‘Doing The Most’, The debut album from Kirby Maurier dropped 5 years ago, today.
On the 22nd of July, 2015 I landed in Rome for what was the beginning of a business and personal trip to Europe. During my time overseas, I was still in the middle of executing an album rollout that was set for release in just 9 days. This album was in the works since the fall of 2013 and was produced entirely by Vegas Fontaine, who I’d been working with for over 10 years at the time. The album we worked on would be become ‘Doing The Most’ and it was released before the streaming boom. See, at the time, Apple Music was a new platform. It debuted on June 30th, 2015 and streaming wasn’t the main form of music consumption at the time. So marketing this album, we focused on actual album sales.
My time in Rome was split between sightseeing, making phone calls, and sending emails. One of the ways we planned on incentivizing supporters who pre-ordered or purchased the album early, we would add their names to the digital booklet. The big catch was, that means that a part of the booklet would have to complete on the day of the release. In hindsight, I’m happy we did it. After working with Kirby and releasing singles and an EP, this album would be different from what her fans expected of her. The first single from the album was released over a year before Doing The Most was released. It was called “Iz U Wit It” and would end up being one of the first songs to use the term Trap&B to describe its sound. Kirby’s first official single “You” (and the remix featuring Ace Hood) helped introduce her to many but once she released her Class of 96' EP in 2012, people across the world got familiar. Her numerous appearances on WorldstarHipHop helped as well.
After leaving Rome, we arrived in Venice and shot photos for the packaging of the album. Then, we flew to Paris, France for a few days and by then, the album packaging was mostly done but there were still plenty of phone calls to make and work to do to ensure the release went smoothly. On the 27th of July, I arrived in Amsterdam, which would be the final stop on my Europe trip. Being honest, I did very little work in Amsterdam besides a few meetings and phone calls to the US. I arrived back in the states on the 29th with two days to spare before the release. I enjoyed myself but I was excited to get back before the 31st.
On release day, it was a relief for me. For something our team worked on for close to two years, we all were happy with the positive feedback. The rollout and execution was a success. Thanks to everyone who supported the album, it ended up being one of the highest selling independent R&B albums in the South Atlantic Region (according to data from Nielsen Music/MRC). When I started Valholla, I had huge goals but I knew I had to leave a mark on my city and state in the process. This album helped seal that for us. Kirby went on to perform at SXSW connected to a multicity tour sponsored by the Recording Academy (GRAMMYs). If you listened to, bought, pre-ordered, worked on, and/or shared the album. Thank you for helping us reach this milestone, independently.
Check out the official digital booklet HERE.