How do you determine if an artist is a good fit for you?
Talent just doesn’t cut it anymore. So when we look at artists, [we look for] those artists who have that hunger in their eye, those artists who are willing to outwork everybody. When we look to sign artists, we look for people who are in it for the long haul, artists who are willing to put in the work so they can last [decades] in the business. We don’t look for a quick fix, so it’s about giving my time to the people who are going to work for it.
What type of avenues have you found best work for you when looking for and working with new talent?
I like to look at it as who are you as an artist, and amplify who you are at the core and then develop you from there, because that way we are able to tell a story, then we can find the [appropriate] audience. It’s about figuring out ways to connect the artist to that group of people and then you grow on and you gain until you get to superstar status, so we build brick by brick.
What have your favorite experiences been working with artists?
Working with artists, I want to start by seeing how their lives change for the better, that’s really rewarding to me, as well as the personal relationships you develop. One huge moment was when H.E.R. called her team up on stage when she won her first two Grammys. A little Black boy from the Bronx was able to accomplish that, and my mom got to see that, so just to see the look on her face [seeing] her son on stage was probably one of the best things in the world.