Documentary “DEMOS” by HipNOTT Records 2011 BNR Interview
DEMOS – An Independent Artists Guide to Success: “How do I stand out form the countless other artists trying to make it”? “Should I put out a mix-tape or an album first”? ” Do I need a booking agent”? “How do I build my brand and create my image”? “How can I get sponsorship for shows and tours”? These questions are the essence of DEMOS… We caught up with Kareem Fort from HipNOTT Records to talk about the upcoming documentary “DEMOS” coming summer 2011.
Q. Big Noise: Can you introduce yourself to those of us who do not know you?
A. Reem: My name is Kareem Fort, most people just call me Reem. I am C.O.O. of HiPNOTT Records and co-owner of Cypher Lounge Radio and now the creator of new film DEMOS.
Q. Big Noise: Can you tell us a little more about HipNott Records? Where are you located?
A. Reem: HiPNOTT Records is a digital record label, founded by the popular blogger Kevin Nottingham that specializes in authentic, quality hip hop, the core sound is very reminiscent of the “Golden Era” of hip hop, we are based out of Los Angeles and Miami
Q. Big Noise: What is the name of the film you are working on and what should people expect?
A. Reem: The film is called DEMOS an independent artists guide to success, its a documentary film that focuses on the independent artist and the necessary steps it takes to achieve success.
Q. Big Noise:How did you come up with the name for the film; “DEMOS”?
A. Reem: DEMOS came to me about a year ago, being apart of HiPNOTT Records, I receive a ton of email inquiring about how to get on with the label, or how to submit demos or production etc. I try to read as many emails as I can but I really began to get frustrated with the fact that most of the music was subpar and it really seemed as if most of the artists emailing me really didnt have a sense of direction. I spoke about this with my wife and she suggested that I write somewhat of a “How to guide” or a book giving advice to up and coming artists. I thought about her idea for months and decided to take it a step further and do a film about it. I figure not very many people know who I am but they may listen to someone like Rapper Big Pooh or Dj Marly Marl.
Q. Big Noise: Are you personally involved with the hip-hop culture and in what capacity?
A. Reem: Yes, I think putting out what I believe is quality hip hop is definitely a contribution along with Cypher Lounge Radio, which is similar to Big Noise Radio by giving up and coming artists a platform to speak their minds and be heard is another way of doing that and now with the film I hope to provide a tool to the up and coming artists and provide them with a bit more insight on the music industry from a slightly different point of view.
Q. Big Noise: What do you think about the climate of hip-hop today?
A. Reem: That’s a tricky question, I have so many thoughts on this but I think the climate of hip hop is great, I just wish there were a few more leaders than followers. I do think that there are some artists that are pushing the limits a bit more, creatively, which I think is a great thing.
Q. Big Noise: What inspired you to make this film? Will this be an independent release?
A. Reem: The inspiration came from me wanting to do something different and to teach up and coming artists about the business that relates to this day and age of technology and how social networking sites and blogs can be a powerful tool if used properly. The film will be an indie release but I will be heavily pursuing licensing from MTV, VH1, BET etc.
Q. Big Noise: Who are you currently working with? Who is involved in the film?
A. Reem: I like to work with a small group of people, so when i decided who I thought would be great contributors to the project it wasn’t a difficult decision. I am working with my business partner Kevin Nottingham, Hassahn Phenomenon, Velv Somersault and its being directed by my buddy Matthew Friedman. I am also working with MyCypher.com
Q. Big Noise: For someone who is not familiar with hip-hop, what would they get out of this film?
A. Reem: I think anyone who sees this film with definitely learn how creative and smart these independent artists are and how much tenacity they have. Being independent is a double edge sword in many ways. On one hand you call your own shots and set your own deadlines and on the other hand you have to create your own resources and become your own representative in many cases. The film DEMOS, gives you insight on how to do those things effectively. I don’t think there is one specific formula on how to “make it” but I know there are several ways. During one of our interviews, Tony Rock, who is featured in the film, Hassahn and myself were discussing “success” and what that means. This is obviously a relative term but in most cases, it simply means doing what you want to do, in this case its music, but making a living at it, would define success for many aspiring artists.
Q. Big Noise: Have you worked on any other films or projects people may be familiar with?
A. Reem: I have written several treatments for videos but this will be my first film project. I oversee all projects on HiPNOTT Records along with Kevin.
Q. Big Noise: Why should people watch this film? When is the expected release date?
A. Reem: If you are like a lot of aspiring musicians/artists that really dont have a sense of where to begin to establish your music career, who to email, how to email, how to book a show, how to create an online presence, how to get tips on branding, how you can make money, how licensing works etc, then this film is a “must see”. The film will be available summer 2011
Q. Big Noise: Do you have any musical contributions to the film or soundtrack?
A. Reem: Yes, there will absolutely be a soundtrack for the film, im very excited about it!
Q. Big Noise: Who are some of the artists that are featured on the soundtrack?
A. Reem: I’m gonna keep that on the low for now but expect to hear some HiPNOTT artists as well as some very well known artists with a few surprises and the title track DEMOS is featuring King Mez.
Q. Big Noise: Is there anything that you’d like to share with us that we’ve not discussed today?
A. Reem: I just want everyone to support the film, talk about the film and recommend it to a friend. Everyone seems to know an aspiring producer, songwriter, rapper, singer who needs some assistance, so I am confident that this film will answer some of their questions.
DEMOS: An Independent Artist's Guide To Success | YouTube Documentary Video
Some Of The Cast Members For The Film Are As Follows | DEMOS SUMMER 2011
* Rapper Big Pooh/Big Dho
* DJ Rhettmatic
* Pete Rock and CL Smooth
* Naughty By Nature
* Tony Rock
* Talib Kweli
* Jean Grae
* Pharoah Monch
* Wiz Khalifah
* Asya (Fusicology)
* Big Pee Wee (KJLH)
Look Out For Soundtracks From The Following Artists | DEMOS SUMMER 2011
* Rapper Big Pooh
* King Mez
* Boog Brown
* The Regiment
* K. Sparks