Whats Good J Hatch? Its been 5 years since we had a chance to catch up with you. Give us a snap shot how I Standard has grown since then?
iStandard has grown immensely in the last 5 years. Aside from our 65+ regional iStandard Showcases in 30+ US markets (including Bahamas & Toronto), we have since launched an incredible educational series called Beat Camp. We have had placement with 50 Cent, G Unit, Jadakiss, Bun B, ‘POWER’ on Starz and signed 15 producers to our new publishing company ‘Digital Osmosis’. We also now manage 2x Grammy Winning x Multi Platinum Producer Focus… who recently produced 6 records on Dr. Dre’s highly anticipated , Grammy nominated ‘Compton’. We have also grown our staff to 20+, very excited about the future.
For those who still haven’t experienced a I Standard showcase. Explain what I standard is and why its great to attend one of your events?
iStandard creates an amazing platform for new music producers to get seen & heard by the music industry, artists and potential fans. Not only do you get the opportunity to get feedback from experienced professionals, you can get a gauge on how the general consumer feels about your music and network with like minded individuals.
You had the opportunity to meet all types of producers in the music industry. Explain the feeling behind helping a new producer make their dreams come true?
It is truly humbling. Having seen the likes of S1, Cardiak, The Mekanics, Buda & Grandz & more come up through the iStandard ranks to now be in the limelight and doing what they love has been amazing. But my business partner Don & I are still in this bubble, we work diligently to create new opportunities for beatmakers to graduate to producers. So sometimes it can be overwhelming when people compliment us or tell us we have changed their life.
How does a Producer get selected to be in an I Standard showcase?
They can submit to one of our 65 events a year on iStandardproducers.com. We generally get 100-200 submissions per market. We select the best of that submission pool, send out letters, do conference calls then prepare them for the event. We have a very seamless process which is about to get a little more hi tech. Stay tuned.
Explain the importance of Branding. Why is this so important in the music industry?
Branding is important because in today’s saturated music market the window of opportunity to make an impression is shrinking daily. From your name to your social media cohesiveness, engaging with fans, presentation, quality of your mix…that’s all branding. Minute you make a beat that is your product. How are you going to stand out?
What are some of the most common mistakes you see with producers right now?
First mistake is calling themselves producers. You are not a producer until you have fully produced a record top to bottom, worked with the artist and given them direction, sat in on the mix and gave your input and made sure you delivered a product you can believe in. Second, the lack of originality is insane to me. New beatmakers are brainwashed into thinking what’s on the radio is what is what the industry wants. Those beats were placed 2 years ago, you have to be ready for 2017/18 right now. Easiest way to do this is find an artist that matches your sound and enhance theirs. Also, producers need to NETWORK in person. Stop sending out emails, spam links etc, go to events, sessions, meetings and show face. trust me it goes a long way.
Not only do you work with producers, you also work with artist. What are some of the opportunities you provide for artist who are interested in performing in your showcases.
Aside from checking out the dopest producers in their city, we have opportunities for artists to perform at each event. We also do tour packages so artists can get on the road with us and build some serious relationship and a fan base along the way.
BUDGET now a huge element to the success of anyone in the music industry? Why is this important and why has it been a heavy topic in the music BIZ.
Really depends on how you spend your budget. But honestly if you have great relationships there may be more room to stretch that budget. But the more important thing here is about paying people for their services. Artists content is mainly about money and this crazy expensive life they lead but then when it comes down to paying the producer they forget about that cost in their budget. Truth is you can do alot for less these days but some things you cannot cut out of the equation. Paying the producer and getting a good mix are two of those things.
Tell us the future of I Standard. What are some of your plans for future growth?
iStandard is diving into publishing, A&R creative and management in 2016. We have a few artists, producers and a new video team we believe in sincerely that you will see have a huge presence in our timeline this year. We are getting more hands on with our producers and writers and focusing on quality vs quantity in how we pitch records to the industry tastemakers. More Beat Camps, more new cities for iStandard shows, continuously building up our staff with amazing people and really trying to expand the brand into the overseas and college markets.
Explain the process behind selecting a new city to do a showcase?
Usually a producer from one of those cities did one of our shows in a surrounding city and they suggest we come to theirs. We usually empower them as an iStandard city rep and let them know what we need in order to start the process. We need a venue with 200 capacity, great sound, stage etc. We need to get the producer pool aware so we start promoting 3 to 5 months in advance via our social media and recruitment team. Then once we have about 60 to 80 submissions we will lock in the venue and date, lock in judges and get our marketing up and running so we can spread the word for a successful event.
Whats next for J Hatch outside of I standard?
Personally I am in the process of writing a book and am in the infancy stages of starting my own clothing line called ‘MGLSTS’. I also do something called ‘Direct 2 Exec’ w/ Coast 2 Coast in 4 cities that gives artists the opportunity to perform for major label executives behind closed doors in a studio session with some great perks.
Shout out my business partner Don Di Napoli aka Thrill Collins, the entire executive staff at iStandard that grows daily – Ciz (SR VP), Premise (SR Producer Coordinator), Mike M (Marketing Mgr), Justin (Social Media Mgr), AO (Site Mgr), Juan (Beat Camp Coordinator) as well as all the hardworking individuals behind the scenes- SB, Craig, Geo, KB, Dozi, Candi, Legend, Taven, & Chris. Hopefully that’s everyone, we grow daily.