Here we have a conservation with Lyonel “Kay K” Rosemond about being the nephew of the infamous Jimmy Henchmen, the music industry and what he’s doing to rebrand himself in an ever evolving industry.
Jimmy Henchman is your uncle, for better or worse, how does being related to him affect your career?
Yes he’s my uncle for better or worst! He’s been in trouble before and I’ve always supported him and he’s done the same with me. From a music standpoint, our worlds are a bit different, he mainly focused on Hip Hop/Rap while I did lots of R&B Soul; you know Erykah Badu, Chico DeBarge and Brian McKnight kind of music. I do have a lot of Hip Hop/Rap stuff under my belt but not as hard as his stuff. And with that said, I wouldn’t say my career is affected.
How does him being locked up affect you as a nephew?
It doesn’t just affect me, it effects our whole family. I’m still doing what I have to do as far as the music industry goes. And while his situation is unfortunate, we stand stronger than ever as a family. A lot of the children ask a questions about their uncle because of all the bad press circulating in the media but we take it one day at a time.
For those that don’t know you, tell us a bit about your accomplishments.
I’ve sold 30 million records worldwide, 5x Grammy nominated. 3 BET Awards and I’ve received the Visionary of the Year award. I’ve worked with artists such as Erykah Badu, Chico DeBarge, Troy Ave, Maino, Red Cafe, Uncle Murda, Nas, AZ, Brian McKnight, Joe, 702, Jim Jones, Cam’ron & Vado, Slaughter House & Joe Budden, The Game, Ron Browz, Chinah Blac and Dwayne Wiggins of Tony, Toni, Tone. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with executives in the music business such as Doug Morris, Monte & Avery Lipman, Steve Rifkind, Kedar Massenburg and Sylvia Rhone.
You’ve worked for Universal Motown and EOne, what was that like? How/why did it end?
Everything was great at Universal Motown, I went over to EOne to run their A&R department. But ultimately, I wanted to branch out and start my own management company and I couldn’t do that working for a major. There were so much conflicts of interest.
What are you up to nowadays?
Lots of digital things, I’m launching a mobile app which many can considered a blueprint to the music industry. It literally gives you the music industry in the palms of your hand. Everything from music industry contracts, contacts, a How-To DVD and more. I’m just trying to stay ahead of the curve and make a platform for a lot of independent artists.
Would you consider this a rebranding of Kay K Rosemond?
Of course I would, the music industry has changed so much and if you don’t change with it, you become a dinosaur instantly.
Would you ever consider accepting a job for a major label or are you more interested going the indie route?
The majors made me who I am today! They gave me the lane that I needed to create a lot of great music. But there are more indie artists winning right now like the Troy Aves and O.T. Genasis’. “I got baken soda I got baken soda,” Ha! I can’t hate it works right now. But if major came with the right offer, then it would very hard to say no.
What other industries look appealing to you?
Just media in general, mainly film and television. It’s a market I’ve yet to touch. I have a few things happen; placed songs for licensing but I’m looking to do so much more.
What was the most memorable project you’ve work on?
Erykah Badu’s albums; all of them. She creates in such a manner that is just completely unbelievable. She has 9 band members and they all bring something great to each of the Grammy award winning albums.
What was your worst moment working in the music industry?
There was this one time we had a listening party for the tastemakers. And one of the journalists had brought their phone in the session and recorded our whole listening session. By the time the event was over they whole entire album was on the net. 2 years of recording, mixing, mastering and getting it tight just for some jerk to disrespect us musically. It was totally unprofessional and distasteful. It’s just crazy how some folks don’t understand the process of putting together an album; a great album at that.
How hard is it to break into the music industry?
If you have a hot record and a great radio guy like Richard Nash or Manny Bella, it’s not hard at all!! It’s not hard for a new artist. Nowadays they have what we didn’t have 10 years? The Internet! Everything is so accessible via the web with sites like TheSource.com, Worldstar, 2 Dope Boys, Vlad TV and Nah Right. You just have to have a hot record.
Tell us about your company RMG?
I have two companies; FAM Media LLC. and RMG, which stands for Rosemond Music Group. FAM is more of a management company while RMG is more of a placement company. It deals with artist development, branding and music licencing.
Are you and RMG capable of getting aspiring talent a record deal?
Yes, I can get any artist in front of the right executive. It’s all about, relationships. But FAM and RMG is not only about music, we are the future in entertainment.
What would you say you’re speciality is?
I make hit records! I am one of the most powerful A&R’s in the game! Hip-Hop Weekly labeled me that. And I’m grateful I’ve had this much success. But truth be told, we all have lots of misses, yet I’ve been blessed to have more hits than misses.
Photo Credit: Eurila Cave for Cali | York Photography