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Fab Man: Rich Dollaz
Whether people liked me, or hated me or were indifferent, they respected me and my grind.Check out more about Rich Dollaz our new Fab Man after the jump.
ATF: So lets get right into it sir, how did you get your start in the music industry?
Rich Dollaz: I got a call from my frat brother telling me that Puff was looking for an assistant. Emmitt Dennis, my frat brother, was working for a company called Blue Flame he was the VP at Blue Flame. It was a marketing company that was – at that time – doing Puff’s marketing and promotions. So they gave me a call and said, ‘Yo, you know what? You might want to come home and take a look at some of these opportunities up here at Bad Boy. Puff is looking for an assistant, and we can get you an interview and get you in the door. I ended up working with Sean Prez because he advised me that working as Puff's assistant would have no longevity and I would always be looked upon as an assistant so he brought me into the promotions department.
ATF: What made you choose the music world? This is far from an easy industry to make it in.RD: I didn't, it just kinda happened. It wasn't premeditated at all.
ATF: Now what would you say was your big break, what brought you the most attention in your career?RD: I worked and helped give Ryan Leslie his first number one record. That track was “Me & U” by Cassie. That brought him and myself a lot of attention.
ATF: Now the big questions is how did you even link up with Ryan Leslie & Next Selection?
RD: Well we were both up at Bad Boy, Ryan was the hitman producer and I was doing the promo thing. We were both on the grind. Ryan wasn’t – you know, he was doing his thing, but he wasn’t where he wanted to be as an artist or where he wanted to be as a producer.
I think he wanted to get out and do his own thing. So, we decided to linked up. It was one of those things where he was like, ‘Yo, let’s build this little thing together. We had this thing called Next Selection over here, um, we’re going to go some artists. And I’m going to make it so you don’t have to be the promo guy who works artists forever.’
I broke Danity Kane, I broke Yung Joc, I broke Gorilla Zoe, I broke all of that for the Bad Boy Records system. But, nothing reciprocal came from that other than my paycheck. And I didn’t want to be the guy who worked at the label and was known only for breaking records. I wanted to do it on my own.
That’s why when Ryan said, ‘I produced this Cheri Dennis record called ‘I Love You’ and I want to put it out but Bad Boy is not supporting it. So, let’s me and you put it out. This will create a name for me as a producer and it’ll also create a name for you as a record that you broke outside of the system.’ So, then we had a girl named Cassie, who was the first artist on Next Selection. Ryan was like, ‘Yo! I have this bangin’ idea for Cassie. She’s crazy! You know, we don’t have a label right now, but this record is insane! Let’s put it out!’ These are the things that helped me become Rich Dollaz. And that’s what helped Ryan Leslie become Ryan Leslie.
ATF: You work very closely with Ryan. He is known for being creative and passionate about his music. What do you think of Ryan Leslie as an artist?
RD: Ryan is a great artist, he has a cult following, but he hasn't connected with the amount of people that I feel he should connect with for alot of different reasons but I believe he is on his way. It’s just a matter of time before people start seeing him as the artist that he is instead of just a producer or songwriter, I believe Ryan is going to end up of being one of the premiere artist of our time its just gonna take some time.
ATF: Okay so now we are going to get a little personal. So I hear you don't have one of the best reputations in the industry, regarding women. Why do you think you get so much flack in your personal life?
RD: I don’t look at it at any way. I didn’t know I had a bad reputation with women, if u say so I guess its true, whatever... the industry is small! I’ve been in the industry for seven years so you’re gonna put up some numbers. Every relationship is not gonna work out so of course your gonna start a new one when that one ends. I just do my work and keep it moving, I don’t take my personal life to serious I’m just focused on my career.
ATF: You just said you have been in the industry for 7 years, What are some of the highlights of your career thus far?
RD: Working with Ryan Leslie, Olivia and Krys Ivory. Breaking Cassie and Cheri Dennis into the music world was a good look. My time at Bad Boy was definitely a highlight. The launch of Dollaz Unlimited and making a lot of money.
ATF: So you have your own management company, what would you say is your managing style, when it comes to dealing with your artist?
RD: I’m very hands on, I like to do everything myself, I like to do all the work. I don’t like putting things in other peoples hands that I can do myself. I’m not into calling them my artist, I like to call them my partners in building their careers and putting them in a position to take their careers to the next level and succeed.ATF: When you’re gone, what legacy do you wish to leave behind?
RD: That I worked really hard and did things the right way. I wasn’t afraid to ask questions and stood by my morals and had great work ethics and I didn’t take short cuts ... Whether people liked me, or hated me or were indifferent they respected me and my grind.Interview Conducted by Ian Jarrell