Sunday, May 25, 2008
Soul Phunker to the rescue....
This week we take a small break from the rapping / producing talent to focus on the behind the scenes talent that the big time artists couldn't do without "PROMOTION & VIDEO ARTS". My guest this week is Houston's own LeAndre Gamble aka Soul Phunker
He’s the founder and head of Soul Phunk Productions started in late 2006. Since then, he’s been on his grind in the streets of Houston, Texas making his mark in video production, photography, music production, and professional writing. He’s truly a man of many talents and of course we had the chance to interview him!
FLOSS: First off I must say the Promotion game is definitely a heavier struggle than the music game, so how have you been?
SOUL P: Cool, but I think it’s the opposite. I remember I won a competition at Prairie View A&M University for being the best producer on campus. I even beat out the most popular producer on campus at that time. I got some people wanting to hear my music, but they didn’t want to pay me. I had the best samples and no one could deny me that. So why would I sell them that rare sample beat for $20 when I know it could sell for $1,000?
I just ran into a lot of “economic” rappers who wanted free music and it got on my nerves. That’s part of the reason I came to Houston; to find more lucrative opportunities.With promotion, I got my money straight up and kept my business tight. You don’t have to worry about the sharks in promotion as much as you do with music.
FLOSS: Its funny cause you started out a rapper/producer, what made you make the transition to video photography and promotion for the same industry?
SOUL P: I liked producing but it wasn’t making much money. It just wasn’t fun if nothing good was coming out of it. It got grueling at times.
I started doing video because it was just as creative and music was putting a strain on me. Making beats got boring for a while, you know. Plus, I always liked movies anyway so I just picked it up naturally.
As for promotion, that happened when I started working with Cornerstone Promotion as a FARM Team rep. They assign me projects according to my market and I just go out do the whole flyer/poster placement thing. I didn’t even know this kind of company existed.
Say being an artist yourself, you have some marketing ideas for your band, Cornerstone handles this.
Say you want to know the public opinion of your new single, Cornerstone handles this. Plus they own the Fader magazine and Fader films. It’s like they’re a powerhouse in the industry.
FLOSS: Do you still find time to make a beat or write a verse in your down time?
SOUL P: Yeah, I jot down little poems and verses. I still want to pick up music again when I feel it’s less stressful. I always have ideas.
I feel like I made a transition from rap (writing)/music producing to professional writing/video production. I like it.
FLOSS: How long have you been making videos? Who are you trying to reach out to?
SOUL P: I’ve been making vids since the Houston Winter Sneaker Summit ’08. Check them out at youtube.com/Skooler12.
I want to reach out to the young, hipster, life loving community. I see they like music, cool shoes, street gear, the opposite sex, and living life to the fullest. Why not reach out to them? I also want to keep my work PG-13 because I was a kid and I know what they go through. These fish can look at my videos in school and not get in trouble. LOL!
I don’t have particular people to reach out to though, that’s why I do marketing, to reach out to as many people as possible.
FLOSS: Can you shed some light on who your favorite directors are or what videos inspire you?
SOUL P: I like M. Night Shyamalan. I like his twist endings. I like all kinds of movies, deep and fun stories.
FLOSS: What obstacles do you face as a one man video/promo team?
SOUL P: Eh, it gets hard because I’m a man with a lot of ideas and I sometimes need someone to help me arrange them, kind of be my grounding. I know I’m in the right direction with my plans but I may need help getting the reality of it down, like finance and legal matters.
I would like some help though.
FLOSS: Do entertainers give the promotion teams the credit that they deserve?
SOUL P: They don’t need to. They don’t pay my checks, their label does. I know one time Cornerstone arranged this meeting between all the FARM reps and Buckshot and The Kidz in the Hall. I got the chance to interact with the artists and listen to specifically what they wanted us to do. I also got the chance to ask Buckshot some questions too.
That was tight, and Devin the Dude was cool when I worked with him for his first independent album. He’s thorough.
It's good to be appreciated by people you listen to and buy CDs from.
FLOSS: What has been the most memorable moment for you while promoting or filming?
SOUL P: I got a chance to video my trip at SXSW and video tape N.E.R.D.’s performance. Real cool. It’s funny because I actually saw them before on that exact date during Spring Break 2004. I also videotaped Barack Obama when he was here too. I’d never seen a presidential candidate in person before that.
FLOSS: How was SxSW this year? Did it help you expand your goals?
SOUL P: Yes, I had a blast. DON’T PAY FOR DRINKS!
Reference: http://youtube. com/watch?v=RlM2brc5sr8
It help me to realize how much I needed to step my game up and how competitive promoting really is. Those guys I roomed with from Cornerstone worked with more companies than one and had teams. That’s cool for them, but it just made me see I needed to step my game up in Houston.
FLOSS: One thing you would like to see improved in the Houston hip-hop scene?
SOUL P: I want to see Houston as a major entertainment market like Austin or Chicago. It’s not as big as some people think it is and some of these local artists got some egos out of this world because of it. Some really need to calm down.
Too add, I know events that few people know about and I want to expand on that.
FLOSS: Any future projects you want to shout out?
SOUL P: Yes, catch Soul Phunk presents…Breakin’ It Down (Vol. 1) this Friday at noon/ 1pm Eastern. Also, stay tuned and subscribe to andregamble.blogspot.com. Houston deserves more attention that it’s getting right now so I’ll show you what’s up.
If you need promotion in the Houston, don’t be afraid to message me.
1. Favorite music video - Don’t have one, but I use to really like Busta’s videos back in the day
2. Xbox 360 or PS3 - PS3, for GTA series
3. In Search of or Fly or Die - ISO, listen to that shit driving at night son! It will blow you AWAY!
4. Wish List Car of the moment - H3
5. Hidden Talent: I do some clothes design too
I want to thank LeAndre Gamble aka Soul Phunker for doing the interview, it really should be read by all inspiring artist. The interview contains some heads up knowledge about having back up plans in this industry and how to step your promotion game up!!!
Also I know you know me, meaning i cant leave this interview without showing off SOUL Phunker's work, so here ya go!
Posted by - at 8:40 AM