By Bree Johnson
Arts, Beats +Lyrics (AB+L) was an experience for the books and the perfect way to kick off winter festivities. The art and music were amazing.
One half of the legendary southern rap duo UGK, rapper Bun B showcases why he is recognized as one of the kings of the South at the Art, Beats and Lyrics event in St. Louis. Presented by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Art Beats and Lyrics showcases some of today’s best upcoming artists, along with seasoned veterans in art and music under one roof. For information on Art, Beats and Lyrics please visit www.JackHoneyABL.com. (Photo: Kat Goduco)
AB+L has created a space that allows for millennials to come together over Jack Daniels for the purpose of engaging with phenomenal artists and having a great time with the entire city! They have definitely created a space and culture like no other and I look forward to every single AB+L event.
The Wire Hanger By Winnie:What inspired the 1st AB+L event?
Dwayne “Dubelyoo” Wright: Jabari Graham worked in the circus. He was in the marketing department and got laid off. He put together an art show with street artists. After hunting artists, I was one of the first artists Jabari had in his small art show in a bar in Little Five Points Atlanta. That first show was in December of 2004. The next art show was 4 months later in 2005 in in Atlanta, at The High Museum of Art and the tickets sold out in two hours. We realized there were people like us all around the country, and Jack Daniels came along, had people in those cities and enabled ABL to take the show on the road.
TWHBW: As entrepreneurs, when planning events, profit is most times considered, what made AB+L go the free route?
Dubelyoo: This may be some people’s first introduction to an art show. We want people to come in for the experience, the art work, music, Jack Daniels and go back to their communities and allow it to flourish in their areas.
TWHBW: What have been your favorite AB+L moments?
Dubelyoo: In 2012 we had Scarface, Digital Underground, DJ Lord from Public Enemy, Clyde Stubblefield Funky Drummer (James brown drummer), and a rock band known as Mansions on the Move. That tour we did 8 cities. We were in LA for the soundcheck, Scarface got on the guitar and they had a jam session to Pharrel’s Frontin. I was in awe. Recently, we packed out the outside of the back of the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. That was our 1st major stadium show and the art was on the largest halo screen in the world which is about 3 stories high.
TWHBW: What words of advice would you give to an entrepreneur wanting to host a successful event for their business?
Dubelyoo: Stay on top of technology. Learn how to network. Think about creating a quality show, visually, musically if you’re throwing a party, and just really make sure you consider the people’s experience. Also, partner with brands that represent what you’re about.
TWHBW: Greatest challenges?
Dubelyoo: Each venue is different. Over the years you realize that door size and loading docks are super important.
TWHBW: What do you think about art in the African American community?
Dubelyoo: I didn’t meet a famous black artist until I was 21. It’s important for you to represent your culture authentically, if you don’t, other people will do it for you and it may not look right.
TWHBW: How did you come up with your artist name?
Dubelyoo: Well my name is Dwayne Wright. It went from DW, to D, to Dub, then to Dubelyoo. That’s how W appears in the dictionary and how one would sound it out.
TWHBW: Fave artist?
Dubelyoo: Norman Rockwell. Out of the top 17 museums we’ve been in the world, we’ve seen some of the best artists but Norman Rockwell is my favorite. It’s his sketchbook that blew my mind. He made me take my sketches more seriously.
TWHBW: Fave genre of music?
Dubelyoo: Funk and soul. James Brown is my favorite artist. My mom took me to one of his concerts and we even went to his funeral. When he passed I even got calls asking if I was ok like he was apart of my family.
TWHBW: What would you say is your biggest obstacle as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?
Dubelyoo: As an entrepreneur you’ve got to know how to deal with people. That is the key. People come from a variety of backgrounds, temperaments, emotions, and you have to deal with that all while staying focused on what you’re trying to accomplish. That is a skill you have to develop.
TWHBW: How has your faith tied into your growth?
Dubelyoo: Early on during tours I used to play Sam Cook. That’s how I would calm down. Now I try not to get that stressed out.
TWHBW: What do you hope to gain with AB+L?
Dubelyoo: Hopefully when this is all said and done, people are inspired and open their minds. I hope that they take that experience and believe they can take their talents to another level.
The driving force behind AB+L it’s the curating. The show is designed so that audience can interacts within this ‘space’ and ultimately leave feeling inspired. We invite you to join us in moving culture forward. #artbeatsandlyrics