Originally published on The Industry Cosign December 16, 2014
In 1994, Slip-N-Slide Records was born and the first artist was a rapper by the name of Trick Daddy. After the success of the first album, the next album Trick Daddy put out, featured an artist named Trina, who became the second successful artist on the label. The label was here to stay!
The Miami, Florida-based label became home to a variety of artists like Rick Ross, Plies and now, Sebastian Mikael. The man behind the label, Ted Lucas, has shown no signs of slowing down nor stopping the flow of business.
The Industry Cosign interviews Lucas and he tells us what prompted him to start Slip-N-Slide Records, what drives him to continue running his record label, and what advice he has for anyone striving to become successful.
What was the reason you started Slip N Slide Records?
When I was growing up, my dream was to make it to the NFL. I went to college and realized that NFL dream was not easy. Eventually I dropped out of college and came back home. I came home to find my friends going to prison and getting killed. I said to myself, ‘There has to be more to life than this.’ I linked up with one of my good friends, which was Trick Daddy’s brother. He went by the name of Hollywood. We agreed to start a record company together. He said his little brother Trick could rap. Well, the scenario of the story is, Hollywood got killed and Trick Daddy went to prison at 16. When Trick got out of prison, I held up my end of the deal and started Slip’N’Slide Records. I wanted to see my good friend’s dream come true. RIP Hollywood.
What drives you to continue doing business, especially with the ever-changing environment in the music industry?
Seven years ago nobody knew who Rick Ross was, but I knew he had the potential to become the “Boss” that he is today. I still get excited when I see raw talent that has the potential to become a huge star. For example, my new artist, Sebastian Mikael, was an unknown kid from Sweden. Sebastian was discovered on YouTube. Now, he’s charted #No. 8 on Billboard with the record “Last Night” (that featured Wale). There’s nothing like waking up in the morning and having that drive to break a new artist.
Tell us one mistake you’ve made in business that you wish you could do over again. What was it and what would you do differently, if anything?
I’m not going to say it’s a mistake, but I would do it over differently. I was raised to be a low-key guy, to stay in the background. I believed the artist(s) should be the face of the label. I’ve realized that’s not true all of the time. Since my label doesn’t have a face that connects the brand, it does not always get the recognition it deserves. Not many other labels can say it bred four superstars that sold millions of records.
How do you think the talent pool is now in comparison to 15 years ago?
Fifteen years ago it was more about creative lyrics, knowledge, and street credibility. Now it’s more about the way an artist flows on a beat. If it sounds good or if the production is good, then they like it. The kids nowadays don’t care about the message anymore.
You have a non-profit organization, The Ted Lucas Foundation, what is the mission and how long has it been in existence?
My foundation aims to enrich and empower youth in undeserved communities, and the organization has been in existence [for] five years.
What was the best advice you were given in running your business and what advice would you give anyone who strives to succeed in the entertainment business?
The best advice I ever received was, don’t stop doing what it takes to make it to the top. My advice is to improve your craft every day and learn something new that you didn’t know yesterday.
What do you say gave you the drive to become an entrepreneur and what keeps you going?
The drive for me was being an only child. I didn’t have a big brother or sister to ask for help or give me anything. I always had to get it on my own. What keeps me going, I would have to say my faith in God. My faith allows me to still enjoy what I do.
What is the next step for Ted Lucas?
The focus is to finish out this year strong. We’re preparing for Sebastian’s new R&B album, “Speechless,” which dropped in June. I’m confident music fans will enjoy this record as it features Teyana Taylor, Wale and Rick Ross. Plies is due to drop a new record soon and we’ll be introducing new artists Teenear Renee and a rapper named Swazy; 2014 – 2015 is gonna be a great time for Slip-N-Slide.