My route to the music industry didn’t travel down a straight path.
After high school, I joined the Army and it definitely prepared me for life. Some lessons and attributes I learned in the Army include resilience, promptness, toughness, dedication and respect. Transitioning from Army life to music industry life was a challenge in many ways, because many because of the many contradictions I faced.
While in the Army, I woke daily at 5:30 a.m., ate breakfast in 5 minutes or less, and went straight into Physical Training activities (man, those were intense). We learned how to do proper push-ups, sit-ups and run the two mile, as well as learn how to shoot a M16 rifle at the range.
After leaving the Army, I eventually made my way to Atlanta. Unsure of what I was going to do with the rest of my life, I was introduced to a guy by the name of Dallas Austin. Little did I know at the time that Dallas was one the most prominent producers in the music industry? I literally went from one firing line to another.
Starting as the low man on the totem pole, I had to learn how to handle or manage anything or everything that was thrown my way. Heck, I would be a stage hand one night getting groups water or towels to selling t-shirts the next. Needless to say, my hours changed dramatically.
I quickly outgrew that role and became the A/R for Dallas’s production company. In this role I secured talent, new songs and developed marketing plans, as well as oversaw artists from signing with the label to the release of the album.
During my time with Dallas, I worked with artists such as Monica, TLC, Gwen Stefani, Boyz II Men, Madonna, Lionel Richie, and host of others. Following that, I led the record label company that Magic Johnson founded. Today, I still utilize the relationships I made in the music industry every day for clients such as Mill Town Music Hall, but also for our non-music related clients.
One lesson that stuck with me is to always keep your voice heard and keep track of your progress.