Friday, November 11, 2011

PAYING DUES....TO WHO?

I was once told that "YOU HAVE TO PAY YOURSELF 1ST" and then everyone comes after.  I think those are words that need to be shared with a majority of the artists that I come across.  Many think that by paying dues as an intern at some label or entertainment brand are the only dues there are when in actuality paying dues means a hell of alot more.
When I graduated from college some twenty years ago I was destined to be a power broker for those who came my way, but I began paying dues many years before that.  Having grown up in the city of Englewood, NJ the home of "SUGARHILL RECORDS" and is one of the birthplaces of such greats as: John Travolta, Regina Belle and others as well as home to Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Murphy and many others, I was blessed to have all kinds of talented business men and women to be around who didn't take "no" for an answer when they wanted to teach you the art of their business which is ENTERTAINMENT.  They took the time to groom you for success and so in 1991 I began as an intern for AISHA MUSIC PUBLISHING of which I learned HOW TO run business and go out and make relationships.
Now, although I was an intern and worked at night as a counselor for Phoenix House it was there at AMP that I was taken step by step through the art of business by a woman who clearly had integrity, a love of people and most importantly her head and heart in the right place to show me the best of the best business practices.  Did I want to get big and show off the acts that I wanted to manage? YES! But I had to learn the business of longevity and of course how to have integrity.  Of course I wanted to be at a major label running errands and meeting people at various industry events, but I took a road less traveled and learned so much more in the process.
Now, here it is....20 plus years later and I've never been happier about the decisions I made earlier in my career because I can walk in meetings and use the power of long standing relationships, personality, work ethic and talent to open doors.   So, when an artist comes to me wanting a deal who doesn't know how to promote themselves, book themselves, think they're too good to be humble and basically is a lazy bum....then I kick them to the curb!  Those are the ones who kiss all the ....they can to get a deal and who may get one only to believe that the work begins once you sign on the dotted line...
These are the artists that get shelved and lose out on all that is a blessing by TAKING CONTROL of the relationships they've made.  I have some now who came through QMedia at one time or another who have gotten deals and some comeback to thank me for the advice that they finally realized wasn't B.S.  One LOVE to my Independent Nation in Entertainment as we chart out a new course for our business.....One LOVE I say! ONE LOVE! Peace

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