Jeffrey Harris and Dylan Phillip, rappers
Rappers and entrepreneurs Jeffrey Harris—stage name Hennessy—and Dylan Phillip are the two founders of Sacramento's newest hip-hop collective, Capital City Music. Together, they've found that the best way to build credibility for themselves and the artists they serve has been through visibility, both online and on the streets. Both believe every local artist deserves a shot, a chance to be heard and a place among the music community. With their website recently launched, they're looking to start getting artists involved. They took some time to talk about their organization, what they do to help new artists and how it all got started.
Let’s talk about the organization’s name. Where did it come from?
Jeffrey Harris: The name Capital City Music comes from the most lucrative and influential state in the U.S., California. It's simple enough to be a no-brainer, but a broad enough idea to hopefully reach every capital city.
When did the idea come about and how did you two meet?
Dylan Phillip: The idea was started originally in late 2013 shortly after meeting each other at the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony concert. We later shared the stage for a benefit show at Harlow's raising money for kids with cancer. It was then that we began collaborating on songs and ideas to help others in our region and help catapult our city's youth to a larger audience.
Give us some background on what you’ve accomplished.
Harris: Previous to our upcoming, official company launch, we had established a strong local following and foundation by hitting the streets and doing lots of self-promotion before going public with our new website.
Big picture goals?
Harris: Our long-term goal is to provide a platform for artists setting up in every capital city across the United States. The goal is never charging an artist a dollar out of their pocket while still helping them obtain necessary tools and knowledge they can use to succeed in this field.
What services do you offer?
Harris: You can find local artists from California's capital and their music being promoted daily on our website and SoundCloud. Posting songs of the day using the hashtag #CapcitySOD will allow our audience to vote at the end of the month on Twitter for their favorite song. That song, in turn, is played and promoted for another day and we, ultimately, will award the selected artist a five-minute interview and feature them as our #CapcityATM, artist of the month. Nevertheless, our main focus at the moment is our #CapcityFOY, freshman of the year, competition where one rap/hip-hop act and one rock act will be awarded an entire year of promotion. Also, as a bonus any music he/she releases during that year will be promoted through various social media outlets and more.
Middle Tennessee Music Group? What’s the connection there?
Phillip: Middle Tennessee Music Group is a major music blog in the state of Tennessee. Some of the founders are helping us get our first Cap City Music chapter extension in Tennessee, so we are already in full stride of making connections out of state. We've been working hard to make this a big deal and already having other media outlets wanting to get involved with our ideas just gives us even more encouragement to turn them into a reality.
How many artists have used Capital City Music for services?
Harris: As of right now, we have not launched or gone public, but we have had over 50 music submissions from local artists, producers and bands.
Any obstacles or haters?
Harris: Of course. Obtaining the capital and sponsors to provide these awards and services as well as the time out of our solo careers has been the biggest thus far. Still no hate or opposing opinions. We have yet to receive any. It's really quite hard to argue with (or be mad at) what we are doing. We are 100 percent unbiased and welcome everyone.
Was this idea modeled after something you saw elsewhere?
Harris: Yeah. Watching the Bay Area host a similar formula and foundation, the Bay Area Freshman 10 Awards, for the region's talents sparked the idea and we just took it from there.
Why is this important?
Phillip: We feel it's necessary to bring positive reinforcement and awareness to the community about our future generation's talent. We're doing something not even the pioneers and forefathers before us have done for the area's music scene. Now that we are the ones younger artists are looking up to, we feel it is our duty to create a non-biased democratic competition by releasing analysis and statistics from the Freshman of the Year results, which leaves no room for criticism or hard feelings.