Local hip hop artist bounces ‘right back’ from the pandemic with a business model

Artist Spotlight

AUGUSTA. GA (WJBF) — A local hip hop artist endured some setbacks during the pandemic, but humbly shows how to bounce right back with his grassroots business model.

Dorian Harris (also known as The Art Dealer)’s single “Right Back” is not just a song, but a motto the artist lives by. Harris said the song’s motivation stems from the time he recorded his first song until now.

“Back in the day you had a lot of the boom boxes that had different cassettes so you can play one here and you can record off one to the other. So those are my early beginnings and naturally my parents caught me with that music and was like no,” said Harris.

Harris’s mother is a classical pianist. Little did she know, she would be the catalyst to his music career.

“She had friend. And, the guy was named Anthony Pharris. He had a studio–well a make-shift studio in his home. Like a keyboard. I think he probably had like a 16-track recorder and she took me over there and dropped me off and made a song on like a little purple tape. And, I’ve been hooked ever since.”

His mother didn’t just shun her son from the music she just tried to place him in a space to make music that was kid friendly.

The artists and the pioneers that helped develop Harris’s sound were artists that he looked up to that resembled him.

“When Outkast came along it was like oh these guys sound like where I’m from. You know what im saying. They dress and they talk like the people from Augusta. So it was almost like oh you can really do this forreal,” said Harris.

During the pandemic, Harris faced some challenges that eventually made him a better artist and business owner. He said learning to adapt is key.

“So, with the pandemic it put me in the position to where I had to step back and readjust how I present music. A lot of times when you get ready to present music its a lot of street teamwork. You know getting in the public, passing out flyers, events, performances,” said Harris.

The Art Dealer himself also mentioned that if he is out somewhere with a festival or an event where he is passing out flyers he is directly connected to the consumer. Whereas, if he is putting it on his social media platform that means he has to compete with the other millions of other things going on on social media at the same time.

While the pandemic is coming to a close Harris is continuing to keep his business on the right track. For more information, check out Harris’s website for the latest music and upcoming shows.

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