Reading through my Twitter updates only a few weeks ago I came across a new follower called Rainbow Noise ENT. Upon reading their bio, and viewing their YouTube videos, I began to realise just how massive this music business could get. Their promotion of only LGBT artists whilst working mostly within the hip hop genre is both vital and a huge step forward for the LGBT community.
With a strong UK base and growing, and an army of supporters and followers in the USA, Rainbow Noise Entertainment is sure to be making waves and changing the face of hip hop as we know it. In just four years Rainbow Noise’s profile is growing exponentially, and looks set on a bright future ahead. Vada caught up with Rainbow Noise Entertainment to find out more:
Vada: How, when and where did RNE come about?
Rainbow Noise Entertainment (RNE) is the brain child of Cee Smith. After working with a male artist who signed to a major recording label, Smith wanted to use her talents within the LGBT community to spotlight individuals who may otherwise not have an opportunity for mainstream exposure. In 2010 the framework for RNE was established. Working bi-coastally from Portland, Oregon and Washington D.C., Smith identified the artists that would form the label’s initial roster and pride tour. A chance meeting with Stud Phamous in Las Vegas, Nevada not only solidified the foundation for creative efforts, but expanded the national coverage of RNE by establishing Las Vegas as the RNE headquarters.
How long has RNE been going, and how many artists do you currently have?
Rainbow Noise has been a fully functioning entertainment company for almost 5 years. The current roster of artists includes rappers, singers, models, videographers, writers and photographers. In addition to the established roster, RNE works with various musicians and the recently released mix tape features several LGBT entertainers.
Is there a particular genre of music that you promote, if so why is this?
RNE is primarily hip hop based musically; however there are elements of several types of genres in our music. We will, of course, expand with the demand of our fans and as the availability of artist increases. Our goal is not to be unilateral, but to positively promote the talent of LGBT artist in as many avenues as possible.
Have there been any difficult times that you had to overcome in order to make RNE the growing success it is today?
Difficult times come with every successful endeavour. Rainbow Noise has encountered several challenges including creative differences with label artists, hostile encounters with outsiders and the general controversy that was expected with establishing an entertainment label that caters specifically to the LGBTQ community and its artistry. While much of the response to RNE has been positive and accepting, the debate regarding the placement of lesbian rappers in hip hop continues to be the primary area of contention. Fortunately, it is that exact issue that fuels the drive and motivation behind the label’s constant forward progression.
What are the goals you want to achieve at RNE and what does the future hold?
The future of Rainbow Noise Entertainment is ever evolving. RNE will become the premier company for LGBT artists, promotion, event hosting and entertainment services. Our mission involves a non-compromising approach to presenting positive images of LGBT entertainers in multiple arenas. RNE is currently working on the production of several entertainment projects including music tours, literary works and a developing web series. The April release of the RNE mix tape Complicated Compilation includes seventeen new tracks and will be accompanied with a variety of music videos on YouTube.
Any upcoming events, albums or singles in the works?
In April, RNE released the much anticipated mix tape Complicated Compilation. It can be downloaded at: https://soundcloud.com/RainbowNoise and is accompanied with the video for ‘Off the Richter’.
It’s the LGBT Pride season coming up in the UK, things are kicking off in Birmingham in a couple of weeks ; will RNE be coming to the UK any time soon? We would love to see you guys perform at our Pride celebrations!
Rainbow Noise has a growing fan base in the UK and we welcome the opportunity to attend and perform at any event. We have yet to be approached by a promoter or pride organisation in England, but we would love to meet our UK fans!
If there was only one message you could pass onto LGBT people all around the world what would it be?
You don’t have to change who you are to be successful! Whether your talent is rapping, singing, modelling or business, you don’t have to compromise yourself when reaching for your goals.
Artist Profile – Stud Phame and Cee Smith
Stud Phame and Cee Smith are both currently artists at RNE, so I caught up with them to get the low down on all things LGBT and hip hop.
How did you become involved with RNE?
“We had a mutual friend that invited me to a pool party that Cee Smith would be at. We talked after my performance and I submitted my music to the label. We linked up and everything is history.” –Stud Phame
Tell me about your music, how does it reflect the person or message you are giving?
“My music is clever, smooth and thought-provoking. My message to people is don’t be afraid to be yourself, and to embrace it [who you are]. I want people to see there is talent in the LGBT community.” –Stud Phame
What is your ultimate dream?
“My dream is to be one of the greatest lesbian artists.”—Stud Phame
“I just want to get what we deserve from the music industry. I feel that we’ve worked hard to accomplish a lot of our dreams already, but our success is capped by the industry. We’ve helped solidify a lane in hip hop that should be recognized.” –Cee Smith
Favourite artist? Last song you played?
“I love a lot of artists from different genres, but Jay-Z and Kanye West are my favourite hip hop artists.” –Stud Phame
“In support of Female artist I’d have to say Nicki Minaj she holds it down dominating in a male industry.” –Cee Smith
You all have really unique clothing styles, any favourite brands?
“More often than not we’re wearing clothing we designed ourselves. We have 2 brands yet to be made public: Herhim (pronounced harem) & Pink Dollaz. Outside of that, we tend to combine retro styles with contemporary influences. No particular brands. Our style is about how everything fits together to highlight our individual personalities.” – Cee Smith
Have you been subjected to any homophobic experiences?
“I feel like the biggest homophobia we face is from the hip hop industry. Being gay is something they [major labels] really don’t know what to with or how to market. Straight men with the success we’ve had would be getting paid significantly more than we do. The audience is ready for us, but there are politics that work against our progress.” – Cee Smith
What is your message to young LGBT people today?
“Be strong and proud of who you are. Don’t let anyone tell you how to live your life.” – Stud Phame
Be sure to follow and support these guys on twitter and check out their website, Facebook and of course YouTube. Their work is vital to ensuring the LGBT community has an increased presence across music, so watch this space, I know that I will be!