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Monday, August 23, 2010

WBM Features: SAL of Disturbing Tha Peace (A&R)

Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all.
-Sam Ewing

We live in a day and age, where not only do people have specific wants, but want and want right now. We have fast food, microwaves, cell phones, Internet and social networks to name a few that process how we receive these wants and a rapid pace. What's even more interesting, that the acquisiton of wants has some how transfered over to the accomplishment of things we may aspire to do. Some how impatience has replaced the timeliness of hard work and effort to get where we need to go.

However understanding of what it takes to make it in the music industry and well aware that the effort put forth was going to determine where is overall placement would land him, Sal A&R of Ludacris' Disturbing Tha Peace continues to keep pushing to take himself beyond where his two feet stand. He's taking things higher and as our latest WBM feature provides insight into how he got started, what he's up to currently and what's next.

[As Told To Why Blue Matters]

Who is Sal?

SAL: Sal is just a guy working hard trying to make his mark in this music industry and in life and help as many of his people as he can along the way.

Where are you from?

SAL: Born and raised in Winston-Salem NC, aka Trey Fo.


SAL: Music, Women, Family, Success.

How long have you been in the game?

SAL: I guess I really started my journey in the music business around June of 2004, so I will say 6 years.

Where did you get your start?

SAL: I started off interning at 102 Jamz wjmh in Greensboro NC, that internship eventually led to a Paid position doing research at the Label, I was also a assistant to the Music Director at the station.

What do you like most about being an A&R?

SAL: So Far the greatest satisfaction for me has been seeing people enjoy a song that I played some part in creating. Thats a great feeling. But overall I like working with creative artist and coming up with ideas that eventually turn into great music.

What does it mean to be an A&R in 2010?

SAL: I dont think there is a certain answer to that question, because other people might feel totally different than I feel. But I would say it means people have a certain level of trust in your opinion and ear torwards music. You are basically the liason between the artist and the label.

How do you find producers, songwriters, etc.?

SAL: A few different ways, you can go to different artist showcase or beat battles and discover talent that way. Or you can just scan through all the demos and beat submissions you recieve until you find something you deem worthy. Other people search youtube, or myspace for new acts. There is a variety of ways.

How important is innovation to an A&R?

SAL: To me its extremely important because innovation is what keeps the genre growing and expanding without innovation the music will continue to repeat itself. Innovating artist inspire me to do what I do. It reminds me of the reason why I wanted to pursue this career and that is strictly the love of Music

In your opinion, what makes a great song?

SAL: A few things, 1st off good production. The Music should be a huge focus, but definitely a great lyric and melody. I look for songs with innovative concepts but still relatable to the listener. A great song is something that you can hear once, but later on while driving in your car you find yourself humming the melody or singing the hook because it was so impressionable. A great song evokes emotion, it can make you smile, cry. It can inspire you or bring back a good memory. Those things make great songs

What does success mean to Sal?

SAL: Right now success to me would mean being involved with a artist or project that ended up having a great impact on a number of people. The 1st time i saw my name in a Cd Booklets album Credits, I felt like that was a Success, the 1st time Luda told me he liked one of the Beats I sent him was a Success to me or Giving him a beat that ended up on his album was a Success. They're different levels and its all up to that person to decide. Success to another person might be graduating from High School or Moving out of the Projects. Different Strokes for Different Folks.

What/Who inspires you?

SAL: I'm inspired by many different things. Life in General inspires me, to go back home to my city and still have childhood friends running the streets inspires me to do better and work 10x harder. My Family inspires me, definitely my Nephews, but also my DTP family, Chaka, Jeff and Luda all inspire me. Anyone chasing a dream is inspiration for me to accomplish my goals.

What keeps you motivated?

SAL: The exact same things that inspire me also keep me motivated to never give up and push harder. I always like to say that whenever you quit, thats 5 new people who jumped in your spot. So im always motivated

What's in your iPod?

SAL: I honestly dont have a Ipod, but in my cd changer right now...random Rick Ross Albert Anastasia EP, Tk n Cash Twerk Tape, Witch Doctor a SWATS Healing Ritual, Cormega the True Meaning, Teedra Moses 1st Album, BG Its All On You Vol2., A couple of Random mixtapes because I like to keep up with whats happening on the Underground Scene

Favorite Artist(s)?

SAL: Outkast, Devin, Pacific Division, My DTP Fam (Luda, Tk n Cash, Playaz Circle), Jeezy, Nas, I think Rick Ross is Dope, Drake makes Good music...Thats all I can think of off top of my Head

Current projects?

SAL: Lil Scrappy the Grustle Album Coming Soon, We just Signed a R&B Group out of Toronto named Untitled, Rudy Currence is one of the Dopest new Artist coming out real soon. Of Course Tk n Cash follow them @tkncash1 Cant forget my Partnas Playaz Circle working on a New Album and Tity Boi is in a Zone right now, so I'm at Duffle Bag Studios everyday bringing them Music and helping break their new artist.

What's next?

SAL: Just Created a Website which is currently under construction but will be up and running very soon. Its a website for independant artist who want to get feedback on there music from the label or someone working in the industry. And it's basically set up to answer any questions you may have about starting a career as a artist or what it takes to get the attention of the labels. So if your interested in setting up a session to get your music reviewed hit me at or on Twitter @king_saladean and ill get back to you as soon as possible. Basically here to help because the average indie artist has no clue on what it takes to succeed in this game.

Who would you like to collaborate with?

SAL: Whoever has a good attitude and wants to work, you need some type of budget as well. I'll work with you lol

What is your biggest accomplishment?

SAL: Honestly just surviving this far in the game. I moved to ATL in 2005 with a few dollars and a Plan. I didnt know anyone, so being able to grind and eventually work at one of the most Successful Labels in the Game and Having someone Like Ludacris, who i looked up to, Call my phone about a Beat, is a Huge Accomplishment. I have a Loooooooooong way to go because I want to do so much.

What type of impact would you like to leave with your contribution to music?

SAL: I just want to be able to help someone, be it thru music or thru my music consulting. I want to be remembered as a Good Dude who created Great music and did Good business. As Long as I can have a positive affect on people, I have no complaints

Any advice for those looking to pursue their goals and dreams?

SAL: Never give up, no matter how bad it seems, it can always be worse. Study and research what you want to do and create a Plan. Im still learning everyday. Be willing to Sacrafice to get what you want because sometimes thats what it takes. Remember your Dream and Claim it. I'm living Proof that Dreams Do Come True.

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