Vincent Knox Editor-in-Chief
Hassan Sharif, affectionately known as Brother Hassan, is currently acting as A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s Tour Manager, but his roots in the music industry run deep. On Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, I had the opportunity to attend a masterclass lead by Brother Hassan to learn about the music business, live concert production, and touring. I was not sure what to expect at first, but it was a very informative session.
He began by telling us about the first group he had ever managed, The Fugees. Comprised of Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, and Pras Michel, The Fugees were a very popular hip-hop group in the 90’s and have many hits such as, “Killing Me Softly”, “Ready or Not”, and “Fu-Gee-La”. He has also worked with various other well-known groups, like Rough Riders, G-Unit, Wu-Tang Clan, and Outkast.
He noted the fact that he feels the need to be the kind of manager and person that will make those he works with sure that they can’t do it without him. To this end, he is well versed in the workings of many aspects of live performance. He takes on more work than is in his job description so that he can be sure that regardless of the circumstance, he can be a valuable member of the team. This has earned him the title of “The Fixer” in music circles.
He advised us all to not be complacent in our lives and to go out and take the opportunities that are presented to us, telling us of his high school days. He started as a visual artist, then became an actor, and now spends most of his time managing. He has also produced festivals and been part of launching many merchandising and clothing lines. He believes that if you want to be successful, you should hone your talent and your craft, but also make sure that you have and understanding of the things you don’t do as well, so that you know who to ask for help or who to hire to do it for you.
At the end of the discussion, he took us backstage of Eastern’s fall concert setup so we could see what it was like to produce a live concert. There were many lights, two different soundboards (one for the performers headset and one for what the audience hears), a large projection screen and a small one, and it all has to be broken down and set up every time A Boogie has a performance. The amount of work seems daunting to someone like me, who doesn’t know all the inner workings of the process, but Brother Hassan knew what he was doing and was very on top of the situation. He wound up giving us his phone number and his work email, telling us to know that he was a resource.