Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So Who's Performing At The 2008 Freestyle Music Awards?

The initial intentions were to have "No" artist perform at this event, but rather have other "Freestyle Themed" entertainment that all the artist could enjoy. A sort of tribute to their own success and achievements.There were more than enough really cool presentations that would easily fill the night. But then the phones started ringing, mostly from managers who saw a rare opportunity for their artists (That's why they're managers). They knew, whether this event succeeded or failed, it would still become a part of history and they wanted their artists to be involved. Our promoter Ovidio Santiago knew the event would have a better chance with actual performances and expressed his opinion to Latif who finally agreed that yes, it would be an important contribution to the event. Latif contacted many of the managers that expressed interest in having their acts perform. He told them how grateful he was that they wanted to do this, but he had one concern. Latif explained that he in no way wanted the Freestyle Awards to resemble your typical Freestyle concert. One of the ways he wanted to get this across to them was by encouraging them to perform 'New Material". You see, as a Booking Agent, Latif was always instructed by his promoter clients to make sure the artist "Does Not" Perform any new material, only the classics! Well what's he to say, the promoters are paying the artist and therefore should have the right to request what he does or doesn't want performed, but it’s up to the artist whether or not to agree. A sticky situation for an agent who's also a manager and understands the importance of artist performing their new stuff. Traditional Radio doesn't support Freestyle the way it use to, so how does an artist expose their new music aside from posting it on myspace? As risky as it might be and the fact that haters and competitors are going to use it against them, Latif is putting his trust into his artist and their managers encouraging them to perform their new music. Latif says, "Artist have been on tour with each other for many years, and have seen each other's performances over and over again. By allowing acts to perform new material lets the fellow artist to also be entertained along with the rest of the fans." Aside from just new material, Latif spoke with the artist and their managers and expressed to them his desire to not just hear their new stuff, but for them to go out on a limb. Show the artistic side that they are discouraged from showing at other events. Latif says, “My hopes are that, there will be prominent people in the audience that will see these acts after so many years, and be blown away” possibly opening new doors for all involved.

Friday, February 8, 2008

and the nominees are....

Click The Button Above

So, the Vote Now button is up! But what is this vote button actually for? Well, for those who aren't aware, there are a lot of Freestyle Artist in the country. From Miami to Los Angeles, New York to Dallas, while many had thought Freestyle was long gone, new artist continued to hit the scene year after year.
Many people consider Freestyle an 80's genre, and while it might have started in the 80's it in no way stopped in the 80's. Artist such as Lil' Suzy, Rockell and Angelina proved that there was still a viable market for Freestyle.
Basically the Vote Now button is there to make sure that the Board does not overlook anyone, regardless of their success. Many long forgotten names have been pouring into the database, making the decissions even harder as each day goes by.
Of course as much as we feel, so many people do derserve to an award, we all know that that just can't happen. But remember, this is going to be an annual award, and every year new people are going to be honored.
We do however need the support of all. From artist and writers, producers and managers, this event is for you and it is important that you do all you can to be there.
Just because the event is being held in Miami Florida, doesn't mean that it is a Miami event. We are already speaking to venues around the country about possibly bring the Freestyle Music Awards to their their in the future.
To make sure that we were being fair to the entire Freestyle market. The initial promotions have been via the internet only. Because of the low price of the tickets we wanted to make sure that everyone had and equal amount of time to purchase tickets. Direct promotions to the Miami area will begin shorty, so please rush and purchase your tickets now!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Over the last few years, merchandising has become an important move for the Freestyle industry. Not only as a way for artist to generate extra revenue at their shows, but more importantly, as a tool to help preserve the name and likeness of the artist in the minds of their fans once the event is over.

Like all genres of music, true fans want to own a part of it. Whether it be a Tee Shirt, Cap, CD or just an autograph, memoribilia plays a major role in the whole Freestyle experience. For years, long lines have formed at the back of club and concert venues as fans waited patiently for the opportunity to get an autographed photo of their favorite Freestyle artist. While a few of our pioneers have been doing this for years, Freestyle merchandising has now become a huge necessasity for Freestyle's eco-system, and now artist and road managers can be seen lugging huge boxes of product around the country.

Years ago, promoters would negotiate a sort of licencing deal, that would allow them to manufacture and sell merchandise baring the name and image of the featured artist. Some promoters would do so without consent. Either way, artist would appreciate the fact that the promoter thought high enough about them to take that sort of risk that they would at times opt out of any monetary benefits to them.

Nowadays, merchandise has become the norm, and those not taking advantage of it are losing out on a great opportunity to promote themselves and get paid while doing so. Many venues, require that a small percentage, usually 20% of the proceeds be given back to the house, which is understandable. But as promoters see the long lines, they too want in on the action. For the Freestyle Music Awards, we are currently negotiating with the Miami-Dade Auditorium to reconsider their merchandise policy as much as they can, while we have already convinced the promoters to do the same.

We are encouraging all involved to bring along with them, their merchandise and make it available for sale at the awards. We are doing all we can to help accomodate what we hope to become Freestyle's Largest market place, and with the ticket prices at just $35.00, fans should have plenty of extra money to buy your product.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Freestyle Spectacular

After securing the Orchestra, another problem would arise. What in the world can we use to complement a forty piece orchestra? Latif's method of throwing in the most absurd and off the wall ideas, pushed the brainstorming phone session between he and Ovidio into the wee hours, until both men decided to call it a night and continue the next day.

Latif says "If you go to sleep with a problem on your mind, you'll wake up with the solution." The difference with Latif is, once he finds the solution, he can't go back to sleep. By 3am He was up researching the net for a company that specializes in Laser Light productions.

After doing a thorough search and consulting with at least a dozen companies, he came across one out of Los Angeles California called DayStar and quickly bonded with one of their reps.

The beauty was not just the fact that they were among the top in their field, but better yet, they were pretty knowledgable of the Freestyle industry. Latif says that when you have limited resources, that it's important to find people who are as passionate about a project as you are.

So, DayStar was contracted with a price tag just as sophisticated as the show they promise to create. Latif is currently designing the presentation along with one of their execs, Jon Robertson, and I'll tell you this, it is going to be unlike anything else you've ever seen.