How Craig & Grant Gordon became 'Us Two'
Changing your artist name is risky, especially when you are two brothers from Coventry where everyone knows you.
Craig and Grant Gordon were doing okay. They had reached 9k followers on Instagram thanks to a solid release schedule on labels such as MicroHertz and Seven Dials. Artists like Marco Carola, Jamie Jones and Skream are supporting their music.
I had previously worked with these two guys on their MicroHertz release last summer. I had the feeling these two had something. I couldn't help but think their artist name was not enough to sell out events on a poster.
One day I was looking at the release schedule for MicroHertz.
"Who are Us Two?" I asked the label manager.
"Craig and Grant Gordon, they are changing their name,".
I couldn't help thinking this would be a big moment for these guys.
A quick WhatsApp exchange led to Craig and Grant joining the Socially Sound Academy after they told me they were already thinking about it.
Within 48 hours, their whole mindset changed. Instead of posting about the name change randomly one evening, we created a five-step plan to make an impact.
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Step 1 - Teasing unreleased music
In the WhatsApp exchange, Craig and Grant told me about their release schedule. With releases on Knee Deep In Sound, MicroHertz and Eastenderz to come this year, Us Two were sitting on a lot of unreleased music.
The first posts in the strategy were 60 seconds reels with trippy visuals. The results were okay. There was plenty of room for improvement. We tried splitting the unreleased track into three 20-second videos, asking the audience which part of the track they liked. The engagement on this post saw a huge spike.
Step 2 - The photoshoot and name change
The next step was a photo shoot. Press pictures are a great way to push out a new identity.
This shoot proved key for the whole campaign.
Step 3 - The unreleased mix
With the new name announced, it was time to take step 1 to the next level.
Us Two entered the ANTS Next Gen: DJ Competition.
Entries had to submit a 35-minute mix, provide a track list and use assets supplied by ANTS on their website. The winner will play at Ushuaia Ibiza this summer and receive mentorship from one of the ANTS' high-profile residents.
The mix submitted was six unreleased Us Two tracks - what an opportunity to get your music in front of a brand new audience and some of the most influential figures in the electronic music scene.
In the last few days, it has been announced Us Two is one of 10 finalists.
Step 4 - Knee Deep In Sound release
Us Two's first official release under their new name made an impact.
Hot Since 82's Knee Deep In Sound is a leading label in the UK house scene. The important part of this campaign was getting the name change out there ahead of this release. A successful release campaign could put a lot of new eyes on them.
The release reached the top 20 in the Beatport Deep House charts and received support from Archie Hamilton, who played 'Phil Like This' at Caprices Festival in Switzerland earlier this year.
Step 5 - Trackstack x MicroHertz x Socially Sound x Us Two
The next idea is thanks to my friends at Trackstack.
Trackstack is a demo platform that MicroHertz uses to receive demos. One cold DM from me to them on the morning I was flying to Time Warp led to a piece of content that we used to announce Us Two's next EP on MicroHertz.
The idea of the video was to show how Us Two signed the label using Trackstack, putting eyes on all the brands involved.
This piece of content feels like it opened up a lot of doors for all of us. #watchthisspace
So let's talk about some of the results:
Us Two have this week passed the magic 10k follower mark on Instagram ✅
Us Two's content is consistently producing results
Most importantly, they understand why and if the content doesn't perform, they are thinking of solutions to improve next time
Honestly, I feel like a proud Dad.
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