Traditionalism and futurism can co-exist in harmony. In fact, both remain necessary to effectively introduce new talent, content, and brands to the marketplace. By leveraging tried-and-true business philosophies and best practices, yet implementing strategy through modern platforms, an artist gets a shot at a much longer window in the spotlight than the 15-60 seconds afforded by TikTok and other social platforms. Today, the combination of an online “moment” and long-term planning proves to be a recipe for the sort of success that translates to decades-long careers, platinum plaques, and even awards show recognition when it comes to artists. In the cases of brands, it means R.O.I., palpable social impact, honest credibility, and consistent growth.
For as much as NuWave Media operates on the cutting edge of music, entertainment, and brand culture, the creative agency pursues enduring excellence for its esteemed high-profile clientele. Led by business partners Rafael Rocha and Harry “Rez” Resnick, the firm’s mixture of innovative digital strategy and visionary creative consulting coupled with a breathtaking network proves indispensable and, often game-changing, for major and indie labels, monolithic and developing companies, and athletes alike.
“For music, we believe viral hits and artist development aren’t mutually exclusive,” says Rocha. “There’s always a space for old school development. We just see it through a digital lens. The goal is the same: sustained long-term success. We’re thinking beyond today and even tomorrow. We’re thinking a year from now or five years from now.”
That sort of thinking established NuWave as a trusted partner for some of the biggest names in culture, at large. Labels such as Atlantic Records, Epic Records, Republic Records, Alamo Records, Interscope Records, and more will lean on their expertise when it comes to the
ever-changing online space. Among many services, they advise resource allocation for influencers, reposts, animations, and more with an unbeatable track record. You’ll find Rocha and Resnick behind collaborations that exceed even the bounds of the internet.
Recently, they aligned rapidly rising Columbia Records rapper 24KGoldn with jewelry maker Aporro to giveaway 24 exclusive gold chains. The campaign yielded millions of impressions, successfully acquired data, and reached an extensive demographic. Generation Now and Atlantic Records rapper Jack Harlow just made it on to the Hot 100 with “WHATS POPPIN.” However, as far back as 2018, NuWave worked on building his digital profile and presenting him to the marketplace as a three-dimensional personality to augment his brand.
In 2019, they also tirelessly worked on one of the year’s most impactful compilations. In tandem with UK-based Plug Records, Resnick and Rocha bridged the gap across the pond by securing features, handling clearances, and, of course, supervising marketing for Plug Talk—which featured the likes of Offset, Tory Lanez, and Roddy Ricch as well as Fredo, Nafe Smallz, and
D-Block Europe. It ended up going #1 on the Top Hip-Hop Rap Chart on iTunes UK, and Complex
cited it as “One of 2019’s Best Rap Albums.”
Crystallizing their grasp of experiential marketing and digital inventiveness, they launched an animated video contest for XXXTentacion’s “Bad” in conjunction with the late artist’s estate, label Bad Vibes Forever, and EMPIRE. Sourcing eight animators to direct 15-second clips, countless fans worldwide voted on the best entry with the winning filmmaker creating the final official video. The song eventually went platinum as the visual tallied a staggering 91 million views to date. Additionally, NuWave sought out artists on four continents to paint murals of XXXTentacion for the “Global Mural Project,” which now grace walls in London, Japan, Australia, and beyond.
“That was one of my favorite things we’ve done so far,” smiles Resnick. “You could really feel a worldwide impact. It was truly the project that put us on the map with creative work.”
This creativity can be traced directly to the founders’ shared timeless passion for artists and records. It wasn’t just a fad or fleeting dalliance for either. Instead, they both committed themselves to music wholeheartedly at a young age. The New Jersey-born Resnick admits to “tearing computers down with too many Limewire downloads” as a kid. He points to Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon: The End of Day as an ultimate escape during his high school and college years.
“When I was stressed over exams, a breakup, or whatever, I’d always bump that album,” he elaborates. “I’d be in a college class not even paying attention, just listening to the record. I’d always wanted to do something in music.”
Post-school, he worked as a Creative Director for the German publication Flavor Magazine in addition to designing t-shirts of his own “in order to meet artists.” Consulting for producer Chef Pasquale [known for Drake’s “KMT”], Resnick made his way into the major label ecosystem and started consulting for the likes of Atlantic Records and more.
Rocha cultivated a similar deep love for all things music. The Brazil native admits to “using [his] dad’s iPod more than he did.” He too downloaded countless songs and magnetically gravitated to music’s power. In between attending University of Miami, he cut his teeth by launching a digital agency before founding NuWave in 2017 with early successes for various independent acts. An impromptu meeting at a New York City hotspot initially brought Rocha and Resnick together back in 2018. They immediately hit it off with Resnick becoming a partner at NuWave a few months later.
“We became this two-headed monster,” Resnick goes on. “I’m really good at connections, linking people, getting into rooms, and then delivering the goods. Raf has a really amazing vision.”
“We really feed off each other,” agrees Rocha. “We always get to the same page, because of the complementary skills and personalities.”
Comprised of a team of digital savvy experts, NuWave’s services continue to expand. They notably seeded “the munchies pack” and VIP passes to New York-based influencers when
Rolling Loud came to the Big Apple, magnifying visibility for the festival dramatically. Among many other victories, they aligned LG with TikTok superstar Addison Rae—one of the platform’s top five most popular talents. In order to launch the LG G8X two-screen phone, Rae touted the technology on her page organically, generating tens of millions of organic impressions.
“We were able to tap LG into an audience they hadn’t really explored, so the campaign went really well,” adds Rocha. “We try to fit brands into open spaces, much like an artist. TikTok and other youth-driven apps are effective for not just artists to promote their music, but for companies to promote their products.”
Ultimately, NuWave moves at the speed of culture, but it does so by looking ahead with patience.
“For as fast as things move, it’s always about establishing an impact that will last,” Rocha leaves off. “In the internet era, there are no restrictions in terms of what you can accomplish and where you can go. It’s just about looking past the moment though. In terms of sticking around, development shouldn’t be overlooked. We come from a digital background and see things from the ‘new wave’, pun intended, yet we believe there’s still space for old school tactics to work.
You can use this unlimited scope to build something timeless. We’re grateful for these limitless opportunities. Especially amidst times like these, we can make the most of the internet as a canvas and help our clients be heard.”