Interview – Beats Anonymous of The Indie-Visuals
The Indie-Visuals founder and producer Beats Anonymous (Brennon Hall) lives a double life…in two cities, that is. The music promoter from Buffalo splits his time between the Queen City he grew up in and Brooklyn, Bed Stuy to be exact, where he roomed with a power player of classic hip hop, Duck Down James. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity granted him an unofficial key to the NYC hip hop scene, where he learned the ins and outs of the music industry from the pros’ perspectives. I caught up with Beats briefly and asked him about all of his formative experiences and the future of his music promotions company, The Indie-Visuals.
Q: So tell me about your decision to move to Brooklyn.
A: At the point I decided to move I had done a lot in Buffalo as far as the music industry here. We hit a lot of the best venues and we’re doing shows with everyone we wanted and even surpassed our goals doing shows every month in other cities. So being in Brooklyn I knew would open up a whole world of opportunities and challenges that I could learn a ton from. I interned with Duck Down records as well as worked on the FADERS Farm team shortly as well, which were both great learning experiences.
TRUE: I’m sure you were exposed to a lot, that’s great.
BEATS: A ton. More than I could dream or imagine. Standing at the bar and boom, Hey DJ Premier. Two days later, same thing, Oh hey Large Professor.
Q: Was it hard to break into the music industry in NYC?
A: I got very “lucky” or as many will learn, persistence and skill will give you that luck. I’ve been doing music-related things since I moved to Buffalo from Fredonia in 2006. My roommate in Brooklyn, the famous “Duck Down James” actually threw me an opportunity and of course I took it. I actually did a radio edit for Young MA’s “Chiraq” and from then on I just had multiple other opportunities to help the team out which led to meeting so many legends.
Q: What was it like rooming with Duck Down James?
A: So to make it even more epic it was Duck Down James, myself and a gentleman by the name of Mr.Green (www.livefromthestreets.com) this house was pure hip hop/music talks like 95% of the time whether it was business side of things or pleasure. It was amazing to see how much work goes into running back end of the business at the “duck down level” or what we should all be doing realistically. James is a beast! He’s been with Duck Down three and a half years and he’s so knowledgeable…someone I definitely look up too.
Q: Tell me about your company, The Indie-Visuals:
A: So IV is my brain child I conceived after producing for 5 plus years solo. I learned the struggle of selling beats to artists who rap about money but have none at a young age (laughs), so I decided I needed to create a team that I could build with and develop, Devon Charles being my 1st artist then adding TW1TCH a bit later.
Q: How did your time in NYC affect your brand?
A: my time in NYC showed me the importance of relationships with other artists and camps/teams and how things SHOULD progress as an artist via how I thought things should progress.
Q: Was Duck Down your first internship?
A: Yes indeed. 28 year-old interning because I knew it would pay off.
TRUE: A lot of adults are still interning at older ages, surprisingly.
BEATS: Yeah, it’s a good option.
Q: What’s next for The Indie-Visuals?
A: Once I get settled and a studio fully setup in our Buffalo apartment Devon, TW1TCH and our road manager Chismar or “Chiz” are going to have a few weeks of lock ins and knock out a mixtape and some other music to be released over the fall and winter. We’re also hitting a bunch of dates with TW1TCH on his awareness tour. The next date is October 8th in Detroit. We just booked I believe like 4-6 shows at recovery centers and colleges where he speaks and performs as well.
TRUE: It seems like you have a very versatile team of artists surrounding you.
BEATS: Indie-Visuals is very unique in the sense that each artist has free range to really promote and push the music they want. Devon Charles has a very cool and smooth melodic flow that’s reminiscent of a Drake or Bone Thugs and Harmony and his content is more like those artists as well. TW1TCH on the other hand has a much more in your face and grittier sound and is more comparable to an artist like DMX. His content is very powerful with proactive messages about addiction recovery, political situations in the world or overall issues the world faces on a day to day. With his unique following we’ve booked numerous recovery events and college campuses to spread the awareness of addiction and the fact that recovery is an option and people are out there fighting the same demons as you may be.
Q: You’re accomplishing a lot in your 28 years. Do you attribute a lot of your success to the belief that one must step outside of their comfort zone?
A: Absolutely. Sorry for the language, but when it comes to business, “Fuck a comfort zone.” I don’t think anyone ever made their dreams come true in absolute comfort and by taking zero risk. The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.
Interview by Jessica Brant