As mentioned in a previous post, The Illixer was granted the opportunity to shoot the breeze with music industry figure, Quincy ” Big Heff'” Taylor. Taylor hails from Chicago, Illinois but resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He specializes in marketing and promotions but has his hands in a variety of ventures. One of his most well known being Big Heff’s Industry Tour. He shared the goods on how to be successful in promoting, the biggest con of working in the music business, and much more. Discover what he had to say after the jump.
The Illixer: For those who are unfamiliar with the Big Heff brand, briefly explain a little bit about what you do?
Big Heff: Hello world, my name is Quincy ” Big Heff'” Taylor. I’m a brand ambassador for Epic Records, Vice President of the Nerve DJs, Co-Founder of the Ohio Hip-Hop Awards & Music Conference, and three years ago I started Big Heff’s Industry Tour. Big Heff’s Industry Tour is an artist awareness tour that grooms major indie artists and newly signed major label artists to the next phase of their career.
TI: A lot of what you do seems to center heavily around marketing and promotions. Share some insight to being successful in those areas?
BH: A lot of promotions are genuine and built around who the artist are, I place artists in high traffic and grassroots situations that make it organic instead of force fed to the media. But a successful tip would be for any artist to develop themselves a great foundation and team that believes in them.
TI: What sets you apart from all of the other individuals or companies out there that claim to help develop and promote artists?
BH: The difference between me and others I guess would be I’m very results driven. It’s very easy to see the artists that I work with and the results that they are having. I build long lasting relationships that remain in place not just for one single but for an artist’s career.
TI: Name the top three qualities that you look for when searching for up-and-coming artists/talent?
BH: Song writing ability, voice, and work ethic are my main things when looking and researching talent.
TI: You have done a vast amount of traveling while working in the music industry. What region would you say has the strongest Hip-Hop market and why?
BH: I’m going to be partial. I’d have to say the Mid-West. Even though a lot of the signed talent is spread out thru the Mid-West, we have a great growing music identity and over the years one of the strongest buying markets. Just look at: Bone Thugs –N- Harmony, Eminem, Nelly, Twista, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, & Machine Gun Kelly.
TI: As you are VP of the Nerve DJs, what do you feel is the role of the deejay in the music industry these days and do you feel like said role is important? Why or Why not?
BH: I feel the deejay has a very important role, besides the websites and blogs a deejay is one of the first people that can bring the music to life and get a response from the public. The deejay is almost an A&R of sorts; building, listening, and creating fresh new talent.
TI: What are your feelings on this year’s Big Heff’s Industry Tour and are you satisfied with how it turned out?
BH: I’m very happy with a lot of the artists that have been a part of the tour and the continued growth of the tour and the relationships that are built thru the Mid-West. It gives artists a great foundation to build on their upcoming or new releases and if done right gives them the grassroots and online viral promotions to help create awareness for them.
TI: Every career has its pros and cons. Share some cons about working within the business side of the music industry?
BH: It takes away from your personal and family time. That’s the only con from my point of view but I still have a great passion and love for what I do.
TI: What are some of your next few ventures now that the most recent Big Heff’s Industry Tour is over and done?
BH: Right now we are planning the Nerve DJs Pre-Global Spin Awards Party in New York City and some holiday events to give back to the community. Also, I’m working on writing my first book and opening an alternative education program for the youth. Other music events are: Nerve DJs SXSW Mid-West Showcase and Nerve DJs All Star Event in Houston for NBA Weekend. Finally, helping promote projects from: Krayzie Bone, MGK, Dubo, Ray Jr, Caine, KPT, Ray Cash, Beez Portiya, & Bella Nae. And the next tour takes off in January.
**My Two Cents: I really enjoyed learning even more about Big Heff and what he does. He seems to have a very interesting career and it was great to be able to share some of his experience with readers. His full electronic press kit can be found here. And be sure to hit up those provided links to get a deeper look at some of Big Heff’s various endeavors. -MinM