Helping Emerging Artists Succeed
What it Takes to Succeed
Tony “Solo” Hearst, the founder of Solo Group Entertainment, knows what it means to succeed through hard work and determination. He grew up in Buffalo and ended up on the streets at a young age. At 13 years old, he found himself locked up in a detention center and was in and out of jail over the following years. Surviving a shooting, he was caught up in a federal case in 2004, and that was the year he decided to change his life. Tony decided to work for himself and learned how to “hustle” legally by building businesses while always giving back to the community. Today he owns multiple successful businesses in New York and Texas, including the Solo Eats restaurant, a security company, real estate investments, a sports agency, trucking, and retail.
Tony’s family handed down the name “Solo,” but it also fits him. His father had the nickname “Big Solo” because he enjoyed being alone, and Tony also preferred to be by himself when he was on the streets. At that time, the only person he trusted completely was himself. Today people use the name Solo with respect and honor him as a thinker and listener. One of the ways he has made this incredible turnaround is offering mentoring to young people to share the life lessons he has learned the hard way.
Tony has worked for many years on Solo’s Boys to Men Mentoring Program for at-risk African American and Latino youth. He knows the challenges young people face in life and how to steer them in the right direction. Tony takes that same approach to develop a success mindset for his artists. His artists call him “the drill sergeant” because he insists on hard work, staying focused, and attention to detail.
Mentoring to Help Artists Thrive
Tony’s life journey is also why he wants to make Solo Group a different approach to entertainment that is more than music and beyond a successful business. Part of what sets his label apart is the coaching and mentoring he offers to emerging artists. He values his artists as people, treats them fairly, and commits to a win-win for all. His experiences, knowledge, and ability to thrive make him uniquely relatable to young people growing up in the hood and record company executives. As a visionary, he can see future opportunities and help his artists obtain them if they are willing to do the hard work required.
One of the first ways he helps an artist succeed is by allowing them to focus on their finances and manage money. His financial training boot camp starts with improving their credit score and includes saving money for their future. Many successful musicians have achieved great success only to lose it all because they did not know how to invest it. He even shows them options for investing in real estate and diverse businesses.
Tony always advises artists to have a team behind them because you can’t do it on your own. He often recommends that they take some courses and thoroughly research before they get started in new ventures. He learned many things the hard way and wants to help them not make the same mistakes.
Developing Emerging Artists
Tony, as the founder, is actively involved in all aspects of artist management, representation, and development. His background makes him the perfect person to promote emerging musical talent. His career advice helps support talent to be performers, recording artists, and successful people.
Solo Group offers ongoing professional and personal development. Tony takes the lead on contract negotiations, licensing (content, TV/Film, Advertising, and Video Games), and music publishing to make sure they are treated fairly. At the same time, he teaches the artists tips and best practices in the music business, so they are ready for the future.
Tony also helps artists evolve their sound and always keeps an eye on trends for the future. He encourages artists to be intentional with what they put out on social media and the strategies they need to use to grow their fan base. He has negotiated deals for apparel and accessories for his artists to wear and help them develop a lifestyle that supports long-term success.
Looking for Emerging Artists
Tony carefully chooses emerging artists with talent but also the character and drive to sign to the label. If you are someone ready to learn and work hard to build a musical career, contact us today.