1.You are involved with Heavy Graphics Print and Marketing Solution and manage music artists. What’s new and promising in this genre, particularly in the States?
I am the CEO of Heavy Graphics Marketing, which I co-own with my amazing wife Celebrity Designer Gia and my multi-media partner Super Steve. Heavy Management Worldwide does artist development, music submissions for things such as movies, commercials, etc. Our main focus at this time is a young talent Hip Hop / R&B artist name Aaron Salem. Not only is he what’s new in Hip Hop, but is the next coming.
2.How did you get started in the marketing and music industry?
It kind of all happen at the same time. Back in 1999, I found myself becoming an accidental club promoter. Along side my friend Dj Eon, three girls dancers called “The Mad Skillz Queens”, and a female rapper named Wisdom Love.
My production was called at that time A Step Above Productions. I focused just on Hip Hop, 21 and over.
After about 2 years into promoting and doing almost every club in South Beach, I met a young group of 16 years old of Dominicans young kids, who were doing house parties in the inner city. They approached me and told me they wanted to join with me and do events.
I decided to do am all ages party with them. I was able to secure one of the biggest latin club in Miami, called “Club Millennium” at that time. It was the first time ever in Miami, where Hip Hop and Latin music came together. We would do alternate sets of music. It was ground breaking and had never been done. We became the biggest all ages party promoters in Miami of Hip Hop and Latin Music. From there on, many artists came across our stages, one of the first one I ever put on stage was a 16 year old with a lot of drive and focus, who today is known as Pitbull “Mr.Worldwide”.
After seeing him get signed, a childhood friend of Pitbull, our host, who was a young energetic Dominican named PLATANO also wanted to explore the music world, so he recorded a song. We gave the song to a friend at a radio station, and before we knew it, it went top ten, so we did a video and it went Heavy rotation on MTV. Thats how I became an instant manager.
I started doing parties in South Beach, more just to get them exposure than to actually become a promoter. As it turns out, I went Heavy into promotions. Aside from club promotions, I began to get a lot of calls from other clubs and promoters, who saw our success and wanted me to give them concept and design ideas for their events.
Before I knew it, I was getting 4-5 phone calls weekly. One promoter mentioned, I’ll pay you for each idea and concept, before I knew it, I was selling over 20 ideas and concepts a week over the phone.
A good friend of mines, Miguel Paredes, who owned a printshop gave me my first opportunity.
As I was sitting on the box of flyers I was picking up from him for my event, he mentioned I was doing a lot of printing and selling a lot of concepts. He suggested for me to work with him and open up my own office for design and printing and focus on the Hip Hop and Latin clients.
So then I teamed up with another creative 16 year old named Thought 57, and opened Heavy Graphx 14 years ago. From there everything grew into the blessing it is today Heavy Graphics Marketing.
3.How would you describe the job of an artist manager?
First of all for me, I must be a fan of the person I manage.
But, it would be hard to describe it as a job, it’s more of a choice of life for me. If you see my story, everything was chosen for me by God, I never said I wanted to be anything, I was just given opportunities and I took them all and so I became them.
I believe God’s gift to us is our talent, and what we do with it is our gift to him.
4.When is a new artist ready for management? How can he/she find a manager?
When the time is right, you won’t have to look, they will find you “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”.
5.Do you have any advice on how an up-and-coming artist should assess potential managers?
Keep it real, be honest, be you, work hard, stay focused, be grateful, humble, and learn to have persistent patience.
6.New technologies (social media, itunes) have added a dynamic to the music industry. How do you continue to provide counsel to your clients even as the ground continues to shift underneath the the music industry? Always staying ahead of the game. A lot of Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Ted Talks. Constantly recreating myself and being aware of all new sources of marketing and promotions.
7.Where do you plan to take your business next?
To transition Heavy Graphics Marketing into an advertising agency. To make Heavy Management Worldwide a platform for Hip Hop, where we will create a new “cool” for today’s youth, without the negativity, drugs, profane language, which is over used in todays Hip Hop and Latin culture.
Which I believe is not needed.
Heavy Graphics Marketing
Heavy Management WorldWide
Heavy Legacy Foundation
“When I reach the end of this life as we know it, and I am standing in front of my Creator,
I would like to be able to say just one thing “ I have not one bit of talent left, because I used everything you gave me”.