Music Exec/Recording Artist
There are those that grow up dreaming of becoming a huge music star, and then there are those that love music and grow up dreaming of becoming an executive in the industry, and then there is industry veteran June Archer, who has been lucky enough to experience both.
As an artist, his group, Room Service, achieved notoriety in the 1990s with songs like “Ain’t Nothing Wrong”, and “Stay”. But when the group disbanded in 2000, Archer never lost his love for music, and he used his connections and experience to land on the other side of the game as a music executive and president of Starcyde Entertainment.
Now Archer is a well-established name in the industry, thanks to his entertainment company Eleven28 Entertainment. Through his company, Archer has his hands in everything from providing ringtones, to charitable work with AIDS and Breast Cancer organizations. They obviously still produce a lot of music too.
We were lucky that a man with so much experience and success was willing to chat with us about his experiences, so we didn’t want to waste the opportunity. The interview that follows covers everything from his time as an artist to advice he would give to someone following in his footsteps. Enjoy!
How did you first get into the music industry?
My friends and I started a singing group in high school because we were so into Michael Jackson and a group by the name of New Edition. After months of going back and forth to the World Famous Apollo Theater, we got discovered.
What was it like being in the spotlight with your group Room Service?
The experience of being in a guy group is unlike any other. Being so young and excited about everything was mind-blowing. Everyone watches your video and listens to your music on the radio. Things that you only dream about accomplishing one day. It was an amazing journey!
After your group disbanded it seems like you quickly transitioned into a behind-the-scenes, executive role, can you tell us about that?
While I was in the group, I was always attracted to the inner-workings of what made artists become successful. I watched the success of Russell Simmons (Def Jam / Phat Farm), Michael Bivins (BBD, Boyz 2 Men) and P Diddy. They knew how to market and promote what they felt was great talent. They were so business savvy, and I was hungry to learn and thirsty to be like them.
As an executive, what do you look for in an up and coming artist that makes you want them to be a part of your business?
Running my own entertainment company, Eleven28 Entertainment ,I look for individuals who are passionate about what they do and relentless in their pursuit of achieving excellence. I love artists and producers that are multi-dimensional and want to be a brand and not just an artist.
Can you explain to us a bit about Eleven28 Entertainment, what is the general business model of a company like yours?
At Eleven28 Entertainment we provide the soundtrack to people’s lives. We produce music for Pop, Rock, R&B, Hip Hop, Country and Techno. We have a DJ, a Journalist, Songwriters and Music Producers. We provide mobile content for Jamster with ringtones and wallpapers. We are also very charitable with our annual event that raises money for AIDS and Breast Cancer prevention and intervention. With our education piece, we produce a music seminar called the New England Music Seminar and we just recently landed two shows on the Fuse network. “Behind The Unsigned” and “The DocuTape” which give a platform to independent artists and new music producers on the scene.
What is a 9-5 in the work day of June Archer?
Our business is more like 16 – 18 hour days. I wake up at 7 a.m. and check emails, start returning emails, check in with my team for updates and new business. I also make a few phone calls, send music to artists, managers and A&R’s in hopes to land a song on a new release. Some nights and days I am in the studio. There are days I am doing motivational speaking engagements with high school and college kids. Then some nights I am hosting or mc’ing an event or showcase. Ever so often, I am just out looking and scouting new talent while judging music showcases. I end the night by checking emails, returning emails and setting up my to-do list for the next day.
What are some things you really like about your work and the industry your involved in?
I love the music and television industry. I get to wake up and fall in love with what I love. Creating music and working with the most talented musicians on the planet.
What are some aspects of your profession that you would warn aspiring executies and musical artists about, for instance hurdles or hardships that often need to be overcome?
Anyone that wants to be in this business should first understand this is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Do not get in this business if you think you will be rich tomorrow. There will be days that you will not see a dime amd days that you will say, I can’t believe I get paid to do this. You have to develop thick skin because not every idea will be a good idea. Find people who believe in you, your vision and want to leave a great legacy rather than be rich and famous.
Say someone is dead set on moving into the music industry and becoming a successful executive or artist, what kind of advice would you offer to them?
Make sure you build a brand and product that will stand the test of time. Be a student of what you do and never be afraid to fail or think outside of the box.
While being an executive are you still working on your own music, and if so can you tell us about your project?
I still have the opportunity to work on music with the upcoming project for The Source magazine album. I am currently promoting a reality documentary series called “The DocuTape” which can be seen on Fuse starting this July 4th. It gives a look into the lives or producers looking for that hit record that will take them to the next level. However, none of this is easy while juggling real life issues. It is my first time producing a show so I am very excited for the world to see it.