Hip Hop Professional Shanti Das Talks New Book, Being A Boss And Changing The Game In A Male Dominated Industry
What did a typical day consist of at the LaFace offices?
When I was in the office I put together our marketing plans, made calls, t-shirts, postcards, had to deal with a lot of vendors. I had to get travel books, make sure we were setting up meet and greets on the tour, and that we were doing radio station interviews. So to me, when you’re working at a boutique label, sometimes you wear various hats. I started in promotions and then ended up in marketing, so for me, I was dabbling with the marketing department and the PR team. A lot of what we did was constantly calling people in the business, trying to find new ways to expose our talent. I spent a lot of time on the road. I did the Crazy, Sexy, Cool tour. I toured a lot with Usher early on in his career. That’s when were trying to break him in the marketplace, same thing with Outkast.
And when I left the office it definitely wasn’t over. I was in the club, in the studio, going to dinners with the team. LaFace was like a family.
Your days were so crazy! Did you feel the pressures of slowing down, getting married and starting a family at some point?
It wasn’t a time for me to get married and try to have a family, although, a few people did. It just wasn’t in the cards for me. I was just so narrow with the idea of winning as a team. And I just wanted to do anything that I could to make that happen for my team.
When you landed a dream job at Motown, why did you decide to walk away from it all?
I decided to walk away in 2009 because that was a tough year for me. My uncle had passed earlier that year, and he was kind of like my dad; the one to help raise me. So I really felt like I wasn’t there for him during his final years of his health declining. My mother developed dementia, which is now full on Alzheimer, and I saw my moms memory slipping away. And I was like okay, I can’t be this far away from my mom anymore. And not see her when her memory starts to fade. Because you only have one mom. And then I had health issues that year. And on top of all that, something just wasn’t right in my spirit anymore, with the job, being in New York. I finally listened to that inner voice, which I now feel was the Holy Spirit talking to me, and I just thought it was time to go home. That I have to do things differently, and I’ve had a wonderful run, but now it’s time to embark upon the second phase of your life. I’m in the second phase of my life now.
And this phase has you going the entrepreneurial route?
Absolutely, I’m doing things for me.