Born in Kentucky, emerging creative and management powerhouse Stephon Dupree is a rather respected name within the music industry. In 2017, he founded his company Dupree Entertainment after working with countless artists like Bryson Tiller and OBN Dev to name a few. His ability to push an artist to their next level and break records has led to countless relationships with labels and A&R’s alike. Dupree, now 30-years-old, is poised to find yet another breakthrough in the music industry soon.
In our recent chat, we spoke with Dupree about his childhood, working in the music industry as a manager, and company amongst a list of things below. Check out the full interview below.
Walk me through your childhood, what was it like growing up?
Growing up I was heavily into sports, playing baseball, basketball & football at a young age I was very competitive. My childhood was fun I had great memories, coming from a single-parent home my mom did a great job raising me and she never gave me excuses for anything. That drove me at a young age to never have excuses only solutions.
How did you initially gravitate to the music industry?
I gravitated to music at a young age, my mom always played music in the house when she cleaned but I never knew that the music business will be my calling. After HS I started to find myself as a young man. I went to Job core to learn a trade and that wasn’t for me, I worked fast food 9-5 jobs and that wasn’t for me either even factory jobs just didn’t cut it. I always was good at connecting ppl together though so I joined a party promotion team in Louisville, KY “CPK” College Party Kings and that was my introduction to the Entertainment Night Life. I quickly gravitated to it, it was easy for me and fast money. Once I started to feel that I can do my own events I started to throw house parties on the University Of Kentucky campus and started to get a big buzz off my epic parties. Around this time 2011-2012 I met Bryson Tiller through an artist, I worked with closely named Dray Baby.
From then to now, what is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned so far?
I’ve learned so much since then, the main thing I learned so far is separating personal & business. understanding the business field I’m in. You have to be a shark with the sharks in the music business. Also, don’t put yourself in a box be a sponge and soak as much game as possible on the come up.
You’ve managed several budding acts from Bryson Tiller to OBN Dev, what’s your day-to-day life like?
My day to day life can be hectic at times with conference calls, making sure my artists stay on schedule and most important being organized. Most ppl as consumers don’t see the hard work that managers like me put in. We often get looked over more so because we behind the scenes. consumers only see the product which is the artists but then again the artist is an extension of us. From the time I wake up daily, I check emails, send out emails, come up with creative ideas for my artists for social media to connecting them with other producers & writers.
How are you adjusting and staying productive while everyone is on lockdown and things have shifted to digital?
I really didn’t have to adjust much due to me doing 90% of my work digitally. I have been learning new things and creative ideas that I’ll be implementing into my company.
Talk to me about Dupree Entertainment, for anyone just being introduced to the brand, what exactly does it offer creatives?
Dupree Entertainment is a management company created by me and my business partner Omer Cowherd. I always felt I had a special ear when it came to finding talent so I saw that there was a big market in the artist’s development due to Labels not doing artist’s development anymore. I got the name Dupree from my middle name and I felt it had a ring to the name so I went with the name and formed a company. For creatives on my roster, they are able to live free and be as creative as possible. Our goal here at Dupree Entertainment is to build a buzz for our clients and ultimately solidify ourselves as a consistent resource and go-to place for the artist’s development.
What is some advice you could give to younger creatives looking to follow your footsteps?
I would tell young creatives to always believe in what they dream to become. the first step to done is do so put a plan to action and go for it. understand that you will have a failure, but take the failure and learn and turn it into positive. don’t give up if things don’t start off as you planned. with anything in life there’s trial and error.
In terms of legacy, what are some of your short-term and long-term goals for these next few years?
Right now I’m currently in my 3rd year to my 5yr plan. Starting my company in 2017 I took a year to learn the business and how to upkeep a corporation/LLC. From there my next step was to signed talent to my company. Within 2yrs I plan to have a joint venture deal with a major label. Being able to sign acts and get funding & distribution with a major ill be partnering with.
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