New York radio veteran DJ Kay Slay has revealed some industry knowledge and tips for any music newcomer trying to make a name for themselves in the cutthroat entertainment industry.
According to Slay, the biggest rule of thumb is knowing there is no room for personal feelings in the music industry.
“Keep your mind on your business, not personal. The executives, CEOs and A&R are not your friends. It’s business. When it’s all said and done, n*ggas won’t give you [a way] to pay your rent or feed your family, man. Everything is business. Another one for artists and DJs: When you do someone a favor, make sure you get whatever it is you need from them right there on the spot. A lot of these cats, when they blow up, it’s hard for some reason to return the favor.” (XXL Mag)
In 2010, the deejay explained how label politics cost him a Drake collaboration.
“I had the record and what happened was the people at the record label was giving a hard time for clearing it,” Slay explained in an interview. “But they didn’t know that Baby cleared the record…[then] it was too late, I had already turned the record in. So shout-out to him, I don’t have no hard feelings. Baby gave me the record, it was the d*ckheads at the record label, with the business affairs that were acting silly — but they ain’t tell me that because they didn’t believe it was gonna happen so by the time I got on it, it was a little too late. So you know, it is what it is.” (Champ Mag)
He previously talked about making it big with his model-driven Straight Stuntin’ Magazine venture.
“I figured the modeling thing would be simpler if I gave them a platform to show their talents and It would be good to come through a magazine. It’s female DJ’s, rappers, models, adult entertainers. No requirements, just come correct. Everything is run right like any other magazine you see. I didn’t do an online magazine because that’s how you lose. This downloading sh*t f*cked up the whole music industry. The last thing you want to do is put it online cause people won’t purchase it. You can’t bootleg a magazine. The time that it takes to do it and the money, a n*gga aint gonna take the chance to do it. The only way you could lose if you did an online version. I don’t care if you have to pay for it, a motherf*cker will figure out how to get that sh*t for free. It’s a gift and curse.” (All Hip Hop)
In 2009, Slay offered his opinion on the growing trend of major record labels.
“[Papoose’s] grindin’, you know, he’s just putting everything back in order,” Slay said about Papoose. “He’s in a different frame of mind now. We recorded a whole lot of records. Putting an album out ain’t a problem, it’s about putting an album out through a right situation. I think [Papoose would] rather [prefer] an independent than a major. It really don’t make no sense to do a major in this time in age…Papoose would do better on an independent right now because majors are really geared towards Southern artists or high profile artists that’s been known for selling records. They don’t wanna gamble too much with no new artists.” (XXL Mag)
Check out some recent DJ Kay Slay footage below: