The Black Kids: Proof of Music Development 2.0



So I was looking through our post history and I realized that we haven’t had a post that was related to any music outside of the Top 40 in ages.  I figured that today was as good a day as any to change that.

My newest obsession is a band called the Black Kids out of Jacksonville.  The Black Kids are a rock band in the purest sense of the word.  They aren’t trying to be cute or coy they are just rocking hard the whole time.  The band is a mixed race group fronted by the charismatic Reggie Youngblood, with a backing that includes his younger sister.  I know that music professionals throw the term around but the Black Kids truly have “it”.  Within five minutes of seeing them you know that they’ll be big.

I actually got a chance to see them in Jacksonville at the beginning of September and have been following them really closely since.  The Black Kids are a perfect example of how A&R is changing and how a strong internet presence is almost as important for a young act as developing a live show.  Throughout the history of music in order for a band from a non-music city (such as Jacksonville) to get discovered they either had to tour and hope someone saw them, have someone hear their demo tape, or get really lucky (like having a father who is a record producer).  The internet has changed all of this and now bands can become huge before ever playing a live show.

I was lucky enough to be able to say that I saw the Black kids before, or perhaps just as,  they became Internet Celebrities.  I suppose that it all started with this story.  The NME article is where I, thousands of other music fans and insiders around the music industry discovered the Black Kids.  I read the story the day it came out and I remember seeing that the bands, MySpace page had something like 6000 hits.  Less than two months later the page has 185,00 and the band is signed with Quest Management (the same firm that represents Bjork and Arcade Fire).  Once a management firm of such ilk was involved, reviews and show dates started rolling in.  The band was the unofficial mascot of this year’s CMJ (College Music Journal) festival in New York, with three showcases (Spin, Fader and Brooklyn Vegan).  It’s inevitable that the band will sign a deal with one of the dozens of record labels that must be courting them  and when they do the cycle of a band in the new world of music will be complete.  In this case I don’t believe that the Black Kids akin to the emperor sporting his new clothes but you’ve got to assume that since everyone is clawing to get “the next big thing” that more often than not these bands that become famous on the internet before releasing a single album will fail.

Just so you can see how good The Black Kids are here is a video taken from the show in Jacksonville on September 7th:



Filed under Black Kids, CMJ, Music, Music 2.0, Quest Management

6 responses to “The Black Kids: Proof of Music Development 2.0

  1. clary

    are you serious? this is absolutely horrible, horrible music. and the “next big thing” isn’t something that bloggers and scenesters MAKE happen … it is something that just happens, naturally*** on its own. The Black Kids need to get while the gettin is good. So many good bands out there that write lyrics that are actually thought provoking and their music is absolutely mind-boggling good … and THIS band gets press? It is the 80’s all over again and not in a good way.

  2. palestinmiami

    I agree that their music isn’t necessarily thought provoking, but most popular music isn’t. Furthermore while I love acts like Radiohead there is a place for unashamed pop, and there always will be.

    You’re crazy if you think that “the next big thing” is something that just happens. The industry, whether it is producers, managers, agents, journalists, or bloggers has been controlling the way people hear music since the invent of the radio. I would be shocked if you could come with one “next big thing” that didn’t have a ton of support from one of these outlets.

    I think that the whole point of my post was that this isn’t like the 80’s it’s unlike any time in the history of music, because bands can gain significance so quickly.

    Finally I agree that there is a ton of great music out there and I’d love to hear some of the bands that you’re listening to.

  3. Womexpress

    Hey guys, kinda agree with clary, there is nothing new about em really, loving vampire weekend at mo, got their blue cdr superb, imagine the album will be fully polished, these demos are awesome though, lotta good stuff coming outta uk at mo..Friendly fires/Foals(obviously)/Courteeners/a little known band called “late of the pier” alot like mgmt watch out for them!! Does it offend you yeah!! and again obviously The Ting Tings arty farty types but, but making great pop records at the minute!!

  4. Ben


    Black Kids are good because they nod at 80’s bands with respect and tweak the sound to their own liking. They aren’t just “the 80’s all over again”.
    I figured if you were a dedicated indie music fan you would be able to recognize why Black Kids are unique. Its intangible.

    And besides, there really isn’t much out there that hasn’t been done before. The way bands must maintain originality is very specific. It has to involve every aspect of their production, lyrics, voice, skill, and personality. The entire package, if you will.

    “So many good bands out there that write lyrics that are actually thought provoking and their music is absolutely mind-boggling good..”

    I would be interested to know to which bands this (butchered) sentence refers to. Everyone has their own tastes; some people really like Jet. But any true music fan knows that Jet is crap. You can’t say that you listen to “mind-boggling” music if you don’t cite examples. Obviously if you are a strictly metal person you aren’t going to like this. Thats okay, but it means that you are very closed minded when it comes to music.

  5. Kae


    will you marry me? I completely agree with what you’re saying. I love The group. their music is refreshing. And it reminds me of a guy…but anyway.

    Clary, you don’t have a right to judge people’s music like that. being in a high school radio show in montreal made me realize that people have different tastes and what some people love, others will hate. Rockers hate gansters…gansters hate rockers…alright? how about you not compare MY music to yours. it’s not the same.

    “So many good bands out there that write lyrics that are actually thought provoking and their music is absolutely mind-boggling good..”
    what the heck does that mean? none of the bands I think you’re talking about are how you describe it.


  6. charmie

    I dig this music if u don’t like it go to hell!!!

    but i agree with ben and Kae.

    Can I be the maid of honor?

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