Features, Interviews

First Day Feature: Candice Simone talks about her position as an executive at Think It’s A Game Records and more

I have respect for anyone who is making moves in the music industry but I hold even more admiration for all the ladies doing it to the fullest. People have recognized more as of late that the talented women behind the microphone deserve more praise, but I cannot say it’s always the same for those behind the scenes. The industry is still largely male dominated and this is a serious problem. It is important to have a diverse set of label heads in the position to truly make some of the changes to improve things for the artists.

Candice Simone is a prime example of a woman being a boss in her own right. The St. Louis-born executive has been a figurehead at Think It’s A Game Records for years. As one of the premiere indie label’s in Atlanta’s ominous music scene, it’s a great position to hold. We reached out to Candice to discuss how she operates in the position, how she got her start and more.

For those reading getting an introduction to you today tell us about yourself? 

My name is Candice Simone. I’m a record label executive at Think It’s A Game Records and have over 7 years of experience in the music industry. I also have my own event planning company called CandieLand Events. I’ve had the pleasure of doing album release parties, birthdays, baby showers, dinners and so much more. I can set the stage for any occasion. 

What was life like growing up for you? Where are you from and how do you feel it affects you to this day?

I’m originally from St. Louis, MO. I lived in a predominantly black neighborhood but was bussed out to the county to attend predominantly white schools. Although it was predominantly white, it was still a pretty diverse school. This experience helped me realize that I can easily adapt to any environment. I also grew up with a drug-addicted mother who was battling her own demons. She was still in the picture, but could be unreliable at times. This forced my grandmother to step in and be the mother figure that she wasn’t able to be at the time. The way I coped was turning toward my faith, music and excelling in my studies. 

Would you consider yourself to be more of a business lover or a music lover at heart? 

I’m definitely more of a music lover at heart. The essence of everything I do comes from my passion for music. Music can serve so many different purposes. It’s nostalgic, therapeutic, an energy boost and so much more. You can always find something to help you with whatever emotion or feeling that you’re dealing with at that time.

Who are some of your biggest inspirations and motivators? 

My biggest motivator is my family. My family believes in me so much and I can’t disappoint them. I’ve always been a hard worker and knew that I was destined for greatness. 

You’ve worked for some of the biggest companies in the game. In climbing your way up the ladder what did you find to be the biggest obstacle you had to overcome? 

One of the biggest obstacles I’ve had to overcome in climbing my way up the ladder is being a black woman in the music industry and being underestimated. Sometimes your peers don’t take you seriously and you have to constantly make sure your voice is being heard. Now that black women are dominating the music industry, it’s important to decipher if you’re being hired for the right reasons and not because it’s trendy or you’re trying to diversify your company.

You’re now a figurehead at Think It’s A Game records, one of Atlanta’s largest indie imprints. What do you think your label brings to the table that sets it apart from others?

Think It’s A Game Records is the #1 independent label. We’ve gotten multiple number one and RIAA certified records without any major label support. 

Which artists have you helped to play a role with? 

Of the TIG artists past and present, I’ve helped play a role in YFN Lucci, Q Money, Rubberband OG, Damar Jackson, Lil Bike and Dooley Da Don’s rollouts.

YFN Lucci in particular has been wildly successful on the label. What has it been like to be a force behind his rise? 

It’s been such a pleasure being a part of and watching YFN Lucci’s career rise. Being able to see the hard work come to fruition is so gratifying and he still hasn’t reached his peak yet. 

I understand you’ve also started your own event planning company. How has it been growing in this role as well? 

Event planning is something that kinda chose me. While working at the label, I was producing different events with little to no prior experience. People were so impressed that they told me I should start my own event planning company. Once the idea was placed in my head I ran with it and birthed Candie Land Events.

For anyone aspiring to become an executive in the music business what advice would you provide them? 

I would definitely tell them to align themselves with the right people. In this industry who you know is more important than what you know. Forming a good network of people and nurturing those relationships is extremely important. 

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about the music industry? 

My favorite thing about the music industry is the limitless amount of creativity you can put into the release of a project or single. I also love seeing the journey of a project from inception to completion. It’s rewarding to be able to see an idea come to life. My least favorite thing about the music industry is the politics and some people can be disingenuous and insincere. A lot of people can take advantage of your kindness.

What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of at this point in your life? 

The accomplishment I’m most proud of at this point in my life is graduating college and the success of YFN Lucci’s album “Wish Me Well 3.” This was one of the projects where I took the lead on and handled the marketing for. The album was #1 on Apple Music and iTunes, his single “Wet” went platinum along with a lot of other accolades.

Ideally, where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

In the next 5 years I see myself being a senior executive at a record label along with having my own individual companies and investments moving. 

What else is on the horizon for you that people should be on the lookout for? 

You should be on the lookout for all of the upcoming artists we have coming out of Think It’s A Game Records. They’re super talented and I’m excited to see them break. As for me, I’ll be doing more panels dropping gems, continuing to grow my event planning company, investing in real estate more and I have been considering starting a management agency. 

Any last words before we conclude? 

I just want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be featured on your platform. It’s truly been an honor and a pleasure.

To contact Candice Simone:

  • Website: candielandevents.com
  • Phone: 678-404-6987
  • Instagram: @_candicesimone @candielandevents
  • Facebook: @Candice Simone @CandieLand Events

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