Monday, January 18, 2010
Jullian Boothe: Interview With Slip N Slide Records VP Of A & R
via PMP Worldwide
PMP: Talk about the distribution breakdown because you have certain artists that are signed to different major labels
Jullian Boothe: We have Trina, Mike Bless, Jagged Edge and my dude Duece Poppi all going through EMI now as part of a new deal we did with them. We picked EMI because they have worldwide distribution and we have a great deal with them so structure-wise it was more beneficial for us to go that route. We love our deal with Def Jam and we love our deal with Atlantic but financially now were moving toward the future of building Slip N Slide as a brand that can stand on its own two feet were we can do everything in-house. So I'm good with going that direction especially when it comes to the new artists we're signing now.
PMP: What do you feel are some of the biggest changes occurring in the urban music landscape going into the new decade?
Jullian Boothe: Right now you really have to build superstars there is no longer any space for mediocre artists that can only make one great song and that's it. Back in the days one-hit wonders, if handled correctly could really live off of that one record for years like Tone Loc and Sir Mix-A-Lot. They sold millions of copies so everybody 30 years old and up can still remember being 16, 17 years old hearing one record on the radio you love and then running right to the record store the day it came out to buy the album. Even if the album wasn't hot you had no choice but to purchase it to hear that one song you love. Those days are over now so if you come out now with a half-ass album you're not going to sell any albums.
The only people selling now are artists that are making classic albums and you can really count on your hand how many artists went platinum in 2009. You got Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Black Eyed Peas and a couple of others. Everybody else sold fewer than 500,000 copies which is crazy. The way Slip N Slide is structured we have to spend less in order to make a profit now. It's all about watching what you spend and really looking for an artist that can do everything. I'm looking for an artist that can act, sing, write and produce. If you can only sing that might not be enough because you can have a no #1 song and sell no units. So there has to be other avenues the artist can exploit in order to maximize the revenue potential.
PMP: What's your view on artists that can sell a couple of million digital singles but not go Gold or Platinum when it comes to album sales? Are the digital singles enough to consider the project a major success?
Jullian Boothe: It's enough if you're using the artist for that one song. The whole thing about the music industry is you want to build an act up to the point when they're on their 3rd, 4th and 5th album you (the label) don't have to spend as much because they're established now. When you have an established artist such as a Jay-Z for example his fans will go see him in concert regardless of whether he has a song out or not because you know his body of work. Everybody already knows who Jay-Z is. Now you may hear a new song which sold a million records but you're not going to see that artist in concert because you like the song but you barely know the artist name much less care about them enough to see them live. You will jam to it if you hear it on the radio but if they're in town why would I want to go see them, there's not enough appeal until you're exposed to a body of work from them over a period of time. The artist has to build a reputation of putting on a great show so people will feel they're missing out and put their money up to be a part of the experience
PMP: So the main objective is to blow the artist up without breaking the bank...
Jullian Boothe: Exactly!
PMP: Has this lead to you looking to work with newer talented writers and producers who can provide the same hit material but at the fraction of cost?
Jullian Boothe: I like working with new producers and writers because of the hunger they bring. I love to see new artists and producers blossom from not having a dollar in their pocket to becoming a millionaire off of one song. The new guys usually come harder than most of the established ones but there are a few vets that are willing to work with me no matter how big they are. I tell them 'look I can't afford to pay you $100,000 for a track anymore, its just not financially feasible' and they're still willing to be in 100% so that's a good situation.
If you check the new Trina and Jagged Edge projects you will see new faces pop up on the production side that I've been using. With Jagged Edge's new single (Tip of My Tongue) there is a new producer that nobody knows (Mad Skrews) but I love to give new guys a shot because most people wouldn't even take their phone call.
Read the full interview here:
PMP Worldwide - Jullian Boothe VP A&R/Slip-N-Slide Records