AM: I survived the housing crash with a really good piece of property and wanted to start a company but was stuck doing my agency Xyion (music placement/consulting) business. Not a bad business, but when I ran into Anderson I knew it was something special, he is the truth.
So yes it’s true I sold the house I was living in, to downsize and make sure we could keep going no matter if people loved his music now or loved it later, they were gonna eventually love it. It was definitely one of the craziest moves I ever did in my life. Something had to give and so it was the house, easy choice when I’m living in a family neighborhood for eight years and I’m a single male, it was time for a change because I felt retired and I was ready to regroup my hustle again. The music business requires you to stay in the loop, meetings, studio, traveling, etc.
KR: Anderson has stated that most people don’t get him unless they see him perform or work with him in the studio, was it the same with you?
AM: True, but it’s always like a dream working with him because he doesn’t make bad music. He might not finish an idea but once it crosses that threshold from idea to song it’s usually pretty solid. He is one of the greats and I don’t just say that lightly. Having been in the rooms with creatives like; D’Angelo, Prince, Stevie, Sting, and Dr. Dre … Anderson is crazy with his structure and finding his moment in every instance.
“It’s my belief that living properly fits us all to be where we are supposed to be in the exact time.”
KR: When was the moment that you realized your vision became a reality?
AM: When he signed on board and we were rocking. You have to note the first meeting I took him to was to meet with Dr Dre’s attorney. The idea of doing business with Dre was from day one. We just needed to get there.
KR: Are you surprised at his level of success?
AM: This is just the tip of the iceberg. He is unstoppable and such a treasure to work with and for him … the sky is the limit. I’m both gracious and blessed at this space in my life.
KR: As you know, we work in a progressive industry that can change in an instant. Hype has always been viewed as a red flag or a turn off to true industry pros because it’s so common. How do you promote without hype?
AM: We hire the best to do what they do. There’s a fine line but when you have reputable names & partners that are good people backing your moves, it’s easy. From friends like Kevin Morrow, Peanut Butter Wolf, Taz Askew, Jimmy & Larry at Apple even Ty Cannon and Dr Dre and the Aftermath/Beats team it’s so much easier … Wait did I forget Ghazi and Nima (got’em)!
KR: Do you think that your various positions in the industry have prepared you for this moment?
AM: It’s my belief that living properly fits us all to be where we are supposed to be in the exact time. Nothing will be as it was only what it will be. So yes I was prepped for this precise moment.
KR: Who are some of the industry players that you admire most and why?
AM: Loving the questions: I look at so many people to mold what it is I do but always keeping true to my own form. There is a super long list of friends, mentors, and family that have been my support and the core for what I do.
Eddie Harris for my first job in radio and Graham Armstrong for the introduction to the key players in Urban Radio – along with Mark Boyd who was a big brother to me, also Christian Carbaza; They have all since transitioned on so rest in power to each of them.
My Godmother is Claudette Robinson (Smokey Robinson’s ex-wife and a former original member of The Miracles), so elegant and never ever has a bad word to say about anything or anyone, her long talks are guidance and strength. I keep my positive vibrations from her for sure.
Dan Charnas, Kim Buie, Orlando Aguillen all encouraged me to find the talent. Paul Stewart, Mike Ross, Steven Rifkind, Amanda Demme, Happy Walters, Jerry Heller, Rick Rubin and Benny Medina all taught me to, stay close to the talent.
Fabian Duvernay, taught me loyalty is royalty and Clarence Avant, Dr. Dre and E. David Ellington have explained to me “the art of the deal”. Above all I have always secretly wanted the career path of Harry Belafonte Jr. he is the epitome of class.