It had come to my attention that the music cable network FuseTV did not want to play a music video by Foreign Exchange, the duo featuring MC/vocalist Phonte Coleman and producer Nicolay. The reason given was that FuseTV, a network once known for their underground/indie spirit, especially with rock bands, only played hit artists. Obviously it means FuseTV changed their policy from when they started, but networks do that. Upon sending an e-mail to FuseTV, I had found a description on their own website about what their programming is about. I decided to add that to my e-mail and forward it to them. Since I hoped to gain a bit more attention towards the cause, I decided to post it on Twitter. The website that held that Tweet is no more, but another website was nice enough to archive the e-mail, so here it is. It was re-Tweeted by many people, and that was my goal, in the hopes to have someone at FuseTV react. No response.
Last night, Foreign Exchange were nominated for a Grammy Award. I decided to write a second e-mail to them, which was sent on Twitter, and immediately people proceeded to RT. Here is that e-mail:
@Phontigallo @nicolaymusic @FEOfficial A second open letter to @FuseTV about Foreign Exchange. Dear FuseTV: This letter is a follow-up to an e-mail I sent directly to your cable network concerning the fact that your channel does not want to play the new music video by Foreign Exchange, a duo featuring producer Nicolay and MC/singer Phonte Coleman. If you do not remember my e-mail, it has been archived here for posterity.
As your music research department knows by now, Foreign Exchange has been nominated for a Grammy Award. I go back to my initial e-mail, concerning your refusal to play their music video. The claim is that FuseTV only plays videos by “hit artists”, even though there is a statement on your own website which indicates your network is about “celebrating the hit makers of today, familiar favorites and edgy newcomers.” Foreign Exchange has made two albums, and one of their songs from their most recent album has been officially nominated for a Grammy award tonight:
Best Urban/Alternative Performance
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)
The Foreign Exchange
Track from: Leave It All Behind
[Hard Boiled Records]
If you need further proof, here is the URL:
Not everyone has the honor of being nominated for a Grammy, and I feel this is significant enough for your network to put their music videos in rotation. There are many fans out there, and you know what? You may help to bring the group more fans. In turn, fans who have never heard of Fuse-TV before may now know your network as the one who, through fan support, gave Foreign Exchange a chance.
You know what I’d love, though? There’s a band Fuse-TV supports, a great hard rock band called Valient Thorr (@ValientThorr). They claim they are from Burlatia, somewhere on planet Venus, and I believe them, but they call the state of North Carolina home. Did you know that one half of Foreign Exchange calls North Carolina home too? Nicolay, whose last name rhymes with my own, is from the Netherlands, and I am almost certain the vikings of Valient Thorr may have some Earthly connections there as well.
I partly joke, but the real reason behind this “open letter” to you, FuseTV, is to say please, re-consider playing a video by Foreign Exchange on your network. Or I should change that: reconsider playing a video by the Grammy-nominated Foreign Exchange on your network. If Nicolay comes to the U.S. for the ceremony, get Phonte together and create a 30- to 60-minute profile show. Play music videos, interview them, have them perform live. Fans? I’m sure if you put out a call, fans will show up. Or I will send an open letter to their fans.
@FuseTV, I thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.
-John Book, journalist/artist/producer/music’s biggest fan
If you want to show some support, feel free to RT this Tweet:
I’m doing this to show support for a group whose music I like, and two artists whose work I’m a fan of. As a fellow artist and producer, I know the hard work it takes to be heard and seen. As a journalist, I’d like to think that my words can make an impact, however small. “Kill them with kindness” as they say, I hope to do more of this in the 10’s, and I hope others will do the same. The internet has made it possible to complain about music and other forms of entertainment, more than any other era in the “music business”, so why not act and react in a positive manner?
Again, RT my Tweet and let FuseTV know that you want Foreign Exchange to at least have a chance. Here are the e-mail addresses that you should write to: