Interview by @CopaseticSoulz
This city is packed with potential. So many artists, constantly pushing themselves to bring us something new.
Their success comes from both their artistry and an understanding of how the business works, but many newer artists are unaccustomed to shaping the business aspect of their music into successful careers, and we are poorer for it. Craig Macmillan has seen this all too often and is trying to help bridge that gap with his new Vancouver-based label Move Right Music. So I asked him some questions…
Q: What have you been working on in the hiphop community over the last decade?
A: I started doing parties and club events while living in Whistler. The events gradually got bigger and bigger booking shows for the likes or De La Soul, Souls OF Mischief, DEL, DJ Craze, Q bert etc. During that time frame is when I also met Classified & DL Incognito. I started to work with Class in 06 eventually moving to Toronto to manage him and help with the day to day operations of Half Life Records. As well, I worked alongside DL and 9 Planets hip hop, managing him, and becoming his exclusive booking agent. I thank that time for making a lot of connections and networking. I managed Classified for 3 years, and put out 2 records together. We toured heavily throughout North America. I focused more on the administration and learned the business of music. I went on to become a Juno Judge, as well spoke on numerous music panels for CMW, ECMAS, and New Music West. At that same time I Interned for Urbnet Records and established a great relationship with Darryl and learned a lot about the business from him.
In current day I focus more on the business marketing side, as well working with developing artists by consulting and mentoring them. In late 2013 I started to road manage for 2014 Juno Winner JRDN where we just recently finished a stadium tour as main support for Hedley across Canada, we also did a few festival 1 offs, as well just finished the Western Leg of the Remedy Tour in support of JRDN’s new project. We have recently signed Canadian veteran Len Bowen (@thisislenbowen) from Winnipeg. Len was part of the group Shadez back in the day and has been consistently putting out projects over the years. We are releasing an EP called The Goin’ Away Party due in the Fall of 2016. Its our first release on the label so were super excited about this project, and to share it with everyone.
Q: What is the largest obstacle most newer artists face?
I find its really hard for artists to get noticed point blank. What are you doing to stand apart from the next guy. Its harder then ever to get noticed and have your music stick with the masses. Its more than rapping now, you really have to have some clever marketing strategies and have a unique approach to getting people to give you their time. I really think artists have lost the essence and work ethic of doing their own shows on the grassroots level, starting at those small venues with some other groups or artists and really building a buzz from the ground up. I see a lot of artists get opening slots at shows, but don’t take full advantage of it, with CDs tossed into the crowd, merchandise booths, or banners to mention a few simple things. You need to leave an impression with the crowd. Leave them wanting more, and something to plant a image in their minds so they will go home and check for you.
Q: What do you love about Vancouver’s hiphop scene?
A: I really like the diversity of music that’s out there. At the end of the day we’re in Canada, and in Vancouver. Its hard to get noticed in this small demographic. The pioneers out there that put it down for the city left a great imprint. Artists like The Rascalz, Swollen, Checkmate & Concise made people notice Vancouver, now we have artists like Snak, Evil, Sonreal, & Shad carrying that torch and running with it, taking their music to international levels, all while repping Vancity to the fullest. I think Vancouver has a lot to learn and still is growing but there are so many dope MC’s out there that have their business right that its only a matter of time before people can’t help but take notice and pay homage.
Q: What was the impetus behind creating this company and in what unique ways are you serving your artists?
A: The idea of Move right has been brewing around in my head for the last 5 years. I was finally in a place where I could make it a reality. I did some research, talked to some friends in the industry and made sure I taught my self things that I could see becoming issues once we were live. I finally had the designer that I wanted and we worked together closely to ensure the layout of the site was appealing, and the overall interface was easy to navigate for any potential clients. I’m excited to get going on this as I genuinely feel that we will serve our clients well. We are a small company so i’m going with the motto of quality over quantity. Artists that we sign, and work with can expect a level of professionalism, patience, and a great work ethic as we work together for the common goal of selling units, and creating different revenue streams.
Q: How do you see your company contributing to the growth of hiphop locally?
A: I’ve been giving back to the local hip hop scene for years, so I can’t really see anything changing. I’ve given many artists opportunities with opening slots locally, or placed artists and groups on national tours. I’ve been doing shows in Whistler and Vancouver for close to a decade, and have always looked locally for support. In regards to Move Right, I’ll now be in a position to approach artists that i’m feeling and see a solid work ethic in and work in a closer capacity, coming up with some marketing strategies, and a plan of attack to be consistent with releases and growth in their careers.
We are looking to collaborate with artists as well, we have a real nice online store that’s been built on the site, and are looking for artist’s that may want an additional or an initial outlet to sell their merchandise online. Gear, Cd’s, Vinyl what ever! We can set you up with your own direct URL and get you a professional online store / presence. If you are interested in this please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the submission tab on the website.
Q: What attributes are you looking for when deciding on artists you’d like to represent?
A: I’m looking for an artist with a great attitude, and a solid work ethic. There is nothing more frustrating being around artists that have zero respect for their peers, and the people on their teams that are working for a common goal. Today you have to be able to do more then Rap, so I feel that someone with the whole package spit bars, and has to have that look, business on point or at least willing to get it on point, and that grind mentality and then skies the limit. If someone is gonna be down with us you must have a great attitude and positive outlook on what were doing, be humble and grateful for where your at. That kinda seems like an ideal artist or group that can be down with Move Right …. haha.
The submission email is Info@moverightmusic.com
The Website is – moverightmusic.com