Foci: Music & Grammy’s: Behind the Grammy Scene.
Question: State your Credibility!
Peace thanks so much for having me, I go by the stage name Foci but I’m formerly known as Mr. K Wilson. I’ve served in many different positions in the industry but first and for most as a musician. It started with me playing drums as a kid in drumline, then DJing events at a lot of great clubs in Hollywood from 2000 to 2007, to teaching Digital Media and Recording Production at Blair High School in Pasadena, now to owning and operating my own Production Company and releasing records.
I got into producing and writing my own music after a conversation with the late great DJ Hideo who used to work for the popular LA based radio station, 92.3/100.3 The Beat. I wasn’t too happy with the direction music was going at the time and instead of playing music as a DJ I figure I’d create my own that I could truly be proud of. It has been a long journey since the conversation before he passed away and over the years i’ve made consistent moves to the point where my debut album has been featured in television and film, airplay on terrestrial (Soundwaves Radio KPFK) and satellite radio (The World-famous Wakeup Show Shade 45), performances at coveted festivals such as SXSW and A3C, award nomination as the #1 Contender for the Underground Music Awards, 3 time award winner for Best Performance at Urban Underground, and recently earned a spot as a NARAS member, or the Grammy’s as it’s commonly known.
Question: Would you say your more into the production side?
Answer: I’m a jack of all trades and learning to master a few of them, that’s what leaders do, play your position and learn the trade to the point of mastery and then learn something new. I do it all and i’m completely independent. I own my own production company that also services artists, i’m more then just an artist I also do this as a business.
Question: You were featured in Source magazine, what was the main focus? Music? Or your production?
Answer: Music. My video director Eric Heights and myself released the latest visual off my debut, The Achievement Gap, entitled Peace Up (http://thesource.com/2014/10/03/california-based-emcee-foci-releases-video-for-single-peace-up/), they liked what they saw and put it on the site. That was a pivotal moment especially given the fact that my music is so much different from everything else that is out right now. Some other sites are also supporting the song and I truly appreciate that support.
Question: What artist have you work with?
Answer: When it comes to concerts it’s a laundry list of Hip Hop’s pioneers and greats, I’ve opened for DJ Premier, Method Man & Redman, Jay Electronica, Mobb Deep a few times, Big K.R.I.T., to name a few, in terms of the services my company offers we work with former Aftermath Entertainment artist Dion who did extensive work with Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, and The Game. I also assist, mentor, and develop underground artists out of the City of Pasadena.
Question: So your also working for the Grammy’s board, how is that?
Answer: I’m a voting member for the Grammy’s and its awesome!
Question: How does the Voting work?
Answer: Most of the information is proprietary so I can’t go into extreme detail but I will speak as to what is publicly known, there are specific criteria and deadlines that need to be met and the voting goes in two phases.
Question: So how does the nomination process work?
Answer: First off to even be considered the artist’s music has to be available through music retailers and verified through specific music databases. It’s a bit of due dilligence to be a part of this prestigious academy and an independent artist truly has to operate as their own record label and marketing machine to help make this happen. This criteria has to be met for the artist to even be considered. After consideration, if there are enough votes for that specific candidate they may advance to another round of voting which then makes it’s way to the final ballot. There’s about 10,000 of us members i’m glad to be one of them.