Exclusive Interview with Silver Medallion

Like This Video 0 219 Phoenix Hip Hop
Added by May 7, 2010

imagesWhats up Silver Medallion hows the touring life treating you?
1. Tour was amazing, we did a college tour over 24 universities, 2-3 a week for most of this last semester, it was our first national tour, and our first set of shows as the headlining act. The kids responded super well, we had an amazing time especially at Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Cornell and Marquette.
Can you give name us some of the places you have toured recently?
In addition to our tour we’ve been doing a lot of east coast dates, DJing in NYC, we have an upcoming show in Connecticut, a high school charity event with Atlantic Entertainment.
I see you linked up with Konvict Music (akons label) how did that happen?

We linked up with a management company and with one of Akon’s brothers, it’s a scenario we’re in that could end up with us as an artist under one of Konvict’s several imprint’s, we’re still working right now to finish our new album and decide if that’s the direction that we all want to go in.

The story of how all this came about is actually kinda interesting. When All Star Weekend came to Phoenix we got put on a showcase with MySpace at Lyte, and the DJ from Atlanta who put it all together talked to us and wanted to push our music to labels he new. He ended up being shady and tried to get us to sign a terrible contract and we never spoke again. He also killed off a lot of relationships playing our music for people and saying he had us signed up and wouldn’t relinquish anything. His security guard took our cd and gave it to Vamp over at Wandering Starz, a management company that works closely with at lot of key people in Atlanta. When we booked our tour we made sure to book dates in Georgia and we ended up going down, playing music, parlaying with everyone and moving forward. We’ve been down there again since working on the album, and developing a great scenario. All of this hinges on one shady DJ’s security guard though, and a scratched random burned cd he got in the right hands.
what are you currently working on now?
We’re finishing up our album right now, recording a ton of tracks, seeing what fits. We’re also concentrating on becoming more and more dancefloor relevant, we’ve been getting a lot of remixes etc. We go back on tour in the fall, and have a separate European tour in Holland and Germany so we’ve also been developing some more euro-relevant music.
Can you give us a little history on Silver Medallions career?

Our bio says it all best….

Silver Medallion got their name from a particularily lavish Scottsdale party in the weeks following the pairs’ initial debut of their songs to their party-going friends and associates. “Carnegie walked out of a room at this house party, shirtless holding a can of Four Loko, all you could hear from the room was a kind of orgasmic squeeling from what sounded like several girls… He had a super obnoxious grin on his face and he was wearing this giant silver chain, like the kind of chain you lock a construction facility fence with, with a mismatched medallion on it, and I was like that’s it, Silver Medallion” recounts singer Oren J.

Silver Medallion was forced into the local spotlight by an enormous response to their early music. Their song Scottsdale was a rampant local hit on MySpace, the pair couldn’t go anywhere without hearing it as a ringtone or being played in the clubs, even before their first shows. A local on-air personality at a major hip hop station heard the song “Gravity” off Oren J’s MySpace and the group had its first set of radio spins as a feature on the local music spotlight “Street Heat of the Week”. After attending several of the bands performances one radio personality 98.3 declared “I’m stalking your group. When you go on world tour, I’m quitting radio and I’m going to follow you like hippies followed Grateful Dead”, and another from 101.5 said “I’ve seen the future of music, they have a golden touch and will hang platinum plaques.”

When the band did decide to first take the stage for a set of performances around Phoenix the response was so great that the pair simply never stopped… For a year straight it was impossible to go a night without seeing or hearing about Silver Medallion, they performed three nights a week, from club nights to rock concerts to shady bars to pool parties and back again, racking up an impressive 100 performances in less than a year and becoming on stage veterans. “We were making the bands we were opening for, national acts, look foolish. We turned the party out, the energy just kept getting higher and higher, the whole town knew our songs”. When they weren’t performing Silver Medallion ran amok in the party scene, forming relationships with the deejays and nightlife personalities necessary to cement them in the Scottsdale scene forever. That summer the pair was declared “most influential in nightlife” and “the next big thing” by 944 magazine, and proceded to win a battle of the bands to perform a showcase at the Vanguard in LA for Project Ethos. The LA performance garnished enough industry attention for the pair to travel to Hawaii, Las Vegas and beyond for shows.

From there, Silver Medallion sat down in the studio and completed their debut album The Last of the Popstars. After launching it independently with a sold out private release party at The W in Scottsdale Silver Medallion’s song “Gravity” was given a shot by local radio channels. The song skyrocketed up Arizona charts ending up at 14 weeks in rotation, topping out at 13 at Power 98.3. Crossover songs from the album began to get spins elsewhere, and soon Silver Medallion was being heard in more than a dozen markets around the US. The group then began to receive syndicated attention through DJ legend Fatman Scoop’s international radio show. Arizona was no longer big enough to hold Silver Medallion, so they packed up their belongings, rented a van and proceeded on to a 20+ city college tour sponsored by Oakley, Muscle Milk and Crunk Energy Drink in the Spring of 2010.

During this run Silver Medallion knew they had to make a big move to take the group’s success to the next level. Their next single, “Slave” had been written by Oren J in NYC and its impact would be lost by just another attempt at local radio success in Arizona. With that in mind the pair moved immediately to the musical hotbed of Brooklyn, NY where they are now touring and preparing for the release of “Slave” in Summer 2010, and have booked their first international run in the Netherlands for fall of 2010.

who are the artists you feel have potential to make Phoenix a major city for hip hop?
I see OTS doing great things, linking up with promoters and making the right marketing decisions. In general we think that the artists in Phoenix really need to step it up. Mav’s “Sun Rise” was dope, it’s good to see hot latin records out of AZ. In general there’s no radio relevant music, very little college promotion, no one’s killing the clubs and crossing over… Phoenix is ready if someone wants to do it. If we didn’t have so many tour options we’d be out there pounding pavement very hard, because the city is wide open.

As far as potential? We think the OTS movement could blow up and run the city. If we thought someone really had the potential for national we’d have them on tour with us, we can bring people now, but nothing’s really standing out. The major label acts aren’t making moves either, it’s kind of a sad state of affairs for a city with so much potential. I think there’s deejays that are making super moves… I like what John Blaze is doing, the radio shows and the mixtapes, I like what Fresh 85 is doing he’s working with Felli Fel and bringing out artists like Big Sean, DJ Epidemic is becoming national, working with adult swim, remixing and getting into the Moombahton scene. M2 is a staple who’s only becoming more relevant with dope edits and working with the Nap Boyz. Arizona deejays are the shit, they’re super talented, we’ve seen deejays around the country now and AZ is amazing, they support local music, they drop mixtapes, DJ’s are making moves. Deejays are gonna make Phoenix before artists the way things are going now. Shout out to AZ deejays, especially the ones bumping our single “Slave” in the clubs.
Phoenix producers are slept on but there are alot of great ones out there, Who is your favorite Phoenix producer right now and why?
We have a couple favorites in AZ. Death to the Throne did two tracks for us, he recently came in second in the Redbull 3Style DJ battle as well. He’s a majorly respected indie producer on the blogs and in the right circles and his sound is just super hard and has a lot of elements of Phoenix in it.

J. Paul from the dubstep group HavocNDeed is another extremely talented AZ producer. His group is touring the world with dubstep and on a great label, and everything I’ve heard him bless has been technically amazing and very very forward thinking.

DJ Mastamonk from Tucson also has a couple heaters… He did a great remix of Usher’s OMG and he sent us a remix for Slave we’re gonna actually make an original out of. As far as hip hop once Jiggalo left I think there isn’t anyone really killing it on the beats. Lifted and the New FO’s got some cool production…
What is the best show you have ever done in Phoenix?
Our best AZ show was probably Tucson, we did a show with LMFAO there on a soccer field and killed it… We were kinda upset we were before two acts not nearly as good as us (which became very clear), we had hundreds of fans there (shout out to Tucson, you guys have held us down again and again), the show was super dark and it was way bigger than they expected the soccer field was flooded. The cops were afraid of gang violence so they had a ghetto bird circling above with a spotlight. Jimmy Iovine’s son was the deejay, we had a party bus packed with girls and booze and a whole entourage, LMFAO had video camera’s on them like they we’re The Beatles, we just went on and crushed it, maximum energy.

As far as Phoenix….

Our favorite show was at Glam before it closed that show was ruckus, we we’re pounding 40’s out back and we came in behind the dj booth and just mashed out. I remember Karlie Hustle and Joey Boy were there it was probably their first time seeing us. Glam was amazing to perform at because it was just so hedonistic… There’d be sex in the bathrooms, lines of coke on the bar, they had a drink called the Trashcan that was like ten bucks and got you slaughtered. We would line up dollar pbrs like shots and just go in.

As far as the best show? We did a great show with LMFAO at Martini Ranch we got an ovation for SL Entertain. I like shows that don’t have hella opening acts, this was just us and LMFAO, and opening for LMFAO is a challenge because their live show is outstanding and super high energy and you have to go 200% just to not look dumb… We killed it, we came out and did the dance from thriller, on the last song we did the 80’s slow clap and the crowd brought Oren back to life from the ground. That show was retarded, afterparty at Myst was outrageous too.

-What’s your next project?

We’re dropping a really interesting mixtape called “18 With a Bullet, 21 With a Love Gun” it’s all us doing tracks over cool indie rock and indie electro acts like Ratatat, Miami Horror, Empire of the Sun, Phoenix, Cut Copy etc. That’s gonna be out as soon as next week, we might delay because we’re looking at a big partner to put it out with. We got five tracks attached for free from it so you can get a sample right now. After we do our release party with Tokion Magazine in NY we’re focusing on this mixtape.

Any last words you have for all your fans out here in Phoenix?
Support your city. Bootleg our music give it to anyone you can… We got free downloads on myspace.com/silvermedallion and soundcloud.com/silvermedallion Thanks to the fans that kept us on the radio so long, that came to our shows, that bought our records on itunes… Thanks to Phoenix we can walk into a major label office with everything we need, thousands of itunes sales, over a million myspace plays, 35000 friends (80% in arizona), a high school tour with all your pictures. You guys made us, we can’t thank you enough, take our music and give it around, we’re gonna keep giving you cool stuff and doing hot events in Phoenix. Even though we’re on the east coast recording or on tour we’re gonna keep Phoenix in our mouths. We wear Bobby Fresh all the time in footage, we continue to support local businesses constantly (artists use jb@shobizmedia.com for your cds he’s the best and delivers), if you guys have clothing, websites, beats, anything we can support we’re gonna do it, just hit us up, we’re still easily accessible, we might have publicists and booking agents etc but you can still find us and talk to us, we’re real people.

Here’s five new songs from Silver Medallions mixtape for free


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