We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaleel Harley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jaleel, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My thought process for starting my own business was to make it happen on my own! I was tired of endless let downs and what if’s. I wanted to solidify myself like my mother taught me to. Coming from Syracuse , NY , it wasn’t easy and I wanted more. So I asked myself how could I turn what I love into a solid foundation. How can I own my own masters and publishing to avoid all the shark antics of the industry? By being the one to maintain the genuineness that the culture represent. Maintaining the value of artist creativity and creative control. That’s how Open Hand EntertainmentLLC came about. Having the world in your hand . With open opportunity! Be what you want with no limit! No gimmicks!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Now we all know the story of the starving independent artist right? The one that’s always trying to make it but fall short? If you can’t take a few falls I suggest you find a different industry to work in.There’s nothing easy about this but the passion I have drove me to where I am today . Im from Syracuse NY, which is filled with talented artist ! I was tired of not being serious so I looked up the first step off becoming a professional artist! I found out about ASCAP and BMI so that was my first step . After that I started performing all over with little results but important connects. After that I was in a group called Trak Krak which helped me realize I need to evolve as an artist if I really want to make it in this game . Not getting recognition that I felt I deserved was an issue for me so I started brainstorming things to do . My right hand man, Keandre Thomas , and I flew to LA to get our name out there and we had some results but not what we was lookin for ! He always told me to keep pushing! After cooking in multiple kitchens I decided to move out to LA with a couple hundred in my pocket and start up my record label! Now it wasn’t easy I had countless failed attempts! Missed out on events due to inadequate funds! Not knowing where to go ! All that taught me that you do know what to do you just have to find it in yourself! Your the only one that can make things happen or stop it! Don’t give up no matter who hating or who’s supporting ! Don’t worry about it you got it! Ramen noodles every night for a time being did not effect the thought process of knowing where I can and will be ! Stay open minded and lead with an open hand!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had my right hand visit , besides our daily workout , we will most likely visit all historic places. Like where they shot boys n the hood at or training Day! The fresh prince mansion! Hit jammin cafe , Cjs Cafe , tasting kitchen, Eataly, North Italia , and Berkshire house to name a few spots to hang out and eat! Got to see my barber Don LA! Hit the studio in north Hollywood called Bridgetown studios ! Go see a lakers game. There’s so much to do I don’t know where to stop at lol Just know it will be an eventful week!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost , I like to shout out my mother, single mother of 4, worked hard everyday to make sure we had a roof over our head . Her original sound when she did music herself as “Mistress G” to her singing Natalie Cole around the house made me indulge deeper into music . Without her literally there’s no me! Love you mom! Olene Harley for being there always for the whole family! Love you Grandma! My siblings , John Harley , Jamar Kennedy , and Johnnayea Edmond! Without that tough love y’all always presented to me I wouldn’t be able to survive in this world ! For that I am grateful! I like to shout out my business partner Niall O Bryant Gregg for believing in the vision and joining me on this journey! Mentors in the game for me are Michael Denaro , Shantel Reed , William Slater , and Bryce Umbel to name a few! Really helped me develop my sound! My future wife Amber Chatton is my rock! We get through everything together and can accomplish anything without question! Last but not least my whole team! Profits aka Kendall Hayes from the east St Lou (melodic genius) , Alex Carpio from San Diego (soulful vibe) , Ace Heart aka Davonte Reddick from Queens Ny (Cadence Killer), and Ryda aka Anthony Fields from Albany Ny (PeerPressure) ! There’s honorable mentions like Brandon Lovine , Johnathan Peluso , Trenton Jernigan , Terry Skyy ,Tray Harley , Delvon Harley , Kym Harley , Rashid Clark, Tahir Edmond , Tarik Edmond ,NoddinFamily, Coleman Allen , Niko Neferis . The spirits of my Grandfather Buster , Uncles Kym and Henry, and Aunt Mary May they Rest In Paradise! One last special shout out to my bro Zaku! Hard working dedicated artist who helped me get the vibe for LA when moving out! I appreciate you family! My right hand Keandre Thomas!
IG : @KaseesPhotography @kcheadshots Kasee Shambora