For quite sometime, the good folks at The Big O + Beer & Tacos have set the standard for originality in terms of the party scene in Atlanta. Brandon "Jerz" Green, Kamau "KD" Drakes and Meshack Watson gave the A3C Festival & Conference some insight into their respective empires. A few years ago, an event entitled "Rappin' For Dummies" showcased up and coming talent such as EarthGang, J.I.D. and mOney Makin' Nique. "At the time, we had no idea how far these guys would go, we just knew they had that it factor", Jerz states. In 2017, "Rappin' For Dummies" still exists, but with a slight twist. In true Atlanta fashion, a "T" was added in order to place emphasis on the trap and how you can make your music career just that, a hustle.
For First Stop A3C, the parties involved decided to stick to the Beer & Tacos norm by shedding light on some of the local Atlanta artists on the brink of national exposure. The crew at The Big O + Beer & Tacos explained what went into the prepartion of their events at this year's festival.
WHAT'S SOMETHING YOU PRIDE YOURSELF ON MOST WHEN IT COMES TO HOW YOU MANAGED TO PUT THIS TOGETHER?
We literally look back on our lineups like "we were right about this guy/girl". We want to see the talent on our stage get to the next level. We have faith in them; otherwise they would probably be on another stage.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN RISING ARTISTS TO DETERMINE IF THEY HAVE THAT “IT” FACTOR?
Work ethic. of course there's some magical qualities that some artists possess that you can only point out when you see it.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE TITLE "CURATOR" BEING USED SO FREELY IN MEDIA AND MARKETING TODAY?
For us it doesn't even matter. A title is just that, you still have to come outside and be active at the end of the day. That's where the separation comes in.
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT SOMEONE PUTTING ON A SHOWCASE MAY OVERLOOK THAT ARE CRUCIAL TO THE SHOW’S SUCCESS?
Leaving room for mishaps. Having a solid team to help make sure the show is smooth. Failing to properly communicate with the talent on the bill and adding to a ton of confusion the night of the show.
TO WHAT EXTENT DOES THE SHOWCASE LINEUP REFLECT YOUR PERSONAL TASTE?
We always incorporate our personal taste to an extent but for the most part the acts on our stages were selected strictly based off of being deserving. We see work ethic over here.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE THE EGOS OF ARTISTS/MANAGERS ON THE DAY OF THE SHOW?
We're patient as possible. Still in all, when dealing with us you'll quickly understand that in order to get respect you have to give it. This usually works out pretty well.
HOW WILL YOU GAUGE THE SUCCESS OF YOUR SHOWCASES?
We'll let the artist's feedback as well as the fan's feedback be the gauge.
HOW DOES BUILDING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND TRANSLATE TO CURATING EVENTS?
It starts with you. We come together as a team knowing that as individuals we are all strong enough to bring something worthwhile to the table. When we come together to curate an event it allows us all to mix our personal brands and play off of one another's strengths.
WHAT'S THE MAIN WAY YOU DISCOVER NEW MUSIC? IS IT THROUGH A STREAMING SERVICE OR THROUGH PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH LABELS/MANAGERS/ARTISTS?
Word of mouth is still the best form or promotion. Of course we stream music on all platforms as well!
BREAKING NEW MUSIC IS A MAJOR PART OF A3C SHOWCASES. HOW DO YOU SHED A LIGHT ON NEW ARTISTS WITHOUT ALIENATING YOUR CORE FAN BASE?
We give artists just enough time on stage to make an impression. Rather than drowned out sets where the audience can get lost in an artist they don't know. A lot of times people leave wanting to hear more of an artist they discovered at one of our events.
Make sure you get your tickets for First Stop and Trappin' For Dummies at this year's A3C Festival & Conference!