By Morgan James
With the ambition of an entrepreneur and the passion of an artist, Moe Cheez has succeeded in carving out a piece of the music industry to call his own. Cheez often tells the artists he develops, “The industry is 10 percent music and 90 percent business.” While running the Brutal Bee Music Group and Grind Hard Clothing, in addition to directing at Moe Cheez Films, this brilliant business mind has succeeded at having his music placed onto the major cable network, Showtime. Moe has also been featured as an up and coming artist on BET’s 106 and Park where his connections to that network landed him as a featured artist on a major label song. I spoke with the inspiring Moe Cheez to learn more about how he has turned his passion for music and savvy mind for business into a lasting career.
MJ: Your business performs several functions for artists. Can you describe the different aspects? Have you always been set on this path?
MC: “Our business was initially designed for artist development and music licensing. However, my background in graphic design and screen printing expanded my vision for the business and we began to also include branding and merchandise. From there we added videography and marketing to our reputation and evolved into a running record label that specializes in discovering new talent and preparing them for major labels. I have been doing music since I was 15 years old and always had a love for creating fashion and not following trends. Coming from Chicago, you had to stand out in some way. I have always been creative and was truly blessed with a leading spirit and overpowering ambition.”
MJ: How have your life experiences influenced your music and your business?
MC: “To me real music is a reflection of what the artist has seen or been through. Real music! That’s the music that when you hear it, the hair stands up on your body. I push my message through my music and try to be direct and straightforward and apply those same principles in business.”
MJ: How did being featured on B.E.T.’s show for up and coming hip hop artists, 106 and Park, affect your career?
MC: “106 and Park was one of my career highlights. It opened a lot of doors for me and my team. We helped shape the music scene in Fort Wayne, Indiana along with a couple other artists that were responsible for bringing major networks to the city. I was booked on a couple tours with Gorilla Zoe, as well as radio promotion and attention from the likes of Lil Wayne and Birdman. I had also begun negotiations to join their sub label Young Money, but ultimately decided it would be best if I stayed independent. I have made tons of friends at the B.E.T. network due to appearing on the show and even landed a song featuring Terrence J, Rocsi Diaz, and Juelz Santana. The show had more than 9.7 million viewers. A big shout out to Jray, Terrence Clayton and Pat Charles for all the help.”
MJ: What are some recent projects of Brutal Bee Music Group?
MC: “BBMG just signed the B’ZNEZ BOYZ to a development deal and is currently working on their debut album. I have met many artists in my time and this group has some of the most talented writers and producers I have ever worked with- total all in one package. I had the pleasure of sitting in a studio with them and by the second song, I knew I wanted to sign them and help them grow. We just completed their music video for “We Own the Block,” which was shot in Desert Hot Springs. Right now the label is also working on releasing my debut album CHEEZUS.”
MJ: After having your song “Do Me” placed in Showtime’s Shameless, Season 6 Episode 6, do you have any advice for artists who are trying to get their music placed into Film and television?
MC: “The best thing I can tell artists trying to get their songs onto TV is to make sure you own the controlling rights of your song. From there, try to get your song to an independent label like ours. Labels shop artist’s songs with all the major sync-license firms. It’s a great way to collect revenue without the major labels taking 75 to 80% of the profit.”
MJ: What is on the horizon for you in the next couple of months?
MC: “Brutal Bee Music Group is continuing to sign and develop artists. We also have a couple big movie soundtracks planned and the label’s first debut album CHEEZUS will be in major distribution in 2017. We are also expanding our clothing line distribution by doing pop-up shops from Coachella Valley to L.A and launching our website www.brutalbeemusicgroup.com. This will serve as a one stop shop for aspiring artists who need branding, consulting, videography, clothing, photography, and marketing.”
MJ: What is the best way for artists to reach you who may like to work with you?
MC: “We would be more than willing to help consult and develop dedicated artists who are looking to breakthrough to the next level. We can be reached by phone at (760) 818-3066 and email@example.com.”