In an exclusive interview that delves into the heart of the music industry, we sit down with Jentry from EMPIRE, a renowned figure with an innate ability to spot talent that resonates with the streets. With a wealth of experience in cultivating artists, Jentry offers us a glimpse into his world, sharing his insights and wisdom on what it takes to make it in the ever-evolving realm of music.
Q: Top 3 things you look for when signing an artist ?
J: An authentic story, unique voice and im just a fan of the streets. Ive been apart of pop records and commercial records but things that ive signed have stemmed from our culture
Q:What is a tried and true method for breaking an artist ?
J: There’s no one way. What I personally do is identify what the vision is. We figure out where the end goal is and then we reverse engineer how to get to that place.
To break an artist you won’t break a young internet savvy kid the same way you would break somebody else, there’s just two different methods.
Q:What is something you wish more artist would start doing ?
J: I wish artist would become more educated in the business and trust the people around them. Far too often I see artist put people in position management, record label and staff and then they don’t want to listen. I ask artist all the time why do you have a manager and give them 20% if you aren’t going to listen ? If you trust people enough to give them a seat at your table, listen to them.
Q:Does an artist fashion style affect your decision to work with them or not ?
J: If fashion goes hand in hand with branding, than yes. Ive never met an artist that’s been perfect all the way around. So you might find an artist that has dope music and you need to help them develop the fashion and branding ETC ETC or you might find an artist whose extremely dope fashionista and got the branding but they need help with how to structure music. I have worked with artist that have excellent brands but they may not have a “hit record” but have been able to make a ton of money and a huge dent in culture because of their brand.
Q: What is one piece of advice you can give to an upcoming A&R?
J: I believe that a majority of A&R these days are going off analytics. Don’t be afraid to follow your gut ands stand behind something you really believe in and if you’re working at label and they think its too early to sign but you really believe in an artist put your balls on the line and put your own money up, develop that artist and prove to the world of how dope of an artist that is but also how great of an A&R you are.
In a world where the music industry thrives on innovation and individuality, Jentry stands as a testament to the power of authenticity and dedication. His journey and insights remind us that, behind every successful artist, there's a visionary like Jentry who believes in the transformative power of music and the artists who create it.