Guest Star: "To All The Kids In College, Always Keep Your Options Open" -GrandPa Productions Founder Devin Armstrong
Sunday, Aug 8, 2010 1:49PM
[Former Hampton University student Devin Armstrong reveals how promoting college parties helped him launch his own company.]
Around 2002, I got together with some friends around Hampton University in Virginia and began promoting parties at school. It began with some older people at campus and they noticed the potential I had as far as contacting people and they realized I knew a lot of people and a lot of people knew me and they presented me with an opportunity to where I could promote parties and even get paid off of it.
The party I helped promote was called the Norva and it could hold 1,500 people and you can just imagine trying to sell tickets where we sell out every time. Now down in Hampton, it's a very big college university area and so people from other schools would actually come out to our event. The Norva would be thrown at the beginning of the semester and then again at homecoming for the fall semester.
As far as for the spring semester, we'd throw the Norva once everybody got back from the winter break and then again after spring break. This was a party that was only thrown four times a year. In this area, it was the biggest party that colleges knew about. The actual venue they put it in, it's actually a concert venue. So the set-up was really, really different and in Virginia, we don't have big clubs like in New York so it was the first place that actually had a VIP section, it was two floors and then they had the stage where the DJ was at. It was made into a premiere party.
You couldn't just come as you were. You had to be fly, dressed nice and it became a situation where the set-up was really extravagant. There would be artists who came by like The Clipse, Timbaland, one time Pharrell stopped through. If there were different artists around the area, they would come through.
What I did was looked at what I was doing and my brother started going to Hampton University too as a music major and what I did was saw him also making music as an opportunity to create a company and that's how I began to bring my GrandPa Productions together. I started the company so that we could start providing music for people and in the midst of me starting a company, he started getting cool with two other producers and I started managing them as a group called ReKaSte.
At this point, we've had some great experiences and highlights. One of my company's producers worked in a pretty famous studio in New York, it's actually located at the same place where the Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls shooting took place. It's right there in Times Square so one of the producers interned here and for him to do that, that was big for the company. We got ReKaSte some radio time on some stations.
To all the kids in college, always keep your options open. You always want to make sure you have your options open and people around you who are positive because when you have a lot of negative people, things are not going to go well. Make sure to pursue what you want because you enjoy doing it, don't do it for the money. I do a lot of things I do because it's fun to me and I enjoy doing it which makes it that much easier. A lot of people want to do things because they see the glamour and everything like that but you have to actually love both sides to it because all that comes from hard work and everybody sees it as after the hard work is done. Understand, you do have to put the hard work in. Always remember, if you are not consistent, then it is not going to work.
Devin Armstrong is a former Hampton University student and college party promoter. Since his days at Hampton, he has launched his own company called GrandPa Productinos. The organization is a music production company that promotes superior music through the use of diverse styles including rap, R&B, neo-soul, hip-hop, rock, pop, and country.
Pictures taken by JAXONPHOTOGROUP.
Check out GrandPa Production group ReKaSte's "Night Life" below: