1. What’s up Dave! Can you tell the Source how you broke into the music business and was it all what you expected it to be?

Well I broke into the music industry thanks to my brother Chris by constantly being around the scene. I would come visit my brother with my homies Drexel and Sir up from Maryland and spend weeks up in NYC eventually helping out in the offices and interning for Defjam and the rest has been history..The industry has been great there have been ups and downs but yeah its everything I expected and more, the opportunities are endless.. 

2. Was it a plan for the Lighty brothers to get into the same business? How proud of brothers achievements in this crazy profession are you? 

No I don’t think it was a plan it just kind of happened that way..we all have different strengths in the business so it has worked out to our advantage for sure but overall I’m extremely proud of my brothers accomplishments. Michael has Emmel Booking Agency any artist you want for a event he can get for you. Jonathan is the ill producer and everyone knows Chris and Violator Management it speaks for itself. 


3. What labels did you previously work at and the titles you held? How was is working for Barry Weiss at Jive records?

I started working and getting a paycheck from Defjam in 1995 as the tape librarian.  It was a great job and I got to meet everyone.  I did that for a year, then was promoted to A&R assistant working under Drew Dixon and Chris.  During this time I was also working at Violator answering the phones and going on the road with artists. I was later hired by Jeff Fenster over at Jive records in 1998 as a Director of A&R and progressed to Senior Director of A&R departing Jive in 2009.  Working with Barry Weiss was great I learned a lot of the business working with him and the staff at Jive.  

4. You’ve gotten to see various artists come up in the industry and grow for the better as artists and people in general. Do you have 3 favorite artists you’ve worked with? 

LL Cool J, Petey Pablo, Anthony Hamilton. All talented and unique in their own way. 

5. How has Violator been able to stand the test of time with so many changes that occur in this business?

Well a lot of it has to do with keeping the artist under the roster relevant in the marketplace along with the brand name.  Chris has negotiated the right deals and scenarios for the artists to flourish ie Busta Rhymes CashMoney Google deal, Diggy Simmons Verizon Deal and the list goes on.  Along with the artist doing what they do putting out good music and the various relationships Violator has with different brands, its a winning combination I really think is that simple. Staying relevant and working! 

6. What kind of impact do you think Uncle Murda and Diggy will make on the game?

I believe they are making a huge impact right now.  You have Diggy touring across the country and a record in rotation on the radio, video in rotation, etc.  It’s a great thing the kids love him and I believe he will be huge! and of course Uncle Murda is the voice of NYC right now. The “Warning” record did well and his follow up “Take it Off” got the Tri-State buzzing.  It’s all about connecting the dots for him now and he’s going to be a problem! Definitely look out for the “One Man NWA” mixtape coming soon.   

7. What was the most disappointing moment in your career, business or artist related?

Some of the disappointing moments in my career has been not being allowed to sign some of the powerhouses that are out right now dominating the industry when I had the opportunity to get them signed first and just business wise always get it on paper everyone’s word isn’t bond …you live and learn.   

8. Do you feel like the youth in the business now have way more opportunities than 10-15 years ago?

Yes indeed.  Technology has made it a lot easier to put out a record and the internet is the gateway. Everybody has access to it and you have so many outlets you can use… Facebook, twitter, etc.  If you are talented, you will get noticed or even better go the independent route with the digital era anything is possible along   with Protools, a Macbook pro and a good mic, you can have yourself a home studio,  years ago it was a little harder for artist to get in the studio and spend so much money for a session now the cost of a session back then you can have half your equipment nowadays..  

9. What’s next for Dave Lighty & what does the Source magazine brand mean to you

Focusing on Dave Lighty going back to school taking some classes in digital filmmaking and video production and building my brand OdLight in music and film working with talent that wants to be “seen and heard” that’s my motto. shout out to ShayeMoney and the Beam production crew & Tunez with the Kuntry Ass NewYorker mixtape to be released soon. The Source is like the holy grail for hip-hop.  It’s a great resource to find out whats hot and upcoming in the business for execs and fans alike… 

Derryck “Nes” Johnson