Series: Money & Music Talks

S2E04 | Background: Dev Tejwani | Money & Music Talks

We’re back again for another episode of Money & Music Talks, for the fourth installment this season. In this ‘background’ episode, we’re getting to know Dev Tejwani, who is our Chief Marketing Officer here at the AFP. He’s also got a number of other intriguing titles to his name – former CEO of popular Hip Hop Blog “TeamBackPack”, principal of Tejwani Enterprises, and a partner at the company MPWR labs.

The Marketing Genius

In this episode of “Money and Music Talks”, Dev starts off by telling us about his deep connection with marketing and social media, and how he engages with his audience on the web. He’s worked with all sorts of people- musicians, influencers and businesses. Dev states that his main goal is to “create audiences that pay for shit recording artists are selling”, which sounds like a perfect goal to us.

He then goes on to discuss how the AFP is about financial empowerment and artist empowerment and how it exists for the creator’s benefit- and shares how he’s been in the same position that some of the artists working with the AFP are in. Dev talks about AFP and how it can help take an artist from a starting position and help them evolve exponentially.

What Dev Does

After being asked, by the AFP team, about what he does for the artists – Dev mentions the different resources that he utilizes for recording artists and talks about how he helps them get that boost that they may never have had, had they not been a part of Artist Financial Program.

The team then discusses the Artists Financial Program Resource Network; going over all of the benefits that AFP provides… like songwriting, producing, styling, web development, marketing and more. Dev notes how important web development is in this context, and then goes on to share his key tools and tactics for promoting artists.

The Journey

Dev is then asked how he got into this path of Marketing recording artists, to begin with. He mentions how he was learning to build websites and understand the internet, back in 2001. Dev got into hip-hop in college and identifies this as one of the most important influences in his life. The team then asks him about other companies that he’s worked for; Dev discusses all of them and talks about how the internet has been an insanely useful tool to work with.

The conversation then turns to the importance of financial empowerment and supporting creators, and Dev shares his personal experience with working for a company that did not empower him financially. It’s great to hear personal stories, especially in this sort of context, as it highlights the importance of what we’re doing here for artist empowerment at the AFP.

The future of AFP

Dev is asked where AFP will be going in the future, and mentions key artists that AFP has signed to begin with. The conversation turns to the importance of funding again, with the team discussing how succeeding as an artist really does require a day job or some sort of investment.

Dev’s call-to-action here is for artists to find one key resource to help artists get to the next level. He mentions partners, AFP and investors, then discusses how money is really the root of success in this scenario- after all, this is about artist empowerment and funding the next greatest things in music.

Making it big

Dev is asked about his previous company (Team Backpack) and the events that they used to host for artists. Dev shares his story about artists who would pay to get to the event, spending thousands to simply arrive, and would then be unable to get home due to money. He says this didn’t sit right with him, and how it inspired him to make a difference.

The topics then change to ‘making it big’ and what this really means. The team looks at the different aspects of success, including skills, attitude and funding, and Dev shares his opinion on what the most important bits are.

Dev’s Backstory

Dev is asked about his background, and shares his story about his Indian heritage. He talks about his parents immigrating to the USA, and talks about how he admires their hard working ethic. His parents decided to invest in real estate, and how this helped in his journey. When his opportunity came up, this spurred him forward.

The AFP Family

The team then goes on to talk about the AFP family, and praises Dev for his ability to simply get shit done- whether that’s investing money into marketing and promotion for the recording artist, building a website or supporting an artist. Everyone then talks about what AFP means to them, and the comradery that’s been built from supporting this amazing network of artists.

Closing Statement

Finally, Dev is asked for his closing statement to the audience and to the AFP network. He discusses how it’s been an incredible couple of years, and how he was able to meet some inspiring individuals. He turns to the camera and declares that the AFP can make a difference for artists, and urges people to get involved.

When asked why this is important to him, Dev notes that being part of people’s journey is incredibly special to him- whether he’s making money immediately or not. He says he values working with people in this program a lot, and says that we’ll be able to help artists get the resources and the support they need, simply from working with the Artists Financial Program.


Of course, we’ve got even more big things coming from the Artist Financial Program, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more Money and Music Talks podcasts and Festivals. There’ll be plenty more coming your way in the future, so make sure you’re subscribed to the AFP YouTube channel and have notifications turned on so that you never miss an episode.

We’d love to know what you think about this episode. Feel free to drop a comment below letting us know how you thought it went, or get in touch with us at info@artistfinancialprogram.com– our team would be happy to hear from you. If you want to stay in touch, be sure to follow our team’s journey on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

S2E03 | Background: David Tae | Money & Music Talks

Money & Music Talks is back again, this time for the third episode of season 2 – David Tae’s Background. In today’s ‘background’ episode, we’re getting to know more about David Tae and his journey in the worlds of Music and Finance. David is one of the founders of AFP, so it’s great to get to sit down and chat with him. David has had a wealth of experience in the music industry and the finance industry.

David’s background

David was in the music industry for a bit, and got to work with some great artists- but says that he had a very sudden ‘awakening’ where he realized that he wasn’t in the place that he wanted to be in. He also realized that many of the major recording artists he was working with, weren’t in the financial position the world thought they were in.

He does state that he got some wonderful experience from working in music, though, and got to understand more about the industry from an inside perspective. After working in the music business, for a bit, David quit the business and got his real estate license and became a broker; entering the real estate industry with ease. David says that he wanted to ‘do something real’ and identified being a real estate developer as the best way to make some money. He discusses his desire to do something for someone else and not work for another person’s company.

AFP- the introduction and the vision

David then goes on to talk about how he got involved with the AFP. The team discusses his introduction to the company, and how he bonded with his colleagues through playing basketball. David says how he feeds off of people’s energy, and how he knew he’d found something good when meeting people from the AFP.

He’s then asked about his AFP vision for 2019, with some members of the team asking about why he left his successful real estate job. David talks about how he used to be in the music industry, and how he noticed that many people were financial down and in the bad place in life. He talks about how he cares about people, and how he wants to use his experience in Real Estate and in music to make sure that people are getting to the place where they want to be in their careers. It comes down to fulfillment for David, and he supports the vision of artist empowerment entirely.

The Money Maker

The conversation then turns to David’s experience and knowledge with money. He’s asked about his financial outlook for 2019, and then says that this year is a great time to invest and buy- due to all of the markets being down.

According to David this is the period of time where your money can make the biggest impact.

David then talks about how real estate is one of the least risky markets, and notes one of AFP’s key projects that’s occurring this year- talking about how the costs were so much lower that it would be crazy to actually be able to lose money on such a venture as this.

The conversation turns to the idea of fulfillment and being happy at work; with David’s happiness working with AFP being noted here. The team then goes on to praise David for how great he is to work with, and how dependable and efficient he is as a business partner.

David’s Vision

David is then asked what he thinks is the most important thing for artists to be thinking about this year. He starts off by following the topic of artist empowerment and musical funding, by saying that 2019 should really be your year for focusing on making money.

He encourages people to take a look at what they’re doing with their lives, and analyze whether it’s actually making them the right money or not. Being self-reflective is a really important personal skill to have, especially if you want to succeed in business.

He then goes on to say that he thinks that the worst thing that somebody could do this year is to hesitate. One thing that you don’t want to do is to get to next year, and look back on 2019 and go ‘damn, I wish I’d done that sooner’ or ‘I wish I’d worked harder on that last year’. David says that whatever you’ve got to do to be successful this year, you need to do it- he says that there’s no excuse this year for not being successful and not achieving your dreams.

Motivation and drive

To sum everything up, the team asks David what he thinks about people who aren’t striving for greatness or working with the AFP are going to get out of this year. He wishes people the best of luck if they’re trying to succeed in everything as a solo entrepreneur, but highlights the importance of working with a strong network of people- like the AFP. The team then finishes up the podcast by discussing the immense benefits of financial empowerment programs like the Artist Financial Program, and how working with them can elevate an artist to the next level entirely. They also discuss how real estate is a greatly viable product for funding musicians and their art.


Of course, we’ve got even more big things coming from the Artist Financial Program, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more Money and Music Talks podcasts and Festivals. There’ll be plenty more coming your way in the future, so make sure you’re subscribed to the AFP YouTube channel and have notifications turned on so that you never miss an episode.

We’d love to know what you think about this episode. Feel free to drop a comment below letting us know how you thought it went, or get in touch with us at info@artistfinancialprogram.com– our team would be happy to hear from you. If you want to stay in touch, be sure to follow our team’s journey on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

S2E02 | Background: Free Smith | Money & Music Talks

This episode, the second installment of Money & Music Talks ‘Background’ edition, focuses on Free ‘the dreamer’ Smith, his 30+ years in the music industry, peaks, valleys and how he came to realize his veteran status within Artist Financial Program (AFP). Free, Eyan, David and Dev also discuss the importance of helping yourself before you can help others, not falling into the traps of the major record labels and give advice to young artists on how they can prepare themselves for the inevitable valley’s that come with peaks of success in this business (or in every business).

Free ‘the dreamer’ Smith: the come up

The multi-dextrous president of UNKNY, head of music for AFP, all-around music liaison and head of the Urban department for Metropolitan Groove Merchants (MGM) has many different jobs nowadays, but it wasn’t always this way. From skipping school to teach himself multiple musical instruments, to being “raped and pillaged” by the music industry, Free has experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows. In this Background edition of Money & Music Talks, the crew gets deep into Free’s background, discuss life-lessons and talk plans for the future to continue to empower artists looking to make it big in the music industry.

Since he was 13-years old, Free has been working in the music industry, slowly learning it’s ins-and-outs. He would skip school at a young age to learn multiple musical instruments, then moved onto performing and later worked with major labels, such as Elektra, to hone his production skills. After 38-years within the industry, Free now sits atop a high point in his career as an integral part of ‘the four horsemen’ (consisting of himself, Eyan Edwards, Dej Tejwani and David Tae), as the musical veteran voice of AFP. Free also heads the Urban department of the global distributor, MGM and runs their artists and repertoire (A&R) division.

Flipping the music industry on its head

After being “raped and pillaged” by the music industry, Free looks to turn his negative experiences into positivity for the next generation of struggling artists. AFP uses their knowledge, experience, and expertise to create artist empowerment with their music grant, of sorts. Unlike conventional music grants, all you need when dealing with AFP is good credit history and a vision. They provide the funding, cash-flow and networking resources.

Artist empowerment is created not only through funding, but career advice and distribution as well. Through their global resource network, artists of any genre are set up to succeed. As Free puts it in Money & Music Talks S2E00, “we don’t discriminate”. The goal of AFP, contrary to what “dumb-dumbs” write online, is to help artists. Free goes on to talk about having an ear for talent and gives a little background on UNKNY’s, first signee, Phaze Jackson, through AFP.

Peaks and valleys

“When you’re playing Madison Square Garden and 22,000 people say ‘Ay yo Free you understand!’… that’s pretty much a peak”.

After outlining some of the high points in his career, Free goes onto explain that the money doesn’t last forever. Many artists and musicians feel that their fame, fortune, and those $30,000 checks will never stop rolling in. The reality is, that the money can stop at any point, and that’s why a program like AFP is so special. Free has learned the hard way, through experiencing valleys that come along with peaks of success, he’s learned the value of smart investments.

Don’t get fucked

As Free puts it, “no one gives a fuck about you as an individual”, and the music industry will take everything from you if you don’t have a solid team around you. Some of the key advice Free gives to young artists out there who are yet to experience ‘the highs’, is to have self-worth, be humble and don’t sell yourself short. Investing in something solid like real estate is sustainable (not like selling drugs). But most importantly, own your own intellectual property so you can continue funding yourself, long after any record deal would last. AFP is allowing you to do just that.

Seeing it first hand

After discussing Free’s life, how he’s learned to be okay with being “selfish” in order to help out the people around him and having to figure out a way to put his 4-kids through college, the AFP crew discusses business. They lay out exactly how they turn artists into worldwide brands with their connections, tours, distribution and Dev teases ‘social-proof’, coming up in his own episode of ‘Background’. As always, there are big things coming from AFP, so stay tuned for more from Eyan, Dev, Free and David as they host regular Money & Music Talks and ‘Background’ edition episodes. Make sure to follow the team’s journey on Instagram, subscribe to the AFP YouTube channel and download new episodes of Money & Music Talks wherever you get your podcast.