Mario Lazarre… making music his business
Unsure of a career path? Desperate for some direction? Read ID Your Career this and every Sunday for information on some career options. We look this week at managing an entertainment company.
Mario Lazarre is serious about music. The name of his company – No Joke Entertainment – attests to this.
When it comes to the music business, Lazarre is sort of a ‘jack of all trades’, engrossed in all areas, including producing, promoting and managing various artistes. He’s worked with names like Sasha, Perfect, Anthony B and Black Uhuru, to name a few. In this week’s ID Your Career, he’s on record
about the grim and great aspects of ‘showbiz’ and what behind the scene and ‘studio life’ is like.
How long have you been involved with this business?
I’ve been in music for the last 10 years… I dropped out of law school to pursue music. [Law school] was kind of boring. Since then, I have been all over the place. I started in Miami, moved to Amsterdam (Holland) and have spent [the last] two-and-a-half years in Jamaica. I left Amsterdam to do a project here, and was attracted to the way the local industry works.
Why did you decide to make music your profession?
Before it became my job, I used to hang out with friends at the studios… Six years ago I produced a track called Get Crunked Up and it went to number six on the Billboard charts.
What’s a typical day like for you?
First thing I do is go to the gym, then I meditate and then go to the studio… Checking e-mails and letting Digicel drive me broke because of all the phone calls I have to make.
What projects are you working on right now?
I’m working on getting Perfect’s new album ready, and I am also working with Vision I in getting Black Uhuru’s album done (no name yet). We have a video feature with Teflon and a single with Perfect and Anthony B called I Love King Selassie I, and I’m still trying to contact Sizzla and Sade for a collaboration with Perfect.
What is the most positive thing about being a player in the music industry?
The love for music. The vibes in the studios are so good. Sometimes nothing is ever planned and at the end of the vibe session you end up with three or four songs. I love that about making reggae music – it’s not a forced vibe like R&B or some other music.
What are some of the setbacks within the industry?
“Some of the violent music artistes perform. They need to understand that by being an artiste, you inherit the responsibility of role model… it’s not an option once you’re in the limelight; people are going to watch and listen to what you do and say.
What are the earnings like?
(Declines to give actual figure) It depends on what you do… I do a lot of international work, so that pay is good. Let’s just say I’m not hungry.
Where is No Joke heading in the entertainment industry?
Right now, the company is trying to go global. This is home for us now, but we realise that Reggae is Jamaica’s number one export and that more industry players need to capitalise on that.
What is No Joke contributing to the reggae music industry?
Anything positive. I was a kid who grew up on the wrong side of the law, but I turned my life around. No Joke is an example of what kids can do when they follow their passions.
What, if anything, would you change about the entertainment industry?
I would want a lot of the artistes to have a little bit more faith in their talent. Do what your heart says and don’t follow music because of the money.
How would you advise people who want to pursue this career?
Have patience, have faith… A lot of times, it’s not the people with the most talent who succeed. It’s all about having the right attitude and showing patience.