HITS Daily Double


Talking the YOK Concert, Breakout Artists and Karaoke With VH1’s Sandy Alouete

With VH1’s star-studded, second annual You Oughta Know Concert—which showcases the breakout artists highlighted by the network this year—going down on Thurs. (11/13) at NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom, we thought it would be fun to ask SVP Talent & Music Programming Sandy Alouete to give us some snappy answers to some of our stupid questions. And it was fun—for us, but not for her.

What would you say sets this year’s YOK show apart from last year? Any surprises in store that you can hint about?
Last year’s inaugural event was such a great success that we knew we could expand it. We decided to supersize the show and feature the entire 2014 class of YOK artists, not just a select few. We’re also LIVE for the first time.

We've got 11 of the year’s best artists (A Great Big World, Aloe Blacc, American Authors, Bleachers, CHVRCHES, Echosmith, KONGOS, Mary Lambert, Tove Lo, Vance Joy and Sam Smith), all on a single stage at NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom for two solid hours of performances. As for surprises, it’s live TV so anything can happen. First time collaborations, covers, choirs and confetti could very well be in store. And more that I couldn’t possibly expect!

Once again, several of the year’s YOK artists have truly exploded. For the uninitiated, what are your primary criteria for selecting an act?
Since we launched the YOK franchise in 2005, it’s been all about identifying up-and-coming artists we feel will connect with our audience. It’s not about a specific genre, it’s not about major or indie, and it’s not just about chasing pop hits. It has to be right. Fortunately, our audience has fairly broad musical tastes and is willing to fully embrace new artists before they explode. For us, it’s ultimately You Oughta Know This Artist, not just You Oughta Hear This Song.

What will Sam Smith be doing?
I don’t want to give anything away, but count on what we’ve come to expect from Sam: a mesmerizing, classy performance.

Have you and Tom Calderone sung any of these artists’ songs in a karaoke bar?
Yes, Tom does a killer “Stay With Me,” but my version of “The Man” is what really brings the house down.

Have you ever seen YOK show host Nicole Richie actually taking nourishment?
Yes, she’s a monster around a craft service table. How else do you think we got her to agree to host this show?