Major is a Bay Area native who makes music, plans events, has a clothing line and does motivational speaking. Earlier this month he opened up to CSUITEMUSIC Managing Editor Michaela Shelton at Lake Merritt in Oakland, CA. Check out his exclusive interview below:
So what endeavours are you involved in?
I’ve taken a mentality that I’ve learned from my OG’s when I was growing up and I’ve used it to steer my way through different industries; like the music industry, the fashion industry, my clothing line, business marketing and throwing events. I’ve used this mentality to help me map out and blueprint how to maneuver through these different industries.
How long have you been making music?
Professionally, I have been making music for a good ten plus years. I have been writing music for people since I was like 12, but I didn’t start getting paid for anything until I was 15 or 16. It started off with me just getting my thoughts out, I was a behind the closet poet. I had already did dancing and a lot of stuff where music was incorporated with it and music was an outlet, because growing up my childhood was terrible. Music was like my first real girlfriend, my real friend, I could talk to music, music spoke to me and I could speak to music.
How did you get into business marketing?
When I was younger I went to school for audio production, but I was already doing music for people and making my own music. I was signed at a really young age, so I learned a lot about how to market and I dropped out of school to take an internship at a label and I learned how A&R’s find artists and help develop artists and stuff like that. Through that internship and working with other people, I just seen a blueprint. It intrigued me how people were finding creative ways to find and connect with their audience. Once I learned more about marketing, it made me want to show people how to do it.
How do you get your clients for your marketing projects?
As I’ve gotten older, people tell people what I do. I’m not really a person that tells people what I do, unless I see them doing something I can help out with; then I’ll say 'hey I do this'. However, in your everyday life, I feel like your best promoter is somebody you’ve already helped. For me people I’ve helped are walking billboards who are like “Hey Major does this” or “If you need help with this, ask Major.” For me that’s all the promotion I need and they promote me to the right people, because the right people keep coming.
What events have you helped plan so far?
The Bay Area Twitter Link Up Party with the Bay Area Bros, which I am apart of. After the second one we threw, I realized that me and my bros did something incredible for the Bay and that us coming from the Bay Area some of us in good homes, some of us not in good homes, some of us finished school, some of us didn’t finish school, just a group of young strong black men coming together, putting something together and promoting it. We promote positivity and togetherness amongst the Bay Area people and people outside the Bay Area.
What is your next goal as far as event planning?
My next step is to do the next big charity event in the Bay Area. I want to get enough people out to really make a difference, because we do a lot of charity events, but we aren’t able to connect to every audience and bring everyone out to support, so I think if we can find a way to do that like we’ve done with these parties we can help change a lot. I want to help a lot of people on the streets with food, with clothes, with money, how ever we can do that. I just want to be able to do that and take it to the next level. As much as they talk about our parties, I want them to talk about this charity and how it changed the game.
What goals do you want to accomplish before the end of this year?
I definitely want to make $100,000 dollars by the end of this year. I want to be able to say that’s in my account at one point in time. I want to at least get in the beginning stages of opening a burger joint type of restaurant. I want you to be able to come to my burger spot and feel like this is like a barbecue at your family’s house. I want to create that vibe and I want it to feel like love was put into the food and the chef was your uncle on the grill. Other than that, my goal is to create some really good music. I want to complete a project I can really put my all into and put it out for the people.
Where do you want to be five years from now?
I want to work my way up the song writers list, I don’t want to be a C or B list I want to be on that A list. I would like to expand my brand to not just clothing and music, but to a lifestyle blog; a YouTube channel to motivate people and give people something to look forward to every week or every other week.
I would also like to own some more property. I’ve learned a lot about how to buy property and how to keep property so I want to get multiple properties, hopefully in different states. I know I’m really busy, but I would like to get a degree, maybe in business. I know I’ve taken classes on it and I’ve learned a lot just being in the industry, but I would like to have that paper just to say that I did it. Not even for other people, just for myself.
Is there anything you want to delve into that you haven’t already?
I’ve done modeling before, but I met a lot of people through modeling that do acting and I’ve always felt like I fit. I’ve seen shows, I’ll repeat the part and think that could be me *laughs*. I could be Michael B. Jordan, like I know I could do it. I could be a bad guy or a good guy. I feel like if I took some classes and really had time to get into character I could be a really good actor.
Now we are going to switch gears and get a little more personal. It seems like you’re always working. What do you do in your spare time?
I like to travel. I’m a culture person and I love to be introduced to new cultures and see what people are about and how they got that way. I love to eat and cook and try new stuff in the kitchen and watching the cooking channel, I be trying to chef it up *laughs*. Usually when I travel I try to eat at three new places in a different state or city I’m in. I’ve accomplished that in a good 12 states I would say. I like to work out, I try to stay healthy and push people to stay healthy. I’ve had a lot of friends pass away because of health issues. so it was always important for me to stay healthy and on top whether it be through sports, working out, just staying active, walking, whatever you can do to stay active. I like spending time with family, because even though you could of known these people your whole life, you might not know so much about these people, so just spending time with family and learning them as people and individuals. I also like being outside, talking to people and spreading energy.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
No. Honestly I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t eat chocolate, I’m like the choir boy. At a young age, these things were pretty cool, you know there’s peer pressure, everybody is doing it, but I realized I didn’t need all that stuff. Life itself is a drug and I been high off it for so long, just enjoying it and living life. When you’re enjoying life, it’s addictive. Like junkies do whatever they can for drugs, I do whatever I can to make my life the best I can make it. Oh! I would say I have one guilty pleasure that probably happens everyday- orange Hi-C, I don’t know what’s in it, but I like drinking it *laughs*. I don’t drink soda, but orange Hi-C though, if you want to bring out my wild side *smiles*.
Earlier you mentioned your childhood being rough. Did you want to elaborate on that?
Even though it was terrible, it helped me learn a lot and become the person I am today. When it comes to my childhood I’m thankful for it, I won’t say I like it or love it at all, but I am thankful for it, because it shaped me a lot and molded me into what I am right now. I think that’s the best part of it, that’s all I can really take from it at the end of the day.
Do you have any children? Are you married? What’s tea!
No I don’t have a wife or girlfriend. I had twin sons in 2013 and they passed away. For me, it helped me grow up very fast at a really young age. That was a turning point like if I wasn’t serious then about life and what I wanted to do and the message I had to give people in life and my purpose in life I knew after that. It took me a long time to put it together, but after I experienced that, I felt like God breaks you down to build you up into what you’re supposed to be and prepares you for your purpose in life. I’m blessed with two beautiful angels, I feel like I can not fail, at the end of the day they’re watching me, and making sure I stay on the right path. I’m not doing drugs or anything wild or crazy man, I still try to lead by example as if they were still here.
Who do you consider your inspirations?
First, I’d like to thank LL Cool J for being the lady’s man, because I love Tupac, he’s probably my second favorite artist, but LL Cool J is going to be number one, because at the end of the day I don’t know what man didn’t want all the ladies on him. Tupac had the ladies, but LL had ALL the ladies. I mean, young, old, in between, like he had em all. He always dressed so fly and his flow was always dope, no one wanted to challenge him, he was just so dope and for me, famous wise, LL Cool J was always a big role model. Also my mom, my sisters, my aunties, growing up around them a lot, seeing them be strong women, supporting each other, it always was a big thing for me. I always seen that and them working like a team, hand in hand helping each other out. That always made me want to be a leader and be a strong team player who always looks out for the person to my left and my right. Lastly, just waking up and seeing how I made it here and can sit here and talk about this type of stuff everyday is inspiring.
What would you say is a quality about yourself you need to work on?
Patience. I feel like I have to be a lot more patient, and that’s not saying don’t go for things or don’t take advantage of opportunities that come at you, but just being patient. I used to watch a lot of sports and boxing was one of them and I always realized the best boxers were patient and they always waited for the first time to strike, you know. I think for me just learning how to be patient and figure out the right time to strike to make the biggest impact with all the moves that I’m making right now. I don’t want to just keep making moves and not hitting hard, I want to keep making moves and they hit.
What can we look forward to from you before the end of this year?
I’m working on relaunching my clothing line. I started it in high school and it did really well, I just wasn’t really on top of my business, I was doing it more so to be cool and to be around friends. The clothing line embodies me as a person, it’s named after me and it shows who I am. I try to push positive slogans on my products and give people something to look at that motivates them.
Michaela P. Shelton is Managing Editor of CSUITEMUSIC.com
Read more from Michaela at Darealmichaela1.com