A Minute With Mainstream - Ricardo Jara

Back when I first started out, I always wanted to do showcases for the artist I knew. Then I did one in October of 2011, but it's a lot harder than I thought. But one person I've watched do it successfully, time and time again, is Ricardo Jara, CEO of Spotlight Promotions. I catch time to speak with during his preparation of his "First Annual Summer Rap Up" showcase tonight, September 16. 

DJ Mainstream: Ricardo, thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me

Ricardo: No problem. How's everything going?

Good, good. Now I know what your up to cause I see it all over Facebook but for those who don't know what's Spotlight Ent is all about?

The Spotlight Promotions is all about getting artists on stage and giving them the exposure they need to make it to the next level. Some artists are ready for the next level and need to be heard but never get that opportunity, that's when we step in. After their performance our judge panel who are filled with producers, promoters, A&Rs from record labels critique and advise the artists in what they need to fix to improve. But they are times in which the judges believe the artists are ready and will assist the, in their next move.

That's a great look especially for artist who feel they may be ready but aren't and have someone in the business telling them so. Who have been some notable judges at your showcases?

Our regular judges would be Warner Bros Records, EM Multimedia and Redd Productions. But we just added a couple more out of Def Jam, Hot 97, Lost Studios and couple magazines. 

So we're talking well know companies and brands here looking for the next superstar.

We do get some random walk-ins because A&Rs in every realm is always looking for next big artists. 

Well I know this didn't happen overnight. What made you say "I'm going to help the artist of today become the star of tomorrow"?

I used to be an artist myself, just never made it to the next level. During the time I was an artist and composed music I met people. One day, I decided to give up the million dollar dream and pursue the business aspect of the industry. Here we are now.

It's great because your ambition to succeed remained which important no matter what you do in this business. Is there any key advice that you always give an artist?

My main thing I always tell artists is to be themselves. I see a lot of artists out there or even on my stage and I see them try to be a Lil' Wayne or Kanye. Don't do that, write what's in your heart not by what's popular. Be yourself and maintain that because once an artists is be unique but maintain your look. Don't ever change your style of music. Look at Nicki Minaj... she's unique and that is why she is the only female rapper who has succeeded Lil' Wayne expectations. Be yourself but with a twist I guess I would say (laughs) 

Being different is key especially in the business that requires you to stand out from the pack. Showcases are very important in rap industry but all businesses expand. Where do you plan to see yourself in the future with yourself and Spotlight Promotions?

Honestly I want to keep it indie. I don't want to be known as a sell out because a lot of the people/business that run showcases will sell out and work with/for the record label. If I can keep my name as a business and work hand and hand with a record label than great, if not I'm staying put and start my own record label and take care of own people or artists looking for the right representation as we like to think we are doing now. 

Independent scene is the way to go. More creative control and freedom. What's next after the Summer Rap Up on the 16th? Any big plans for 2013?

Well we are actually going to start a winter series in which all three winners of the showcases will open up for Cory Gunz beginning the 2013 with a bang. If anyone wants to perform they can send theur music to our email (below) to be evaluated and if we respond then they have what we believe is a good chance to win!

That's what's up man. Hopefully, I can one day get a seat up there as a judge (laughs)

Hey, if you ever want to come in and judge just let me know, it would be a pleasure to have you/business included with our shows. 

Thanks. I'll keep that in mind. Take care and thanks again.

Anytime and thank you for the interview. Hope to hear and see you soon. God bless. 

Contact Ricardo Jara & Spotlight Promotions below:


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