How different would the music industry be if all hip hop artists were more business savvy?
Too many times we hear about artists getting scammed or offered record deals that leave them with the short end of the stick.
Hotline radio owner and Bronx native Lee Bradshaw was one of those artists.
“I originally started as a hip hop recording artist myself,” Bradshaw said. “I kept coming across all these scam artists in the industry, people who were supposed to be looking to help unsigned artists but in the end were just trying to help themselves.”
From a young age, Bradshaw gravitated towards music and became hooked. From then on, he could never stay away.
“Music put life into my soul. I grew up on gospel, jazz, hip-hop and R&B, along with Reggae. I’ve always been intrigued by how people were able to express themselves in a rhythmic fashion.”
Hungry and ambitious, Bradshaw pushed to be the best. Then one day, his mentality completely changed after speaking with music industry elite, Kevin Liles.
“He said one line that stuck with me. ‘This industry doesn’t need anymore rappers, it needs businessmen.’ After that, I wanted to know everything."
In that moment, he made the decision to be both an artist and a self educated businessman. Lee dove headfirst into finding out everything he possibly could about every aspect of the business. He knew the ins and outs of everything from management all the way down to song distribution. Immediately he started to notice things were changing, and the way people were interacting with him began to change as well. After reading up on everything, he decided to explore different avenues of the industry.
Bradshaw’s expertise and experience started to stretch across the board, as he went from being an artist, to a manager, to doing open mics, to owning his own label, and doing public access shows. Soon after, Hotline radio was born and Bradshaw put his all into making it the biggest radio station on the web.
Just like most young professionals who are trying to make a change for the better, Bradshaw said that people doubted him. Despite it all, he never faltered and kept moving forward.
“When you have such a noble cause in your heart, and you say what you’re doing right now is going to change the dynamic of the way people do things, people will not believe you.”
But his work speaks for itself. Today, Hotline Radio reaches up to over four million listeners worldwide. What put Hotline Radio on the fast track to success was the team, the business model and the company’s beliefs. Hotline radio focuses on placing the power in the hands of the people.
“Hotline Radio is the platform for artists made by artists and we are just getting started,” Bradshaw said. “I believe that the people should dictate who the top artist is. We bring opportunity back into this industry.”
Being more business savvy ended up changing his life. Bradshaw is sure that if artists took time to thoroughly understand the business side of the industry, and learned how to do things on their own, everything would change.
“When it comes to telling your story, no one can tell you how, and that’s what art is,” he said. “Some of these artists do a better marketing job or design job or even administrative job than the person taking money from their check,” he said. “If they learn the craft, they can stand at the table and say ‘No, we don’t need these people at this stage.’ Hell, most artists will realize they don’t need a label at all.”
And hey, there’s nothing better than being self made right?
To listen to Hotline Radio at any time, visitwww.hmg247.comor download the hotline radio app.