What role do you play in the music business and how did you get your start?
Man I wear a lot of hats bro. I’m the talent manager of Tori Vazquez and LaToya Rene. I’m also LaToya Rene’s business partner/studio manager. My day to day job is to promote, market, and handle client relations at DCL studios. I got my start about five years ago when I was managing a local producer.
During this time, what relationships have you built that have helped pave the way for your success? How important is it that you not only establish, but keep good business relationships in the music business?
Man Conrad has definitely been a major influence. A lot of people/artist don’t know as well. A lot of publicist, DJs, journalist, other prominent managers, artist and the public don’t really understand that it’s the people they never heard of that are the most important and keeping good business relationships is ,like saving money; you never know when you’ll need it. But good business relationships are good only kept if you yourself conduct good business.
How much time out of your day is spent working on building your company and do you think that up and coming artist, managers, etc…. have a jaded view on the time and effort it takes to be a success?
Honestly and this is no joke. I spend 24 hrs a day on building this company (DCL Studios). If I’m not in front of a computer, I’m in the studio, if I’m not in the studio I’m at a venue. I just work really hard. I don’t have much of a personal life, and in a funny way I dreamed of a day I can say that. And I think most people getting into this business fails to understand it’s not all parties and bullshit. Its work, real work!
What is your vision as the Manager of Tori Vazquez and La Toya Rene, as well as your visions for DCL studios?
Man it’s funny you ask that. You herd Tori Vazquez sing right? She’s freakin great, but LaToya convinced me to manage her. Just the thought of managing another artist was mentally draining, but when I heard her music I was shocked at how great she was and I can see why LaToya wanted me to manage her. My vision for LaToya was never get a record deal, it was use her talents to get industry connects. Her and I started this with the same understanding, we’ll find an artist co-manage her, I’d handle the business and she’d handle the music. So really it’s our vision. As for Tori honestly Lyrics I feel like the sky’s the limit. She’s that good. She has the whole package. I was never one for major label situations but with her that’s the only destination, it doesn’t make sense to go any other route because she’s just too talented. As for DCL Studios, LaToya and I want to open a few studios here in NC. We want our name to be the name every NC artist wants to record with because they know we can produce the best product.
Which market are you focusing on and do you plan to diversify once you get Tori positioned, or would you rather continue to focus on expanding that market?
I think an artist like Tori Vazquez can appeal to almost any type of market. Here’s the thing about music; great music is great music. Music is the only art from that can take you from one emotion to the next within 8 mins, which is probably two songs. I know personally Tori can do that because I heard the records. When you have a product that’s really really great why limit it to one market? Her music, it can appeal to everyone.
What inspired you to use your business sense in the music industry and what motivates you to continue working as the industry is becoming more and more crowded?
I started off in the streets. I’ve been self-employed as long as I can remember. When I was in high school I use to help my friend sell his mix-tapes. It was when I was 16 or 17 I knew the business side of music is what I wanted to do. But knowing what you want to do in life is one thing. Knowing how to do it is a completely different story. I had to work my way into the music industry because I started off completely independent. I never got an internship or worked in the mailroom of a label. I started off as a fan and consumer. So my inspiration comes from the fact that I personally suffered right alongside each artist I ever represented. As far as my motivation It’s simple, if I fail at this then I’m a failure because I have no backup plan, but if I succeed well that’s a different story. This industry has a way of getting rid of the people who really don’t belong so I’m not too worked about it being over crowded.
Do you keep up with indie or unsigned artist outside of the ones you work with or have worked with, and do you have anyone signed or unsigned you would like to manage?
I keep up with a lot only because my job really requires it. You have to understand I go to bed around 5:00 am and wake up around 10:00 am. When I wake up I go to the next room and go to work. I go through my emails which usually gets to be about a dozen or so new artist sending songs. I build relationships because lets be real I want them to work with my company. So I’m forced to listen to other unsigned artist, but I don’t mind it at all. As far as managing I don’t think about it mush because my focus is on DCL Studios and Tori Vazquez. She’s putting out her EP “Louie” of on 12/18/12 and that’s when the real work begins.
Who does the recording, mixing, mastering, etc… at DCL studios?
LaToya Rene handles all aspects of music I bring in the clients. She’s the musical brains behind the company and actually its founder and creator. We have other producers and engineers we bring in when necessary. She does great work. We actually have two great mix-tapes out right now that DCL mixed/mastered. “Fatal Flight lll The Longest Bars” and “GOTTA Be Famous” both projects are Carolina artist’s projects. I’m helping with the marketing and promo with it that’s why I tossed in that little plug. But we don’t limit ourselves to just hip-hop it’s a studio we want all genres of music to record in.
Last, what packages do you offer and how can you be contacted for booking?
We offer artist way more than any other studio could possibly offer them. Our rates are marketed towards the independent artist but we run a major industry level studio. We have all the latest software for recording, a great engineering room, a great recording booth. But we’ve been able to get clients from all over the country. Dallas, SC, Atlanta, VA, even great up and coming artist here in NC. What we really pride ourselves on is our marketing and promo package. I actually offer that FREE for our clients because their success will only make us look better. Artist can contact me via my email firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @ErnestoFernan3
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