“CREATE YOUR OWN WORLD!!”
5 MILLION VIEWERS AND COUNTING!!
By: Freya Pruitt
“The Ask Dino Show” is a new form of entertainment revealing all facets of the entertainment industry for the professional and layman alike. Famous icons such as Patti LaBelle, Gregg White, Chelsea Lately and many others have been interviewed by Dino as they are presented in an informative, creative and wildly entertaining format. Dino makes the show look effortless, but if viewers only KNEW the complexity and accomplishments of this diverse and multi-talented human being, they would be awe-struck! Dino’s prolific career started over 30 years ago as he progressed to the stature of one of the most revered rock drummers of all time. Receiving the coveted award for “Creative Achievement in Television” (three years out of the box!) was no small feat! A voting member of The NARA Grammy Association and an original member of the Producer’s Guild, Dino has recreated his life and career multiple times- as needed! “Create Your Own World” is NOT a metaphor for this record producer, engineer, rock drummer, Film and Video director and award winning TV host. Eclectic, determined and un-yielding are the three words that have crafted a career for Dino, as he leaves a permanent brand on the music industry. For all aspiring artists, one question always remains un-answered: “How do I make it in the music industry?” Well, my friends, Dino has the tried and true answer and is exclusively telling it to TTW Magazine! His goal is to inspire, uplift and educate all artists as he delivers a road-map to a successful and rewarding career. His slogan for “The Ask Dino Show” is “Mentor-tainment!” He delivers the bottom line truth with candor, excitement and a passionate drive as he mentors artists into successful careers. Achieving the coveted Record Producer of the Year award for Los Angeles (2012, 2008) and Rock Drummer of the Year (2011,) Dino and his associates have sold over 25 Million units, and he has forged a career spanning decades as he;s raced into the new millennium with a force simply un-stoppable! A transplant from Chicago, Dino has made L.A. his home for over 30 years. He has carved out a piece of history leaving a formula of success for all artists trying to make it in the toughest industry in the world. You will only read his exclusive story in TTW Magazine and by doing so, will witness an amazingly candid interview. Dino reveals personal life-long secrets, plans for the future and most importantly: How to make it in the music industry! Simply put: Dino Maddalone has done it all and now will TELL it all! Reading this interview is imperative for ALL people who are actively pursuing careers in the entertainment industry. Dino’s formula for success is suitable for musicians, actors, producers, song-writers, and film-makers- virtually anyone pursuing a career in entertainment. If it takes a village to raise a child, Dino will tell you it also takes a village to produce, direct, create and sustain a major career: LONGEVITY is the word of the day! Entertainment is the most fickle industry in the world, burdened with unforgiving rules, unrealistic age limits and harsh working conditions that seem to sabotage an impassioned and talented artist reaching for success! Fear rules the industry, but Dino is here to give you all the information you will need to discover the ins and outs, the do’s and don’ts, and the tools to survive the dangerously competitive world of entertainment. After 12 Dove Awards, multiple awards and nominations from The American Music Awards, Billboard Awards, working with greats such as Ray Charles, Billy Preston, MTV and VH1, Dino has the success and experience to mentor even the professionals who THINK they know it all! So, sit back and enjoy one of the most informative music and entertainment interviews of all time: TTW excitedly enters the world of Dino Maddalone and introduces our readers to the secret world of the music industry, finally exposed… for the first time…for all to see.
F- Dino, I am amazed at how you built up an astounding 5 million viewers in only a three-year period of time. Tell me about your show’s format and how the creative process manifested into a world-wide market.
D- “We are broadcasting from Time Warner, which is the main mother station reaching millions of homes. I like to think we are more global, as we are on all the social media sites, which opens up an astoundingly large amount of viewers. We film the show at my studio in L.A. but the show is geared to a world-wide market. We have spent three years building our show and its viewers, and have now created a world-wide desire to understand the intricacies of the entertainment industry, i. e., “Mentor-tainment!” Hey- it works! We are generating a new breed of participants and viewers like no one has ever seen before!”
F- I have always had a mentoring heart, which inevitably got in the way of my performing career in the 80’s. I was always more concerned about others than myself- and nothing has really changed! It appears that both of us are using our forums to effect positive change through entertainment and the written word! I hear a lot of grumbling about the new music business being a rip-off because of the internet and downloading. Let’s go back in time to the 80’s and the phenomenon of Michael Jackson becoming the biggest star in the world- without the internet! How did MJ achieve this amazing status?
D- “The Jackson’s were around from the 60’s. You really had to have a lot of talent back then. When God handed out the talent gene, He must have gone out to lunch, when He pushed the button for Michael Jackson! No one was ever that talented! All the stars were in alignment for Michael. Fame is a very hard road, it can literary kill you; under the definition of tragedy, see “Michael Jackson.” Michael was about 9 or 10 when he and his brothers entered the entertainment industry. Diana Ross and Barry Gordy were behind him big-time, and The Jacksons were a part of the Motown machine: It was more like a family at Motown. Motown was a school- they taught their acts how to talk, act, dress, perform and ‘work.’ They taught their acts how to interact with the public and actually groomed, nurtured and taught them HOW to have a real career! Support, time and input were paramount- and it paid off! My good friend Gregg Wright played with Michael on the Victory Tour and even he has that mentality- kind of like a military mind-set! In the military, you are taught how to survive and that is what Motown did- taught their acts how to survive and be successful. Today you get NONE of that- you are on your own. You have nobody backing you except yourself and it’s hard to break through because of the over-saturation of the internet and the lack of personal grooming and support from record labels, etc.”
F- When you mentioned God-given talent, I thought of how different the music business is today. You can literally take a cricket, put it in a box, market and brand it and get a hit record! Talent today seems to be secondary to promotion; mediocrity seems to rule the industry. It’s doubly hard today, as teaching and grooming is non-existent. As you say, today our artists are essentially alone. What advice can you give to artists today who are extraordinarily talented but do not have the right support? How do they find the right agent-manager? How do they find the right support system to package them without destroying who they are?
D- “The key word here is longevity…you have to look for career longevity….not be a one-hit wonder and you have to have substance! Look at Justin Beiber: People in the industry feel he is manufactured- he was booed at the Billboard Awards this year. That is a perfect example of someone who is not taken seriously because of a lack of substance. The length of your career and the length of time you are going to make money is based on your song-writing ability. Song writing will make you money for the rest of your life. The performance window is extremely short for a pop star. You can’t be a 60 year old pop star- unless you are in Country Music. I agree with you: Everybody is packaging and promoting just about anything. They want to just make money with no care for the artist, and that’s what ruins it for a talented artist!”
F- So, what is the answer?
D- “You have to write your own songs, get your songs on TV, get them into movies. You have to write for other artists- produce other artists- while you’re doing your OWN career! It is multi-tasking on steroids! Think about it: A performer’s window (unless you are in Country Music) is really five years at the most; then you are done, IF you make it to star status! So the smart move is for the act to develop their own clothing line, perfume, shoes, power-drinks, etc. J Low is a perfect example- smart- minimal talent, but a multi- tasking genius creating her own career with tremendous longevity.”
F- Today you need a lot of money…the days of going to a club and being discovered and being made into a star are really over. Today people are looking at the monetization of the act. How do acts today get the needed money to make it today? How does an artist go and find the needed money?
D- “You need your OWN money….don’t get it from an investor….the less of the pie you give away the better. Go get a job, get a credit card, get a loan…and get the proper contracts SIGNED! To any artist out there, try and back yourself!! If you NEED an investor, go out and get one, but go through the legal process of proper contracts…cause each and every time, if you don’t, it comes back to bite you later on! Because of the luxury of the internet today, it is not really that expensive! You can go out and buy your own equipment, get your own transportation, get on the internet and place your music on some major sites. You can get your music to major stars, record companies and movie producers for small amounts of money- if you just utilize the internet! Back yourself first!”
F- I talk to a lot of artists today and they’re so negative regarding the internet- they feel they are being robbed in some way. YOU are saying the exact opposite and I absolutely agree! I want to utilize TTW and a digital on-line presence that creates a prototype like a large aircraft carrier, that launches multiple projects. I want to launch an on-line, “state of the art” record label to HELP artists achieve their goals. The internet offers a world never seen before in the record industry; what is your opinion on this new form of technology, monetizing and creating a career on-line?
D- “Perform your due-diligence- check out these sites- you have to do your homework! The problem with artists today, Freya, is people think their career is just going to be given to them! Because of shows like American Idol, America’s Got Talent, and The Voice, they think they don’t have to pay their dues! Don’t think you are just going to go from your bedroom and become a TV star! You’ve got to do your road-work, you’ve got to go out and pound the pavement and feel out the business. Because of these televised contests, artists today just think their careers are just going to come to them! It’s just not true! It’s not gonna happen…not gonna happen!”
F- A music career is a full time job- it is a business! But music is so emotional on the soul; it is hard to achieve balance. Music is like a drug! I was in the music industry and never did drugs- which actually was amazing looking back at the industry! (I always said I was my OWN drug!) Once you’re in the music business you never really leave it! You can take the girl out of the rock, but you never take the rock out of the girl! It is amazing, Dino, how you have segued from music to TV Host. How did you start your TV show and how did you come up with “Mentor-tainment?”
D- “There was a show out here called “What is Entertainment?” They kept calling me back to interview me and I finally said I can’t keep doing this- give me my own show- so, they did! My show is meant to entertain with the guest. I have people come on who are icons…they’ve done all of this…very famous, AND new artists that can share their own experiences. They all have a story and can share what to do and NOT to do! There are a lot of pitfalls to any business, so why not have a show that educates people from the experience of people who have lived it? The general public can tune in and be entertained with live performances and interviews.TV NEEDS this type of show…it has become invaluable to the industry viewer and the general public. I had no one to help me while I was coming up; maybe I had two mentors, but essentially I had to do it all myself! “The Ask Dino Show” is great not only for musicians but for actors, actresses, producers, song-writers, film-makers- virtually anyone coming up in the business. Everybody can learn from anybody – there are pitfalls in any business. So why not have a show that tells you exactly what to do to become successful! The general public can tune in and be entertained with interviews and live performances- live mentoring! My show is successful because it is needed and there is a real market for this type of show.”
F – Is there a common denominator you hear from the famous and new artists regarding building a career today?
D- “Absolutely: Learn your craft- practice your craft, longevity and resilience.”
F- Tell me some of the iconic people you’ve had on your show.
D- “Chuck Negron was on from Three Dog Night, Patti Labelle…actually had Terry Dexter on with Patti. She is Patti’s vocal teacher. (F- What!!! No way!!!) Yeah- I’m not kidding! She’s much younger, and the voice teacher of one of the greatest voices of all time! She is a great talent herself, but is also the teacher of one of the greatest singers in history! That just goes to show you how we can all learn from one another! Even Michael Jackson had teachers- all stars have people they idolize- everybody’s got to look up to somebody. We had Robert Flashman, the vocalist in “Journey” who wrote Wheel In The Sky, Dick Dodd from “The Standells” who wrote Dirty Water- The Rex Socks play it at all their games! We had the actor, Hector Luis Bustamante who was a great interview. It’s interesting: We have a lot of actors on, too! It’s amazing to talk to them and hear all these incredible stories about their careers. We had Prescott Niles from “The Knack,” and of course, your cover-girl Tehrah!!! She had a lot to say about a lot of things…everyone has a story and history. Tehrah has an incredible voice. She has it all: beauty, brains, a beautiful voice, and is a great song-writer. And of course, NOW she is a cover-girl! She has all the elements to make it in the industry. It will be interesting to watch her career evolve. Hopefully having her on the show will provide the extra promotion to push her to the next level. I really enjoyed her a lot- she was a great interview.”
F- Thank you- I know she enjoyed it a lot also. And she LOVED the enormous amount of chocolate you gave her as a gift!! Hey, Dino- you can’t lose by giving a woman CHOCOLATE! Smart man! All kidding aside, I want to thank you for a very informative interview and look forward to us working together in the future. With two great big mentoring hearts, the world will most certainly be a better place!
D- “Thank YOU, Freya. I truly enjoyed the opportunity to tell my story. We need many more stories like this- to provide information and encouragement to our artists. Somehow I think our paths will cross many times in the future and I look forward to continue blessing artists’ lives through “Mentor-tainment. What a great ride this has been- and what a great ride it continues to be! What a great…ride!”