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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week – Ope (O-Asiatic)
Monday, June 12, 2006

Influenced by artists such as Public Enemy's Bomb Squad and NWA's Dr. Dre, Ope, also known as O-Asiatic, started doing production work in 1990. Six years later he started his own company, Ope Entertainment, to further his career. Since then he has worked with numerous artists, some of whom he's gotten airplay for on New York's Hot97. Ope's own work includes the 2001 release GET SHORTy! which was bootlegged overseas and used in the independent film Kingston High. In 2003, after rapper Substantial asked Ope to manage him, Ope turned Ope Entertainment into an artist mangement company and merged it with Substantial's company to form Unlimited Vinyl Ink (UVInk)/ Ope Entertainment. The company is home to Ope, Substantial, Insanate and Fresh Daily, among others. Oh yeah, and when he's not busy with his own company he's working up at 1515 Broadway at a little place called MTV. I met Ope a handful of years ago at a Boo Yaa Tribe album listening party, and today is your opportunity to get to know this rising star.

Adam Bernard: MC, producer, co-CEO of UVInk / Ope Entertainment, you wear so many hats, what are the most rewarding aspects of each position?
Ope: The most rewarding part of being an MC is when people really get what you’re spitting and they genuinely relate and appreciate it, which is a rarity these days. As a producer, it’s when you see how far your music can really go when the MC's believe in your tracks and take them to the heights. As a Manager it's when you seal a deal for your artists that contribute to the bigger picture of where they want to go, and if you're one of my artists you need to have big plans. As co-CEO the rewards are when the company grows, when we get to have increased sales, show dates, exposure for the label, and the fact that we don't rely on anyone for every step of the music making process just short of distribution (We need that!! Holla!)

Adam Bernard: I know for a fact your music has been bootlegged overseas, Lithuania I think, and one of the artists you work with, Substantial, is big in Japan. How are you getting all this overseas love and what does it mean to you as an artist?
Ope: Yeah, GET SHORTy! was bootlegged in Lithuania and they even went as far as emailing me asking for the song credits because when they did it it wasn't officially out yet. The crazy thing is they didn't see anything wrong with that. Substantial worked very hard and went through a lot the first time out in Japan. I'm very happy that he outsold Jay-Z and Ja Rule at the big music retailers when his debut CD dropped in 2000. He just got back from a promo tour a few weeks ago to kind of get a feel for what the market is now so we can emulate that success. I'm hoping to get him some MTV Japan love this time, as well. Our overseas success is happening because we have decent connects over there and the music is something they enjoy. Most cats take years to get the relationships we have in Europe and Japan, hell, even in America.

Adam Bernard: So what do you feel the next step is for you as an artist, and UVInk / Ope Ent as a label?
Ope: My next step is to get a lot more track placements this year and next. There are a lot of independent artists I want to work with and I'm beginning to reach out to see how it goes down. I have a few tracks contributed to our own projects coming out this year. I also have an instrumental CD I'm hoping to release later this year with a few big names in Hip-Hop holding down a couple of songs that will have vocals on them. For the label on a whole the operative word is "growth."

Adam Bernard: As both an artist and a label owner what kind of responsibilities do you see being neglected by artists today that maybe think "my label will do that for me”?
Ope: I still see today as often as I did back in the day too many artists (and their over-hyped labels) neglect their business. I've personally seen some of the deals that these labels sign. These cats are out here signing deals with terms in their contracts where the other party never has to pay them (What!), and they’re doing it just because they are hot on the net so they rush to put music out. That's bullshit! I got kids, shit is real out here! I'm very happy that all of the core members of UVInk are about their business and creativity as artists.

Adam Bernard: Finally, what qualities do you look for in an artist? What makes you think an MC is going to be a star?
Ope: I look for the following things in an artist I'd like to work with or sign:

* The belief in themselves to eventually be the best overall music biz professional they can be.

* A person that doesn't have a bunch of hype and no substance as a person.

* An artist that knows, or wants to gain knowledge of, the Music Business and not just spit lyrics and go back to the block.

* An emcee that is not the best out there. The ones that think they are the best have no incentive to get better so after a while they suck (bad, too). An artist that is till striving for something is always focused. It’s a beautiful thing man, and it's very rare out here. I'm actually not looking for stars, I'm looking for people that want success, not artists that like to be hyped online but don't have enough dough to feed themselves or their peeps. I'm still hustling, I'm not where I want be as a music business professional. Just wait till I get there. Oh damn, UVizzle beotches!!!

MySpace Pages: myspace.com/ghettocrymusicinc, myspace.com/substantial, myspace.com/freshdotdaily

Other Websites: www.weirdosoul.com


posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:34 AM  
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