When is the time to go out on your own and take your own career into your hands? Look deep within and you will know the answer; some must stay under the umbrella of others and some can take that big leap and make it happen for themselves. R&B singer Jimmie Reign, knew it was her time to fly on her own. The songstress has released her debut album and started up her very own record label. With an real understanding how the music industry works, Jimmie is sure sore like shining star. SayWhatNews caught up with the rising mogul and discussed all the new changes in her career:
SayWhatNews: Hey Jimmie, its been a couple years since the last time we spoke (Feb. 2008). Since we are old friends lets just jump right into it. Our last conversation you were taking your time with working on your debut album. Flash forward to today, your debut album “Pretty Girl“, has been out for a few weeks now. Tell us about the album and what fans and music lovers can expect?
Jimmie: Yes it has been a while and Pretty Girl is FINALLY out and I couldn’t be more excited! It took tooooo long...lol. The album is what I call “my metamorphosis“. It’s a peek into my life, my relationships past and present and a declaration of how I have grown as a woman since the Go Girl Mixtape. It’s REAL. I don’t sugar coat anything on my album.
SayWhatNews: Well, from what I’ve heard, the album is a collection of good music with relate-able topics. Now Jimmie, “Pretty Girl” is on the top 100 R&B Soul chart on iTunes. What an accomplishment for a debut album. How amazing is it that your debut album is climbing the charts?
Jimmie: All I can say is that it’s a blessing. It’s the motivation that I needed to continue doing music. It can be a little discouraging sometimes when you’re not sure if people are really understanding what you’re putting out as an artist. The album has managed to stay in the Top 100 with no radio promotion and no major label backing. It’s strictly because people like my music....makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside...ha ha ha
SayWhatNews: Again congrats, the album’s success is well deserved. The name of the album “Pretty Girl” has a very special meaning. You have been quoted as saying, “I was broken for a very long time which resulted in me doing a lot of things that were unhealthy emotionally”. Can you reflect more about that and how the album is a message to all the women out there?
Jimmie: Of course! Many people know I had sort of a rough up bringing. My mother and father divorced when I was 13 and my mom became a drug addict; my father moved away. I had my son when I was still in high school and for a long time I just felt hopeless. I didn’t value who I was as a person or what I had to offer. I had low self-esteem and so did the people around me. People would always tell me how pretty I was on the outside, but they didn’t know how horrible and ugly I felt on the inside. It took a while but I finally realized that jumping from boyfriend to boyfriend and running with girls who didn’t care about themselves, wasn’t going to get me very far. The album tells my story without holding back…..women can respect that and identify with it. Songs like “Victim” and the title track “Pretty Girl” show how I decided I was going to be better than a teen mother statistic, somebody’s jump off or just another pretty face. I’m proud of who I’ve become.
SayWhatNews: Jimmie, your debut album is truly making a statement on the music scene. Who are some of the people who worked with you on the album?
Jimmie: One of the benefits about being an indie artist is that you get to choose who you want to work with which is good for me because I don’t get along with everyone- I’m just sayin‘. I was blessed to be able to work with Damon Eden from Capitol Records, Fuzzy- who used to be in the group Somethin For The People and The Beatbangg who produced an amazing track on the album called “Out The Door“. Charles Henry not only has production on the album, but he also assisted in recording, mixing an mastering it. SloBurn is a producer out of Sacramento who produced “Let Me“. I can’t get enough of performing that song live. Also I was able to collaborate with my good friend Balance for the song “New Friend” and had the awesome experience of working with Jeremy “Remshot” De La Cruz who produced “Victim” around an A Capella track I sang. Truly talented people.
SayWhatNews: The last time we chatted, you were with Meilani Management and MPRINT Music. Since than you have went out on your own and started your own record label Red Honey Entertainment. Why have you decided to go out on your own and start up your own company?
Jimmie: I’ll always have love for Meilani and MPRINT Music because they really molded and shaped me as an artist and as a person. I decided to create Red Honey Entertainment after parting with them so that I could experience being more on the business end of things. Oh let’s just face it, I’m a control freak and I like to have my hands in everything that’s going on. I love being able to make decisions and make things move in the direction I feel it should. I wanted to be more involved in my career. I think every artist should be that way. You’ve got to know the business aspect and the artist aspect as well. The important thing is to know when to step back or delegate things so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
SayWhatNews: Tell us about your plans for Red Honey Entertainment and where do you see your company in 5 years?
Jimmie: Red Honey Entertainment has already brought on some really dope artists and we’re working on branding and developing them for the future. In the next five years Red Honey will probably still be known as a company Jimmie Reign started, but it will also be the best place for new artists to go if they’re seeking development, a label deal and networking opportunities for songwriting, licensing and publishing. Website coming soon... BOOM!
SayWhatNews: Jimmie, has being your own boss complicated things or made things easier now that you are wearing more hats (owner, artists, producer, songwriter and etc)?
Jimmie: I’m not even gonna lie, in the beginning it was ridiculous. I was overwhelmed, stressed, excited, happy, depressed, anxious and inspired all at the same time! My doctors didn’t know which medication to put me on....I’m kidding, I’m kidding! I really had to let some of my control issues go. I had to hire a team of people that I knew I could trust and would get a job done if I handed it over to them. I can’t even begin to explain the feeling you get when you take a step back after everything is finished and you know that you’re responsible for it. I guess I’m proud to be wearing so many hats. It’s almost been a year and somehow we’ve managed to make it through so I must be doing something right.
SayWhatNews: Speaking of songwriting, you have written and helped out on some major projects for artists like Pleasure P., J. Valentine and E-40. Can you enlighten us about those and how you were selected to work with those artists?
Jimmie: Yes ladies, J. Valentine is really handsome in person, Pleasure P is the biggest sweetheart you’ll ever meet and E-40 really does talk like that!...lol... I’ve been really blessed because through the years I’ve been able to work with people that are truly talented. Networking and being able to drop what you’re doing to go and be a part of something huge are two things you have to be able to do in this business. When I worked with E-40 it was because of an engineer at a studio I had recorded at previously. I had a good relationship with him, so when E-40 asked him if he knew any singers; I got a phone call. Working with Pleasure P was surreal. He’s a very dedicated artist. He doesn’t leave the studio until his work is done. I’m not kidding- he even gets his tattoos done at the studio and then records! Damon Eden brought me in to work with Pleasure and was also the person who introduced me to J. Valentine. J is another person whose work ethic is amazing. He’s very patient and has a really good ear for what song can be a hit and what may be a miss. Everyone that I’ve worked with, I’ve always kept a good relationship with. You have to give your best when you’re called upon to write a hook or sing some ad-libs. I always do the best job I can so people will want to continue to work with me.
SayWhatNews: Jimmie, you are gearing up to go on tour in October. Can you tell us about the tour and some of your tour dates since the schedule has not been released as of yet?
Jimmie: The tour is going to be crazy!! Live band, dancers, DJ and who knows,I may even break dance or something...I’m totally kidding. We actually pushed the tour back to December and I’m kicking it off December 6th in the city I’m from- Oakland. From there I’ll be in Modesto, Los Angeles, Baldwin Hills, San Francisco and a couple more cities I can’t remember right now. Each show will be held inside of a mall in the respective area. The dates will be posted soon on jimmiereign.com so people can check there for the most updated information.
SayWhatNews: Your schedule has been really busy. Have you had anytime to catch a movie, maybe even get caught up in the Twilight Saga movies?
Jimmie: I’ve really never been a movie person. I ALWAYS fall asleep in the theater, it’s just a little too dark and the chairs are too comfy. Not to mention I get full off of all the junk food. So nope no movies for me, and I was never all that interested in the whole Twilight thing. My extra time is spent with my boys...that’s a saga in itself...lol
SayWhatNews: Jimmie, as your music career continues to gain momentum do you have any advice for those aspiring artist out there?
Jimmie: Do not stop! Do not pass go without collecting your $200, and when you get your money, invest it in real estate- preferably buy something on Broadway. That was Monopoly talk for those that think I’m crazy. No, but I seriously, look at the music business that way. You have to take chances and roll the dice. You have to be original and know yourself so that people can’t take advantage of you. Once you make connections- use them!! Network as much as you can and make sure your music always sounds BIG. INVEST in things that will help your career. Radio promo, publicist, website, studio time. Be real with yourself. If you’re the only person that like’s your stuff, you may want to find something else to do- I’m just being honest. There is no special key that unlocks doors in this business. Results are seen from how much time and effort you put into your craft, patience, prayer and being in the right places at the right times.
SayWhatNews: Good advice. Ok, you have started your own record label, your debut album is climbing the charts and your tour is about to kick off; what’s next for Jimmie Reign?
Jimmie: World domination. I’m kidding....I do plan on being the most talked about, talented, and celebrated indie artist ever. I want people to know it is possible to do this without major label backing. It takes longer...but it is possible.
Jimmie Reign Website
Jimmie Reign first interview with SayWhatNews