Hidden Beach Recordings

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Hidden Beach Recordings
Founded 1998
Founder Steven McKeever
Status Active
Distributor(s) Epic Records (2000-2006)
Universal Music Distribution (2007-present)
Genre Soul, R&B
Country of origin United States
Location Beverly Hills, CA
Official website http://www.hiddenbeach.com

Hidden Beach is an American independent record label specializing in Urban Alternative, R&B, Soul, Inspirational and Contemporary Jazz music genres. Hidden Beach was formed in 1998 as the vision of its Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Steven McKeever and currently holds a distribution deal with Universal Music Distribution Group.

About the Owner[edit]

Steven McKeever, CEO, Founder and Chief Creative Officer has spent over 20 years in the music industry. McKeever was born in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from St. Ignatius High School, McKeever graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From there, he attended Harvard Law School and earned his J.D degree.

After graduating from Harvard Law School, McKeever was hired by the law firm of Irell & Manella LLP in Los Angeles as an entertainment lawyer. While there, he discovered comedian Robin Harris, and helped him land a role in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. In 1990, McKeever produced Harris' posthumous comedy album BeBe's Kids. In 1991, McKeever joined Motown Records as senior vice president of artists and repertoire, where he expanded the label's line-up with people like Queen Latifah. He has also worked with Lionel Richie, Diana Ross and Zhane'. The following year, he launched MoJazz Records- a subsidiary of Motown- where he launched a number of new artists, including Norman Brown and NBA great & guitarist Wayman Tisdale. In 1993, McKeever played an instrumental role in the sale of Motown to PolyGram Records. McKeever left Motown in 1995 to work on his own projects. In 1998, he founded Hidden Beach Recordings (HBR).[1]

Charles Whitfield, Production and Artist Relations: A graduate of North Carolina Central University with a B.A. in Criminal Justice. Charles joined Hidden Beach for the date the label opened its doors as a paid intern with no record label experience but a passion for music. Charles introduced McKeever to Michael Jordan, one of the lead investors in Hidden Beach. Charles then oversaw all production of content for the label.

McKeever remains active in the political and philanthropic arenas, having co-produced the concert on the Washington Mall for the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial unveiling.

Previously, Hidden Beach had four label imprints, focusing on different genres of music.

-Hidden Beach is the primary label imprint and is used for R&B, neo-soul, jazz, instrumental and compilation releases.

-Still Waters, a Hidden Beach Experience is the label imprint dedicated to inspirational music releases spanning the gamut from gospel music to motivational music to inspirational speeches. The debut release on Still Waters was nominated for a Grammy, a Dove Award and a Stellar Award.

-Hidden Beach Celebration Series focuses on specialty themed albums such as Christmas and Mother's Day releases. HBR's first Celebration Series released was Bebe Winans' My Christmas Prayer which topped 5 different Billboard Charts, was named as one of Oprah Winfrey's Favorite Things and became Starbuck's biggest selling holiday album in 2004.

-In 2014, Hidden Beach Recordings evolved into the Hidden Beach Experience, wearing the moniker, "Guardians of Soul." The company provides top-notch music via: a Capella sensation Naturally 7, with a sound they coined "Vocal Play" - Naturally 7; the ongoing Unwrapped series - now up to Volume 8; Jill Scott catalog and newcomer Angie Fisher, whose single "I.R.S." became the #1 most-requested at KJLH-FM, Los Angeles. McKeever and his executive team also work with estates of noted celebrities to help monetize the assets in the entertainment space on multiple platforms. They are developing brand and technological alliances, as well as merchandising opportunities. In 2015, the company will celebrate 15 years and the launch of the "Guardians of Soul" graphic novel.[2]

Early Success[edit]

Hidden Beach's first artist to sign to the label was Jill Scott, who, to date, is their best selling artist. The inaugural release, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1, has sold 2.4 million units according to Nielsen, and was nominated for four Grammy Awards. Scott has gone on to release four studio, two live albums and starred in the HBO series the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, as well as co-starring roles in the Tyler Perry franchise, "Why Did I Get Married" and "Why Did I Get Married II" as well as the recent James Brown biopic, "Get On Up.".[3]marilynbatchelor/hidden beach executive

Unwrapped[edit]

The label has grown a following with their popular Unwrapped series - instrumental versions of rap/hip-hop hits by contemporary jazz artists. The summer of 2008 saw the latest installment in this series, Unwrapped Vol. 5: the Collipark Cafe Sessions. Since its debut three years ago, Unwrapped, Vol. 1 has sold 166,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Vol. 2 counts 91,000 units. Unwrapped, Vol. 3, which features 50 Cent's "In Da Club" and Eminem's "Lose Yourself" as interpreted by keyboardists Jeff Lorber and former Earth, Wind & Fire member Larry Dunn, Hidden Beach saxophonist Mike Phillips and others, was released July 13. It debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart and No. 4 on the overall jazz chart. To date, it has sold 32,000 units. Released on June 24, 2006, the fourth installment in the series, Unwrapped: Vol 4 peaked at number 3 on the Top Contemporary Jazz charts. Unwrapped, Vol. 5: The Collipark Cafe Sessions offers jazz instrumental covers of Southern hip-hop hits and was released June 24, 2008.[4][5] A box set of volumes 1 through 4 reached great consumer success, followed by volumes 5, 6 and 7. Volume 8 is slated for late October 2014.

The Obama Campaign[edit]

Hidden Beach was tapped as the label to release the Yes We Can: Voices of a Grassroots Movement compilation CD, with proceeds to benefit the Barack Obama campaign. Obama inspired many artists to create songs of hope and the campaign felt it to be a good idea to compile these songs onto one project. McKeever had been in talks with the Obama campaign regarding such a project for a while. Artists on the project include Kanye West, BeNda WORLD,Stevie Wonder and Sheryl Crow. It was released on September 18, 2008.[6]

Following the election of President Obama, Hidden Beach produced the official inauguration collection commemorative CD-DVD set. Change Is Now: Renewing America's Promise includes 17 tracks by various artists and eight of President Obama's speeches. Artists include will.i.am, Robin Thicke, Maroon 5 and India.arie.

Roster[edit]

  • Angie Fisher
  • Naturally 7
  • Mike Phillips
  • The UnWrapped Series - Volumes 1 - 7; 8 forthcoming in October/November 2014

Formerly signed[edit]

Hidden Beach on the charts[edit]

  1. 1 R&B Album- Jill Scott: Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2
  2. 1 R&B/Hip Hop Female Artist of the Year Billboard Year End Review 2001- Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1
  3. 1 Heatseeker's Album Chart - Darius Rucker, Back to Then
  4. 1 Contemporary Jazz Album- Hidden Beach Recordings Presents: Unwrapped Volume 1
  5. 1 Top Catalog Album - BeBe Winans, My Christmas Prayer
  6. 1 Top Contemporary Christian Catalog Album- Bebe Winans, My Christmas Prayer
  7. 2 Top R&B/Hip Hop Album- Jill Scott: The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3
  8. 3 Contemporary Jazz Album- Hidden Beach presents: Unwrapped Volume 5 The Collipark Cafe Sessions
  9. 3 Billboard Top 200 Album- Jill Scott: Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2
  10. 3 Contemporary Jazz Album- Hidden Beach presents: Unwrapped: Volume 2
  11. 3 Contemporary Jazz Album- Hidden Beach presents: Unwrapped: Volume 4
  12. 4 Contemporary Jazz Album- Mike Phillips, You Have Reached Mike Phillips
  13. 5 Contemporary Jazz Album- Hidden Beach Presents: Unwrapped Volume 3
  14. 7 R&B Album- Jill Scott: Experience: Jill Scott 826+
  15. 7 R&B/Hip Hop Album- Kindred the Family Soul: The Arrival
  16. 8 Contemporary Jazz Album- Jeff Bradshaw, Bone Deep

Discography[edit]

Artist Album
BeBe Winans My Christmas Prayer
BeBe Winans Dream

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The History Makers, "Steve McKeever Biography" [1], November 17, 2004, Retrieved on June 15, 2009
  2. ^ marilyn batchelor/executive at hidden beach
  3. ^ Mitchell, Gail, "Rhythm and Blues: Hidden Beach Shoring up Talent", Billboard.com, December 10, 2005, Section: Music, Rhythm and Blues
  4. ^ Mitchell, Gail, "Rap, Jazz Mingling More Than Ever", Billboard.com, October 2, 2004
  5. ^ Mitchell, Gail, "Hidden Beach, Collipark Package New Unwrapped"[2], Billboard.com, June 11, 2008, Retrieved on June 29, 2009
  6. ^ "Barack Obama releases album with Kanye West" [3],New Musical Express, September 23, 2008

External links[edit]