DMVLIFE.com, the DMV's premier entertainment website, will celebrate their second anniversary on July 3rd with a Special Event featuring the biggest names in the local music industry. The party takes place at Martin's Lounge (1919 9th Street, NW) and will be co-hosted by Dre "All Day In The Paint".
Rich "Calmplex" Martinez founded DMVLife.com to support and promote local hip-hop and R&B artists. Through his dedication and hard work the concept quickly became a reality. DMVLIFE.com is also evolving into much more than just another hip-hop website. DMV Life Radio, for example, is currently the only station that plays exclusively DMV music and entertainment content.
Running a multi-faceted media company would be enough for most normal people. But in addition to his responsibilities as a CEO, Mr. Martinez is also a rapper himself. He is currently working on his upcoming mixtape, but he emerged from the studio long enough for this interview with the Examiner. The interview was done by Sidney Thomas.
Q: For the people who don't know you, tell them who you are and what you do.
A: Calmplex, rapper/entrepreneur, CEO of DMVLIFE.com.
Q: How did you become interested in music?
A: I've always had an affinity for music. Its something I love and appreciate. The creative expression, the freedom, the truth of it; its a beautiful thing.
Q: How did you become involved with the DMV hip-hop culture?
A: I grew up here. I've lived this and loved the DMV my whole life. And with my passion for music, it was only natural that I would gravitate towards the local music. Coming up through the ranks, you get to know who's who and what's what. The real people stand out real quick.
Q: How did you make the transition from artist/musician to media/management?
A: I'm an artist first, an entrepreneur second. In fact, I'm working on my next mixtape right now. My transition (to the media) is really just a result of personal growth. I've expanded my goals and my focus to the success of many instead of just my own personal success. Being able to help the DMV grow has been a beautiful thing.
Q: How did you come up with the whole concept for DMVLIFE.com?
A: The concept for DMVLIFE.com came from my realization that there was no central hub of DMV talent. If you wanted to find a producer in the DMV there was no list to go to. If you wanted to download the hottest mixtape from the DMV there was nowhere that had them all - so I had to make it. It hasn't been easy, but the hard work was worth it. Now we have a place that has all the DMV talent in one place: DMVLIFE.com is what it is.
Q: How does an artist go about getting on DMVLIFE.com?
A: Whether you are an artist, a model, or a producer - we have an easy submission process. The link to submit is on the left hand side of every page of DMVLIFE.com. But we don't post material just because it is submitted to us. We only post the best of the DMV. We welcome everyone to submit their material to us. If it's hot we will post it, support them, and help them grow in the DMV and beyond. The direct link for submission info is: http://dmvlife.com/sutodm.html
Q: How do you assemble your Top-10 lists?
A: Every list is different. But they are mainly determined by who drives the most traffic to the site and who's project has the biggest buzz.
Q: Many local artists complain about the lack of resources in the DMV (A&R's, etc.). Do you feel their complaints are legitimate?
A: Definitely. Growing up in the DMV there were never enough outlets for DMV music. We have as much local talent as anywhere, but we get the least amount of radio play - that's why I made DMVLIFE.com. So now we have a resource for the whole world to see what the DMV has to offer. Artists, producers, models, mixtapes, music videos, we have it all covered.
Q: What upcoming plans and/or projects are you working on for the second half of 2012?
A: Over the past 2 years DMVLIFE.com has grown so much. It's been incredible to watch its growth and to see it come together as an important resource for the DMV. We also have a lot of incredible things in the pipeline. An overall expansion of the DMV LIFE movement in every way possible. Some really beautiful things are coming together for myself and for DMVLIFE.com.
Q: Finally, let's talk about your 2-Year anniversary event.
A: I want everyone to come out July 3rd to Martin's Lounge in DC to build with us and celebrate the 2-year anniversary of DMVLIFE.com. We are having a celebration and an incredible networking event. The whole DMV is invited. For more info visit: http://www.dmvlife.com/dm2anev.html
Also, spread the word about DMVLIFE.com to everyone you know in the DMV. It's your outlet, it's their outlet, we do this for the DMV!