Jeremy Hill, Army Veteran Turned Fêted Promoter: The Man Working Behind the Scenes to Deliver Sentim
Jeremy Hill, or fondly known to industry professionals as JD, served 19 years in the military before diverging and shaping his own entertainment company. The veteran spent two decades serving as one of Americas finest. Instead of cashing out on a much deserved early retirement, Hill began promoting gospel plays before obtaining lineups with haute monde prodigies such as Frankie Beverly and Maze, Tank, Morris Day and the Time, Shelia E, Lalah Hathaway, Angie Stone, Avery*Sunshine, Uncle Charlie Wilson and Shirley Ceaser.
Hill ingeniously founded the Smooth Jazz Series and Soul Life Music Festival, the same consortium that brought the 22-City Nu Soul Revival Tour featuring Lyfe Jennings, Kindred and the Family Soul, in addition to Musiq Soulchild, to the Ovens Auditorium February 2017.
Mavens in the industry compare his beloved Soul Life Music Festival to rockin-bicentennials such as SXSW, Coachella and the Essence Festival.
Hill, though completely unaware of the huge notability asked innocently, “Is, wow, a word? Yeah, [wow] that comes to mind.”
"I didn’t know it was compared to Coachella. Obviously, Coachella is probably what every concert promoter wants to get into. If you can get to that level, you’ve made it at that point. That’s huge and that’s an honor. With the Soul Life Music Festival, I tried to put together something that was missing in the marketplace. For uncertain reasons, Neo Soul was missing. Since we started Soul Life, it’s been duplicated. I know that someone in L.A tried to do it a couple years ago. I don’t know how successful it was, but I will say, “The blessing is about trying to do something that was missing in the marketplace, and to also give those artist a larger platform to perform and display their talents as well.”
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
~Charles Caleb Colton
Furthermore, the Atlanta-based organizer is bringing omnipotent instrumentalist, Brian Culbertson for the Colors of Love Tour, in addition to soulful and bluesy vocalist, Anita Baker, to the Wolf Creek Amphitheater. He’s addling a little icing on the cake for music lovers who want to hear their favorite old-school artist in concert.
The elaborate promoter indicated that if you want to make your dreams come true, you’ll need to have a profound amount of professionalism even when things aren’t going so well. You also need financial stability, to fund your pipe-dreams, making them credibly obtainable.
“It feels good. It actually feels great,” he said. “Before we started doing stuff, especially in Atlanta, and especially at Wolf Creek, there was only one old-school show that was going on in Atlanta. That was the Kiss 104 Flashback Festival over at Lakewood.
I just wanted to be in the marketplace of fun shows that take people back to whatever [prime] time in their life. Seeing people respond to that by coming out and supporting it, to seeing them having a good time, it does everything for me. To answer your question,” he added. “It feels great."
Hill sparks serendipitous conversations, where his concerts engender a great lineup of A-listers, as well as legends, and they sell-out arenas.
“It’s something that I’ve been passionate about. I think God kind of blessed me with the ability to be able to gage what the public wants. Typically, when I feel good about something, then the public feels good about it as well, as it relates to lineups. I put together lineups that I felt were worthy of concert promotions that I would pay to see. I’ve been blessed with being in that predicament where most of the people that I’ve been able to go after, I’ve been able to get.”
Hill assumes the role of “Concert Promoter.” He strategizes differently, and maneuvers in such a way that he’s able to fill stadiums. He explains the dividing disparities between his functions and that of a club promoter.
“The difference is that you have a lot more money tied up into a concert. If things go wrong, that can be very catastrophic. Typically, with a club situation, you’re going after a certain demographic of people versus it’s a concert for the most part, especially with the shows I do. It’s a different demographics. With the shows I do, It’s mostly opposite of the club demographics. I think it’s largely successful because we give more of a tour, and an opportunity for you to come out and enjoy yourselves by having a good time in a safe, fun, environment, that’s not necessarily the club.”
Hill considers this melodic journey a love for both music and business.
“Every show is not successful,” he shared. “That comes with it. What rewards me the most is seeing people come out and [watching] people have a great time—Seeing a man with his woman or [a] partner with partner, dancing together just having a great time, that’s rewarding to me. I literally put together show concepts [while] laying in the bed sometimes. To put together shows in my head, laying in the bed, and then three or four months later, you have five or six thousand people down here… it’s just crazy.”
Hill’s shows are publicized widely, and not to mention that a few music marvels received proclamations by the mayor of Atlanta, Georgia. The declarations allowed artists to have a day named in their honor, as well as the opportunity to perform on Hill’s event stage.
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