Velvet Hammer Music and Management Group
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Velvet Hammer Music and Management Group is an artist development and management company and record label located in West Hollywood, California in the United States. Its current client roster includes AFI, Alice in Chains, Battle Lines, Blaqk Audio, Coheed and Cambria, Dead Times, Deftones, Hot Water Music, Kate Nash, Kitten, Pepper, Scars on Broadway, System Of A Down and Touché Amoré.
The company was founded in 1997 by David "Beno" Benveniste, expanding out of Benveniste's independent music management practice. Beno was born and raised in Beverly Hills, California, and graduated from the University of Southern California. He began a career in the music industry after developing the band System of a Down. Through his creation of the marketing company Streetwise Concepts and Culture, a fan volunteer network that assembled over the Internet for grassroots promotion, Beno tapped into the power of youth marketing to promote the group. Within three years, he was able to build an army of over 30,000 kids through the platform to distribute promotional items to their friends on behalf of bands he managed through “hand-to-hand” promotion.
Moving the Business Forward
In 2004, Benveniste signed a joint venture deal to move the Velvet Hammer music label from Atlantic Records to Columbia Records over a several year period. Under the terms of the deal, Velvet Hammer clients Taproot, Poison the Well and Gratitude would continue to record with Atlantic, while Benveniste signed OneRepublic to Columbia. Afterwards, Sony/ATV and Velvet Hammer Music collaborated to publish the ASCAP award winning song "Apologize" by OneRepublic. Benveniste already had a long established relationship with Columbia and its parent, Sony, having first brought System of a Down to Columbia in 1996 and at one time managing Mudvayne, signed to Sony's Epic Records. In 2008, Velvet Hammer signed a three-year deal with Sony subsidiary RED Distribution, which handled the marketing and publicity for Taproot's album Our Long Road Home.
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