“This is the business of music. It took me awhile to grasp that concept because I thought it just took uploading a song on the internet in hopes that it would randomly fall into someone’s lap.”
Check out the interview with DRE-SKI exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
DRE-SKI: I started taking music seriously after I graduated from Virginia Tech in 2009 where I had the opportunity to open for Lupe Fiasco and then followed up with another major performance opening up for Fabulous. At the time I released a mixtape called Follow Me and Follow Me V.2 in which received a lot of recognition during the big blog and back pack rap boom days.
What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
Learn the business. This is the business of music. It took me awhile to grasp that concept because I thought it just took uploading a song on the internet in hopes that it would randomly fall into someone’s lap. Nope, not the case at all. Learn different marketing tools and understand your target audience, and learn how to sell your product effectively.
What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
Some of the hardest challenges I face in my position is finding that balance between being an artist and being the business man. Sometimes as an artist I just want to sit back and create, but being a CEO of a company you have to put on multiple hats and be the artist, the manager, the CEO, the producer, etc.
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 find the best way to promote music without question is social media. Social media has taken over the way we view the news, music, etc. For example, Facebook allows artists to push their music to an unknown audience and get honest feedback. Also having your own website is key in branding yourself as an artist.
Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
I’m from Virginia Beach, VA. My city alone has been known to create great producers such as Timberland and Pharell/Neptunes. The Tidewater Area, area code 757, has some of the best and talented artists in the world. We are literally a mixing pot for all kinds of music. The fans here love a fresh new feel and lyrical artistry.
Where do you see yourself a year from today?
A year from today I see myself honestly partnering with a major recording label and getting both a major management and distribution deal. As the CEO of XB Music Group, LLC, I see myself with at least two new artists under the label, rapper and singer.
Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
First and foremost my biggest inspirations are my parents. They taught me that I can literally do anything I want to do with both hard work and dedication. The only person that stops you, is you. Also God first and foremost. People I look up today artist wise are J. Cole, Fabulous, and Kendrick Lamar. Business wise, I look up to and respect DJ Khaled.
How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
I am partial on some of the music coming out today, but I grew up on a different genre of music. I came from the era of Notorious BIG, Nas, Jay-Z, DMX, and Outkast. Lyrical content has always been top on my list, but it also depends on what is trending. The good thing about music today is that you can pick from whatever you want depending on your mood.
Where can we contact you and find you online?
Official website: www.xbmusicgroup.com