June 27, 2008

Making Music: Seminar Promotes Independent Artists

By Daniel Skolfield, Odessa American, Texas

Jun. 27--A one-of-a-kind music event pays attention to the "little guy" this Saturday, as opportunity abounds for West Texas performers in search of their big break.

Often ignored and bypassed for popular, big-name artists, independent musicians feel consistently held back from the action in radio play, show booking and spotlight promotion in the industry.

This weekend, however, all that will change with the inaugural West Texas Independent Music Seminar at the Road House Club in Odessa.

Dallas rapper K.P., also known as "Oak Cliff Assassin," has organized the event as an avenue for local artists to get their name out there. Last year he held a similar seminar in Waco, but he decided to bring it to Odessa this year.

"Independent artists normally don't get the attention because the major artists are there and they get all the attention," he said.

K.P., whose real name is Kenton Paul, runs Big Pictures Graphics and Promotions and said he's been in the music business for about 15 years, helping independent artists and low-budget labels.

With several radio disc jockeys, club owners and event promoters scheduled to attend Saturday's seminar, K.P. said artists from rap and R&B to gospel and rock 'n' roll will have opportunity to make connections and learn more about the industry.

A discussion panel of professionals will answer questions and provide information.

"This gives them a chance to work on relationships -- it's a really nice who's who in West Texas music," he said. "It teaches independents that they can get events."

"As an independent artist, I want to know how do to get played on your station -- the key is information," he said.

Gilbert Benavidez, a 25-year-old Midland rapper known by the stage name That Boi G, said he's experienced many hurdles and frustrations in starting a music career. The man started rapping when he was 13 years old and works an oil-field related job to fund his passion: making music.

"I put everything into that -- that's what I love," he said.

Even though he's signed as an independent artist with K.P.'s label, That Boi G said he hopes to gain more promotion and popularity by performing at the music seminar.

K.P. said his motivation for organizing the event is to build local artists through the collective experience of a group so the final result -- a concert performance -- draws more people.

"I like to put on shows and if I can get more artists who understand how to promote themselves, I can put on better shows," he said.


--The West Texas Independent Music Seminar is from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Road House Club, 6115 Andrews Highway.

--Cost is $10 for entry or $20 to distribute information to disc jockeys.

--An after-party starts at 10 p.m.

--Call 800-878-1784 for registration.


Guests from the following groups are scheduled to attend or speak on panels:

--B93.3, Odessa-Midland.

--Club Evade, Carlsbad, N.M.

--Creative Minds Promotions, Houston.

--Cuauhtemac, El Paso.

--Fame Entertainment, Odessa.

--Guuta Grind Entertainment, Abilene.

--KACV 89.9 and KQIZ 93.1, Amarillo.

--KBTE 104.9, Lubbock.

--KCDY 104.1, Carlsbad, N.M.

--KKHR 106.1, Abilene.

--KMRK 96.1, Odessa.

--KSTQ 104.3, Lubbock.

--KZBT 93.3, Midland.

--King Underground, Midland.

--Mayhem Records, Dallas.

--OP Promotions, Amarillo.

--Playaz Choice, San Angelo.

--Pure Raw Records, Odessa.

--T-Jack Promotions, Abilene.

--Taged Up Promotions, Lubbock.

--Urban Styles, Odessa.

--V-12 Entertainment, Dallas.

--Whiskey Dix Club, Lubbock.

--XHTO 104.3, El Paso and Las Cruces, N.M.

The following performing artists are registered for the event:

--50/50 Productions.



--Anchorman and Cramp.

--Baby Loc.

--Bad Biznezz.

--Brandname Entertainment.

--Dreamtracct Entertainment.


--Fat Boi Hustle and Block Bleeda.

--First Class.

--General C.

--Genyus and Step Out Boyz.

--J Fresh.


--Legit Paper Records.

--Mayhem Records.

--Nu Nu Baby.

--P.H.A.M. Gang.

--Phat Kat.

--Reez Fox and Jah Mu.

--Savage Kinfolk.


--That Boi G.

--Wrecktown Entertainment.


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Copyright (c) 2008, Odessa American, Texas

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