Iranian-American pop duo Andy and Kouros brought the house down on Saturday night, August 27, 2016, as they reunited with fans, and eachother to perform some of their biggest hits at the iconic Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California. The venue is quite significant since it was where the two of them launched one of their biggest selling albums “Balla,” 25 years ago and the success of the album in combination to the one prior, and the one after, sent this musical undertaking into the stratosphere of success.
As a multi-media producer and content creator here at Ian Media, I had the privilege of observing this journey both in person and from afar. What Andy & Kouros attempted became the foundation for other Persian acts who took a few pages from this playbook to nurture their own career.
Since the mid 1980s, Andy (full name Andranik Madadian, an Iranian with Armenian heritage) and Kouros (full name Kouros Shahmiri) have managed to establish a bankable brand and stay on top of the food chain that is the “Iranian music in exile.” Each of them has navigated successful solo careers through rough waters. Singing songs, mainly in their native tongue, and doing it outside Iran, in America, was an uncharted territory from day one. This seemingly impossible task was mainly the result of the 1978 Islamic Revolution in Iran, when hardliners came down against the exhibition of many art forms, including music and cinema, especially if that art form channeled the tiniest of Western influences. During this time, many Iranian singers, songwriters, actors, filmmakers, and other artists and intellectuals were among a horde of Iranians who left their birthplace for good, in hopes of beginning a new life in countries like the United States, which believed in freedom and equality for all mankind.
It was in America, an unfamiliar and perhaps unreasonable atmosphere where Andy & Kouros formed and promoted their band, and became the voice of a generation which found itself in the middle of a culture shock, and not yet assimilated into their new home or its surroundings.
The marketing and branding of Andy & Kouros: utilizing techniques from the Golden Era of Hollywood
In the 50’s and the 60’s many American bands and TV stars were given a mini-van, a map and a list of dates and places to visit to promote their upcoming projects and their names. The marketing strategy of Andy & Kouros is quite a similar story, minus the financial or team support from any established industry. Translation: they did most of the legwork themselves.
Recommendation: Read Hello Darlin’ Tall (and Absolutely True) Tales About My Life by actor Larry Hagman, and you will get an idea about stardom and self-promotion in the 60s Hollywood.
To achieve success and name recognition, Andy & Kouros relied on building relationships, winning fans and critics over, song by song, and doing it in person, with live performances of all sorts, and eye-contact with as many people as possible – not a task for today’s lazy celebrities who often make the mistake of doing it all on social media and forget about the most important connection of all; the human kind.
In the era of no cell phones, no social media, and no proven tactics to promote their special genre of music, Andy and Kouros did it by hitting the road, appearing in person and in real time. On the way, they spoke to every small town reporter, Cable TV producer serving the Iranian and international communities and any national TV news or publication that took interest in their music.
The fan base grew with the Iranian duo, as they all shared cultural and political experiences, and marked milestones. Live concerts were held in sync with Iranian and American celebrations and national holidays. Both singers sang songs in English and in Andy’s case, Armenian too. The unique bond formed through the thick-and-thin times in exile, benefited the musicians. They filled the gap, warmed hearts and cheered up many in need of that special something reminding them of the old country.
However, there was hardly anything old about their music. While re-booting “Niloufar,” an Iranian classic, in 1988, the two updated it with the latest bells and whistles and daringly cast a very American video vixen as the focal point of the video (directed by Alireza Amirghassemi). See the original 1980s music video below.
Nurturing a career, spanning 30 years, outside the native region is an accomplishment unlike many. Andy & Kouros did it outside Iran, without ever having the permission to perform in Iran, a wish they hold alive in their hearts like a burning fire and have done it with the support of loyal fans, local promoters and media personalities who believed in them and this unique and exciting experiment.
The reunion concert at the Palladium featured the two stars performing solo shows, with special guests, including Latoya Jackson performing a duet with Andy, in Farsi, and American singer, songwriter Shani Rigsbee who is also Andy’s wife. The finale brought the famous duo back on stage, like the ‘ol days, going thru a hit list of memorable songs they have made famous.
At Ian Media, we were thrilled to take the journey down memory lane and be back at the Hollywood Palladium where these two beloved artists took flight.
In June, Chico & the Gypsies rocked L.A. and at Ian Media, we were happy to receive the call to help with the TV marketing of this exciting, one-of-a-kind concert finally making their way to satisfy fans on the west coast.
Chico & the Gypsies the French musical sensation famous for their effortless mixing of rumba catalana, flamenco, and Latin pop, and rock tunes were making their American (and in our case, Los Angeles debut).
Led by Chico Bouchikhi, one of the founders of the Gipsy Kings, this new energetic big band of masterful players were formed in 1992, and they cemented their place in the music world as Chico and the Gypsies.
Thanks to L.A. Concert Group, music lovers, and fans of the group were treated to an evening of authentic Rumba, Gypsy Flamenco mixed with Latin Pop favorites as Chico and band took the stage on Sunday, June 25, 2016, under the stars, at the Starlight Bowl in Burbank, California.
The night of the event was nothing short of magic with everyone up on their feet, dancing and cheering. Fans danced the night away. And in front of the stage, at the Starlight Bowl, there was an open area for doing just that. A great idea by the organizers to allow fans to get closer to the stars and have the space to dance and party.
Our mission at Ian Media was to help sell tickets for the concert by getting the attention of the Spanish speaking Cable TV viewers in Southern California. Of course once we realized which concert we are preparing a TV campaign for, our job became easier and exciting. Chico & the Gypsies! Done!
Can you imagine the powerful, high-energy sound produced live, by such top musicians? Guitar and vocal harmonies created by this amazing band are the stuff of legends.
18 musicians took the stage for what Chico called a “Gypsy party” performing big hits from the Gypsy Kings days and their own hit songs: Baila Me, Bamboleo, Andalusia, Historia de un Amor, Volare, Djobi Djora, Ben Ben Maria, La Bohemia, , Pharaon, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, Ya Rayah to name a few.
Language barriers were irrelevant. Music was what pierces through the hearts of these fans and made fans out of new disciples. The night’s music truly touched the soul.
Another group of talented musicians who caught the eyes and ears of the attendees was the California based Vahagni, a genre bending acoustic ensemble, with a sophisticated, jazz infused, flamenco sound (or is it the other way around?), peppered with other influences from what we simply know as world music. The band’s complex yet soulful sounds made an impression on the spectators, prompting visits to the table where CDs of the band were being sold.
We thank L.A. Concert Group for calling on us to do our small share in promoting the event and loved seeing these legendary artists perform such amazing songs.
CLICK HERE to plan your TV advertising campaign with us.
The city of Burbank played host to an 80s pop music icon, and an internationally loved entertainer, during his visit to Los Angeles, for two nights of sold out performances.
On Saturday August 15, and Sunday August 16th Thomas Anders took the stage at the Starlight Bowl to sing a list of his classic pop songs while performing newer tunes from his solo career now spanning over 3 decades, keeping him touring and recording most of the time.
Here at Ian Media, we were thrilled to play a role in launching the TV advertising leg of the concert campaign, in Los Angeles, and to contribute to this very special concert. Viewers reacted enthusiastically after seeing the 30-second TV commercials featuring the iconic Anders and the news of him performing in their city.
Known as The Gentleman of Music, Anders is the original voice of the 80s super-duo Modern Talking originating from Germany. The group rose to international stardom with songs: “You’re My heart, You’re My Soul,” “Cheri, Cheri Lady,” and “Brother Louie” to name a few, all recorded in English.
The event was presented by LA Concert Group in collaboration with Starlight Bowl Summer Concert Series. Along with supporters and sponsors such as: City of Burbank Park & Recreation Department, Pacific BMW, Downtown-Burbank, Visit Burbank, Burbank Recycle Center, Los Angeles-Berlin Sister City Association, Noor Banquet Hall.
The show was a rare treat for the fans on the west coast bringing 10,000 of them to see and hear the man and the music they admired for years.
Opening the show were 80s tribute band PopGun Rerun followed by the main event, featuring Anders backed by Modern Talking Band and special guest Jörn-Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen, a keyboard player, producer and composer who has collaborated with the singer since 2011.
Starlight Bowl is an outdoor amphitheater where guests can bring their own wine, beer and picnic baskets. Blankets or lawn chairs can be used for grass area. The bench seats are all assigned seating.
Trivia: Thomas Anders is the only international star to have performed a record of 11 times at the Kremlin in Moscow, the equivalent of Royal Albert Hall, in London.
See more photos from the concert on our Facebook page. Click Here.
CLICK HERE to get info and buy tickets for upcoming events at the Starlight Bowl.
On Thursday night, April 9, 2015, Ian Media and staff attended a very special event at ABRIL Bookstore in Glendale, CA.
Aligned with the national poetry month and the 100th year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide (April 24, 1915), this literary treat exhibited a variety of short fiction, personal essays, poetry, spoken word, and music by new and familiar voices.
New York based author of “The Legacy of Lost Things,” Aida Zilelian read excerpts of her new critically acclaimed novel which follows the intimate lives of a family of Armenian immigrants through generations as they settle in the U.S.
Born and raised in Kuwait, Anto (THE Wordsmith) Boghokian recited short stories (and a bit of a song) reflecting on Armenian survival in foreign lands in addition to an incredibly charming and entertaining take on getting to know a woman by knowing the types of shoes she might wear.
The lively Karineh Mehdessian was the Energizer bunny of this event, with the humorous approach to subjects of family, fathers-and-daughters, loss, and old-country longings in the first world.
Award winning poet, playwright, and storytelling observer of the Armenian-American experience (as we like to think of him), Shahe Mankerian’s short tribute to painter Arshile Gorky was both dark and touching. His observation on aging and Alzheimer in “The History of Forgetfulness” was just as memorable and poignant.
Lory Tatoulian, the award-winning comedic actress and playwright (“The Big Bad Armo Show”) injected her own brand of humor to the event, as Lori Bedikian shared a few of her own stories, all touching on the modern day Armenian experience in North America.
Attendees were also treated to a musical performance by Ara Dabandjian.
The event was produced by author, poet, essayist and literary beacon Conrad Romo who has his own impressive resume you must check out by clicking HERE.
CLICK HERE for ABRIL Bookstores official website.
With over 2 million followers on Instagram and more than twice as many people devouring her every Tweet, it’s about time Nicole Richie brought her unique brand of smart girl sarcasm and cheerleader charm back to television. One of the rare celebrities whose style influence– from fashion to home décor – on women ages 13 to 30 is undeniable, Richie’s managed to build a mini empire – including her House of Harlowe collection of jewelry and handbags, Winter Kate fashion line, and Honey Child Production Company – simply by being herself.
NICOLE RICHIE TWEETS ARE NOW VH1 SERIES “#CANDIDLYNICOLE”
And what’s evident on her new VH1 show #CandidlyNicole – based on the popular AOL series she cultivated out of her endlessly quotable Twitter page – is that the 32-year-old former Simple Lifestar has managed to accomplish all of this without dulling her devilish sense of humor and often acerbic wit. Just watch her run amuck as guest editor at whowhatwear.com, the buzzy fashion blog run by her no-nonsense bestie, former Elle editor, Katherine Power, or attempt to get her teenage sister to drop the cell-phone and embrace the pre-millennial wonder that is Beverly Hills, 90210.
Think Curb Your Enthusiasm, but for the Pretty Little Liars crowd, #CandidlyNicole is an expectedly delightful sorta look at the life of a long time Hollywood it girl.
VH1 connects its audience to music, celebrities, pop culture, nostalgia. With hits shows like Celebrity Rehab, Mob Wives, Behind The Music, Love and Hip Hop, Basketball Wives, and Black Ink Crew, to name a few.
VH1 Female audience of 57%, and Male at 43%
After ending its buzzy first season with one of the most controversial finales in television history, then subsequently suffering through a shaky sophomore go-round marred by fan backlash, AMC’s The Killing is currently enjoying quite the creative and commercial comeback. Invigorated by the presence of the always-invaluable Peter Sarsgaard,not to mention the reliably superb chemistry between leads Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman, Season 3 has not only managed to once again leave critics besotted, but more importantly, it has also won the show back many of its ardent fans.
Marketing sense: Ian Media clients can secure 30 seconds TV advertising spots during The Killing and other AMC shows nationally and locally.
Legendary entertainer and singer of love songs, Engelbert Humperdinck is unstoppable. He was seen going toe-to-toe at the 2012 Eurovision Song contest in Baku, Azerbaijan, as representing the United Kingdom, with the beautiful ballad “Love Will Set You Free” and heading straight for the finals, proving that age is nothing but a number. In Engelbert’s case, he is 76 going on 20. And a voice as everlasting as his hit songs: “Release Me,” “After the Lovin’,” ”The Last Waltz,” “A Man Without Love.”
Born Arnold George Dorsey, on 2 May 1936 in Madras, India, his stage name Engelbert Humperdinck comes from the 1911 century, Austrian composer who wrote “Hansel & Gretel.” His voice, most of his fans will agree, comes from heaven, with a stellar career spanning over forty years, selling 150 million records, worldwide.
It was just supposed to be another over-the-top, unabashedly low-budget special effects-laden disaster pic like the rest of the guilty-pleasures in SyFy Channel’s popular B Movie series. Sharknado starred former 90210 heartthrob, and Dancing With The Stars Vet, Ian Ziering, alongside perennial party girl and one time big-thing, Tara Reid, in a story about… well, a super-storm dropping hungry Great White Sharks on the innocent people of Los Angeles.
Ian Media says, this was a great time for cable TV advertising, nationally or for small, local businesses, making history with SyFy.
As was the case with SyFy’s other AFI-worthy action extravaganzas like 2010’s Sharktopus, starring Eric Roberts, and 2011’s Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, with Tiffani and Debbie Gibson, nobody expected the flick to excite anyone beyond the network’s core fanbase of tween boys, science fiction/fantasy aficionados, and college stoners. Yet out of the blue, Sharknado would explode onto the pop culture radar, generating, at the height of its Twitter-fueled initial airing on July 11th, more than 5000 tweets a minute.
It is a great time to advertise now, and we are talking for that short term push your small business needs from December until March 2012. How? Cable TV advertising.
Holiday packages are available through cable media sales affiliates in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura and other areas in Southern California. They team up with Toys for Tots or similar charities to help the community and give a boost to local businesses who can now afford to purchase TV advertising spots for slashed rates.
In the past Ian Media reps have been able to secure 30-seconds advertising rates for as low as $5.00 per spot. It is all a question of timing, area, and available inventory, and suddenly your business can air its local commercials on powerful cable networks such as CNN’s Headline news (HLN), Food Network, TLC, Home & Garden TV (HGTV), Discovery, Fox Sports, Lifetime, LMN, Disney channel, Cartoon Network, just to name a few, and your message can be seen during local commercial breaks during shows such as Cake Boss (TLC), Nancy Grace (HLN), Color Splash (HGTV), or Goldrush (Discovery).
This is a great example of a company that’s on top of its customer care and service. By educating and informing its guests (old and new) utilizing video and the power of YouTube, Hilton Anaheim Hotels is steps ahead in the hospitality industry. Proactively, the management team called upon Ian Media Production team to produce this informative video about ongoing construction in the Grand Plaza area of the Hotel. This show-and-tell approach informs visitors on what to expect with helpful guidelines, while reassuring them a quality experience throughout. It’s not just good PR. Going beyond local marketing. This demonstrates the respect and high value Hilton team has for its clientele.