Occasionally, I see an all-white Cadillac SUV on the street outside my house, with the window lettering “SALTY SALT – NEW ALBUM – AND NOTHING BUT THE SALT – OUT NOW!”, and a website: saltysalt.net The first time, I wondered about this vehicle, but guessed that it was a one-time promotion for a music artist, visiting the world-famous Venice Beach.
Then I saw it again and again and wondered – does this artist live in the neighborhood? It was always parked on the street, daytimes on weekends, and I wondered why. So when I saw its owner getting into the car yesterday, when I was descending from my apartment, I ran down to say hello and find out who he was.
He was, of course, Salt himself – a rap/R&B artist from Alabama, with a new album coming out next month. And the reason I see his car here on weekends is because he’s “bringing his music to the people” – actually going out to talk to people and give out or sell his CD on Venice Beach. And I think that’s actually pretty awesome. That’s some serious grassroots promotion, right there – and a lot of devotion, given how often I see him on my block.
So I’m wondering – is this an LA phenomenon, because this is where the recording industry is? And does anyone else see local artists promoting themselves and their album on the street? I know record companies rarely give artists the promotion they need, save the major-radio-airplay ones – are there many (signed!) artists promoting their albums at this level of grassroots?