Alison Piron is the editor-in-chief of Urban Soul, a Brussels, Belgium based blog that showcases up and coming as well as mainstream RnB and soul artists from around the world. Alison started Urban Soul in 2010 and since then has started a Digital Music PR service which combines her passions for music, communication and writing. Two of Alison's clients have recently been featured on DOPECAUSEWESAID.com -- Jeremy Passion and JC Villafan, which is how this interview came into fruition. We connected with Alison to find out more about her blog, find out what she looks for in prospective clients, who her favorite artists are and much more.
Tell us a little bit about yourself; how did the Urban Soul website and Digital Music PR service get started and what specific services do you provide?
I started the Urban Soul blog 6 years ago – it was actually part of my Communication thesis about the musical press in Belgium. Back then, I was pretty sure I would just stop posting a few weeks after my graduation but I saw that people were actually reading my articles so I decided to keep going and I eventually ended up winning the Belgian Best Entertainment Blog award in 2012, which was the greatest reward ever! The Digital Music PR service is following on from the blog: it recently appeared to be self-evident as it combines all of my passions – music, communication and writing. After showcasing upcoming talents on my blog for so long, I thought it would be nice to give them the possibility to get an extra boost by offering this service. I basically help them to identify their selling points and niche and I create a press kit and press release reflecting their image and message to contact journalists and bloggers in order to promote their new projects.
Who are your current clients and what do you look for in potential clients?
Jeremy Passion was the first artist to trust me on this new adventure and I’m incredibly grateful for it. I was in charge of spreading the word about his new single We Can, which you should absolutely listen to if you haven’t already! I’m currently working with JC Villafan, a pop/rock/folk singer-songwriter. I’m only aiming to work with artists whom I genuinely love and believe in. So I’m looking for authenticity, a lot of heart and tons of good vibes!
Who are your favorite artists?
I have an eclectic taste but I absolutely adore Frank Ocean, Jamie Woon, Jessie Ware, Tori Kelly and JMSN. You should also watch out for Raleigh Ritchie and Zak Abel, two amazing and very promising British acts! I’m obsessed with dvsn and Gallant’s debut albums as well and I currently love Kevin Garrett and NAO.
Is there a huge urban music scene in Belgium?
We have an urban scene but we don’t have the right platforms to highlight it. It’s this observation that actually led me to write my thesis in the first place. Maybe you’ve heard of the soul songstress Selah Sue or Stromae, who was initially a rapper (well, he still is to me but he has managed to merge so many genres that you can’t fit him in the ‘rap’ box anymore, which is great!). G.A.N is another Belgian rapper that I like, I’ve recently discovered Dvtch Norris and you should definitely check out Abraham Blue – he’s an rnb singer/producer and he will probably release new chill tunes very soon! But I feel like it’s getting better. A few years ago, we couldn’t even dream of seeing international urban acts perform in Belgium, other than the big “mainstream” ones such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, Drake, Kanye West…
What are your goals for the Urban Soul website and Digital Music PR service this year?
I would love to give a brand new look to the website and ultimately create a proper section for my Digital Music PR service. Otherwise, I wish for more good vibes, more music, more interviews, more upcoming talents, more enriching encounters!