If you haven’t heard the name of Joshua Davis…..“J Pragmatic, “ ”JPrag” “Mouthpiece of the Southeast” and many other pseudonyms that emphasize the energy and level of entertainment this brother exudes, then you have not been in the know! From the on point energy that he has while on the radio for WPEG, to the monthly event that brings out the best of the best in music and entertainment in the city via the “Vinyl Union Mixer” this native of Charleston, South Carolina, Winthrop University grad is laying down the gauntlet to all. Emphasizing the “we take care of our home team” mentality, J –Pragmatic is ready to show why the Carolinas time to shine is now!
UT: So you’ve been rolling with the Vinyl Union Mixer for a minute now. Tell us have you seen the growth that you expected when you first thought of this endeavor?
JP: As the visionary behind this movement, I anticipated this event gaining a strong industry based following and so far it has done just that!
I think the popularity of this event has consistently grown on both a local & national level because we are actually offering a real platform for artists & talents to perform and network with other proven Industry professionals. Another draw is that the Industry affiliates that comprise the Vinyl Union Mixer, collectively offers critique through performance surveys, personal artist consultations, and major marketing & branding services in order to effectively assist talents with taking their careers to the next level. We are excited about how quickly the event has grown since its initial birth 2 years ago and we are truly appreciative of the local and national support that the Vinyl Union Mixer has been rapidly gaining from both our followers and our sponsors.
UT: So many times we hear that the Carolina market is a difficult market. You have been on this journey since 2003. If you could help enhance our presence to the world, what would you do?
JP: I would do exactly what I have been doing, continue to try and enlighten and work with those who are ready to work and those who see the vision. I would also encourage those who are serious about their craft to start investing in themselves. If you as an artist don’t take yourself serious, how can you expect anyone else to do so? The bottom line is the Carolina’s has always been a difficult market due in part to this “crab in the bucket” mentality as well as because some of the “button pushers” in the market have been complacent. We have to realize that we as a market must unify to some ex-stint on all sectors of entertainment locally, if we plan to truly invade the industry and gain the proper respect. Understand, those few who do decide to network and come together will ultimately become the trendsetters for the area because at this point and time in the game its going to take the right movement and the right group of people to achieve this success for our city within this realm.
UT: So does the Carolinas have a unique sound?
JP: Yes we do have a distinct sound in the Carolinas. We also have a distinct look. Those talents who embrace their Carolina heritage and the natural soul that lives within us “country folk”, can truly embody the Carolina look and sound if they stay true to themselves. From my years of observation of this unique sound here, I find that most of the talented Carolina artists utilize, expose, & promote the Carolina vibe and influences such as the country scenery & atmosphere, the normally relaxed environments& speech of the locals, & the sometimes grimy way of living here in the Carolina’s through their music & overall sound. In essence “the first shall be last, and the last shall be first”, meaning the Carolina’s have always owned allot of history in this country including music, dance, and other forms of entertainment. If you think about our enslaved ancestors and how they had to maintain and be creative in order to keep their sanity, and it is defiantly time for the proper opportunities & benefits to be returned to this area and the people.
UT: What projects outside of The Vinyl Union Mixer do you have in the works?
JP: We actually have alot in the works. Because Tiger Eye Management Group a licensed partnered company with Black Ink Management and Music Group with Bungalo/ Universal Music Group Distribution, we are planning multiple events for artists as we are seeking to work with other artists of all genres. We are also planning the release of multiple musical projects under Bungalo/ Universal with our currently focused artist Dee Dray. He is a HOT lyrical artist who has a strong movement and following right now because of his creativity, great music, and overall grind. So be on the lookout for his mix tapes, singles, and videos. Because the month of October is Tiger Eye Management Groups anniversary month, we are currently planning multiple anniversary based events so that we can welcome our supporters, partners, and affiliates to celebrate with us. We are also working on two weekly nightlife events that will cater to Charlotte professionals and elite in the midst of all the other projects that are currently in progress which will be revealed soon.
UT: So basically, you are on that constant grind!
JP: Yessir! I know nothing less than grind! It’s in my blood! I guess I can attribute this mentality to God, my mother, and my hometown of Charleston, SC whom raised me. Growing up in my household as well as in my original city of Charleston,SC has given me the strength, passion, & determination to be successful in many regards by any means necessary. I’ve never allowed anyone or anything to stop me even when the odds were against me and I never will. I guess you could even say I have a “Can’t stop won’t stop” attitude as Diddy says…LOL! As a businessman with a hustlers keen passion, I feel like I have the best of both worlds in me. However, I take pride in being a businessman, not a hustler. As a true businessman, I look to create situations that benefits all parties involved whereas a hustler is only looking out for self.
UT: And with Tiger Eye Management, any endeavors in the works to build this organization?
JP: We are always evolving and growing the Tiger Eye Management Group brand. Even if it’s not always seen, we are always working behind the scenes negotiating deals, creating campaigns, updating our company blueprint, & seeking additional support and partnership from other major Industry powerhouses. We go just as hard in the lime light as we do behind the scene which is what keeps us relevant. Our company possesses many facets that other local firms do not which allows us to be trendsetters within the Charlotte and surrounding markets.
UT: Collaborations are a mainstay of the industry, and tend to yield incredible work that go down in entertainment history. If you could put together a collaborative effort with two or three Carolina born artists, who would that be?
JP: WOW! Great question! Since I’m only given the option of only 2 or 3 Carolina born artists, I’d say J Cole, Anthony Hamilton, & Darius Rucker because they have put themselves in the proper position to be supported and they all have a history of putting out great music! With that said, there are so many Carolina artists that I would love to work with or collaborate with both Indie and major.
UT: Your marketing abilities are well know, and we see it firsthand via the monthly event and other areas with TEMG. For those artists, whether it’s a DJ, Hip Hop artist, or R&B singer, that is trying to get into this business and get their sound out there, what would be your suggestion to them?
JP: My suggestion would be, first off believe in yourself even when others don’t including your family and friends. Allot of people don’t understand the entertainment Industry and what it takes to be successful in this game. Some may think it’s juvenile or not “a real” job, but in a sense one must treat it like a full time job even when they’re not being paid. In this game, one must earn their positioning because nothing is given. Although, you better believe if anything is given, you’re going to owe or be owned by someone else. I would also tell artists please invest in yourself and treat yourself as a respectable business worthy of being supported. Think about it, how do you plan to compete with Lil Wayne, T.I., 2 Chains, etc. if you don’t package yourself up like the majors and promote yourself like the majors? I know its cliché, but it takes money to make money. Most so called artists don’t realize that you must provide for yourself as record labels used to do, in order to get the majors attention because in today’s music business, labels are not spending their finances on developing talents any more so the burden is on you, the artist. Bottom line, If you won’t invest in you, why should I is the thought. So stay humble, be ready to work, and put your money where your mouth is, or not, but don’t expect anything if you’re not all the way invested into yourself and career.