I caught up with the owner of Omni Epic Entertainment, Jay L for a brief Q&A. He shares his insight regarding the promotion scene and tips for independent artists looking for shows.
Achickwitbeatz: Who is Jay L & what created the inspiration behind Omni Epic Entertainment?
Jay L: Well, Jay L is in introspective introvert. I am very quiet and reserved but I am always observant and aware. Must keep your third eye open.
I love to bring innovation and vision to any enterprise or project that I am involved in. The inspiration behind Omni Epic Entertainment started back in 2000 with myself and my partner and co-host at the time, J T Terry. We were the hosts of the number one radio show, The One Night Stand, Kalamazoo's Quiet Storm. The popularity of the show soared and it became much larger than we ever imagined or realized. With the show becoming so popular, it spawned a season on one of the most popular video shows on cable, The After Party. After six episodes hosting the after party and the radio show trending at number one, all of this created many opportunities to meet celebrities, such as 112, Silk, Twista, Do or Die, DL Hughley, and Rickey Smiley, just to name a few. By networking with industry professionals, JT and I both learned that the game is much bigger than radio and video and then the concept of Omni Epic Entertainment was born. Omni, meaning all or all being. Epic is something that is large or huge, major, something that is bigger than ourselves. Entertainment is what we do! The pleasure is ours, but the experience is yours.
Achickwitbeatz: When did you discover that you needed music to be a part of your life?
Jay L: I discovered my love for music at a very young age. I remember growing up always hearing bands like Maze f/ Frankie Beverly, The Whispers, Atlantic Starr, The Isley Brothers, George Duke, Al Jarreau, the list goes on and on. Then one day in 1984, my whole life changed. I discovered Hip Hop. Then, my focus turned to RUN DMC, Beastie Boys, The Treacherous Three, The Fat Boys, and Kurtis Blow. Even though I had a strong connection to Hip Hop, I never lost my love for good ol' fashioned Soul R&B music.
Achickwitbeatz: What would you say is the best thing about being a promoter?
Jay L: The best thing about being a promoter is putting on good productions for the people. It feels good when people acknowledge your hard work by supporting your events.
Achickwitbeatz: What would you say is the biggest obstacle promoters need to overcome?
Jay L: Competition. Promoters need to learn how to network and build partnerships. Let's support one another's productions and events. Show love when we come out to each other's events and not treat each other like we are enemies. It is enough bread on the table for everybody to eat!
Achickwitbeatz: What advice would you have to offer independent artists seeking to get booked for shows?
Jay L: Be humble and hungry. It is good to have confidence but always remember that the grind is a process. It is unnecessary and disrespectful to be arrogant. One time, I approached a local artist that I once featured on my radio to open up for a Jazz artist that I was bringing to town. This artist does not have any material in circulation but has talent. This would have been a great opportunity for him to not only begin to build a buzz for himself, but also audition for a international jazz artist that was coincidently looking for a male vocalist to feature on his new album. Well, this artist refused and said that he would never perform for free. Long story short, the jazz artists CD debut at no. 29 on Billboard's Jazz Top 40 albums and the local artist is well......still local.
Do some shows for free if it could benefit and further your career. Keep your name fresh by releasing music via the internet or live blogs. This is how you can develop a following and expand your listening audience. Network with industry professionals and promoters. Lastly, invest in yourself. No booking agent or club manager wants a CD sounding like you recorded it on your phone.
Achickwitbeatz: What's next on the horizon for Jay L & Omni Epic Entertainment?
Jay L: We are continuing expansion. We are building our market in the Metropolitan Detroit area. We will continue to do shows and productions in the Kalamazoo area. Must show love to Kazoo! Without them, OEE would NOT be possible.
I am really excited about is OEE 2.0 (Omni Epic Entertainment 2.0). OEE 2.0 will showcase productions aimed at the 21-34 year old demographic. Omni Epic has historically been linked to bringing the "grown, sexy, and sophisticated events to our audience made up primarily of 30-55. This will be something very different and extremely innovative. The venture will be a partnership with a young, motivated, and dynamic new promoter, J Williams. He is my protégé'.
OEE 2.0 will re-invent the evening socialite scene!
More to come soon......
Achickwitbeatz: How can people connect with you and stay current with what you have in the works?
Jay L: People can reach me at on Twitter, Instagram, email, phone LOL. I'm old fashioned when it comes to communicating.
Twitter - @omniepicent
Instagram - @omniepicent
Email - email@example.com
I want to thank ACHICKWITBEATZ for this opportunity to spotlight my company, Omni Epic Entertainment. We have proudly conducted business for 15 years and continue to set the standard for the markets that we serve.
Shout out to Meagan McNeal, Phil Denny, Ovaciir Randall, Yancyy, Orrick Ewing, The Fire Historical Arts and Collaborative, and all of the artists that have offered their time and shared their talents to help Omni Epic become what it is today. I am grateful for you