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IT'S THE MUSIC THAT BROUGHT US HERE.


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IT'S THE MUSIC THAT BROUGHT US HERE.


THE DETAILED HISTORY OF GIANT STEP.

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FINDING OUR PLACE.


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FINDING OUR PLACE.


The seeds of Giant Step started with the Groove Academy, in 1990, as a weekly party in New York City. “The stars of the 70’s, although highly sampled, were not getting recognition NOR being presented in a live forum. Groove Academy WAS, “Dedicated to the preservation of Funk.” THE ARTISTS WERE LOOKED up in the phone book as many of them were not working or had agents. Artists like Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, Gil Scott Heron and Ohio Players were brought to New York to play in front of new fans who only knew their music from hip hop samples.

The events were extended onto the dance floor under the new name Giant Step, after the fabled John Coltrane album “Giant Steps.” The Giant Step party differentiated itself from Groove Academy with its emphasis on mixing Jazz and Hip Hop. It was the place where artists such as Jamiroquai, Digable Planets, Massive Attack, The Fugees and The Roots all debuted, and was an international phenomenon. Giant Step would soon go on tour around the States, Europe and Japan.

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BREAKING OUT.


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BREAKING OUT.


As the events continued INTO the mid 90s, Giant Step moved into management, signing Dana Bryant, Repercussions, and Groove Collective, securing record deals for theM on Warner Brothers. Other artists managed include Raw Stylus, whom Giant Step signed to Geffen Records. During this time Giant Step worked with Gary Katz, best known for his work with Steely Dan, to help produce the albums for Groove Collective, Repercussions and Raw Stylus. In 1995, record producer Tommy Lipuma took over GRP Records at MCA Records and invited Giant Step to set up there as an imprint label. The first act to be signed to the label was the jazz group, Groove Collective.

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Becoming a label.


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Becoming a label.


In early 1997, Giant Step achieved acclaim for their work with Nuyorican Soul and a partnership with Gilles Peterson’s label, Talkin Loud. The group was a collaboration between Latin house DJs, “Little” Louie Vega and Kenny “Dope” Gonzales, who were also commonly known as Masters at Work. Nuyorican Soul featured many real musicians as opposed to sampled or synthesized sounds. Musicians who took part in the project included George Benson, Tito Puente, Roy Ayers, Jazzy Jeff, Jocelyn Brown, and salsa queen, India. Three singles from the first Nuyorican Soul album made it to the top of the Billboard Charts; “Runaway”, “You Can Do It (Baby)” and “I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun.” The album, released in March 2007, sold over 50,000 units by the end of July the same year. Epic Records soon approached GIANT STEP with an offer. Although THEY WERE a music label, Epic Records was primarily interested in Giant Step’s marketing capabilities and offered the company a retainer contract where their record label was a secondary priority.

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THE MUSIC WAS “HEARD EVERYWHERE.”


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THE MUSIC WAS “HEARD EVERYWHERE.”


For their first project with Epic Records, Giant Step helped launch the career of Macy Gray, followed by Jill Scott and the re-launch of Sade. The company promoted Macy by getting her music played in cafés, clubs, and restaurants. According to Rose Noone, VP of A&R at Epic Records, the music was “heard everywhere.” Giant Step went on to help Def Jam Records artist Musiq Soulchild by pushing his music in untapped markets. The previously unknown singer sold 55,000 copies of his debut album in its first week.

For over a decade after the closure of the record label, Giant Step's Music Marketing division continued to help break new music from enormously influential artists ranging from Amy Winehouse to Bastille, Charli XCX, Common, Corinne Bailey Rae, DJ Shadow, Ellie Goulding, Emeli Sandé, Estelle, Fatboy Slim, Feist, Fela Kuti, Franz Ferdinand, Gilles Peterson, Gotan Project, Gregory Porter, Hiatus Kaiyote, Janelle Monáe, Jessie J, Jessie Ware, José James, Katy B, K'NAAN, Lady Gaga, Lenny Kravitz, Lily Allen, M.I.A., Mark Ronson, Maxwell, Mayer Hawthorne, Michael Kiwanuka, Miguel, Neneh Cherry, Nero, Norah Jones, Paloma Faith, Portishead, Pretty Lights, Quadron, Raphael Saadiq, Robert Glasper Experiment, Robin Thicke, Robyn, Route 94, Santigold, Sia, The Knocks,
The Roots, will.i.am, and Zedd.

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"the best soul record since Stevie Wonder's masterpieces of the 1970s,"


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"the best soul record since Stevie Wonder's masterpieces of the 1970s,"


Although, Giant Step Records released a Gilles Peterson compilation with Epic Records,  they ventually grew frustrated with having an imprint deal. Corporate management denied their requests to sign artists like India Arie and Donnie, and so in 2000, Giant Step decided to start their own label. 

With money received from Epic, Giant step started work on a series of tracks with singer, Donnie, that would eventually become the album, Welcome to the Colored Section. Steve "The Scotman" Harvey was enlisted as the producer. Welcome to the Colored Section was called "the best soul record since Stevie Wonder's masterpieces of the 1970s," by the Boston Globe. The independent success of Welcome to the Colored Section, brought a joint venture with Motown Records and private investment into the label. Giant Step has also released albums for Carl Hancock, Gilles Peterson, Turntables on the Hudson, Ultra Nate, Zero 7, Jody Watley, Donnie, Sara Devine, Jiva and Zap Mama.

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Working with brands.


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Working with brands.


The Levi's Miles Ahead Music Series and LG series in the early 2000's were Giant Step's first forays in providing creative and marketing services for brands. The Series debuted Jill Scott, Air and Massive Attack. The series also featured bands such as Femi Kuti, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Fatboy Slim, Bebel Gilberto. to help launch LG's new mobile phone line. Events included performances by Jurassic 5, Thievery Corporation, The Pharcyde, Zero 7, AND Raphael Saadiq.

Between 2007 and 2011 Giant Step Marketing put on music programs for Morgans Hotel Group includING two years of Grammy and Fashion week events FEATURING The Roots, Common, Grace Jones, Erykah Badu, Estelle, AND De La Soul.

In 2009, Svedka LOOKED TO GIANT STEP TO ENGAGE WITH TASTEMAKERS AND INFLUENCERS. GIANT STEP LEVERAGED THEIR PARTNERSHIP WITH THE MORGANS HOTEL GROUP TO CREATE A NATIONAL PLATFORM FOR SVEDKA ON THE MORGANS PROPERTIES (DELANO, MONDRIAN, ROYALTON) CALLED SVEDKA VODKA FUTURE MUSIC SERIES. THIS PLATFORM WAS USED TO INTRODUCE NEW ARTISTS SUCH AS Robyn, Wale,  ALOE BLACC, Fitz & the Tantrums, Janelle Monae AND LITTLE DRAGON, AS WELL AS ESTABLISHED ARTISTS SUCH AS SADE, DAFT PUNK, MARK RONSON AND PHARRELL WILLIAMS. THE PARTNERSHIP GREW TO BECOME A THREE YEAR ENGAGEMENT WITH THE BRAND.

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Working with an icon.


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Working with an icon.


In 2011, Giant Step worked with music producer David Guetta to create awareness for Coca-Cola's energy drink, Burn.

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Gaga's workshop.


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Gaga's workshop.


 Later in 2011, Giant Step Marketing LAUNCHED Barneys "Gaga's Workshop," a holiday collaboration with
Lady Gaga. The company OVERSAW PR, social media, and activations including inflatables, branded taxis.

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Steve Madden Music.


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Steve Madden Music.


From 2008-2011 Giant Step launchED Steve Madden Music, creatING branded content, SOCIAL MEDIA AND ALIGNING THE BRAND WITH ARTISTS SUCH AS Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, K'Naan, Katy B and Melanie Fiona.

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TODAY.


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TODAY.


Today, Giant Step is an award-winning marketing agency with an expertise in music and culture . WITH LOCATIONS IN NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES, THE AGENCY workS WITH LEADING BRANDS AS SUCH Western Union, HBO, Clarks, Old Navy, Soundcloud and Samsung and haS FORGed An innovative NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP with Knitting Factory.