SOMEONE YOU SHOULD KNOW
West Sider Jamari Crawford wants to offer the artists he’s looking to manage some constructive criticism to help their career’s flourish, along with the guidance to turn their dreams into a reality.
The 24-year-old, West Garfield Park native currently has two performers under his wing, one from his West Garfield neighborhood. Tyrone “T.Y.” Lumpkin and South Sider Darrell “Dub” Dixon are the first artists of Crawford’s company, Malone’s Music Management.
“It’s hard to tell a singer or rapper that they are not quite ready to record and they need to work more on their craft,” said Crawford about offering suggestions to musicians who will be open to it. That, he maintained, is his biggest challenge.
“For example, Dub is a terrific talent; he has a tremendous lyrical flow and a strong command of his rhymes, but I don’t feel he’s quite ready yet,” said Crawford, who wants to add R&B singers and artists from other genres to his roster.
He hopes to open a studio by August for his company and to recruit more talent. After only five months in operation, the West Side native is determined to make his own dreams come true.
Music has been a part of Crawford’s life since childhood. The third of seven kids, he began rapping in the seventh grade at Emerson Elementary School. He recalled having a desire to write.
“I really developed a passion for the written word. One day after school, I rapped for some of my schoolmates in the schoolyard and they loved it. From there, I began developing my skills and writing more songs,” he said. “I even began to enter the studio and record while I was a high school student at Steinmetz High School.”
His rapping, though, took a back seat to his working at his church. But his studio experience began making dividends at his Family Alter Baptist Church, where he’s been a member for more than a decade. He started his management company last November-the Triton College grad thought to put his studio skills to good use by mentoring and managing other artists.
“I felt that offering talented musicians-whether they be rappers or singers-the opportunity to be supported, put in the studio to record, and given honest advice about developing their talents would be the ideal use for the knowledge I’d obtained.”
But he confesses that musical stardom for every one of his artists might be a challenge, given how competitive the industry is. Still, he’s open to changing that trend.
“I am looking for a singer who is coach-able; someone who is willing to listen, to have an open mind about ways in which they can expand their talents,” he said. “If you feel as though you’ve already reached your peak and don’t want advice then we probably won’t get along.”