Illmatic's release, Newman's eyes-on-the-prize mentality would prove vital in her publishing A&R career as well, leading her to secure deals with coveted Reservoir acts 2 Chainz and Phantogram, plus fellow Philadelphian musical force, Philly Groove Records.)  

The week of Illmatic's 20th anniversary special re-edition, Newman and Nas appeared together before several eager outlets to look back on what made the creation and release of Illmatic such a musical milestone.  Plugs included interviews with MTV, Revolt TV, Fuse News, and several other pop culture platforms.  Newman also appears in Time Is Illmatic, the documentary that opened this year's Tribeca Film Festival.

Newman has been a part of the Reservoir team for three years now, bringing her passion for hip-hop, soul, R&B, and all things in-between to the company roster. In addition to sourcing talent, securing co-writes, and providing creative guidance for developing writers, Faith invigorates future generations of music industry executives, fielding questions on A&R panels and recently guest-teaching a 'Future Music Moguls' class at the Clive Davis School of Recorded Music at Faith's alma mater, NYU. The lifelong A&R representative also continues to dabble in recorded music projects, most recently earning an A&R credit on the upcoming Roots album.

Faith and her 'Future Music Moguls' class.

Join us in celebrating Faith's crowning A&R moment in the #IllmaticXX campaign highlights below.

 

FROM XXL:

"I started at Def Jam when I was 20, where it was really about the music. We weren't thinking about hip-hop as a commodity, as commerce, we were thinking about it purely from a creative perspective. So I carried that over to Columbia. I can say now that it was the best thing that we ever did, but at the time I wasn't thinking, 'Oh, we have to have a radio record, we have to shoot this video.'

"Like everybody else, I heard Nas on the Main Source record ["Live At The Barbeque"] and flipped out, and went, 'I have to find this kid, I have to sign this kid.'....'I had walked down the hall to the head of A&R and said, 'I know I've only been here for two weeks, but if you never let me sign anyone, I have to sign this kid.'"  Read more

 

FROM MTV:

Newman couldn't deny Nas' talent — something that proved spot-on with the release of Illmatic. Now, two decades later, Illmatic XX is hitting stores Tuesday (April 15), with a release that includes both remastered versions of the original songs and a second disc featuring some of the songs Newman heard early on. Read more

 

FROM COMPLEX: 

By the time Nas was ready to make an album, most of New York's best producers were lining up to work with him—DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, Q-Tip, and a relatively unknown talent named L.E.S. Instead of choosing just one, Nas wanted to rock with all of them, and Faith Newman at Columbia Records backed him up, a decision that would forever change the way rap albums were made. Read more

 

Nas and Faith look back on the making of Illmatic.  Part of a five-part series. Watch here.

 

Spotify spoke with Faith for its Landmark series on Illmatic.

 

More Illmatic insight from Faith Newman:

http://www.complex.com/music/2014/04/nas-interview-faith-newman-illmatic-memory-lane- part-two 

http://www.complex.com/music/2014/04/nas-interview-faith-newman-illmatic-memory-lane-part- three 

http://www.complex.com/music/2014/04/nas-interview-faith-newman-illmatic-memory-lane-part-four 

http://www.complex.com/music/2014/04/nas-interview-faith-newman-illmatic-the-genesis-part-five 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2014/05/01/307724568/illmatic-the-making-of-a-classic

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2014/04/17/nas-opens-tribeca-film-festival-with-illmatic-film-concert/

http://nypost.com/2014/04/13/the-hottest-acts-at-this-years-tribeca-film-festival/

http://www.bet.com/video/musicnews/2014/the-making-of-illmatic.html

http://revolt.tv/video/20-years-later-still-illmatic/5FC2F1B2-2A59-4360-A8CA-EC8AC774247C

http://www.fuse.tv/2014/04/nas-illmatic-anniversary-special-1

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2014/04/14/nas-discusses-illmatic-on-20th-anniversary/7504465/

 

 

 

 

 

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