Music mogul-producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds is teaming with producers Scott Stone and Sharon Levy for an “American Idol”-like reality skein designed to breathe new life into beloved-but-aging musical acts.
Tentatively dubbed “ReMIX,” skein will put eight singers or bands from various genres through an Edmonds-led musical boot camp, with two other industry experts enlisted to give the artists an extreme career makeover.
Winner, determined by an audience vote, gets an album written and produced by Edmonds and other top producers.
Stone and Levy will exec produce for Stone & Co. Entertainment (nee Stone Stanley), with Alex D’Andrea, Edmonds and Tracey Edmonds exec producing for Edmonds Entertainment Group. D’Andrea brought Edmonds and Stone & Co. together.
Edmonds said he hopes to find “talented and respected acts that are looking to appeal to a new generation of fans.
“I’ve always tried to work with artists from different genres and even cross lines musically when I can,” he added. “It’s the opportunity to put a contemporary spin on not just the acts but on the music itself that makes this so interesting.”
“ReMIX” will be pitched to broadcast nets and a handful of cablers beginning next week. Several artists have already been approached, but producers are keeping a lid on any names until at least the project is sold.
Goal is not to recruit one-hit wonders but rather artists who retain a loyal fan base but aren’t selling millions of albums anymore.
“There are so many factors that go into truly talented people not being able to sustain a career in the music business,” Levy said. “We’re excited to tell those stories and offer artists a second chance — but ultimately, whether or not they are embraced by the public will be up to the viewing audience.”
Stone does think the winner of the competish will succeed, however, arguing that with Edmonds and “his team and talent behind an audience, a comeback is all but guaranteed.”
Edmonds has won 10 Grammys, working with the likes of Madonna and Eric Clapton and producing single and album sales of more than 100 million units.
Most episodes of “ReMIX” are expected to have a live performance aspect, with artists performing reworked versions of their past hits and, possibly, new takes on other artists’ songs.
In its past life as Stone Stanley, Stone & Co. produced the pre-“American Idol” skein “Making the Band.” Shingle’s current roster includes “Ivana Young Man” for Fox and “American Dream Derby” for GSN.
Edmonds Entertainment Group produces the hit BET unscripted skein “College Hill,” now in its second season. Feature credits include “Soul Food” and “Light It Up.”