Signing Story: Baby E--How He Got Signed to IDJ

Date Signed: December 2012
Label: Island Def Jam
Type of Music: Rap/Rock/Pop
Band Members: Baby E
Management: Mark Sudack
Booking: Matt Galle / Paradigm Agency, [email protected]
Legal: Scott Felcher
Publicity: Lauren Schneider / Island Def Jam, [email protected]
A&R: Chris Anokute

babyE-music-connectionAfter being courted repeatedly by labels that never came through, Baby E had gotten comfortable with the idea of being an independent artist, self-promoting his genre-blending original songs through YouTube and Soundcloud.

“A lot of A&R showed interest,” he says, “but it seemed like they were just pulling my chain. No one actually gave me a deal. They just said to keep working, keep putting stuff on YouTube, and I just got sick of it. I was kind of anti-A&R at that point. Then I met a girl named M’Jestie.”

That’s Alisha “M’Jestie” Brooks, who penned Rihanna’s hit, “Pon de Replay,” and told Baby E she could put him in touch with a friend who could help––Chris Anokute of Island Def Jam. Baby E flew from Virginia to Los Angele to meet with the A&R rep who asked the artist, “If you

“A lot of A&R showed interest, but it seemed

like they were just pulling my chain.”

could work with any producer, big or small, who would it be?” “The first person that came to mind was Dr. Luke (Nicki Minaj, Rihanna),” Baby E says. “Chris calls me back that day at my hotel room and says I got a meeting with Luke the next day. So I bring him my demo and play some stuff.”

Baby E’s week-long stay culminated in a showcase arranged by Anokute after which the artist went home with both a publishing deal with Dr. Luke and an Island Def Jam recording deal. “I went into IDJ kind of nervous, but Chris said, 'Even if they don’t sign you, make sure they remember you.’ I got the deal no one else offered and moved to L.A. a week or two after signing.”

Baby E is wrapping up his first album, Girlfriend Material, noting that monetary support from Island Def Jam has played a huge part in making the record he wanted to make. “The label can do all the obvious things, like promotion, radio and possible television spots, but people forget about the money aspect. It costs a lot to shoot videos, pay rent, work with these producers. It’s good to have financial support.”

– Jessica Pace