* I don't know about in America, but here in the UK we don't ever pay to play. In my 10 years in the business I never once paid a DJ to play any songs of the artists I represent or bring attention . To us, if the music is really good, it will get picked up and played simply based on its quality; we in Britain respect and want good music.
~ What advice can you give to the millions of young aspiring artists who are focused and determined on making it big in the Music business?
* Do your research and don't just blindly trust everyone you meet, in life also, but especially in this industry. People change just about every 5 years, crazy as it may sound. Focus on your gut instinct with everything. As simple and primitive as it may sound, your first instincts never lead you wrong - even if you are about to sign a contract in a boardroom, if it does not feel 100% right, don't be afraid to turn and walk out. Shop your own material and believe in yourself in spite of all the haters. Put your energy always in the right place. Focus your talents in the direction you want to take and act already like the successful person you want to be. Show respect to everyone you encounter, regardless of how big or small they may seem in the industry, and of course do your research; Google is my best friend and yours too. Move in positive frame of mind, find ability to be productive in all situations. For 4 years I have been placing at a distance individuals proven to be of negative energy and likewise bringing closer the friends I cherish; this is, helpful in many ways as, most important. Do your research, and I don't mean just with the Grammy Awards or MTV Music Awards; but find relevant information that is valuable. Be smart about income stream and how you use it. Do your research - I can't stress this enough.
~ What about the seemingly impossible up-hill struggle that everyone, starting off, faces in Music?
* Keep in mind that Jay-Z was ready to give it all up just before he finally got his big break, Kanye West struggling just before he broke in the music business, and the same might be said of Nicky Minaj. Lady Ga Ga was signed to La Reid for five years and got her lucky break after the deal ended. This is a business that drags artists very low at first, but once the clouds part and the air is clear, it can become tremendously rewarding and incomprehensibly fruitful. Never give up, but put your money where your focus is. I have since seen the careers of many unknowns who emerged out of nowheres but became hugely popular here in England, at times globally.
.~ You actually worked with Jay-Z and Kanye West... How did 'that' happen?
* I was fortunate enough to be approached by a New Yorker, who is a good friend and business partner now, who asked me to organize an event in 2004 for Jay-Z; so in effect Jay-Z was my very first client. I was not working in the music business then but took on the challenge. Shortly after I got chance to work with Kanye West and Damon Dash in 2004, we organized some of the biggest celebrity events that London had ever seen that year.
~ You never actually set out to take on the Music World?
* No, I actually had a master's degree and was working in Education writing good practice and procedure for mentoring schemes in six London boroughs; prior to that, I was a senior Middle Eastern Consultant Writing Marco Economic Publication in the Gas & Petroleum sector. I was quite unassuming about the music business, and then all of a sudden once I delivered my first project and accumulated high end press partners; I was very quickly sought out for my services by artist managers and other executives in the music business. It never really stopped; it's amazing to me how things changed in such a short time.
~ You seem to do it all so well, and perfect each time. How do you manage that?
* My secret is assembling a fantastic team for each specific project, a winning team that is prolific and delivers every time. A high end executive group for each project. They always make the connection, often on a global scale. Budget is king, quality sets your strong foothold for each event or project, but selecting the best team is the key.
~ Musicians, rappers, and singers alike, upon reading this, will ask themselves "how approachable is this lady" or "how can I ever get her attention"?
* Oh no, I still try to remain very approachable to young artists especially if I love their work, as busy as I am. I do very much believe in giving back, but I must warn that I am 100% honest about what I think and how I feel - If you don't like the truth, don't call me. I just really don't have the time to tip-toe around issues, when I can be of maximum help by just bringing issues to light. My personal motto is 'If you can't fix it, don't critique it' - 8 times out of 10, I am more than happy togive my professional advice, but do be ready to hear my honest answers. In the music business, you have to know your worth and think clearly about what you have to offer. Be sure to bring something to table in meetings and when corresponding with industry executives. For example, if you are a producer, offer your services as a producer in turn for some advice or help. As opposed to simply asking "What can you do for me?" or "Can I ask you for a favor?”. How on Earth can you expect a favor from someone who does not even know you? Just bare the basic business principles when interacting. I will say this about the British and European fans, they are loyal, loyal, Loyal. If you can have an impact in the UK and Europe music market, you can have a long standing music career and a regular revenue stream. Also note that the UK is second in line to the USA in terms of global impact, an act that has broken in the UK can always capitalize on that back in the USA.
~ Is it true that you are engaged?
* YES! Oh my, and to a wonderful man too. His name is Mark Anthony, but is known as 'M.A' in the business but a very talented artist, producer, and songwriter - Thank you.
Ms. Suzi Zenouzi lives in London, but operates comfortably on a Global scale. Since she founded her business in 2004, she has worked with: Jay-Z, Kanye West, DMX, John Legend, Memphis Bleek, DJ Green Lantern, Cassidy, Snoop Dog, The Game, Ginuwine, Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Maseo, Lupe Fiasco, Mario, Cam’ron, Bridget Kelly, Eric Benet, and many more.
Thank you, Ms. Zenouzi,
J-ZAK reporting from New York.