Nas coined the term “trapped in the 90s” on Life Is Good for those who feel the decade resonates strongest when it comes to classic hip-hop and R&B (a vocal and very passionate bunch).
Thanks to DeltaBravo Touring, Australian fans of the above kind get to enjoy an annual showcase tour dubbed Made In The 90s. This year’s line-up may be the best yet: Soul IV Real (“Candy Rain”, “Every Little Thing I Do”), Shai (“If I Ever Fall In Love”, “Baby I’m Yours” and “Waiting For The Day”), Jon B (“Don’t Talk”, “Are You Still Down” and “Cool Relax”) and Color Me Badd (“I Wanna Sex You Up”, “I Adore Mi Amor” and “All For Love”). Throw in a visual tribute to the late Heavy D with local support from Brown Sugar and DJs Trey and Mac (The Edge 96.1FM) and it’s obvious local “trapped” fans will be happier than ever.
What did you see in the local market that prompted you to create the Made In The 90s brand?
DeltaBravo: “R&B and hip-hop only started being recognised in mainstream Australia recently. Ten to 15 years ago, without iTunes or the benefit of the internet, these acts had a solid underground following down here where the music was only recognised by the fans, played by DJs and bought, as expensive imports, from specialised record stores.
Many of these acts never made it to Australia to perform unless they had some commercial success, and then, it may have been only on a promotional visit arranged by record companies who did not know how to identify the real market interested in them. I saw the opportunity to give fans access to these artists, particularly given one of the common themes amongst fans is how great that era was and how ‘they don’t make them like they used to’.”
Is there a certain criteria an act must fulfill to be approached by you for such a tour?
DeltaBravo: “Old school is relative. My old school is not necessarily the old school a 26 year old recognises, but the general rule of thumb I apply in selecting the acts is they either commenced their career in the 90s or really made their impact in the 90s. This certainly allows for acts who crossed over in the 2000s also.”
Which acts on the current bill have particularly gotten fans excited?
DeltaBravo: “I’ve had great responses on all of the acts for different reasons. Jon B is an act the purist R&B fans love and adore—they have every one of his albums—yet commercially in Australia, he’s an unknown. Everyone had Color Me Badd‘s debut album; everyone claimed them as long lost cousins. Shai boast the one song everyone knows and sings when intoxicated and Soul IV Real really get those club fans excited. It’s an exciting line up across the board.”
What is the risk and reward of staging a tour like this compared to current and newer acts?
DeltaBravo: “Without sounding cliche, the reward is pulling the show off and delivering it as a show, an actual production. Everyone loves to reminisce and 90s nostalgia is at a high these days, so the rewards are there for the taking because people want these types of shows. They want that escape for a few hours, to remember their high school days, their pre-marriage and kids days. These shows serve as a big house party.
The risk is not reaching that crowd which means some modern day marketing (social networking) may not necessarily work for a show of this nature. Current acts are great, but trends come and go. Old school is consistent.”
- Saturday December 1, 2012: Enmore Theatre, Sydney (purchase tickets: Ticketek). VIP Packages available: A reserve ticket, artist Meet & Greet, tour merchandise and invite to the VIP and media party on Thursday, November 29.
- Sunday December 2, 2012: Alumbra Soul Sessions, Melbourne (purchase tickets: Ticketmaster).