It's all about the next level. It's about unprecedented quality, positive growth and winning. Yes, winning -- Charlie Sheen would be proud.
This story isn't about our beloved Charlie, though. This is about a vision. It's a vision for the entire city and it's a vision that requires coordination and no shortage of effort to succeed.
Jermaine Spencer, director of promotions at BNR Records, has been on a mission to help Charlotte artists reach a new level of recognition. His objective is to usher the local music scene into bigger and better things, and in doing so, put this city on the map in a new way. Brick by brick, artist by artist, from one level to the next, and it all starts with quality.
"If you come out with 2.0 quality, that's what people are gonna see you as. They're gonna see you as amateur. That's what 2.0 is," Spencer explains. "But if you come out with that A-quality 4.0, they're gonna see you as a professional independent artist on the rise, and a lot of these artists have yet to really grasp that concept."
Sitting in his office looking out at Trade Street, Spencer can't help but grin as he talks about the recent work BNR's production team, just across the office, is putting out. The video and vocal production, mixing, mastering, recording, all of it, Spencer says, is top notch.
"We do a lot of production for our clients. They expect quality, but we take their mindset of quality to another level once they see what we do. Quality is what we hang our hats on."
While quality remains paramount, it's not the only requisite for success. So much of BNR's vision is characterized by the mentality they promote. Twelve-month plans, national and international recognition, a desire to break out of the box — all of these things rely on the artists themselves, so it's never surprising the amount of energy that Spencer spends working with them.
Spencer says his closest ties in the music industry have always been with the independent performers. Those connections along with a passion for business are what keep him surging forward. Oh, and don't forget the sweet dream of that view from the top.
"Even though I'm not an artist myself, I'm an artist at heart. So, I want to make sure their best interest is my priority," Spencer says. "It's the independent artists, here in this region that I really feel a connection with."
BNR Records doesn't discriminate based on style, as long as the desire to work hard and succeed is there. They currently represent artists in the rock, hip-hop, pop and country genres, such as Pradigy GT, Young Jules, Brooke Hummel and D Major.
As Charlotte has grown by leaps and bounds, its music scene hasn't exactly been reaping the rewards. Spencer says he hopes to see the nation's 24th largest market start to benefit the local artists instead of just the national acts that can be found around town on an almost daily basis. "We have to get to that point, and I think we will. It's just going to take a group effort on everybody's part to get us there."
When local media, news networks and everyone else really start making it a point to pay attention to local talent, really focusing, that's when Spencer says the success will all come full circle.
BNR is currently working on establishing a presence in Los Angeles and New York to do that. The expansion will allow for more opportunities going forward for the label and its clients.
"We just want to continue to build, and we want to win, man. We want all of Charlotte to win," he stresses. "That also comes with me; I've gotta do better, too."