Modern Visionaries: Kei opens up about managing Key!, working for 10 Deep, and what it takes to be a visionary
The meaning behind a visionary is having foresight for things that are to flourish later on. Being a visionary means going against the grain for something you believe in and fully putting yourself behind the product. One individual who's been in the game and soaked as much to start their own empire is Kei. She's responsible for exposing the world to acts such as 21 Savage, and formally worked with Key! and ManManSavage. Her skills of introducing new talent to the forefront has earned a part to work with one of hip hop's powerful indie labels, Cinematic Music Group.
Read our exclusive interview with her speaking on managing 21 Savage and Key!, the Atlanta culture, and being a Modern Visionary.
(Disclaimer: This Interview was done in June of 2015)
How’s your Modern Life?
Busy as hell. Family life...got a new puppy...plus all this work. I'm to the point where I'm turning one of my phones off for at least 1 day a week for personal time.
How would you describe (your life) in three words?
You’re a tastemaker for the Atlanta scene, specifically behind the scenes. How has Atlanta influenced you with your work?
Atlanta is the reason I got into the music industry. Such a slept on city as a whole — even though we've been running music for quite sometime, there are still people and brands that don't believe there's a real scene filled with culture down there. So when I choose artists from Atlanta, it's usually an underdog whom I feel the world needs to hear/see. When I do events do there (which is about to be much more), is because I want to expose the world outside of Atlanta to what's going on down there. So much creativity in that city man.
What are some things you wouldn’t trade for the world when it comes to Atlanta?
Confused lol...I wouldn't trade my family for nothing so hope that answers your question.
You currently work for 10 Deep, what is your role there and what inspired you to work there?
Marketing and Special Projects — truthfully, I wanted to work there to be more hands-on in the music industry. Most of what I do there has to do with music projects, artists, etc.
How has 10 Deep influenced you to be the person you are now?
Ummmm...i'm not a fashion person, so I'm not gonna answer lol.
Aside from working for 10 Deep, you manage Key! How did you guys link up?
Key!, ManMan Savage, 21 Savage (OPB), Dexter Dukarus and a couple other artists I'm developing....but me and Key! linked up before I left Atlanta for NY. He approached me like, "you need to manage me and drop all your other artists" — that's a direct quote. That didn't happen immediately, but eventually it did. He's now my flagship artist and most successful to date. But the rest of OPB is right behind him.
How has Key! made you a better visionary? How have you helped Key! ?
Key! has made me a better visionary when it comes to creative expression. I started DJing maybe 6 months after I started working with him (3yrs ago). I have a creative side that I rarely tap into because I'm behind the scenes, but he helped me give it some attention. And when it comes to brand marketing, he helped fill in some blanks there.
How have I helped Key? — how have I not? lol. He does the music, I get it out there. Pretty simple.
What are three tools you used to achieve the success you’ve gained over the years?
Leaving my feelings and emotions behind because it has nothing to do with business. And probably my laptop and iPhone lol. Literally cannot live without either.
What components do you think it takes to be a visionary in this day in age?
Belief in yourself.
Follow Kei here.