Speaking to Music Week for our latest cover story alongside H.E.R. (real name Gabriella Wilson) and the rest of her team, Dollimore noted that his staff at RCA “knew we were working with someone special” as soon as she signed to the label.
“H.E.R. is one of those unique acts that’s a real privilege to have on the label,” he said. “It’s been a joy for people, particularly here at the label, to watch her evolve.”
H.E.R.’s debut album proper, Back Of My Mind, charted last month, and Dollimore said that his team’s “big goal is to connect her and the music to a mainstream audience”.
“H.E.R. is looking to show a more personal side and will create content to foster more engagement, which will be key to us building her audience and connecting with new fans,” he added. “The biggest challenge for us, and the wider industry, is what limitations and uncertainty the global pandemic poses, and we just can’t wait to have H.E.R. back in the UK. Following an amazing playback in May where H.E.R. talked through her new album to the global team, it feels like there are no boundaries to her ability to connect.”
H.E.R. has enjoyed support from BBC Radio 1Xtra and Radio 2, as well as Capital Xtra, Kiss Fresh, Represent, Rinse FM and Mi-Soul radio. She performed on Later… With Jools Holland in 2017 and has appeared at the BRITs and the MOBOs.
She's a unique act and a real privilege to have on the label
David Dollimore, RCA
Carolyn Williams, EVP marketing at RCA Records in the US, told Music Week about the focus of the Back Of My Mind campaign. The album achieved H.E.R.’s first ever Top 10 chart placing in America.
“We will customise our marketing campaigns in various territories to appeal to different audiences while still staying true to the overall creative and strategy of showcasing her as a multi-faceted artist and performer,” Williams said. “The big goals for this campaign are continuous growth and effective fan engagement by keeping a two-way conversation going between her and her fans. We want people to connect with her and understand how relatable she actually is.”
Jeff Robinson, who manages H.E.R. through MBK Entertainment, revealed how things had changed in the pair’s dealings with the industry.
“I used to come in and we’d play the EPs for the entire label staff and I’d sit at the head of the table and she’d be at my right hand,” he explained. “And now, it’s quite the opposite. She sits at the head of the table and does most of the talking and I sit at her right hand, having her back and advising her. I couldn’t be prouder of that.”
Robinson has been working with the star since she was 11.
“Everything that she can do now, she could do back then,” he said. “It’s just that the world wasn’t ready to see her do it. She’s just been going through her growing up and seasoning, and it’s turning out to be a wonderful soup.”
Subscribers can read the full interview online here.