Kalamazoo, MI-Optimism is the attitude many have about the future of Kalamazoo for all types of music. Creating a company and a social buzz at the same time seems to be on the agenda of a inspiring entrepreneur trying to help bring a variety of entertainment options to Kalamazoo. Majyckradio was able to sit down and speak with Adam Shepperd, owner of Adam Shepperd Abstract Promotions.
MJR: How are you and thank you for doing the interview?
ASAP: No problem, my pleasure.
MJR: Are you a native of Kalamazoo?
ASAP: Yes, I was born and raised here. Mostly I grew up in Portage for the most part, basically around Kalamazoo my whole life.
MJR: So have you always been a fan of hip-hop, how did you get into?
ASAP: First hip-hop was to DJ Quick. Hip-hop wasn’t first but I think that’s what hooked me. DJ Quick is what hooked me. That hard core sound back when it started in the early 90’s late 80’s your parents hated so, I loved it, loved it more and I just kept on with it and continued to listen to it and then when ’92 came, me Esham and Nastas, that was it was it for me hooked to mostly underground, not really to much of a mainstream fan just mostly underground I really like underground. People are more into, it’s not commercial its not the same lyrics or the same beat, different.
MJR: How did you get into promoting since you’re a fan of hip-hop, specifically underground hip-hop?
ASAP: I got invited to do merchandise for Mastaminds show in Lansing went all the way up there and the show was cancelled so I wanted to see about how hard it was to book a show and do a show. It took me about two weeks to book a show at the Strutt and get everything setup there. Personally, I was just tired of seeing money leaving Kalamazoo. Tired of seeing money leave Kalamazoo to go to Grand Rapids when there’s plenty of opportunities here for venues, consumers, everybody to enjoy shows and to make money. It’s a win-win for everybody. When you have venues that are allowing people to come in that will hire people. Obviously, it’s a win-win for everybody.
MJR: You have a relationship with Shakespeare’s. The hip-hop scene happens in “waves” so to speak. Once upon a time hip hop venues were “good and plenty” in the Kalamazoo area, but Shakespeare’s seems to have opened their doors to having hip hop shows when no one else in Kalamazoo will.
ASAP: Shakespeare’s, mostly because of Sean Micklin, he’s the manager there. He’s a fan of hip hop and then when you have people that are interested in it(hip hop) and you have a good track record for previously doing shows with them they allow stuff to come in their venue more.
They’ve had a lot of clean hip hop shows there and it’s been a good success that’s one thing that keeps them around. You can’t have problems and altercations but the venue is a bidding factor in that. They stop all that from happening. The atmosphere is better.
MJR: You just had Esham here to do a show that was sold out?
ASAP: It didn’t sell out but it did really well for a Tuesday. We had well over two hundred people, that’s very good especially for hip hop its decent for around here.
MJR: Do you think the people came out because it was the “eve” of Halloween and whom was performing?
ASAP: I think that may have had some factor by but ‘word of mouth’,spread really well and that’s what has to happen for success. You have to have people back you up and stand behind what you do. You have to or nobody’s ever going to hear about you or what you are doing. That was a big step, but Esham himself is a Michigan legend you really can’t go wrong with having Esham anywhere at any night.
MJR: How do you decide what artist you’re going to bring to the Kalamazoo area?
ASAP: That’s tough. That’s the tough part. It’s a matter of availabilities. I kind of dig into what I like some of the time and just picking peoples brains and seeing what the fans are all about because if you put someone out there that nobody wants to see, nobody’s going to come out and check for them. Get your “feelers” out. That’s the hardest part sometimes or scariest part really, is trying to do a show and not know what the outcome is going to be.
MJR: So you’re not limiting yourself hip-hop shows?
ASAP: No, I am also doing country as of right now. We have a country show coming up this week. We’re going to bring a national act here possibly the end of December or beginning of January. I’m not limited to one genre. I’m open for everything really, it just depends on what the people want to see or hear.
MJR: What is the name of your promotion company?
ASAP: ASAP. Adam Shepherd Abstract Promotions
MJR: Abstract promotions?
ASAP: (chuckle) My buddy Matt and DJ and I were drive golfing one day and I was talking to somebody about doing something and I said get a hold of me asap. And DJ was like, “Adam Shepherd Abstract Promotions”. (chuckle) That’s it. There’s the name and it has always stuck and it “sticks”. I like it because it’s original.
MJR: It is definitely. How long have you been promoting shows?
ASAP: It will be a two years in December I’ve been doing it. I’ve done two Mastamind shows, two Esham shows, a Lil Wtye show, and Dani Jamerson. My promotion company is bringing Shelagh Brown to Shakespeare’s this weekend. I’m doing Bizarre of D12 December 7.
MJR: You’ve been busy.
ASAP: Busy is good. It tends to mean you’re doing the right thing these days at least.
MRJ: With you bringing these different shows to the area, what would you like to see happen to the music scene here in Kalamazoo?
ASAP: I would like to see it grow and expand. There’s not a lot a businesses pushing hip-hop. Country is different because we have a local radio station to promote it. But so far with hip hop there isn’t and it takes a lot to make things successful. We need people to stand behind the music, stand behind the venues and the music in Kalamazoo can grow. I mean there are a lot of talented people in Kalamazoo and all they need is an avenue to put their voice out. That’s all they really need.
MJR: When you have artists come in to do shows how do you solicit local acts to be a part of the show?
ASAP: I’ve met and talked with a lot of people. I get a lot of business cards and information about them. Face book is a good promotional tool. Everybody is on FB. It’s a good way to connect to people so I’m for that. FB is sad in a lot of ways, but a good promotional tool. So a lot of people contact me and send me links to their music and stuff like that, so when I have shows that fit the scheme of their music I contact them to see if they are interested and we go from there.
MJR: If someone wanted to do a show with you how would they contact you?
ASAP: Email me at email@example.com. Look for me on FB, not sure of the link (chuckle) or contact me on Twitter, my name there is @reellife.
ASAP is busy bringing a variety of music to the area. Tomorrow night in concert, Shelagh Brown, homegrown country performing at Shakespeare’s Lower Level 241 E. Michigan, Kalamazoo, MI. Doors at 8 pm and show at 9 pm. 21+ $5