MOGUL IN THE MAKING – Inside the life of Def Jam’s Vice President Abou Thiam

| November 9, 2009 | 0 Comments



Kovict CEO Abu ThiamBy: Dennis Byron

Hip Hop Enquirer had an opportunity to catch up with Def Jam Record’s Vice President & CEO of Konvict Muzik Abou “Bu” Thiam who is responsible for some of the biggest successes that came through the Konvict brand. Most know Bu as rap superstar Akon’s baby brother but what they may have not known was that he was responsible for discovering one of the biggest names in hip hop all while staying behind the scenes. His roster of talent and successes has since reached epic proportions in the music industry. As we sat down with him in a one on one exclusive, we learned that this young mogul has really put in some hard work to earn his stripes in the game of music.

HHE: Share with our readers about how you got into the music game?

Bu Thiam: Well basically like every young kid growing up me and my brothers were into the wrong things and because my father was a real big jazz musician we were exposed to music very early in our lives. My mother felt like we were getting into too much trouble while we lived in New Jersey so she moved us to Atlanta. Around that time I had met up with a kid by the name of Little Zane and he also was interested in music so his career jumped off and I ended up becoming his hype man. While I was doing this, I was able to learn how things went in the music business and I was also able to gain contacts.

HHE: Was there any other groups you worked with after you stopped being the Hype man for Little Zane?

Kovict CEO Abu Thiam

Bu Thiam: Yeah, I was working with Da Razkalz Cru and actually two of the members are now signed to Konvict Records. I was also a hype man for Loon who at the time was signed to Bad Boy Records. I realized that I could do this sh*t on my own instead of working for the next man.

HHE: Tell me how that situation came about?

Bu Thiam: Well as I said I was with the Cru and my man Dolla (RIP) and SAS were with that group but Dolla and Scrap actually got their label imprint deal through Konvict/The Gang.

HHE: Now I hear you were responsible for bringing one of the hottest acts to Konvict Entertainment, please tell me how that came about.

Bu Thiam:  Well you’re referring to T-Pain and yes he was someone who I brought to the label. I caught some flack at first when I signed him because people weren’t really feeling his sound but that obviously proved to change. Now everyone is copying his style. What was funny is one day someone had called me up and said “Yo, I liked T-Pain’s new single and said Bartender and they said Sexual Seduction ref erring to Snoop’s new joint which was produced by Shawty Redd, big shout out to Shawty Redd and shout out to Snoop!

HHE: Tell me about some of the acts on your artist roster?

Bu Thiam: Well I just got my label situation under Universal, SRC (Steve Rifken) and Sylvia Rhone. They offered me an office up in New York City but I didn’t want it, I wanted to be in the street with the people verses trying to run things from the boardroom. I just signed my lil man SAS to Konvict and we are about to drop some heat. He’s about to kill the whole 106 & Park circuit.

HHE: How much input do you have on your brother Akon’s music?

Bu Thiam: After he does an album he’ll call me say “Bu, what single you think I should release?” He knows that I have my ear to the street and he respects my opinion.

HHE: Did you find it difficult for people to take you serious being that you are young executive in this business?

Bu Thiam: The fact that I broke T-Pain in the business people take what I do very seriously plus I started in the business very early.

Editor’s note: This interview was conducted before the passing of Roderick Anthony Burton, II. Who was professionally known as Dolla. At press time, HHE was told that his label is in plans of releasing his much-anticipated solo project. We want his family to know that he will be missed by the hip hop community and his fans around the world.

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Category: Interviews, Latest Hip Hop News, One on One

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