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John Payne - A World Of Payne

Author: Darryn King
Thursday, 27 September 2007
Tupac, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg… Death Row records gave birth to West Coast Hip Hop. Co-founder John Payne was there. Now he’s here, with something else up his sleeves. 3d’s Darryn King finds out what.

Death Row Records launched some of the biggest names in the biz - is it something you’re still proud of to this day-
Yes and no.  I am proud of the artists. I am not happy that some of the signed talent never got their chance to shine.  I am disappointed that the focus became more on the label than the artists - I will always have love for the artists.

What do you think Death Row Records achieved for west coast hip hop-
It elevated the visibility of the west coast style around the world.
It balanced the exposure between the east and west. It also
Gave a lot of people the confidence to start label of the own.

So tell us what you’re looking to do here in Australia.
My plans are to start a label to help expose Australian artists to the rest of the world and to also create a solid network in Australia.
I also plan to expand my consulting company to your country. So that I may help others understand the music business.

What led you to decide to start a new record label here in the first place-
I had the pleasure of experiencing a lot of talented people during my last visit. I felt that exposure was the missing ingredient. And, given a chance, most could hold their own with the artists you see and hear everyday.

What sort of sound are you looking for-

Anything real: no copies or fakes. I am interested in all genres of music. As long as the artist stays true to themselves I feel I can work with them.

What are your long-time aspirations - for the label and personally-
To help people succeed or at least get a chance to obtain their dream. As far as me personally I am happy. So I really have no personal aspirations beyond making this project succeed.

When will the label be up and running-

Hopefully within the next six months to a year. There is still quite a bit of research and prep to do. Could be sooner - definitely not much later than that.

Finally, anything else you’d like to add-
Yes, to artists that may have an interest in doing business with me: hit me with your own creative vision, not what you assume I am looking for. Originality is always welcome. I am not looking for the next Tupac or whoever. We don’t need repeats or copies.