In our brave new world of social media, musicians creating niche spaces to break into the entertainment business is essentially the new normal. Though the music industry is still undeniably one of the most profitable industries in the world [Last year alone Hip Hop was valued at over 3.8 Billion], musicians have found inventive ways to create social and financial capital on their own terms. Recording artist Devin White is no exception to the trend. White’s three day music conference “Culture Weekend”, launched in the heart of LA last year and has since visited Atlanta and announced an approaching weekend of events in New York City. What started as a collaboration between White and Rel Carter (Roc Nation music executive and nephew of Jay-Z), has since evolved into a multifaceted music event featuring an array of high profile industry professionals, producers and recording artists.
Culture Weekend began in Los Angeles, California. Why?
The first Culture Weekend was honestly designed around the album project “No Handouts 2” that Rel [Carter] announced last year. We’ve done so much work on East coast. We thought it would be cool to start the process of putting together the album in LA. We still have a long way to go on the project but we met a lot of dope musicians that we wanted featured.
Los Angeles, Atlanta and now New York City. Culture Weekend nationally was always the plan?
Not at all. It really became a community of its own. We had so many people reaching out after LA and so many ideas on expanding it to other cities. I felt like Atlanta and New York were the only other places we could really create a valuable experience for people to attend. I also just always end up in some sort of tour. Tours must be my calling. [Laughs].
What about music?
Music is my first love but I honestly spent a lot of years insecure and self conscious. I think getting on the executive end of things was my way of getting around having to face those fears. God knows what he’s doing though.. I’m working on new music now but I’ve learned a lot in all the roles I take on. I’m proud that I’ve been able to create a lot of spaces and platforms for musicians that are hungry for opportunity.
Speaking of opportunity, giving artists the chance to get in the studio with Hip Hop producer Drummaboy seems like a once in a lifetime situation.
We’re really excited to get started. The idea was to fuse established industry with new fresh voices. Drumma lives and breathes music. Seeing him in the studio is nuts. He just finds his zone and then the song and the structure just flows. I think new artists getting a chance to experience that and work with him is something they’ll never forget.
The album itself is titled Soundcheck, what inspired the name?
Soundcheck is actually the name of my distribution platform. Drumma honestly thought it was a fitting title for the overall album. We’re a brand new distro with a lot of kinks to work out and so much to improve on so having a project like this one to show for ourselves really is a honor.
These type of things are quite rewarding yes?
The most rewarding part for me is honestly the people..I’m really blessed and have built relationships that are invaluable. Rel [Carter] giving me a chance 6 years back to try my hand at curating events was a major shift for me. I get inspired by all the people I meet and work with that are really hungry for excellence. Crazy thing..Culture Weekend NY gives me that same feeling that the very first show did six years ago did.
There seems to be a lot of new ways for would be musicians to find there way into the industry. If you could share any advice what would it be?
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