Making It Happen: Interview with Jermaine Dupree

Jermaine Dupree is an entrepreneur, rapper, songwriter and Grammy Award winning producer. The founder of Global 14 and So So Def Recordings is on the impressive list of his credentials. So Def Recordings has released more than 25 albums in the last few decades, many of which have reached Gold (500,000 sold), Platinum (1M sold), and Double-Platinum (2M sold).

Artists and groups, including Chris Cross, Bo Wao, and Jagged Edge, from discovery, development, and production to being a skilled rapper himself, his influence in the music industry has mapped the Atlanta music scene and turned his name into a household brand. Synonymous with music.

Germain’s entrepreneurship began before music, as a landscape. “When I was about 11 or 12, I would go from house to house mowing people and making deals with them.” He may have started mowing the lawn, but his passion was towards music.

At the age of 12 trying to cut into the music industry, he had no money or experience, but that would not stop him from pursuing his dream. “People always talk about the money they need to do it. I’ve always been the one who said I was going to do it.” With ideas, talents, and a passion for music, Jermaine saw an opportunity to bring her unique skills and perspectives to the music industry.

“If you see that there is an empty space and a slot open for you – that should be your driving force to make it harder for you to do what you have to do.”

He began borrowing soundboards and instruments from other Atlanta-area musicians. After acknowledging his passion and work ethic, many of the people he borrowed from encouraged him to keep items as gifts. “It simply came to my notice then that I was slowly gaining the things I needed to get to where I was going.

Lack of money and equipment was not the only obstacle that Germain faced while trying to make his vision a reality. “When I wanted to record, I was here to try to get other people to make songs for me. I would go to the producers and tell them I wanted to do them. Those producers couldn’t even translate what I was saying in (real) life, which led me to be a producer. ” He taught himself how to play keyboards, work on drum machines and learn other parts of the business.

Break at the music

The music industry has changed. Artists can reach a large audience without a record label supporting them and build a fan base before their reputation and brand as a whole is ready to be properly managed. Instead of needing a distribution channel to get a CD inside the Best Buy Store, musicians can release the entire album directly to millions of fans directly on SoundCloud and other websites. “Record labels are now going to be at the mercy of artists,” Dupree said.

Technology has profoundly affected the music industry, but there are still top executives who do not want to change and they are lagging behind because of this stubbornness. “People in the music industry are still trying to fight (happening) outside their doors so they can stop it. It’s all dying.” JZ and Dr. Artists like Draw are leaving the industry for other ventures, which Dupree believes the industry will continue to differentiate itself from fans and artists. “I believe the music industry is just disappearing.”

Being technical

As the music industry has changed, so has Dupree’s interest and efforts. Over the past decade, you’ll find her attending a tech startup event as a concert. Jermaine attends the event to meet like-minded entrepreneurs and learn about what’s happening in the tech space. “You want to be a part of everything. Being in space so you can see what’s missing is probably the most important thing. “

Dupree has been overwhelmed by the support and kind nature of the people in the tech space. “The thing I like about technology is that it has an open door policy. People are beautiful and willing to share their ideas. “Yet he described the music industry’s attitude as” I, I, I “. Don’t let them know what we’re doing.”

The competitive nature of the music industry versus the collaborative attitude of the startup world has definitely made a strong impression on him. “If you think you have a (good) idea in the startup world, you can get a lot of people to listen to you. If you think you’ve got a great artist in the music industry, people won’t listen to you. “Because of that, and because of the attitudes associated with both industries, Dupree says,” It’s much harder to break into music than to enter the startup world. “

Q: Have you always been an entrepreneur?

A: “I always thought I could create some kind of business. I always had this feeling.”

For Dupree, it was always more than just a feeling. He took his interest and passion and caused it in spite of adversity. While diving into the world of technology and startups, he is making his way again. “I don’t think I’m a legend yet, but when you make your own way, the road to becoming a legend or doing something legendary begins. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. “

Additional interview highlights

– “When you have the talent to do something and you need talent for what you want to do – it’s easier than when you want to do something but you don’t have the talent.”

– “The creative process of life has gone out of the window. I tell people when I bring Bo Wao to the attention of the world; He was 10 years old, (but) he didn’t come out until he was 12 years old. The development of the artist is no more.

– “Technology has put young people in a stronger place.”

What has been the most important factor in your success?? “Being able to do what I did from Atlanta.”

What is the hardest obstacle to overcome? “There are a lot of ideas and you won’t be able to make them happen when you want them to happen or when you need them to happen. I struggle with wanting to do many things at once … there is always something that prevents me from doing what I want to do. “

Don’t settle for just the role, listen to the full interview with Jermaine Dupree below!


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