Cultivating, Chiefing, and Creating: Get To Know Joey Walker of Alamo Records/Daily Chiefers
Written + Interviewed by Greg Harris
Being the vanguards of modern culture, it's always a pleasure to get the opportunity to allow the gatekeepers to voice their experience in their respective industry. The music industry has taken it's own loops and turns in recent memory with the platform of streaming playing a major role with the monies of music, branding and sharing content digitally, and even the departure of the official position "A&R" in record labels. The position was always one to develop and curate the artist in a fashion where you shape them from underground of today to the household name of tomorrow, but due to the cutbacks and industry not being as lucrative as it was 20 years ago the position hasn't been filled or needed as much.
Instead the position has turned to the bloggers of today, who are the watchdogs of who's next blow. One of the key people who's stamped their mark in the game is Joey Walker, the cultivating writer/bossman of Daily Chiefers. Daily Chiefers was the key place to go to for some of Florida's premier talent that included Smokepurpp, Wifisfuneral, Lil Pump, XXXtentacion, and more. Walker used his platform to allow these artists to blossom and be broadcasted, so much to the point where legendary music guru Todd Moscowitz tapped him to be an A&R for the new budding label, "Alamo Records".
We recently had a chance to speak to Walker about his humble beginnings, the origins of Daily Chiefers, playing a pivotal role into Florida hip hop, Alamo Records, and more.
How’s Your Modern Life?
My life's been good. Just been kicking it. Soundcloud style. I appreciate y'all for hitting me up!
What are three things you have to do when you first wake up?
First thing I do is check Twitter. I can't start my fucking life without Twitter. Then I check my email and hit the shower.
Before the fandom and cultivation of Daily Chiefers, what was your upbringing like in Florida?
I used to be really into sports. I played four different sports in middle school, and played baseball and football throughout High School. I'm still really into sports, but just can't keep up with it like I use to. Go Bills, fuck the Dolphins!
During your upbringing, the vibes of DJ Khaled with his Born n Raised album and the release of many other artists such as Rick Ross, T-Pain, Trick Daddy, Trina, and more played a pivotal role into the infrastructure of modern Florida music. What artists from the state caught your ear the most with their music?
Honestly, Robb Banks, Pouya (Fat Nick) and Denzel Curry played a big role for me in my upbringing as a Florida native. At the time, 2010, Banks and Curry really had a hold on the city, and were really holding it down for the new kids coming up like Pouya. I really fucked with Pouya and Fat Nick the most back then but they were fairly new back then. Robb Banks and Denzel also went on to help out Ski Mask and xxx as well, so blessings to both of them.
Aside from the music that resonated the state’s flavor in music today, the culture in South Florida is another aspect to grasp as well. Being in such a diverse yet segregated atmosphere its a lot of things one can learn with interacting with these people. What has Florida taught over the years, and how did it help you grow?
Florida is a really gritty city. People really don't care about you out there. I really learned to make myself happy out there.
"I eventually want to own my own label at one point. But for right now, I want be the next Plain Pat of A&R's."
Moving into your love for music, what influenced you to create the platform the Daily Chiefers?
My boy Josh created it in 2010, and then eventually handed it off to me in 2012. We started it because we really liked Wiz and Curren$y to be honest and that was about it. We wanted to be a weed blog. Then I sort of pivoted it into music discovery when I saw Pigeons and Planes' website. I felt like they were too picky and that there was more talent out there to be discovered. That's when I made the switch.
Being one of the primary eyes for talent in the South Florida area, what drew you to budding music scene and the artists stemming from it?
Raider Klan. SPG. Robb Banks. If you grew up in Broward and loved underground hip-hop, you looked up to them fools.
What moments do you recall that you were on the right track with your journey as a influencer/journalist?
I had ppl like Wiz Khalifa and Spitta reach out. They said they fucked with the movement and that they would support us. In 2010, the weed culture wasn't as big as it is now so it was like we were all on the same team. It was tight. Then the labels reps started hitting us up in 2015, that was when I really started to notice the growth.
ALAMO RECORDS SIGNED ARTISTS
Due to your hard work, you’ve earned a position at Todd Moscowitz’s Alamo Records as an A&R. How has that experience so far and how has it help you grow?
It's been great. I've only been there for a few months after bringing in Smokepurpp, but I'm learning everyday. Working under a boss like Todd has been great because he understands the culture.
How do you feel as Alamo Records will revolutionize modern music?
We're the leaders of the new school.
What are some of your goals for the rest of the year?
I want to bring in another few artists besides Purpp, help bring Alamo to the next level and do it in the right way. That's about it.
How do you want to be remembered when it’s all said and done?
I eventually want to own my own label at one point. But for right now, I want be the next Plain Pat of A&R's.