By : Sam Potrykus
7 min read
Find them on the web : MadeGreat
Sam P: We only recently saw you on our radar this past year via Thrill Studios, Kei and the Blair Bxtch Project halloween event but how did you first get your start organizing events and managing artists?
Sadiq Ervin: I started getting involved with events in college. It started with going to concerts so often I got bored of them as an attendee and wanted to see what they were like behind the scenes. That led to me working at the House of Blues, and taking a couple production jobs here and there. I also took a really cool work study job in athletics at BC with Screaming Eagles Media. I got to see what it was like producing the game day experience for 40k people. I also joined a number of clubs, including the Black Student Forum and the Campus Activities Board where we produced some of our largest annual concerts.
Eventually I met an agent who took a liking to me and he started giving me amazing opportunities to work on larger events and conferences like A3C, Miami NFT Week and more. All of those really helped me solidify my background in events.
As far as talent, I really only started with one other talent - a poet named Miya Coleman I met in college. I just thought she was so awesome that more people needed to experience her poetry. When I helped her get booked for this dope opportunity called the Roxbury Poetry Festival, and she ended up winning and getting a book deal with Button Poetry, I told myself I could really do this Management stuff.
SP: Tell us more about the halloween show. It looked like a huge effort and major success!
SE: The Blair B*tch Project was a total success. My goal was to provide a platform for the creative women of color in Boston in a way that was festive but really set them apart. Thanks to all the wonderful women who helped out behind the scenes, our sponsors Newbury Comics, The Boston Foundation and the Boston UJIMA Project, we were able to do just that.
SP: For folks out there wanting to organize their own events and launch their own artists, could you tell us a little bit about the process of raising funds and forming partnerships to make it happen?
SE: Man all it really takes is belief. Be that an event or person, if you believe in something you’ll learn to talk about it in inspiring ways. As long as you’re able to share that vision and feeling with other people, you’ll always find ways to fund your ideas.
Another big thing is awareness. I pride myself on paying attention to what’s happening around me. When you know the landscape of the space you’re operating in (be that music, events, or whatever) you can make informed decisions about how you want to enter that space. A great example is Blair - who else is doing a huge free Halloween party? With incredible talent at that? That awareness helps you develop your unique perspective on things.
SP: How do you select the artists you represent? Can artists pitch their music directly to you?
SE: Honestly it depends. I’ve had a ton of people ask to work with me since they’ve seen the progress Kei and I have made together, and I almost always turn them down. For me it’s a bandwidth thing. I know how much energy has gone into helping propel Kei forward and it’s hard for me to think of pouring the same energy into someone else at the moment. I’d have to be a super believer to consider taking someone else on because it’s way more than just being a manager. It’s being a friend, confidant, motivator, brother, and more!
It can be exhausting but it’s really worth it. I also think it has a lot to do with my reluctance to take someone’s career in my hands - that’s a huge responsibility! Even kei had to ask me 3 times to manage her before I said yes. A lot had to feel right before I decided to throw my support behind her, and thankfully it did. Look at how far we’ve come.
SP: What's coming up next for you and Something Made Great in 2023?
SE: I want to tour again. Maybe a couple festivals. Who knows! All I know is I see us exporting the influence and bringing it back to Boston tenfold.
That's Love, thank you Sadiq!
Follow the team on IG @solely.sadiq, @keiweifruit @lookforherhere
Online as well!
Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #153 December 2022
Check out all the art and columns of December's Boston Compass at www.issuu.com/bostoncccompass