We had the good fortune of connecting with jeremy erwin and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi jeremy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I have seen both sides of taking risks. On one side I left home to attend college in New York at 17 – fresh out of high school. Followed by LA the next year. Having no idea how to navigate through either city, especially coming from a small town in Dallas Texas. But taking that risk showed me the world in a way that I would not of seen had I stayed in Dallas. It showed me the possibilities that I’ve never even thought of. I learned that unless you take a leap you never know how far you can go. Or what you can accomplish. Some things look like they’re out of your reach or your league, but once you take that risk and make an attempt you’ll see things are much more tangible than you thought.

I had an opportunity to be at Tisha Campbell’s old venue in Los Angeles, where she was in a conversation with stellar award an Emmy award winner BSlade (Formally known as Tonex in the gospel world). I had just launched my concert series in Hollywood and I wanted to ask him if he would sing on my birthday show. I grew up to his music and had to take this opportunity to shoot my shot and see what would happen. They were in conversation and I thought about how rude it would be to interrupt them, and feared that they may look at me like I was crazy and see me as just a fan versus a businessman. I had to take my chance though. So, I walked over and said “excuse me I’m so sorry to interrupt Tisha, but BSlade would you do me the honor of singing at my show for my birthday. Oh my name is Jeremy by the way how are you?” Lol. Tisha is looking at me like wow that was really bold, but I’m not mad. BSlade said yes instantly. I couldn’t believe it. And as to not take up more of their time I said “oh my God thank you so much I will be in touch with all the details tomorrow. I will let you all get back to your conversation”. BSlade gave me the info to his manger and I walked away. Fast forward a month later, he is singing a 15 minute song at my birthday show! And it wasn’t a watered down version of him, he gave us EVERYTHING!! That was a moment that I’ll never forget. I won big by taking that shot. Fast forward a year later, and it is BSlade that invites me to Tisha Campbell‘s house for my first Christmas away from home. Who could have imagined that would happen to a boy from Dallas who made a leap of faith moving to the biggest, most expensive, and dog eat dog cities in the country!

I’ve also seen the not so great side of taking risks. Less than a year after that amazing birthday show, I had a very unsuccessful show that I invested a LOT of my own money into. So unsuccessful that I lost all of my money! This is after I had already lost a contract with another company that was my main money maker. Also, I had just moved into my brand new apartment. Needless to say the next year was the roughest time of my adult life and my entrepreneurial career. I had no idea what to do. It took me a year to bounce back. So, I realized having taken the risk of creating a brand and financing it on my own, comes at a great cost. However, taking those risks allowed me opportunities I couldn’t have gotten in Dallas Texas. I was able to do a tribute to Brandy, who is my favorite female singer, while she’s still alive and with her in attendance. Those are things that I never would have thought of. I could only have imagined that by being in Los Angeles and connecting to people who have the access to make these things possible. That is all the result of taking a huge risk and leaving home at a young age and putting my own money into my own business. All in all, I believe risks are necessary for growth! They gave the ability to show you how strong you are and what you’re really capable of! Your strengths and weaknesses.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an event producer, talent producer, singer, and actor. I produce an event called The Soul Spot. It’s a concert series launched in Hollywood featuring premiere vocalists! Our show garnered a lot of attention right out of the gate because of our initial concept and most importantly the caliber of talent. The concept was Two bands on two stages under one roof. It was this very raw experience that felt like a mini festival. It’s R&B soul music sang by powerhouse singers that clearly grew up in the Church. It was spontaneous mic tosses that would remind you of Oprah‘s legends ball gospel brunch. It’s the down to earth, everyone is welcome, energy we created in the space. There were celebrities as well as everyday people who were all able to connect and enjoy each other without feeling Hollywood. Its studio 54 for Singers and musicians. So, it was instantly popular because all of those things existed in Hollywood on Hollywood Boulevard. This was also the time when R&B and soul music shows weren’t in abundance and easily accessible in Hollywood. This was right after the end of Jamie Foxx’s show Foxhole Live, and another show called RnB Live. These were the two main shows that you wanted to perform at if you were coming to Hollywood to be an artist. So, as these two big R&B-based shows had ended, there was a void and we were able to fill it with something totally different.

None of it was easy though. The only reason we were able to officially launch the show is because we had an investor give us the money. However, the very next Show the investor backed out! Never to return. So, now all of the finances lie in my hands. Something that would probably make someone quit immediately. Which I definitely contemplated. Reminder, this show was only launching because there was an investor that would be responsible for the money. Now, I have to take this whole thing on my back. Luckily, the show was such a hit from the beginning that the people kept coming back, so I hadn’t really lost any money yet. However, the venue that we conceptualized and hosted the show in closed. Now we are trying to find venues that can host the type of show that we’ve created. Two bands on two stages under one roof. It took us 5 months to return in a new venue. Much smaller and way less production value. After just 3 shows I lose all of my money. That last show just so happened to be our one year anniversary. The irony. So we started out as a show funded by an investor and one year later that show has tanked my bank account. The worst feeling ever as a businessman.

After going into a deep depression and taking a major hiatus, It would take another six months for us to find a new venue and start all over again. In this new venue, we produce one of the best and most memorable shows we’ve ever produced. However, after only two shows in this venue we get priced out by the owners of the club. They wanted more party nights versus concerts. They make way more money when promoters bring in major DJs and people get white girl wasted, spending thousands and thousands of dollars on liquor. Where concerts make a fraction of that because the intention is not to come and get white girl wasted, it’s to watch a production. So, most people will have on average of two drinks instead of seven. Lol. Now we are at another six month hiatus as we find a new venue that we can afford. We luck up and find a venue that is the most popular performance venue in Hollywood (now closed due to the pandemic). They decided to give us a chance! They agreed to go 50-50 on everything. That was an amazing deal for that venue and at that time. We were able to do a four show run with them. Two shows in they changed management. The new management no longer felt that the deal worked for them. They too priced us out. Now, we’re at yet another six month hiatus. All this time I am trying to secure sponsors that could help us with these events with so many failed promises or straight up No’s. Fast forward six months, we strike another deal with the new owners of the original venue we launched our show in. This deal is similar to our original deal in that venue. Just a tad bit more expensive. We do the show there and get hit with extra fees that were not included in the agreement. Needless to say we’re not going back. Then, I get an opportunity to go on tour with the Broadway musical Dreamgirls in China and Japan for three months. An opportunity of a lifetime. I looked at is a way to help the show. This was going to be a moment to capitalize on the publicity from the tour. I would come back, release a song inspired by the Musical. Then bring back our show at another venue. Right as we start planning, covid hits and the world is shut down. We have been on hiatus ever since. More than two years now. I have spent the last year trying to secure new sponsors and investors. I lucked up and found an investor, and we literally just got an offer from a sponsor to bring the show back for what will be our 7 year anniversary.

So, none of this has been easy. But it has been the single greatest thing I have ever done as an entrepreneur. As a creative. I have taken a concept created by my best friend and I, brought it to life in a way that we couldn’t have even imagined at that dining room table creating it. We were able to do a tribute to Brandy!!! That is out of this world. That is my biggest accomplishment as an event producer to date! We were also able to give a platform to phenomenal singers who have gone on to create amazing careers doing killer work. The success of the show has allowed people to see me as a credible curator of talent. So much so that I have now been commissioned to provide talent for award shows, galas, talkshows, and panels. I have been a guest on different panels myself speaking from the perspective of an event producer. These are things that I never thought would come from just wanting to create a show for our friends set in Hollywood with some elevated production value. That was our only real goal. And now the show has led to many more avenues.

Even though we have been away for so long, our show still holds space in Hollywood. That is freaking crazy!! I am a black man from Dallas Texas who has Grammy winners, Emmy winners, TV stars, and A-list celebrity background vocalist performing on my show. Now I’m able to segment produce on award shows, beyond just the music, simply because of the access to different celebrities and artists. So we’ve gone from just event producing to talent/segment producing. To contracting talent for talkshows. So, while none of this has been easy, it has opened me up to a whole new world. It has given me credibility in such an important community in Hollywood. On top of that, I get to support other artists with that platform. That is the most amazing thing I could ask for.

One of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned is to be completely open to how the universe realizes your dream. The vision you have for yourself is only a fraction of what the universe will give you. I initially wanted to be the talent only, just to find out the universe would allow me to be that but also be a connector of people and so much more within this industry. Now I’m able to constantly stay open and available to wear my passions lead me. It may not happen the way that I see it, but it’s going to happen.

I would want people to know me for using whatever access I have to promote, support, and connect my fellow creatives. That goes far beyond just the singers on my show. That’s through the entire entertainment and show business community. I want to be known as the connector of people. I feel like I am walking the path set by people like Clarence Avant and Quincy Jones. Guys who just wanted to help people that they see as worthy of it. Using their access and expertise to connect people in a way that no one else could. I want to be known as this generations Clarence Avant. Lol.

As for my brand, The Soul Spot, I want everyone to know that we are coming back this summer bigger and better than ever. This pandemic has given me a lot of time to visualize and map out how I want the next phase of our show to be. And it’s going to be worth the wait! If there’s anyone out there looking to partner with, or sponsor, a show like mine, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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?
Well hopefully it would be during a time when we are having one of our shows, so I would start by bringing them to the Soul Spot. Lol. I would take them to all of the best house parties that I go to. I would probably host a big game night or three myself. We would go to the beach and play volleyball and drink all day. We would go to WiSpa, a Korean spa in Koreatown that I love. We would go to Sals on Melrose for brunch and have bottomless mimosas all day. We would obviously have to go up Runyon Canyon so they can get their pictures of course. Lol. I would invite them to any of the Hollywood Hills parties I would be invited to. Mostly we would just be drinking, eating, and playing spades with some really attractive people around.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to my best friend and Co- Creator of The Soul Spot, Ombrey DeGrate for his part in conceptualizing this concert series. It started with us at our dining room table brainstorming what kind of show we wanted to bring to Hollywood, and years later it backs this incredible show that I love.

A huge shoutout has to go to our house band – The Sanctuary Band, and to all the singers that have graced our stage. Especially those who are our house background singers. Without these components there is no show. Period! They’re amazing at what they do, and because of that, our show is stellar!

I absolutely must shout out my mother, Pamela Erwin. She has always been my biggest cheerleader. She always knew that I would be who I am today. She never spared her support for me even when she couldn’t afford it. Without her I wouldn’t have been able to experiment in so many different areas of entertainment while in school. She encouraged me to do everything that I had any interest in. Without that type of support I wouldn’t have the courage to risk so much to do what I love.

Instagram: @mrjeremyerwin | @soulspotlive

Linkedin: Jeremy Erwin

Facebook: Jeremy Erwin

Youtube: YouTube.com/theSoulSpot

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