Monday, August 24, 2015

THE POLICE Manager & Music Mogul MILES COPELAND Delivers Keynote Interview at IES 15

Miles Copeland, longtime manager of THE POLICE & STING, came from an extended European stay to deliver the Keynote Interview at the IES 15 Music, Film-TV, Touring & Tech conference August 7 in the NoHo Arts District, Los Angeles California. Copeland, a longtime maverick & innovator, talked about turning a thousand UK pounds (approx $1800) recording into a 'billion dollar brand', creating a global touring empire from a brother & 4 guys in a van, & getting a car manufacturer to put up $18 million dollars in TV ads to support a STING album, among other groundbreaking moves he made in his legendary career.

IES – the INDIE ENTERTAINMENT SUMMIT is a four day, comprehensive conference, with a wide array of panels, seminars, workshops, networking events, honors, & concerts/showcases. In it's fourth year, the global event takes place in the NoHo Arts District in N.Hollywood, surrounded by a thriving region of film & recording studios, theatres, dance studios & the Television Academy (home of the EMMYS). Miles Copeland was one of over 100 industry speakers this year, & special events are already being planned for the big FIFTH YEAR Anniversary IES 16, August 10-13, 2016.

Interviewed onstage by IES Founder & industry veteran Jay Warsinske (who had worked with Copeland, band & label in those early formative days), Copeland had several examples of what led to THE POLICE's astronomical success & some shrewd moves that benefitted the processes along the way. "We found someone in the UK that owned a studio behind their home" says Copeland "& offered him one thousand pounds (approximately $1800) to record 10 songs, & that album became OUTLANDOS d'AMOUR, that contained the classic song 'Roxanne' amongst others". He explained that the producer Nigel Gray was offered points' (a percentage of profits) instead of the small fee that wasn't readily available, an offer he dismissed for the fee & later tried to re-establish after the apparent buzz the band was creating. Copeland says the percentage would have ended up being worth millions of dollars, instead he only got his flat fee of one thousand pounds. Rule 1: back end profits can make you wealthy on a hit project. THE POLICE's last tour grossed almost $400 million & they've sold over 75 million albums, tons of merchandise & endorsements, all totaling well over billion dollar grosses.

Another amazing story was being an 'unknown act' Copeland realized he had no clout or leverage getting big booking agents or promoters to book his fledgling group. He encouraged his brother Ian to form an agency (FBI : Frontier Booking Agency) and sent his three piece band (Sting, guitarist Andy Summers & other brother Stewart on drums) to every club or 'hole in the wall' that would allow them to perform early on in the US. "Being 4 guys, including a trio & one roadie", explains Copeland, "we were lean, mean & ready to go anywhere, not only in the US, but Egypt, India & many faraway lands which gave us a global market, but also exotic footage for our videos & this new exciting channel called MTV, that we embraced greatly!". The band subsequently grew with the burgeoning 'new wave explosion' in North America, videos & radio play on a steady succession of singles such as "Roxanne", "Message In A Bottle", "Walking On The Moon", and an exciting live show fronted by the charismatic Sting. Subsequently they went from a van playing dives, to tour busses playing arenas by their second & third tours. By the fourth they were headlining stadiums, festivals & playing multiple nights in the biggest arenas around the world.

Another amazing example of 'the indie spirit' and sheer entrepreneurially tenacity was when Sting released the solo album "BRAND NEW DAY" & after an initial buzz of the title track, the album has stalled in achieving a major hit song & was losing momentum. "We shot a video for the song "Desert Rose" featuring Cheb Mami", explains Copeland, "we had Sting & Cheb driving through the desert in a Jaguar car singing the song, I realized how great the car looked & took it to the car company's ad agency & convinced them that we have created a perfect 'commercial' for them, that would also promote my artist, & they fell in love with it & proceeded to buy $18 million dollars in TV commercials that just simply aired the video clips, with no voiceover or anything from Sting". The commercial created such a groundswell of excitement in the song, that radio was almost forced to play by public demand & ended up making it a big hit and the album became a multi-million selling smash success.

These are some of the many success stories from less than traditional circumstances he shared with the IES attendees that had come from all over the globe. "Miles was always a true maverick & innovator thinking outside the box", says IES' Jay Warsinske, "a hero & mentor of mine, & an inspiration to us all that with talent, drive & ingenuity, anything is possible if you persevere & go for it & never give up!" Additional successes of Copeland & stories included his success in launching REM, The GO-GO's, Danny Elfman of OINGO BOINGO, The BANGLES, TIMBUK 3, The ALARM, IRS Records, their own MTV Show "The Cutting Edge" amongst many others. For more info on the IES annual event, go to

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