In the late Spring of 2011 Alyssa Reid was in many ways, just like any other red blooded 18 year-old Canadian teenager. She had just hung up her cleats from her final season of playing on her Brampton high school rugby team, turned in her hair net at the local Tim Hortons and was preparing for her high-school prom. There was however one major difference, Alyssa had a hit single on the radio and not just your average run of the mill hit single but a juggernaut of a track called “Alone Again” which had just spent the last 27 consecutive weeks at the top of Billboard Canada’s Emerging Artist chart. While getting ready to attend the prom, Alyssa was also preparing to walk the red carpet at the 2010 MuchMusic Video Awards, where she was nominated for Pop Video of the Year. Not a bad start for a girl who just a year earlier was discovered by her record label, Wax Records, from a posted video of herself performing her own re-worked version of a Justin Bieber song called “One More Lonely Boy”.
From that point on, the speed and trajectory of Alyssa’s climb has continued to accelerate at break neck speed. The “Alone Again” single went on to double platinum success in Canada and earned her many accolades including a SOCAN #1 Video Award, two Canadian Radio Music Awards and a Juno nomination for Best New Artist. Her debut album “The Game” spawned two more domestic hit singles, the gold selling title track “The Game” and Top 20 pop radio single “Talk Me Down”.
All this early success here at home began to attract attention from outside our Canadian borders and ultimately led to international licensing deals including Ultra Records in the U.S., 3 Beat Records in the U.K., Universal France, Universal Germany, Ministry of Sound in Australia and dozens of other smaller territories around the world. Upon release, many of these international territories saw the same reaction to “Alone Again” with the song bulleting into the Top 10 on their respective charts. This success was most notable in the United Kingdom where “Alone Again” went straight to the top of the radio airplay charts, #1 on the national video play chart and debuted at #2 on the digital sales chart.
Sales of “Alone Again” digital downloads grew so quickly here at home that Alyssa was fortunate to qualify for Radio Starmaker funding early on, in fact months before her full album was even released. This good fortune afforded the artist and label the opportunity to access the fund’s marketing dollars that were used to create a much more impactful and sustained debut album setup and launch campaign. The Radio Starmaker marketing funds helped to quickly solidify Alyssa Reid’s position as one of the newest and brightest stars in the Canadian music firmament.
With all of the U.K. and European radio and sales activity there was an urgent need to take Alyssa into those markets to begin putting a face to the song and to start to build an international fanbase for the artist. Without the tour funding provided by Radio Starmaker, we would have been at a loss as to how to accomplish this at such a critical juncture in the artist’s early development overseas. In the last year, Alyssa has made no less than six trips to the U.K. and Europe for press, promotion and touring. She has performed on MTV Europe, the top U.K. morning TV shows, done interviews for many of the major U.K. and European radio chains including the highly influential Scott Mills BBC Radio 1 show, performed at Midem (where we successfully secured a handful of new licenses), shared arena stages with One Direction and Taio Cruz on a string of dates across Britain and performed for 50,000 people in Hyde Park for the Olympics. The lion’s share of these extremely essential international activities would not have been possible without the help of the Radio Starmaker Fund.
In the case of Alyssa Reid, the Radio Starmaker Fund has gone a long way toward fulfilling its mandate; the fund is literally helping to create a new Canadian music star both here at home and around the world.