Behind every Artist To Watch are folks answering emails, chasing down checks, and dreaming big possibilities for the musicians they rep. The spread of managers ranges from genuine friends to day-one mentors. Working for legendary labels such as RCA and So So Def, Steve Capo Newland talks to Blame Ebro about the industry. Newland is currently at Private Club Records, the home for 24hrs, MADEINTYO, Salma Slims, Noah Woods, MyNameIsPhin and more.
What was your first foot in the door in the music industry?
My God Brother Halim “Ha” was working with Shady/Interscope, as 50-Cent / G-Unit Official Tour Manager back in the day, and just being around those guys during that time on an off was a crazy experience and made me wanna be involved with music behind the scenes, because I never had a passion to make music myself. From that, I started promoting concerts and events around Europe, once I graduated High School. My mom was in the Air Force, so we traveled around alot, so I got around, and made my name & connections off of being a overseas promoter at a young age.
What was the best advice you ever got and who was it from?
Don’t be afraid to tell someone “NO” – My Mother
What would you consider your biggest accomplishment to date? Do you have any mentors you look up to in the industry?
Besides my Son, my biggest professional accomplishment might be seeing the people I started with in the music business, become Gold & Platinum selling artists, with successful careers. I’m proud of my contributions to those efforts, and forever grateful to be apart of a great team and family (Private Club Records)
I really looked up to my God brother “Ha” , Dame Dash (Just thought he was the best of both worlds, street smart and book smart) , and alot of other OG’s I can’t name them all. So many people have helped me over my life and career, and I took something from each of those relationships and made my own style from it all.
Why do you think it’s important to have mentors in the industry?
You don’t know what a good leader or boss looks like, until you standing next to one on a regular basis.
How do you scout talent?
All the time, I love finding new talent, and being “Put On” to someone who’s still raw and unheard. It’s the most exciting part of the game in my opinion. But it’s always far and few between real “diamonds in the rough” but I always keep my ears to the streets and listen to what the youth is talking about, because that person is usually next up.
You definitely have an eye for talent. Can you describe to us your approach to breaking these artists and helping them achieve longevity?
The artist has to want it more than I do, that’s step one. Some people just have it, and some people need extra help, and then there’s people who will never have it. So the ability to recognize which category that artist fit’s in is important. You have to know who you are dealing with on all levels, from personal, to social, to professionally, you have to know who you working with. From there, you focus on making the best possible music with that person, and then map your strategy to build their campaigns, and present them to the world.
March 2017 in a interview you said “You don’t need a major label, you don’t need these fraud ass promoters. “Build your team, work with the best producers you can afford, drop visuals for every song you make, put all that shit on the net, force everyone to go to 1 place to find your music/videos”. For a local rapper with not many resources, that may seem easier said than done. Can break it down a little more or maybe give us a scenario where a rapper with little to no resources still made it?
Everybody I know has a Iphone or smartphone of some kind. Even if you can’t afford a real camera, or don’t know ANYBODY with a legit camera, people are shooting movies (literally) using iphones. There’s no excuses for not being able to create content for fans and new fans to view. Almost anything and everything can be used around you to create content. As long as you have a computer, some simple software, and creative, you’ll be surprised at what you can do. The internet is a amazing place, you don’t need a plug or have to know someone to upload content online… IT’S FREE, so use it everyday, and keep people engaged to what you doing, and you will find your niche. Everything else is just a excuse, and that’s why everybody doesn’t make it, they cancel themselves out the game before they even get started.
You have a brand named Just4eign. Can you tell us how you came up with the name and the overall aesthetic of this clothing line?
I was in Jail in Tokyo Japan, I got locked up while on Tour w/ 24hrs (then known as Royce Rizzy) and I was in there for 34 days for a joint (super lame) lol , So while I was in there, I had nothing but free time to come up with different things I wanted to do, but never had the time to put together. One of those things was @Just4eign – Just4eign.Com , my clothing line. So I just had a shit ton of ideas in my head for different things I always wanted to wear, but I never seen any brand make the type clothes that I thought would be dope. So I wrote down 5000+ ideas on paper everyday, and once I got back to Atlanta, I started working and making my ideas on paper become reality. Took me about 30 days, to build and come up with the final products, but with the help of my business partner (Arian Rock), we got the store up and running, and have been in business almost 3 years now. If you ever need “The Sauce” just check out Just4eign.Com and thank me later.
IMS MUSIC SEARCH. Tell us about it and how artists can benefit from this platform
I get alot of people who contact me via facebook and other social media apps asking for advice, feedback, help, etc … so I figured the best thing to do was create a platform for new artists to be heard, and also ask questions and get live feedback about their music videos and music. So IMS MUSIC was created and we’ve been doing alot of work with new artists helping them reach that next stage in their pursuit of a long music career. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far in 2017, and 2018 will be even better. We add new clients almost everyday and are hands on with some of the biggest projects coming out in 2018, so it’s been great. We help artists promote and market themselves in ways they probably didn’t think of themselves, or we help their ideas come to life just at a faster pace. Everybody needs help, nobody reaches any level of success alone.
How important is capital when starting a music management company?
Very important, it takes money to make money. Advertising isn’t free in any country or language.
What’s the quickest you’ve signed someone?
1 Month, I don’t like to move off emotions, I like to take my time, and get to know who I’m working with and see where their head is, you can’t know all of that in a few minutes or hours. You really have to take your time and learn who you are dealing with. The worst thing you can do is waste your own time and money on someone who isn’t passionate about their craft.
What’s some advice you would give to someone who is an upcoming manager? If they wanted to know where to start, what is the first thing you would tell them?
Contact IMS MUSIC at IMSMUSICBLAST@GMAIL.COM , and schedule a consultation with me, and I’ll drop as many gems as I can on you.
What’s next for you?
Evolving, Improving, and Securing More Bags with my team all 2018.