MINNEAPOLIS, July 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- UrbanBridgez.com, one of the leading urban websites, is celebrating its 15-year anniversary. In 2005, led by Aries Dendy Founder/CEO and President Jason Richards, Urban Bridgez Group (UBG) was launched with a vision to tackle multi-media, marketing & create a more lifestyle centered e-zine. The business & website launched in August of 2005. The brand started with a new e-zine UrbanBridgez.com and a client list for UBG that included Ray J and Tasha Scott, who signed on for multi-media projects with the new brand.
Aries, first started T M H Entertainment after graduating at McNally & Smith College for Music Business in Minneapolis. A message board was born and in late 1998, and a full-fledged website was launched in 1999. In 2005 the name of the brand was changed to Urban Bridgez Group (UBG).
Since its launch, UBG has worked with numerous clients on roll-out marketing, website design, logos, radio campaigns, standard marketing promo, while also running currently the #3 R&B website online. Which has conducted interviews with entertainers in music, tv and film. As well showcase new artists, hosts free movie/tv advance screenings, provide the latest urban entertainment news and of course, premiere new music & spotlight R&B greats.
"In the fall we wanted to have this celebration of sorts for the anniversary," states Aries. "However of course with the pandemic and everything going on, that's out. We will have a virtual celebration with our site viewers, as well as some celebrity guests later this year."
To this day UrbanBridgez.com has stayed true to the roots of the site, built with T M H Entertainment and later continued with T M Hxone. It's still driven by R&B and the people who actually visit the site. "We have some ride or dies for real, definitions of Day Ones," said Jason. "Some have been here since 98', they came aboard before I did actually, on the T M H Boards. Which was the original spot online for chat on urban music. Before any other rooms or social platforms," Jason continued.
Starting this Sunday July 26, 2020 — UB will premiere their brand new #UBPodcast. The first episode is entitled "A Messy Start." In the coming months AriesUBG and another co-host will host the episodes, on the sponsored podcast. Celebrities will guest host in the future, as well be combined with other talent for joint interviews. The weekly podcast will provide the latest entertainment news, preview new music and the UBG host will speak on the UBG and T M H brands and the misconceptions that have been around for many years.
"We've had everything from public beefs with former clients, to being stolen from and owed money by other clients," Aries remembers. "With the podcast we finally get the chance to address those things. A lot has been said, but the truth and full stories from our point of view have yet to be and of course we have all of the receipts," Aries continued. A Documentary on AriesUBG and his 20 Year Journey in the Music Industry, is coming in November. "In the doc, I just really lay everything out on the table," Aries says. "I have a book coming in 2022, so the full stories on some of that are being saved for that, but the doc will detail them all while telling the story of me and how I got here," Aries says.
On the e-zine side, "There are artists we do not support any longer, due to their teams or them and their interactions with us," Aries states. "These days representatives get in their feelings and block their clients from publications like ours. Making the job they were hired to do about them and their personal feelings, instead of the client they're working for." Aries laughs, "Everybody wants to be an influencer these days, they want that 5 minute appearance on their clients reality show, more than impressing them by going over and beyond for their actual job!"
With numerous spiked posts in the last 6 months and a mailing list that has been active since the first e-zine, which was one of the first R&B sites online. Started in 1999, the list has accumulated over 500K signed up with active emails. Not to mention a high placement in Google search and news…UB's traffic couldn't be better. However the social media numbers could be. "Most sites are more concerned with social media posts, than the actual website they started, we don't ever want to be that," Aries says. "I also have a saying, that it's not about the number of followers you have…it's about who follows you," Aries stated. "We have some of the biggest talents in the world who follow us on social media, mainly Twitter. Them following us has more of an effect on our visibility and discovery, than having a lot of followers with lesser followers mixed in with a bunch of fake ones," Aries said. The proof has been in the pudding.
Some of those talents following UB and AriesUBG include; Barack Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Jam, Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, Gloria Gaynor, Kandi, Earnest Pugh, Sonja Norwood, BMI, ExtraTV, Yahoo Music, VH1, Power 105.1 (NYC), HuffPost BlackVoices, Popdust and the late great Eddie Money.
"Unlike many of these newer brands, we don't depend on social media, to attract people to our e-zine." Jason stated, "Our site was here before social media, so we've never needed it to be successful. However it is the one thing, we're putting more of a push into this year. Higher social media numbers, makes marketing representatives who don't know any better, think that's your actual following and people who support you," Jason said. "It's not and we discuss why on the podcast soon, but higher numbers do look better as far as appearance," Jason stated.
This month UB started #DivaFriday, video interviews with talented women in the entertainment industry. It was kicked off by R&B songstress Shanice and her husband actor/comedian Flex Washington, also singer/actress Tasha Scott and newcomer R&B singer Porcelan.
Yesterday July 24th, American Idol alum Trenyce appeared on #UBLive #DivaFriday to discuss her debut single released.
In August the superwoman Karyn White herself and singers Brandy and Ledisi will check into #DivaFriday to tell UB all about their brand new albums "b7" and "The Wild Card." As well discuss other current topics, including #BLM
Over the course of the last 15 years, UrbanBridgez.com's vision has become a reality. UB has grown from a one leveled site about music, to an urban lifestyle website that has interviewed some of the world's biggest stars including; Denzel Washington, Ciara, Bobby Brown, Kevin Hart, Marlon Waynes, Charlamagne Tha God, T.I, Regina Hall, Kelly Rowland, Issa Rae and the late Dr. Roscoe Brown and Teena Marie.
Recent interviews have been with the casts of BET's Tyler Perry's the Oval and Tyler Perry's Bruh plus the legendary Clark Sisters, Coko, Jacquees, John P. Kee, Mtume, Robert Townsand, Shirley Murdock, TJ Jackson, James Fortune and Minneapolis born actress Kimberly Elise.
Music of course is the core of UrbanBridgez.com and over the years, the e-zine has been honored to present its site viewers with First Listens. Some of the songs that have premiered on UB include; Johnny Gill's #1 "Soul of A Woman," with an intro from Johnny himself, the #1 "She" from Stokley and the single that broke UrbanBridgez.com last year, Saweetie's remix with Jhené Aiko & City Girls for "My Type." The single broke the websites record of visits, when it garnered more than 2 million hits as the only place to stream the track.
Tevin Campbell's return single "Safer on The Ground" in 2016 was also a highlight for the e-zine. Just this month UB premiered new R&B songstress Porcelan's new single "Grimey" and the return single from R&B legend Tony Terry entitled "Born 2 Luv Ya," which was the #2 single added to urban radio this week. Earlier this month, New Edition front-man, Ralph Tresvant also came in at #2, only behind Beyonce.' After premiering his new single "All Mine" featuring Johnny Gill on UB and appearing in a live interview with the e-zine, the day of release.
Headlines and First Looks are also a thing on UB. Most recent with the Toni Braxton and Missy Elliott collaboration, was first known about from UrbanBridgez.com & confirmed on social media by Toni herself. The single was also a First Listen, the evening before release.
Some of the sites First Looks, included coverage of the BET series "American Soul: The Story of Soul Train" before premiere and numerous album covers, release dates and track lists. Including the recent Clark Sisters "The Return" album announcement with the album cover and movie previews, of the record breaking TV film. Which helped the site garner over 1 million hits in April.
To top off the success of the website in the last 15 years, they've also been a part of some great grass-root marketing promotions. That include free advance screenings, like for the Fox hit series premiere "Empire" at Mall of America. Plus roll-out marketing promotion for Taraji P. Henson's "What Men Want," which went on to gross $72.2 million and this years "Bad Boys Forever," which grossed over $148 million. Both films UB held advance screenings in Minneapolis and had exclusive previews and giveaways on UrbanBridgez.com in support of the films. Other projects included "Black Panther" and Pharrell Williams "DOPE."
UrbanBridgez.com had the wonderful pleasure of helping Monica celebrate her birthday in Atlanta in October 2009, which included an exclusive live interview. UB has also covered some great events, award shows and on set visits. Like Bounce TVs "Family Time." Awards shows; BET Awards, BET Hip Hop Awards and Black Music Honors for various years.
UB press has been picked up by some of the biggest news and entertainment organizations in the world including; Billboard, The Source, MTV, Perez Hilton, B Scott, Power 105.1, eurweb, musicserver.cz, The Inquisitr and Beyonce's official website.
With Urban Bridgez Group as a whole, some of their present and past clients include BET, Paramount Pictures, Katt Williams, Faith Evans, Norwood & Norwood, Music World Entertainment, Blackground Records, KnockOut Entertainment; websites for Sonja Norwood, Brandy, radio-host MUTHAKNOWS, Ray J and 702. Plus marketing for Shanice, Trey Songz/Songz 4 Peace, Song Source Music Group, Allied, Empire and J Records.
In its 15 years, Urban Bridgez Group and urbanbridgez.com have accomplished more than some do in a lifetime, but according to them…they're just starting. "We made it to 15 years, with my past mental health issues, and dealing with deaths in my family and not to mention my own life turmoil's. I've dedicated my life to this and we're focused! We're here and standing tall, we will not be going anywhere no time soon. Just stay tuned for what's next!" Aries states.
UrbanBridgez.com is an online magazine for R&B and Hip-Hop music. The site serves as an interface for urban-pop culture that includes exclusive interviews, news, contests, lifestyle trends.
Contact: Jason Richards, [email protected]
SOURCE Urban Bridgez Group