A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Former FAMU Gridder Making Waves In Gospel Music Scene
NASHVILLE, Tn. — Troy Sneed and his Emtro Gospel label is enjoying a very good 2007. The former FAMU college football star just won his first Stellar award for Youth for Christ’s “The Struggle is Over.”
The song which spent 12 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel songs chart a few weeks ago, was written by Jonathan Nelson & Justin Savage. Nelson narrates the song and Sneed closes it with his powerful singing voice.
Another recent surprise for Emtro came when Billboard magazine named Emtro one of the Top Ten Gospel imprints of 2006. The label came in at #6 on the annual listing right behind such powerhouses as Sony and EMI.
At the same time, Emtro came in ahead of gospel superstar Kirk Franklin’s Fo Yo Soul and CeCe Winans’ Pure Springs Gospel labels ï¿½ a huge fete.
After almost two decades in the music industry, Sneed and his wife, Emily, are beginning to harvest the fruits of their labor. The erstwhile Savoy/Malaco recording artist began Emtro Gospel (a mix of his and his wife’s first names) in 2003.
Emily took on a second job and Sneed worked around the clock to get the label established by personally calling manufacturers, retail stores, distributors, etc.
“The first couple of projects didn’t get a lot of attention or radio play,” says Sneed from the lobby of Nashville‘s Opryland Hotel. “But, we turned the corner with Rudolph McKissick and Alvin Darling and began to make some noise.”
McKissick’s “The Right Place” and Darling’s “All Night” gave Emtro their first Top gospel hits. Then, “The Struggle is Over” went all the way to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart and stayed there for twelve consecutive weeks in late 2006.
After opening the door for other artists, now Sneed’s latest high-energy single, “Hallelujah” is No. 6 on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart with a bullet facing the No. 1 slot.
Sneed isn’t resting on his laurels. Emtro is actively working towards increasing their presence in the gospel market with a series of innovative marketing techniques that will unfold over the coming months.
One unique technique is how he sells his other label mates products at his in-store appearances. “I don’t care what the song is,” Sneed laughs. “I sing the hit songs from all of my artists when I do my appearances and then tell the people which CD the song is on”.
“When I do that, I not only sell my CDs, but I’m also selling the CDs of my other artists and it’s a great thing all around.”