How a Global Ad Brought an Indie Artist to a Global Stage 735 words · 4 minute read

“I believe that getting ahead is all relative. I know people who love to just take their guitar down to the promenade in Santa Monica and play for the people walking by. To them, that is the definition of success and I believe that is beautiful,” said singer-songwriter Gedina in an April 26 interview with Rebecca Haslam of This Is the Latest.

“However for me, I’ve always had dreams of touching people all over the globe with my voice and songs.”

A native of Santa Cruz, California, Gedina was raised by a single father who encouraged her to sing at an early age, according to her site. Born near the ocean, Gedina grew up among the innumerable talented, struggling artists who strove to “make it” in LA. However, as the bottom collapsed out of the music industry, many continued to struggle despite their talent.

Unperturbed, Gedina and others continued to grow as artists and seek other ways to reach their goals of “making it,” however they defined success. One such way is music licensing, for which Gedina turned to Music Dealers as a partner.

“Having met Eric Sheinkop many years before at an LA NARIP event, I knew that my music and voice would be in great hands from day one. They have always taken such good care of me,” said Gedina in a recent email intervjawiew with Music Dealers. “So when the Music Dealers team came to me with the custom opportunity to recreate ‘First Time,’ I was super excited.”

To honor the recent centennial anniversary of its iconic contour bottle, Coca-Cola planned to air an ad campaign in several countries and on the web called “Kiss Happiness.” “First Time,” the chart-topping single written by Robin Beck for Coca-Cola in 1987, would in the background as another tribute to the brand’s long history. To revamp the 80’s anthem, Coke turned to Music Dealers to discover the perfect artist to help recreate the song and lead the campaign.

“As an artist, you never know how big or small the opportunity is,” said Gedina. “You take the gig because you wanna have some fun with the people you love to make music with, hope it changes some lives, and the fruits of your labor are enough for you to do it over and over again.”

Music Dealers created a brief, crowdsourced select artists from the Music Dealers community, and worked with them throughout the endeavor to elicit the best iteration of the Coca-Cola classic tune. After reviewing the submissions, the team chose Gedina’s “First Time, First Love” as the standout choice.

“When I got the word from my long-time and immediate buddy Rob Lindquist at Music Dealers that we had landed the placement, my jaw dropped,” said Gedina.

“I started getting messages from all over the world, in languages that I couldn’t understand (thank you Google translate), tweets from people asking where the full version was,” she continued. “Just reading the comments about how much people loved the song brought tears to my eyes.”

“Kiss Happiness” aired across central and southern Europe in early 2015 and its momentum is only growing. Across YouTube and Facebook, the comments rave about the song choice. Shortly after going to air, Gedina and Coca-Cola commercially released a full version of the “First Time, First Love” on iTunes and Spotify, where it gained nearly 130,000 listens in only four weeks. In March, the spot topped the UK’s list of most Shazamed ads. Additionally, in response to the continuing popularity of the song, Gedina and Coke will be releasing two additional music videos in the summer of 2015.

“I could feel my dreams coming true at that moment. I sat down, closed my eyes and gave thanks for all the years I’d been working so hard just to have my voice heard around the world,” said Gedina.

“My best friend messaged me, ‘Hey, I just heard you in Ross!’ Another friend who lives in Iceland said, ‘Your voice is blaring in my living room right now!’” she continued. “This little song which was slated for just a few countries was showing up everywhere!”

“All I’ve ever wanted was to make music that touched the hearts of people all over the globe and it’s happening. I’m living my dreams and I have [my producer] Drew Kapner of Angelhouse Studios, Music Dealers, and most importantly Coca Cola for making it happen.”

By: Zach Miller