Gospel Music Veteran Kerry Douglas Takes Artists to the Top

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BET Stellar Award Hall of Fame, Gospel Music Veteran and CEO of Black Smoke Music Worldwide, Kerry Douglas

Few industries are as difficult or competitive to break into as the music industry. Group acts and solo musicians alike can become shooting stars that burn out too quickly or even fall into the dreaded one-hit-wonder category. Creating space for new musicians to find success and longevity in their career requires a keen ear, but most importantly, expert promotional talent too. But with more than 25 years in the gospel music industry, that is exactly where Kerry Douglas excels.

Though Douglas started his career as a car salesman, he knew he always wanted to do something else. Eventually, he began hosting musicians at the car dealership for concerts. After the music wound down to an end, Douglas would then sell the gospel acts’ music right there on the spot. After helping numerous artists get their start by selling their music, Douglas decided it was time to leave the dealership behind and give more time and energy to his talent and the voices of others.

To make his dream and countless music careers come true, Douglas ultimately created his own music label, Black Smoke Music Worldwide. Since launching his own label, Douglas has championed artists he signed to topping charts and winning awards. Some have even been featured both on television and in movies too.

The music industry has even awarded Douglas himself for his business mind and strategic promotional efforts by inducting him into the Stellar Awards Hall of Fame. But to reach such heights, Douglas and the artists he signs to his label work together to hone a path to the top.

Unique Approaches

At Black Smoke Music Worldwide, Douglas uses a myriad of marketing methods to help his musicians soar. However, the same strategy and marketing tools do not necessarily fit every artist he said.

“Tailoring a strategy to each gospel musician is what makes careers,” he said. “We use all the tools at our disposal to really promote what each of our artists has to offer. That’s what sets them apart and makes a name for their work in the industry.”

Using many promotional tools and outlets, Douglas gives his clients every opportunity to showcase their talents to their respective audiences. And with those traditional and ever-increasing use of modern techniques, artists quickly move up the charts.

Douglas has seen success not only with new artists but with established musicians too. Gospel groups such as Pastor Mike, Jr.,  Zacardi Cortez, and Keith “Wonder Boy” Johnson have all expanded their careers and gained even more fans with Douglas’s signature strategies. While traditional marketing methods are very useful, Black Smoke Music Worldwide is always looking toward the future to place musicians and their songs in front of as many people as possible.

Modernizing Strategies

Using digital tools and taking advantage of the massive reach of social media, Douglas has modernized his approach to marketing gospel musicians. Both YouTube and Facebook Live are key components to his strategy, too. His weekly Facebook Live event, In the Spotlight With Kerry Douglas, he shares new music with avid fans and followers. However, those tools also help Black Smoke Music Worldwide musicians connect with a wider audience.

Because social media brings the world together, it has quickly become an important tool for Douglas. Though he continues to use his tried and true tactics such as tours, advertisement campaigns, audience management, and partnerships with musicians, fans can organically discover his artists’ music with social media. It also allows him to make key partnerships with Fortune 500 companies and even beyond to reach a global market.

“The Facebook Live events, online promotion and fan engagement really shows us that fans want to engage with artists,” he said. “So we give them the chance to share what they can do with people who will appreciate their work.”

Current musicians signed with Black Smoke Music Worldwide really enjoy making good use of digital tools like Facebook Live too. People can watch live music from the comfort of their homes and still order records online too. In fact, one of Douglas’s recent streaming events with Pastor Mike, Jr. garnered four million views. It is certainly a concept that hails from Douglas’s nostalgic days of hosting concerts in the car dealership lot, but he can clearly reach far more people than ever before.

Such tactics are only opening new doors and expanding all that is possible for Douglas’s musicians. With his mind for the music industry, even the newest tools like online videos, live-streamed events, and targeted ads become majorly successful endeavors for his clients.

“This is truly what I feel I was made to do, and I’m very excited to be able to share these musicians’ talents with the world,” said Douglas.


About Kerry Douglas

Kerry Douglas, CEO of Black Smoke Music Worldwide LLC, is the #1 independent gospel label executive and radio promoter with over 25 years of experience. Among his multiple BMI and ASCAP award wins, he was recently inducted into the 36th Stellar Awards Hall of Fame. Click here to become his next chart-topping artist:  https://www.kerrydouglasgospelmix.com/

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