Finding hip-hop music online is easy. There are literally hundreds of blogs and sites dedicated to the genre and it’s myriad sub-genres but when it comes to R&B it’s a different story. As popular as the genre is there are very few sites that cater to the niche. Sure there are entertainment sites that cover a range of different types of black music but there are very few that focus on the world of R&B, its rising stars and the community of people who are are passionate about it. Enter Singersroom.com. Founded in January 2006 by Gary Gentles and Adeniyi Osimore, Singersroom was created to fill that void. Omisore and Gentles met at Manhattan College, where they both ran track.They became fast friends when they realized they both had a passion for IT and Web design. Partnering to form the MusicLife Entertainment Group (MLE Group) they set out on a mission to “Live.Create.Entertain.”
Their initial approach with Singersroom was to focus on all the budding talent around them and to build an engaged and loyal community both on and offline. They created the successful events Singersroom Live! and Acoustic Conversation to showcase talent adding event producer and promoter W. Deyior Dunbar to mix as the third partner. In just five years Omisore (age 29), Gentles (30), and Dunbar (29), have made the site an authority and major platform in the R&B worldâhelping to launch the careers of current stars like Jazmine Sullivan and Chrisette Michelle and even receiving a 2010 Soul Train Award for “Best Soul Site.” BE Next spoke to the men behind SR to hear how they did it and what they have coming in the new year.
Goal of Singersroom: From the start, we approached the execution of Singersroom as a business. Luckily we were able to take our passions for music, socializing and technology to create a business that we enjoyed doing everyday….As far as Singersroom goes, this was a niche that was missing online at the time. There was a lot of hip-hop sites and a few soul sites but no online portal that showcased Rhythm & Blues as a whole.
Initial Approach: Our approach was not to focus only on highly visible artists but highlight the diverse community of artist within R&B, Soul, Pop and Gospel. By not pigeonholing our content to just megastars we developed a strong following of urban music fans. Once you have the consumers [then] artists will come [to you] because that’s their target audience.
Measuring Success: Success is measured by several pieces. This includes, growing revenue, helping to break artists, empowering our consumers, development innovative products, amongst other things.
Noticing success: The Soul Train Award for ‘Best Soul Site’ was a pivotal moment. My parents actually realized “Wow, this is not just a hobby for these guys. Real people are acknowledging them for their work.” If you can make hardworking parents from Liberia (Deyior), Nigeria (Omisore) and Jamaica (Gentles) take notice; I think you’re doing something right.
Visit Black Enterprise to read the full interview.