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Ccelli (Exponent Entertainment) – 7th Boro Interview

ccelli pic for spek

Meet Ccelli. He is not a rapper. He is not a producer. He is not a DJ. But what he does can be just as important. We read about our favorite artists but we rarely get to learn about the people that help build that artist. Ccelli is one of those people.

Spek27: Start off by telling everyone who you are & what you do.

Ccelli: My name is Ccelli. If I had to sum up who I am in a few words it would be a motivated self-starter who is obsessed with music. As far as what I do, that’s a little more difficult. For some I am a manager, for others I am a booking agent, but for my clients I am the “guy” they are referring to when they say “Yeah I got a guy that can help with that”. It basically means I help connect the dots and get the job done for them.

Spek27: What’s the first thing an aspiring artist should do? 

Ccelli: I don’t think there is such a thing as an aspiring artist. If you’re an artist – you’re an artist. Art is art whether anyone likes it or even sees or hears it. I think what a lot artists are looking to “aspire” to be is a professional or in other words they want to make money from their art.

In that case my advice would be make sure no one is already using their artist name then build (or have someone build) a website to put their songs, pictures and videos on. It’s important to make sure everything is in one place and easy to find. But maybe even more importantly they need to study and learn their craft and make sure this is what they want. There are many people that get into the industry for the lifestyle and not for the love of music.

Spek27: A lot of artists are their own worst enemy. What are some things you’ve seen them do that might not help their growth? 

Ccelli: I could go on forever about the things artists do wrong. There is however one MAJOR thing that I want to point out. Artists need to stop thinking the music business owes them something. I can not tell you how many artists have said things like “I opened for (insert famous artist) I should be on the radio instead of..” or “I’m not performing at (insert small venue name) anymore” or “I am getting played on the radio now I don’t care about these local DJs”. Artists forget to keep doing the work that got them where they are currently. They start to think that the “game” OWES them something. That is the downfall of 99% of artists.

Spek27: When is it time for an artist to “give up the dream”?

Ccelli: I think a better way to put it would be “rethink their dream” To me it’s all about progress. If you are seeing progress, keep going. If you aren’t you should rethink your role in the music business. I have a ton of friends that were rappers that are now producers, booking agents, managers etc. They embraced their passion for music/art but channeled it to a role that suited them better.

Spek27: What are the most common misconceptions a new artist might have?

Ccelli: A lot of artists feel that if they do “something” they will get on. There is no “something” that guarantees success in this business. Just because one artist got on from mixtapes, or a hot single or video does not mean that formula works for them or anyone else. There is only one common trait in successful artists and that’s relentless hard work and consistency.

Spek27: What do you attribute your successes to?

Ccelli: First and foremost – my team. Over the years my partner Jodie and I have built such an amazing support system. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. Early in my career I was blessed to be around people that had been in the game for years like DJ NoPhrillz, E.Ness, Freeway and even legends like KRS-One. I watched, listened and learned. Anytime they needed anything I made it my top priority to make it happen even if I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I just did my best and with every attempt got a little better. I learned by doing. Even now with my artists Rich Quick and Jay Griffy, I pay attention to everything. I’m always learning and making the necessary adjustments

Spek27: Last words?

Ccelli: Thank you to Spek and 7th Boro for taking the time to do this interview! It’s helpful for people to get to see both sides of the industry. Feel free to contact me and stay up to date on Exponent Entertainment at ExponentEnt.com.

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  • So great to see all sides of the industry being represented! Great interview.

  • Jay Griffy

    Nice Write up!!! Ccelli

  • bill kalesse

    Great article…

  • Extremely informative interview. Thanks for the insight, Ccelli!

  • Ccelli and Jodi are some of the hardest working people I’ve been able to be in touch with thru the years. Great being able to read and take notes on some knowlege. Peace and Vibez.

  • Marlene

    This is real talk Ccelli. People rarely see what goes on behind the scene but those who know can really appreciate your long term contributions. Nice interview!