As a young child, I dreamed of having a career in the music industry but I didn't realize how much hard work it was. There was a lot of broken promises, wasted time and I knew I had to make a major change to be successful at the goals I wanted to achieve. I also noticed it was best for me to go the independent route and with the help of my family we started an entertainment business so we could release our own music. I have made great connections on my musical journey so I knew I could get the job done. I also knew I would need patience, hard work and dedication.
I am grateful to have established myself as a must-watch artist in the industry and have worked with some of the music industry's most notable producers and songwriters such as Bigg Wu, Luney Tunez, Tone Mason, Oshea Hunter and Cory Rooney, among others. For my latest single Speak, I collaborated with Andreeena Mill whose repertoire includes collaborations with Drake and Delisha Thomas who has worked with the likes of Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson, Brandy, Justin Bieber, and Rodney Jenkins (DarkChild).
How did the idea for your business come about?
Another opportunity didn't happen like it was supposed to and I was fed up. I went to my sister and we were discussing how could we put out our own music without the help of all these people/labels who say they will but they don't. It was time for us to take a leap of faith and go for it! Just do it ourselves.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
We didn't know where to start and we realized very quickly people didn't want to share all of their knowledge. So we decided to buy a few books and get a music lawyer's advice so we could really understand what was more important. We wanted to know where to invest our money in first. Did we need management or could we wait? It's hard to get 20% from nothing.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I'm currently reading "Becoming Michelle Obama". I would recommend to all my music industry people to read "All you need to know about the music business" by Donald Passman and a quick read called "Music Law Handbook" Volumes 1 and 2 by Paul Sanderson.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it?
I have felt contention from some of my friends concerning my entrepreneurial pursuits. I had to cut them out of my life, it wasn't easy and it was a process but it was worth it. You have to surround yourself with like minded people.
What would you do differently in hindsight? What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
In hindsight I would have taken more action and less talk. Sometimes when you tell certain people stuff they sabotage your plans. Be careful who you share your ideas with as they might take them. I would say the single most influential factor in my business success was when I purchased my first beat.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I wish I would've known it's not all about the money. When you start out, you look for paid opportunities which makes sense because you have bills to pay and you're a business that needs money to function but sometimes you have a feeling like "I should be a part of this project or I should do this show for free for the exposure". I would have trusted my gut sooner. You know when something feels right.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
My advice for an upcoming entrepreneur would be to stay true to your vision. Don't let people get you off track, they don't see what you see. Be a leader and lead; yet be willing to always be a student. You can't accomplish major things without a great team so don't be a micro manager, let the people on your team do their jobs (you hired them) and you just oversee. Keep God first, stay driven, stay positive, make time for the things that matter and stay focused. It's going to be a long road ahead of you, some good days, some bad but it'll all be worth it! Nothing beats working for yourself. I wish you nothing but success, don't give up.