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While attending the Revolt Conference, the A&R Report had a few words with the Co-President of TDE. Terrence ‘Punch’ Henderson. We spoke about his experience at the inaugural conference and the importance of synergy at one of the biggest independent labels in the world.
Michael: First and foremost it’s a pleasure to be able to meet you finally. How does it feel to be a part of the first inaugural Revolt Music Conference in 2014?
Punch: I feel good. I’m just glad we could be a part of this whole thing. It’s a great experience to share knowledge and information for people who are seeking it, that’s the important thing.
With T.D.E you guys are one of the biggest independent labels out right now. What was the initial goal with T.D.E when you actually first started with Jay Rock?
Punch: Just to be the biggest label possible. We’re still growing. We’re still trying to reach that goal. It’s not like a five year thing. It’s just a continuous goal. It’s to expand, just keep going. You know what I mean? It’s not just music. We can expand to whatever we want.
Michael: Seeing how you guys started with hip-hop and expanded in to R&B with SZA, what other genres are you actually looking to explore?
We’re not just searching for something different like a dude that sings and a girl that raps. Whatever it is. It’s about actually finding somebody that’s different and unique whatever genre they’re in.
Michael: How important to you is synergy when it comes to the crew and dealing with so many different personalities?
Punch: It’s extremely important. It’s one of the most important things before we sign somebody new. They have to mesh well with everybody else because you don’t want to bring somebody in if they disrupt your chemistry.
Michael: How do you manage so many different personalities as well as set expectations just to be sure that everybody’s on the same page and content?
Punch: That’s life. Every job you have you’re managing personalities. You know what I’m saying? Whether you’re in a fast-food restaurant or this girl over here, you got this older guy, you got a young kid, life is about managing personalities. It’s no different than anything else.
What would you say are the pros and cons with working at major labels, but as well as being independent?
Punch: The cons? There is just more people that you have to get an opinion from. Which, if everybody is creative people and a part of the plan, things can work beautifully. But if not, it could disrupt everything. We like to do all our stuff in-house first and then bring it to the major so if they have something to add on, cool. If not, they can just support whatever it is we’re doing. We got to stick to what we want at the end of the day. That’s the biggest point. Nothing moves if we’re not comfortable with it. We’re not like dictators at all, but we’re strong in what we believe in.