The following is a reprint from 2008 from a story I wrote on my Blogger site when I first started out as a freelance music journalist and celebrity interviewer for today’s #ThrowbackThursday. – Lisa Ford
ALL I WANTED WAS MY DAMN INTERVIEW!!
But all members of the press who attended the exciting Future Classic Festival in Miami on Sept. 12th, 2008, stood no chance of getting their story from N.E.R.D, even though I’m sure they would have appreciated a moment of NERD’s time. And there were at least a hundred plus members of the press all crunched together in the VIP area on the right side of the stage…happy to be there, but suffering from body heat exhaustion. I feel that N.E.R.D. could have gave us a collective interview…but nope, we had to be satisfied with just their presence and performance, which was very good…but was it good enough?
A room full of press is a good thing for those dozens of vendors and talented artists who need the exposure. It’s also a good thing for PR firms, as it shows that they are doing their jobs which isn’t easy, there’s a lot of chaos involved. And it’s good for those people aka music lovers, who couldn’t for some reason make it to the show, so they rely on press to give them the rundown of the event. And that’s where I come in….
Now I knew Nerd was a huge successful band, but I didn’t understand what the big fuss was about.Why do people think they are so famous to the point they can’t talk to people?? I’m such a hardcore rap fan with the belief that Hip Hop currently rules the music world. With NERD being an alternative rock band, I thought they would be lucky to get an interview with ME…lucky to appeal to MY audience…not the other way around! Boy was I wrong…and I learned that the absolute hard way.
(pic above from virgin records)
3 p.m. When I glamorously arrived at Soho Studios, my ego got slapped into next week. I arrived too early so I sat with the vendors. Then chatted and got to know more artists and photographers. Indoors, I watched the host of the show, Brian Cynic, rip it up. I watched the skateboarders on the built-in ramps. I interviewed City of God (will publish it soon), met up with Fuzic Music, and chilled in the backstage with Art Official. These people are cool by the way (their music reviews coming soon).
7 p.m. Outdoors, I watched, photographed and listened to Ketchy Shuby and Jahfe, two great bands. The DJ battle was in a separate room, and the dance crews (Fly Khicks from America’s Best Dance Crew and Flipside Kings) performed. I can’t lie and say that it wasn’t overall a great event. But my readers wanted to hear directly from NERD. I had teenagers asking me to ask Pharrell if he’d ever built that ramp from Rob Drydek’s, (the skateboarder), Fantasy Factory. So I remained strong-minded about the interview.
*Yours truly, LISA FORD, pictured above with the black straps*
1 a.m. The Press no longer had access to backstage so we all were crushed together on a VIP deck in the corner facing the stage. At this point, my dumb-ass was still determined to get the interview. So I worked my magic (had to drop it paparazzi-style) and finally got to be the only reporter in the backstage VIP room where I knew NERD had to come after their performance. Oh goody, I told myself, I was finally about to get my interview!! …But after the show, Pharrell and NERD ran out of the side entrance, hopped into their truck, and dashed away…not speaking to any press. The little people is how these rock bands get paid. Maybe NERD will remember us one day. Damn!! 10 hours in high-heals for nothing!!
[PHOTO above by fashion designer CASEY LEVAN @ CASEYLEVAN.COM]
Check out these pics from the show. Shout out to CBS Photography, official sponsors of the site. Check out their website HERE.