Small Mid-West cities are said to be overlooked when it comes to the entertainment industry, that statement is the furthest thing from the truth. From Michigan to Ohio, St. Louis to Chicago, if you really checked the stats, you’ll find out the glue that holds the entertainment industry together is the mid-west. The newest mogul you need to know is Essince. If you don’t know the face, we’re sure you’ve seen some of his work over the last decade, especially if you’ve been to any state from Indiana to Ohio. After launching his Award-Winning entertainment company, Royal Heir Entertainment, Essince also decided to add basketball team owner to his resume. Thissomebull.com caught up with Essince to see what he’s been up too.
TSB: Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Essince: Peace, my name is Essince. I’m the CEO of award-winning entertainment marketing company, Royal Heir Entertainment. I’m the president of Media & Entertainment for the American Basketball Association and co-founder of the Akron Aviators minor league basketball team. I love music. I love sharing experiences, traveling, and Asian buffets.
TSB: Tell us about growing up in Ohio.
Essince: I was born in Honduras and adopted to a family in Ohio when I was a baby. I grew up in northeast Ohio and honestly loved it. I know it’s cool to shit on Ohio (and kinda funny), but I did enjoy it. My area wasn’t super diverse, but I had a lot of friends and thankful to have a good homelife. Both the Rock & Roll and Football Halls of Fame are in northeast Ohio so that should tell you Ohio is a place for music and sports. So many famous people have come from Cleveland and Ohio so even though it’s not what it could be [is anything?], there are opportunities and a culture for the arts does exist.
TSB: How did you decide to get into the entertainment industry?
Essince: I was always interested. When I was a kid, I used to tell my mom I would tour the world playing La Bamba on my guitar. At age 11 I started writing songs and picked up the saxophone, which I played all through high school and a little beyond (I need to pick that up again). But I used to record myself on a $20 Audio Technical dynamic mic when I was in middle school and sold over 200 copies of a CD my senior year of high school. As a student, I also sold CDs on commission for a label in Youngstown, OH, Self-made Records.
When I got to college, Webster University in St. Louis, MO I did all the local open mics on and off campus and officially started my company, Royal Heir Entertainment my senior year.
TSB: Talk to us about Royal Heir Entertainment.
Essince: November 2008, I launched Royal Heir Ent. I was majoring in Audio Engineering, and I began offering EPKs. I’d record and mix a 4-song demo, write a bio, and design an album cover while my roommate took headshots. Then I realized people didn’t know what to do with EPKs, so I slowly expanded into marketing. At the time I still wanted to be an artist and was able to accomplish some great things (including paid, self-booked international tours) and other people kept asking me how to do it. So, it’s easy to see how I transitioned to this side of the industry. I love it. Now we provide Media, Marketing, Distribution, and Booking internationally for our clients. I’ve co-promoted sold out arena shows, we have multiple Billboard, RIAA, and DRT awards, as well as a few others and really love what I do.
We’re gradually expanding into the sports and film world as well.
TSB: How did you get involved with the ABA and The Akron Aviators?
Essince: It was through a conference call I’ve been co-hosting with Kermit Henderson for years. A man named Harold Whaley joined the call and mentioned the ABA as he was reminding artists of sports-related performance opportunities. I contacted the ABA and found out that Tjuan Benafactor and I had many mutual music industry contacts. We formed a partnership on the spot booking after-game parties and game entertainers for a year. In 2017 I was given the chance to start my own team and the Akron Aviators were born. 5 years later and still going strong.
TSB: Tell me about your book, “Making it in the Midwest” (A How-To-Guide to be Successful in Music).
Essince: I’d started writing a book around 2012 and used to give out samples. It wasn’t until I was approached by Quincy “Big Heff” Taylor that the idea came to life. I met him in 2009 as an intern for the Ohio Hip-Hop Awards. We had the idea of a how-to guide for artists, and I compiled notes and practical steps along with anecdotes and personal experiences into what has been a very successful book. We’ve sold out and re-ordered multiple times and it’s in stores and libraries now.
TSB: What are you currently working on?
Essince: Right now, I’m developing a few artists, producing movies, and continuing helping our clients grow and make money and fans. I love it. I get to travel and help people reach their goals. I love what I’m learning in film. My artist Layla Khepri finished her feature film, “Bundles” and will be shooting more soon as well as releasing new music. Chogo is Asia’s next big rap star, from the country of Bhutan. And watch out for R&B singer Josvani!
TSB: Contact information and links.
Essince: I’m easy to find on social media. All my links can be found here: https://flow.page/essince
But I’m either @Essince or @ItsEssince on all major platforms.
(photos by Lashila Howell of Fly High Productions)
Conversation Conducted By: S.L Jackson (www.1sljackson.com Santoine@thissomebull.com)