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Moby gets room at W to market his latest record, 'Hotel'

NEW YORK -- Moby is not one to shy away from alternative ways of marketing his music. In fact, he embraces them.

''For a long time, that was the only way I could get my music heard," he told Billboard, at his design shop, Little Idiot.

Moby pointed to his 1999 release ''Play" as an example.

''When that album was first released, there was no radio support," he recalled. ''Only music supervisors supported the record."

Indeed, every track on the album ended up being licensed -- some more than once -- for use in commercials, TV shows, and film soundtracks.

''Play" has sold 2.6 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

These days, Moby is working hand in hand with boutique hotel chain W, which will do its part to help promote and market the artist's new V2 album, the two-disc ''Hotel," due March 22.

Two days later, publishing house Viking Studio will release ''teany book," which Moby wrote with Kelly Tisdale. It's a colorful mix of recipes, cartoons, and stories -- with more than one reference to tea.

For Moby and the executives at V2, the exclusive partnership with W makes complete sense -- and not simply because of the album's title, though it did play a role.

Because of the title, V2 executives considered ways to connect the record to an actual hotel, V2 marketing director Debbie Chertock noted. ''W just made sense in terms of Moby's and the hotel chain's demographics," she said.

Since its inception six years ago, the W Hotels chain, which is part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts network, has made concerted efforts to attract a hip, fashion-forward clientele. Its many music- and entertainment-related initiatives include a partnership with Apple.

Krissy Guttroff, brand marketing director of W Hotels, called the deal with Moby a ''perfect fit" for everyone involved.

After several meetings, Moby and V2 and W executives created a game plan, encompassing parties, CD sales, and contests. Also being discussed is the possibility of W's being the exclusive hotel of the artist's upcoming ''Hotel" tour, which begins in the spring. W operates 21 hotels in North America.

''The brand marketing is key here," noted Chertock, adding that Moby recently met with several music supervisors from the WB Network to discuss potential licensing opportunities.

''Hotel" will be sold in all W gift shops, on the hotel's website (, and in the minibars (W refers to them as ''munchies boxes") in all 5,100 W hotel rooms in North America.

As part of its cultural series, Adventures in Wonderland, W Hotels will host three invitation-only CD release parties. These events -- confirmed for New York (March 22), Chicago (March 29), and Los Angeles (April 4) -- will feature Moby performing live in an acoustic setting.

People can enter to win tickets to these and other Moby-related events by logging on to W's website or The latter is the interactive site devoted to ''Hotel"; it is hosted by V2 and Mute, which releases the album internationally March 14.

The first disc of ''Hotel" is steeped in '80s-shaded dance-rock sensibilities, while the second is a tranquil, ambient trip.

''This record is a product of living in New York -- my home," the artist said. ''The past few years here have been a really exciting time musically."

To illustrate, Moby mentioned New York bands such as the Rapture, Interpol, the Strokes, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. ''All this great music these bands were making reminded me of the music I grew up with. So I let myself make that kind of record."

As for the ambient recording, which was inspired by 1970s David Bowie and Brian Eno albums, he said: ''In my own presumptuous way, I believe the world is a better place when there's a lot of quiet ambient music in it. It's like aural Xanax."

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