January 22, 2013

Text: @OMcGhee Tells @MissPriyaP About Working w/ @1Future, @DJDrama, and more

By: Priya Pansuria

Atlanta native Orlando McGhee has been in the music industry since his days as a student of Hampton University. He started by working with Loud Records and worked his way up to being a part of BME, Warner Brother Records and starting his own consulting group. McGhee, who can nearly pinpoint great talent, now manages rapper Future.

How did you get started in the music industry?
I got started as a street team rep for Loud Records back in the day. I used to pass out flyers, deliver vinyl to DJs––when vinyls were still being used––and put up posters in record stores when there were still a lot of those around.

What made you want to be a part of the industry?
Just my love for music––period. I wasn’t very good as an artist so my next step was to be on the business side of things.

You managed DJ Drama, Don Cannon & The Aphilliates, correct? How did that come about?
Back in the day they were all part of this DJ group The Super Friends. When they broke off from that, I was still a project manager at Lil’ Jon’s BME Records. I was good friends with them and they asked me to manage them when they started The Aphilliates. We started their sirius radio show and ended up getting them on-air in Atlanta. We had a couple artists signed at the time. We had the DJ Drama album at the time with Atlantic. We were all young and hungry and it came about from the friendships we had.

Why did you stop managing them?
I took a job at Warner Brother Records as an A&R. So the way my contract was written out, I couldn’t manage them. We remained great friends and still are to this day.

How did you land the A&R position at Warner?
I got it through a very good friend of mine Naim Ali who was an A&R at Warner. He saw a lot of the work that I was doing in town and mentioned it to the chairman at warner and the rest was history. I took the job, and ended up worked on some big projects. Like Lil’ Jon and Crime Mob. Working with Lil’ Jon over at Warner was nice because I had developed a friendship with him while I was at BME. We had a big, successful run at that time,

Tell me about Seventy2 Music Consulting.
Seventy2 Music Consulting is my own company that I started that back in 2001 or 2002. I had a lot of street team accounts and a lot of opportunities with marketing, promotions, management, along with other things. I was able to take my street team and promotional strategies from the southeast and help artists grow. And from there I decided to do consulting on the side for artists and had record companies coming for me for different contacts.

How did you meet Future?
I was an intern. I worked with the street team at Loud Records. But I was also the kid who was always around The Dungeon [Family]. Future is actually Rico Wade’s cousin. So Rico ended up bringing Dungeon into a meeting and Future, who was 16 or 17 at the time, I was there.

I was young myself, and we would just watch [Future] do his thing. He was a great writer. He was, and still is, just a great lyricist. I watched him develop around The Dungeon. As I moved up in the music industry, so did he. I had a small roll when he got his deal. I was talking to Naim Ali back and forth about Future and I talked to Future’s manager at the time to get him to Epic. So we all went to New York one day and they signed him, and the rest is kind of history.

At one point he needed a little help and he basically said to me, “Hey, you know, lets do some business.” And so it’s been about a year since then. We’ve worked and helped him go from being a local, Atlanta artist to becoming a national artist. And that’s been a huge success because a lot of local Atlanta artists get stuck as local artists.

What do you think about Young Scooter?
He’s a great talent, he is a true definition of perseverance. Watching him build himself from the ground up has been great. He has always known what kind of artist he’s wanted to be. He was the voice of the streets, that’s what he’s built for himself.

He is a part of the Freebandz Crew, and anyone who is a part of that may ask me for advice here and there, and so I help him out. And vice versa, I can ask those guys for advice on my work. We all help each other out and are all very honest with each other.

Which up and coming artists in Atlanta do you feel have a lot of potential?
This kid Rich Homie Quan, I listen to his music everyday. And Two9. My assistant who’s a really big fan she introduced me to them. And another kid who’s actually out of New Orleans , Dee-1. I’m about to do some business with him. Dee-1 has throwback style to his music––it’s street enough to where you almost miss the fact that there’s a message in songs. He gives u advice on everyday things and how to get through them and talks about history. You don’t get that as much nowadays. I personally like backpack rap music, I like a lot of different music but especially backpack rap, that’s what I grew up listening to.

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New Music Tuesdays: November 1, 2011
Wrap Up: This Week In Review (feat Rihanna & BET)
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One Comment

  1. Doc Jam says:

    Had the privilege of working with Orlando McGhee during his time at BME and later at Warner Bros. Awesome awesome awesome guy. Great interview.

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