SpringHill’s ‘On Site’ Performance Series Gives Independent Artists the ‘Shine That They Deserve’
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SpringHill’s ‘On Site’ Performance Series Gives Independent Artists the ‘Shine That They Deserve’

SpringHill — the lifestyle brand within The SpringHill Company, the entertainment development and production company founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter in 2020 — aired the second season of its On Site performance series on Tuesday (June 20).

Airing every Tuesday on SpringHill’s YouTube channel, On Site puts a spotlight on emerging, independent artists and gives them a platform to deliver raw, intimate performances. This season features 21 artists such as Grace Weber, Jordan Hawkins, Anessa Strings, Your Grandparents, Reason, Alaina Castillo and more.

The season 2 premiere episode of On Site follows LA-based, St. Petersburg-bred soulful R&B singer-songwriter Phabo, who performed “Luv Songs (Unruly)” from his new sophomore album Don’t Get Too Crazy that was released last Friday. “Performing on this platform is growth to me. To survive as a Black man long enough to see my favorite athlete create a platform for my voice to be heard, that’s crazy. It feels surreal. I feel like it’s my duty to this for my favorite basketball player of all time,” he tells Billboard, while later musing over another “GOAT:” Grammy-winning producer Troy Taylor. “[‘Luv Songs (Unruly)’] is super R&B to me. Troy Taylor produced it, who’s a legend, GOAT, one of my mentors. He came through with the beat, with the vocal production on the song. I felt like it was only right for the world to hear it.”

Krystyn Price-Harrell, general manager/vp of the SpringHill brand, says they filmed On Site‘s pilot season at the end of last year and “went into full production on this particular season” at the beginning of this year, she tells Billboard. While sports-related content is undoubtedly The SpringHill Company’s strong suit, Price-Harrell and her team have been working on building out the four pillars of the SpringHill lifestyle brand: fashion, music, art and entertainment. Under its music pillar, SpringHill puts people onto new artists across major genres like hip-hop, R&B, pop, punk, Latin and more, calling back to the brand’s mission of inspiring the next generation. On Site marks the first music-centered program under the SpringHill brand.

“I’m very, very passionate about music and identifying the next person in music. So Jade [Avalos], our creative producer, we all came in a room where we were like, ‘Let’s figure out how we could really hone in on the music space.’ And we came up with On Site,” she says. “For us, the differentiating factor is independent artists. They don’t get the shine that they deserve. SpringHill is really about empowering that next generation, so for us, this was really an opportunity to hone in on that find that white space in music to identify who we’re placing our bets on, who we want to have that consumer journey with, and that’s ultimately how we got here.”

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There’s certainly no shortage of shine on the indie artists, who are showered in color-alternating light beams that cover the interiors of the square box performance space (think Drake‘s “Hotline Bling” music video) that Avalos conceptualized and built in three days. “She wanted to do a box. I said, ‘Let’s do the box. Let’s make it different. Let’s create something that really pulls you into the music and the sound and through the colors,’” says Price-Harrell.

In his future episode, LA-based, Richmond-bred soulful rapper Peter $un cools off under the baby blue lights as he performs his scorching, unreleased single, “Burn Like Fire.” “I really like what they’re doing, giving rising artists a platform to shine and a platform to express themselves,” he tells Billboard, adding that he was tapped to perform on On Site by Avalos, whom he’s known since she worked at All Def Media. “I made [‘Burn Like Fire’] based off of a past relationship, just on eggshells in a relationship and being honest with somebody and being open and keeping it real with ’em and how hard that is. I was trying to explain that dynamic of when you know things aren’t right between each other but it’s hard to say ’cause that’s your comfort zone and you still love her, you still love him, but you know things are still falling apart.”

For $un, On Site is another stage he can share with his friends who are also independent artists. During the week prior to filming his “Burn Like Fire” performance, he performed at Anderson .Paak‘s fifth annual .Paak House charitable music event on the HUE SOUND Stage for rising artists alongside Zyah Belle and Kenyon Dixon, whom $un considers to be “family now” and who will also be featured in future On Site performances.

“We’re shooting with some amazing, amazing musicians. Talent’s my bread and butter, but in this new role, taking those relationships and really working with them across the business is very important as well,” says Price-Harrell. Prior to her promotion as general manager/vp of the SpringHill brand at the beginning of 2023, she worked her way up the company’s talent relations department, from senior director to vice president. Now, she works with the talent team on looking into the company’s existing relationships with artists and looking anywhere online from Instagram to TikTok to discover new artists they can spotlight.

“Diversity is very, very important,” Price-Harrell adds. “For us, [it’s about] really making sure we looked cross-functionally at the different genres of music and making sure we touched on how many women do we have? What about this artist in the hip-hop space? We had two musicians today come in and they sang in Spanish. So we’re making sure we’re touching on everyone to make sure the audience is getting fed across all genres of music.”

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