Harvey Mason Jr. and Damon Thomas have signed an exclusive label deal with Clive Davis' J Records, called Underdog Entertainment.
Under the terms of the deal The Underdogs will sign and develop acts for Underdog Entertainment. J Records will handle all marketing, promotion, sales and distribution responsibilities for Underdog Entertainment. The duo will develop, produce and sign new acts to Underdog Entertainment, as well as continue to produce artists on J records, among other labels.
Underdog Entertainment is based in LA and houses state of the art studio facilities and offices for A%26R and production staff. Underdog entertainment will sign acts of all styles, though the initial talent is most likely to be in the R%26B and urban vein.
"We're looking to develop just really star artists," Mason said. "We've done everything for Clive from straight R%26B records to more pop and edgy rock records. We can go in a couple of different places."
Clive Davis, Chairman/CEO of the RCA Music Group comments, "Damon Thomas and Harvey Mason, Jr. are two extremely gifted persons who have been important producers for us since the inception of J Records. They have continually kept the bar high, consistently delivering first-rate cuts for Tyrese, Kelly Clarkson, Mario and others. Now, we are thrilled to more officially partner with them as they marry their terrific songwriting and producing skills with discovering and nurturing their own up-and coming talent."
"We've always loved making records with Clive. He's passionate about putting out nothing but great music. With our new deal with j records, we are proud to have the opportunity to do that together with them. We are all looking forward to bringing what we hope will be the next crop of superstars to Underdog Entertainment and J Records," said Harvey Mason, Jr.
"We look forward to working with Clive Davis and J Records on this new endeavor. Clive has a true love for artists and their music and that is exciting to us. We are confident in working with Clive and his staff that we will develop some really special talent," said Damon Thomas.
The Underdogs have made their mark in history working with superstar acts as Justin Timberlake, Tyrese, Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey, Pink, B2K, Brandy, Jennifer Lopez, Luther Vandross, Brian McKnight, etc. In less than three years, their impressive track record has quickly established them as one of the most significant and sought after production teams in pop and R%26B music. The Underdogs have contributed to over 50 singles and albums that have reached gold, platinum, and multi platinum sales status and have generated numerous Top 10 singles. Current projects for the Underdogs include "American Idol" Ruben Studdard's upcoming album on J Records, Craig David, Heather Headley, Babyface, Dream and Joe.
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01.20.07: Underdogs Featured In Billboard Magazine
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12.20.06: Underdogs Appear in Variety Magazine
11.29.06: Dreamgirls Screening Paramount Studios
09.01.06: Beyonce in the News on MTV
08.11.06: Glenn Lewis Signs To The Underdogs
06.15.06: Luke %26 Q Shoot "My Turn"
06.15.06: Job Opening For Engineer
05.08.06: Luke %26 Q BRE Feature
02.28.06: Avant's Album "Director"
02.27.06: Current Projects...
10.25.05: Dream Project For Underdogs
09.27.05: Toni Braxton Releases Libra
09.13.05: Charlie Wilson Returns
08.22.05: Craig David Releases New Album
08.01.05: Babyface "Grown and Sexy"
05.24.05: Marques Houston Releases Album
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04.28.05: Current Projects
03.30.05: N2U Breaks The Law
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03.11.05: Omarion Makes His Mark
02.14.05: Omarion Readies O
01.12.05: YRB Magazine
12.13.04: The Underdogs In DUB
12.06.04: Mario Reaches Turning Point
12.04.04: Billboard: Rooting for The Underdogs
11.29.04: Damon's rides in King Mag
11.05.04: Current Projects
11.03.04: duPont Registry: Celebrity Cars
11.02.04: Underdogs to Air on ABC's 20/20
11.01.04: Fantasia's Highly Anticipated Debut Album
10.20.04: Ruben's Gospel Album
10.12.04: Making of the Band 3
10.01.04: Holiday Newsletter Signup
09.27.04: Sun Visits The Underlab
09.02.04: Shark Tale
07.19.04: Houston's Debut Album
07.01.04: Underdog Newsletter Volume 1
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06.15.04: Underdogs Launch Music Publishing Company
06.10.04: Underdogs Settin' up O
06.06.04: Clive Davis Shows Confidence in Underdogs (LA Times)
06.01.004: Backstreet Popstar Article
06.01.04: Best Studios of 2004
05.01.04: NARIP Seminar
04.14.04: Backstreet Boys
04.01.04: Underdogs up for Grammy (ASCAP)
04.01.04: Producing Pure Platinum (Mix)
03.25.04: CNN Interview Transcript
02.25.04: Performing Songwriter
02.17.04: Mason on Fastbreak (Arizona Daily Star)
02.01.04: Inside Connection Magazine
02.01.04: Hollywood Hitmakers EQ Magazine
12.27.03: Producers Rankings 2003
12.13.03: Sorry 2004 (Billboard)
11.07.03: Bre Magazine Ruben Studdard
11.04.03: Urban Network Magazine "The Underdogs"
11.04.03: Joe Set To Release New Album
11.03.03: Ruben Press Release
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10.25.03: Billboard Kiley Dean
10.14.03: Billboard "J collars The Underdogs"
10.01.03: Pro Sound News "Underdogs Installs First C200 In US"
09.29.03: The Label
09.29.03: The UnderLab
09.29.03: The Search
08.19.03: The Hollywood Reporter "Underdogs ink with J Records"
08.19.03: Variety "Davis Leashes Underdogs"
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October 2005, THE UNDERDOGS began what would be one of the most challenging and rewarding projects in their 7 year partnership. Director Bill Condon and music supervisors Randy Spendlove and Matt Sullivan tapped into the talents of Harvey Mason, jr. and Damon Thomas, aka The Underdogs to arrange and produce the classic music from the Broadway musical Dreamgirls.
It all started with a simple meeting nearly 18 months earlier with Dreamgirls composer Henry Kreger. Henry was asked to write a couple new songs for the film adaptation and was looking for collaborators. Harvey and Damon left the meeting intrigued but nothing came of it. Almost two years later, The Underdogs were hired to produce and arrange not only the new songs but all the music for the entire film. The idea was to update the music for today's audiences without offending the fans of the original play. The music had to be dynamic. To do this, The Underdogs started building the music using a combination of live instruments and the best musicians in the business. This would include countless recording sessions at The Underdogs eight room recording facility The Underlab. 60 piece orchestras, huge live horn sections, B3 organ, and an all star rhythm section were just a few things The Underdogs had up their sleeves. During the early stages of the music production, as many as four rooms would be used simultaneously to make sure the music was ready in time for the cast to begin singing. The Underdogs would meet with Bill Condon and the music supervisors before each session and go over specific scenes. Since the music and vocal performances would be done prior to shooting, animated storyboards and models were used in these meetings. Harvey and Damon would watch and listen as the director walked them thru his vision. The music would have to inspire the actors, and audiences.
Over 40 songs were finished....almost! The cast would now begin singing. From disco to Motown, classical to 60's surf music, the music was ready. Now The Underdogs began the daunting task of telling the story thru songs and directing the actors in the vocal booth. They would have to draw from their experiences making records for both up and coming superstars and industry legends. Everyone from Chris Brown to Luther Vandross, Justin Timberlake to Elton John, Mary J. Blige to Aretha Franklin, Tyrese to Lionel Richie, JoJo to Patti Labelle, Mario to Babyface had all been produced by The Underdogs and would influence how the duo would produce the star studded Dreamgirls cast. With each cast member came a different challenge. With each song came another set of objectives. Sometimes Harvey and Damon would split up and each take a cast member and begin recording. While other times, the Dreamgirls would be in the booth singing together, all in character. Throughout the recording Bill Condon would give direction to The Underdogs and they would work to make sure he got exactly what he needed out of each of the performers. Every song had to be incredible. Every note had to further the story and draw in the audience. Vocal production concluded and The Underdogs began to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Ultimately, 61 pieces of music would have been arranged, produced, performed and recorded by the Underdogs and their staff. The mixing process would now begin and be completed over a span of two months and three studios. Grammy award winning engineer Manny Marroquin who The Underdogs would frequently use to mix their records would be called on to mix this very diverse body of work. Additional recording and mixing would take The Underdogs up to November 2006. After 13 months of hard work, The Underdogs are extremely proud of the music and are humbled and honored to have been a part this once in a lifetime film.