Article by Jamar Thrasher (@JamarThrasher)
In a world where people are just a phone call or click away from each other, independent A&R Vakseen thrives. A self-described “connector,” Vakseen has been able to establish relationships for himself and others in the music industry which have spurred successful recording artists and negotiated multi-million dollar deals.
His abilities to connect people and strengthen relationships has been the foundation of his career as an independent A&R.
“I’m just a connector. I’m surrounded by, and I’ve made a career out of connecting, young, creative geniuses,” says Vakseen.
Vakseen began his career in 2005 working as an intern for the renowned Slip-N-Slide Records, based in Florida. He parlayed the internship into a position with the record label, which he held for several years. During that time he was able to break one of hip-hop’s current superstars—Rick Ross.
“From breaking Rick Ross to Plies, we (SNS) had a very successful run while I was there,” Vakseen says, reflecting on the momentum of the time. Aside from Rick Ross and Plies, Vakseen also helped managed successful project launches by Trina, Trick Daddy, and R&B group Jagged Edge.
However, he followed the path taken by many ambitious interns; he decided to eventually form his own company. Vakseen LLC, founded in 2011, is an artist management company. Its credits include working with artists like Wiz Khalifa and corporations like Samsung. Currently, the company has the #1 Billboard record in the country with Pitbull and Ke$ha’s gold single, “Timber.”
This was a long time coming, reflects Vakseen. Born into a military family, Vakseen lends his creativity to his mother who is a writer. By witnessing her drive and passion for the arts, Vakseen was drawn into the world of creativity, initially pursuing visual arts, but decided in high school and college to pursue music full-time. Now, Vakseen has gone back to his roots and has pursued a career as a visual artist separate from his day-to-day role as an A&R. His artwork has been featured in magazines in the Los Angeles and Atlanta area, and he made his debut as a professional artist in early 2012.
His piece entitled, “The Burden of Love,” is an oil and water painting of a burdened woman. This work and others were recently showcased at the Dysonna City Art Gallery in L.A.
Along with interests in painting and music, Vakseen also cooks, and said he appreciates the culinary arts. To find out more information on Vakseen and his entrepreneurial efforts visit his website at http://vakseen.com.