COC crew is back for the New Year as we toast to Janiro Hawkins. He discusses getting his feet wet in the industry with his early quest to pursue a rap career (and even drops a few bars). With an early passion for music and entertainment, he talks about how knowing the ins and outs of the industry helped him uncover gaps. Co-founding the Southern Entertainment Awards, he has grown this reputable award ceremony putting the spotlight on Southern States and what they have contributed to the culture of Hip Hop, R & B, and Film.

With Janiro, you don’t have to wonder. You don’t have to wonder what he’s passionate about (music, artistry, community). You don’t have to wonder where you stand with him (“I’m about addressing issues that need to be addressed for the next person.”). And, you don’t have to wonder if you’re going to be dealing with someone who doesn’t say what he means and means what he says.

Although Janiro’s the Co-Founder for the Southern Entertainment Awards and the Music Supervisor at Onyx Theory Arts. He’s not too busy to return a phone call, an email or listen to a concern and/or complaint. It doesn’t matter the position you have or title you hold. To him, everything is about seeing the potential in others; about turning a possibility into a genuine opportunity.

Just one glance at his credentials and you will know that Janiro is a part of the entertainment industry. But while others look at the field as a chance to put the spotlight on them, he has a different perspective. “I try to be known as a person who is approachable and who others are able to get in touch with,” says Janiro. “It will always be that way. People know that they can come to me straight up about anything. See, I’m not an Artist, Producer, A&R, or Manager, so what those individuals feel like they can’t say, I can. Most importantly, when I speak on various issues, I try to help provide a resolution as well.”

As they say, if you’re not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem. When it comes to solving “the problem” of there being limited platforms for urban independent and upcoming artists, Janiro has used his connections and expertise to provide as many as possible. Since relocating to Nashville, TN from Flint, MI almost 30 years ago, he has worked diligently to provide avenues for independent artists, especially independent artists in the South, to be heard. Artists like Tennessee’s own JC, along with other southern-based performers including Rudy Currence, Sparkdawg and more have all credited him with significantly assisting them with their music careers. In 2006, he co-produced Southern Entertainment Awards Presents: A New Generation Salutes Ray Charles at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Aside from the Southern Entertainment Awards, Janiro’s resume has included, Staff Writer for Ozone Magazine, Promotions for Midnight Marauders/Aquemini and more.

How does he find the time? What is his motivation?

“Many people enjoy music and appreciate it,” says Janiro, “but there’s a difference between loving it and then being able to dig deep and be involved in it 24/7. I love what I do because I was able to create something that others appreciate.

Janiro Hawkins & SEA Awards

Brought to you by Great Convo Media

Eboné Merrimon
Brian Sexton
Lonnell Matthews

Music Producer: A.B. Eastwoood
Creative Producer: Kamilah Sanders

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