“The one thing that eats me up the most is when something flops it is my fault, but when something succeeds it is all credited to the artist. That is kind of how it plays out when you are a no-name brand label.”

Check out the interview with Docman exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
Docman: This all starting in 4th grade (2004). My older cousin used to freestyle a lot in my old neighborhood, Queensbridge to be exact. I wanted to do everything he did. His original gig was the typical drug dealer, but he had the passion for music. He was killed in 2004 outside of a club called The Tunnel. Ever since the night of his murder I wanted to take the only thing I felt was true to his name and personify it. So I started rapping.

In 2007 I moved to Houston, Texas and met up with Empier Entertainment, a group of guys that have been down with me since the beginning of tackling this music industry. I’ve always been in the music, but I started taking it serious once I met my team.

So far the things I’ve done in the music industry, to me, feel like I’m in the right direction. I’ve been on tour twice and dropped an EP that has gained the attention of some notable people in the industry.

What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
My biggest advice for the people trying to do what I do is to not let anybody stop you from doing it. Get a budget and let nothing take away from that budget. Create relationships with the right people.

What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
I’m CEO of Empier Entertainment. It is an independent record label of six artists. Being in that position is stressful because I’m the head of the success as well as the failure. The one thing that eats me up the most is when something flops it is my fault, but when something succeeds it is all credited to the artist. That is kind of how it plays out when you are a no-name brand label.

If I had to pick a particular challenge in my position I would say making my artists hot and at the same time making me hot. It is like I’m doing two jobs at once.

We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
I say there are two ways to promote your music. One, have a co-sign by someone of influence. It doesn’t matter how good the song may or may not be; a co-sign from someone like a Drake is instant status. Two, a thing I like to call “the reinforcement.” This is where you blast social media with ads of your music, not regular spam post, ads. Then after like a month, shift all gears to physical face-to-face promotion.

Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
I’m originally from Queens, New York. I moved to Houston in ‘07. I would consider both cities my city. In New York it’s really hard to gain traction because of the amount of talent there. This makes it hard for fans to support anybody there because they feel they can find the same thing on the next couple of blocks. As far as hip hop artists there, the New York rap influence is fading away. Everyone wants to sound like they’re from Chicago or Atlanta.

In Houston, the artists that have big influences are alright; they are not anything special. I feel a lot of them are one dimensional. The last artist from Houston to go platinum was Chamillionaire. I feel like the fans in Houston keep the Houston rap scene isolated from mainstream success. I love Houston and I want to be the next guy out of Houston with a platinum plaque for an album.

Where do you see yourself a year from today?
I see myself or an artist on my label with an album that is at least gold.

Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
My biggest inspiration was my cousin that was killed back in 2004. He told me right before he died to not let anything stop me from getting money. Back then I wanted to get into all the drug stuff, but he wouldn’t let me. I keep on with this music to make him proud of me. Another inspiration is 2Pac. His struggles with life are very similar to mine.

As far as looking up to someone, I don’t really look up to anyone, but there is a person that motivates me to become better than them. That person would be Kendrick Lamar. He is a very skilled and thoughtful artist. Listening to TPAB, you could tell the amount of time and commitment he put into that album. It motivates me to create something greater than that.

How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
There is some music today that I check for. I’m not really into artist like Migos or Young Thug. Not to say that I don’t like trap music, I love trap music but I also love it when rappers actually rap. I like what Kendrick is doing. I like YG. I’m rocking with Dave East.

Where can we contact you and find you online?
Official Website: www.empierdoc.com
iTunes: itunes.apple.com/us/artist/docman/id865613126
Spotify: play.spotify.com/artist/7zM1GIusjCfPRdG4cgU0Dt
YouTube: @empierdoc

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