Interviews

Published on June 6th, 2020 | by Jerry Doby

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Meet Celebrated Marketing Specialist and Guru Nigel “Bez” Lee | BezKnowsTalent

Nigel “Bez” Lee aka BezKnowsTalent is a marketing specialist and guru whose contracted client list includes Universal Music Group, as well as artists signed to Sony, Def Jam and Roc Nation. “Bez”  has logged over a decade of major & independent music industry experience. Known to his clients as “the plug”, Bez has a proven history of bridging the gap between artists and the mainstream including facilitating serious label meetings for artists with Roc Nation, Atlantic, Republic, Def Jam, Sony and Empire.

Bez has also been responsible for marketing and developing deals for artists at Def Jam Recordings and Epic Records via the privately owned consulting agency, Eleven33 Group, of which he’s part owner. Their client roster includes celebrated artists Travis Porter, Freebandz, Shun Hendrix, Mykko Montana, Lil Donald, Karlie Redd, Rich Homie Quan, Snootie Wild and a long list of other notables.

Known throughout the music industry as the go-to-guy for all things surrounding artist marketing and branding, Bez prides himself on taking a project from concept to execution and delivering exciting result. Among the highlights of his career he touts his successes with independent artists reaching Billboard’s prestigious Top 100 charts on multiple occasions as well as earning his clients plaques for streaming accomplishments on the digital streaming provider Spotify…a tough nut to crack!

The Hype Magazine got Bez to weigh in on a few things

Give us the rundown on Nigel “Bez” Lee!

My name is Nigel Lee, I go by “Bez” in the music industry, I’ve been a marketing executive for a little over 10 years now. 

What brought you to the entertainment industry?

Music has been in my blood ever since a young dude, it’s definitely a high for me, a way to release stress and just be free, that’s the creative side; now I also fell in love with the business of music.

How did you become the go-to person for marketing with the major labels?

Well, everything in this business is relationship-based and show and prove. Back in 2016 I charted an independent artist on the Top 100 Billboard Single Charts, and also charted an EP from an independent artist in 2017. Since 2017, I have gotten 8 artists some type of deal at major labels, or a writer or producer a publishing situation. Building from the ground up is my specialty, and that involves heavy marketing and having the relationships and know-how on the process to build an artist 

How do you get involved in a marketing campaign?

As far as independent artists, I get involved with their marketing campaign when I know that for one, they have the funds to handle the task at hand. I give them a 90-day layout on how things are going to look as far as their branding and marketing. When it comes to mainstream artists, usually they come with a set plan because they already have a direction, I just step in and connect the dots on the marketing and branding side.

Tell us about some of the highlights from your career

My highlights in my career are Billboard charting four artists, Top 100 for 8 or more weeks independent, 6 artists on Top 20 DRT charts, getting three plaques from three of my artist getting so many streams from Spotify.

What’s the most exciting part of what you do?

The most exciting part of my job is traveling, I love that it gets me a chance to meet new people and experience new things.

Is there a part of the process of executing a marketing campaign that presents the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge I have when it comes to marketing is sometimes the artist I might be working with may not understand the business fully. So, since I have been doing this for so many years when a hiccup occurs during their process they might overreact but that’s why they have hired me because I know how to get over hiccups and keep things moving in the right direction. I’m a very very busy man so I don’t always have the time to explain everything about how the industry works, and what I mean by that is before you start in this business def learn the lingo, terminology, etc……. so things can try to run as smoothly as possible.

Tell us about your company Eleven33 Group and what you do?

Eleven33 is a marketing and consulting company in which I am 1/2 owner with my business partner being my friend Push. We opened it back in 2017 and it’s for independent artists to get the same access that the labels give to their artists, everything from major blog placements to interviews on major radio shows to Spotify campaigns and label meetings. It bridges the gap from independent to the mainstream. 

I felt a big need for this because independent is the way now. Push and I have charted artists and helped artists make money from their music. 

How does the company tie in with what you do for the labels?

Well, our company helps labels weed out great talent. By the time we take an artist to a label, 9 times out of 10 the label knows they are up to par for their standards. Eleven33 group has worked with Sirius Satellite Radio, iHeart Radio, all of the labels as far as taking meetings for artist at Roc Nation, Atlantic, Republic, Def Jam, Sony, Empire. Some of the artist we have worked closely with are Young Greatness, Snootie Wild, Karlie Redd, Lil Donald, Mykko Montana, and Lindita to name a few.

What’s the most satisfying about being an entrepreneur?

The most satisfying thing about being an entrepreneur is being my own boss, and creating a legacy that can be generational. Building my own path ain’t easy but it’s def worth it

Is there anything you’d like to say to aspiring music executives?

Anybody that is aspiring to be a music exec just know it ain’t easy, it’s about endurance, fighting, hustling, networking, and having a good ear for music, understanding both sides, the creative and the business and being transparent.


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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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