Once upon a time we did these videos for the good people at Once Upon A Grime, they called them ‘freestyles’ but they’re actually just verses. The videos were shot at the offices for King Apparel who took their clothes back after the shoot. #thuglife
O:ZN, our second LP, was revealed to the world on 24/10/11 via Emerging Species. In the wake of the album dropping we thought we’d give you a whistle stop tour of the promotional campaign behind the release. Aside from the usual run of promo videos, singles, photo-shoots etc, we wanted go a step further and try and make the experience as immersive as possible – it seemed only right when dealing with a concept album.
The heart of the campaign is o-zn.com, a site dedicated to the world we created around the album, this acted as a central hub for all the various promotional mediums we employed (as well as our ‘only means of communication’ whilst we were trapped in the depths of The Cabin). If you want to fully explore the process of the campaign that’s the best place to look (start from the oldest post if you really wanna nerd out), in the meantime the next few posts will briefly cover some of the ideas and techniques that were used.
A series of short podcasts we dropped weekly up to the release to tease and tantalise, each podcasts features skits we recorded and a sneak peak of an O:ZN track at the end. We felt that these podcasts helped build an image of the world O:ZN is set in, they’re also a bloody good laugh. You can find all the podcasts on our mix cloud page.
The facebook zombie virus was a very simple and effective idea; get the album artwork, slap it on facebook two weeks before the album’s release, tell all our friends that whoever makes it their profile image will get a free download of the album. It was an easy, cost affective way, of us getting the image in peoples heads, directing new people to our page and a way of giving our supporters some freeness for their troubles. It also brings a whole new meaning to ‘going viral’ (sorry – I had to).
The following pictures show the virus spreading and have been edited so as not embarrass anyone nerdy enough to rock a DDF logo on their profile for two weeks. Thanks to all involved.
[Re-posted from the Emerging Species blog, originally posted on 09/11/11.]
[We asked our friends over at #HEADSKNOW to give us a write up on the DefDFires album launch and they sent back this flattering piece, thanks guys!]
I knew this would be an interesting event from the moment I received my invite, an amusing, albeit dark video invitation from the band themselves, offering me safety and shelter from the immanent threat of an zombie outbreak. The whole thing was very intriguing, the location of the ‘safe-house’ was a secret and I could find nothing online to actually confirm that this was even a music event. Naturally I sent my RSVP.
I received a confirmation email a week before the event that revealed the location and warned me to ‘bring a torch’. Upon arriving to the venue I joined a queue hosted by a haggard looking madman ranting about the apocalypse, wearing a sandwich board reading: “the end is nigh’. I was handed a copy of ‘The Evening Slander‘ – a faux newspaper with the headline: ‘London To Be Evacuated’, it’s stories all were reenforcing the zombie theme, the detail these people have gone to is amazing. Before I had time to take in the details of the paper I was ushered into a small, dark foyer, searched by a giant in a gas-mask and then given my ‘survival kit’. As I got my stamp I heard music from down stairs, I turned on my torch and headed into the darkness…
The hallway was lit with and candles and my torch would catch glimpses of bloodstained writing on the walls. The main area was equally dark, lit by torches and candles, in the center of the room was the London SoundPainting Orchestra playing an unplugged set, their sound gave a real cinematic feel to the dimly lit space and created a very intimate atmosphere. I was offered a cup of tea and drank it whilst opening my survival kit, it’s contents included a foil emergency blanket, tea bags, rizla, plasters and discount code for the album. The place was decorated with bloodstained walls and scrawled messages from DDF, cobwebs hung in each corner and the toilet stall doors were plastered with newspaper cuttings detailing the zombie invasion. There was couple of lads giving survival tips to the punters and a photographer doing mugshots for a catalogue of ‘survivors’, I had my picture taken and was given a print as a souvenir, there was even a stall giving away free clothing. Again, I was blown away by the thought put into all this.
All of a sudden a loud hum filled the venue, the sound system was on. The lighting started to flicker on and the main room was illuminated, the atmosphere instantly became warm and our hosts took to the stage to welcome us all to the shelter and introduce the next act, Death Sound Blues. The three piece played a hefty set sounding somewhere in between Stoner Rock, Blues and Heavy metal, despite the massive contrast from the dim intimacy of the orchestra to this loud, bright, up tempo mayhem, they had the crowd moving from the start. Shortly after their set, the lights cut out again and we heard the first samples of DefDFires’ ‘The Panic‘ begin, the crew took to stage only illuminated by torchlight. By the end of the first track the lights came up to reveal that the venue had been infiltrated by zombies, both in the crowd and attacking the band on stage, this played in with DDF’s theatrics and the set went on. The group thumped out banger after banger from the new album. The deeply electronic and up tempo sound, coupled with the rappers’ intense, quirky energy had us all bouncing until the last song.
After the set DJs took over and I popped into the ‘zombie wardrobe’ to get myself a very genuine looking zombie bite wound, the atmosphere was still warm and the crowd was lively, but I had more than enough input for one night. I stumbled home to sit and read the Evening Slander and wonder to myself: Why don’t more events put in this kind of effort? For Emerging Species it certainly seems to be paying off.
In case you haven’t already heard, we have decided to give away our 2007 debut album ‘… A Prelude’ absolutely free!!! Not a penny, nor a sausage not even a thank you is required (though thank you’s are always welcome!). However, if you’re one of those good souls (/nutters) who still prefer to pay for your music, the album is available from iTunes and I think there may even still be some original CD copies (collectors item don’t you know?) on sites like Suspect Packages. Or just follow the link below to get it for free!!!!
Still need some convincing? Don’t just take our word for it, see what the press thought:
“On this pin-sharp debut album, their hard work is self-evident. Stepping from a refreshingly different angle”
“this crew are destined for greatness.”
“DefDFires are evidence of the dangers of generalisation…with lyrical content that knock the spots off many other rappers with their intelligence, humour and originality and beats to match.”
-HAM & HIGH
“DefDFires tell their street stories as storybook fables, over bustling boom-bap brushed with folk and psychedelic caginess… the intensity of the North London crew’s murkier moments will impress.”
-ONE WEEK TO LIVE
“Some welcome imagination… Check for DefDFires if cinematic sounds and huge production values tickle your fancy.
“bringing some refreshing drama and lyrical content to the game.”
“wasn’t really feeling it I’m Afraid”
-GUNS AND AMMO