This week I’m truly honoured to chat with the suave, family-orientated and musically talented Chris from Gate City Management. Hailing from Atlanta, the “Gate City”, Chris grew up with a love for the entertainment business and by the time he left high school he was proficiently playing 5 instruments. But that’s not all… fashion is also in his heart. So, without further ado, let’s welcome the man himself… hi Chris, a big warm welcome to the blog..
Hello my name is Chris Waymon, CEO of Gate City Management. I am a musician, businessman, a father, a husband, and a friend.
Where did you get inspiration from to start Gate City Management?
I was once an artist myself. Growing up and learning the entertainment industry, I saw and experienced what it takes to be a successful artist through artist development such as, vocal lessons, stage presence, dance lessons, interview techniques, styling, branding plus many more. Longevity is what we are striving for through artist development. This is why the artists I grew up on were so successful. This is what a lot of artists now are truly missing and they are wondering why they are one hit wonders. So I created Gate City Management to help bring this concept back.
You have experience as a producer, production manager, and event organiser as well as a big love for music. So what “hat” do you tend to favour the most?
My favorite hat will always be music. It has always been an outlet when I needed to express myself. Over time I have evolved to be a producer/ production manager, and event coordinator but each one was still for a musical project.
Gate City Management only seek those who have worked a minimum of 3 years in their chosen genre of the entertainment industry, and currently working full time in that said career. You are not a firm for those seeking to ‘get discovered’. However for those new to the entertainment business you do offer workshops, conferences and career consulting. What seems to be the most popular type of service you offer amongst your clients?
We are also looking for the next superstar, whether it’s a model, actor, or artist. How the entertainment industry used to work is the record label used to pay for artist development, but since most artists are looking to go the independent route they miss out on the artist development phase. Being the “Starving Artist” many can’t afford or understand artist development. So as of now our most successful service is being a producer/ production manager.
You were born & raised in Atlanta so it’s hardly surprising you have a love for the entertainment business. In fact, Gate City Management is named after Atlanta’s nickname back in the 1800s, Gate City. Was it difficult to pick a name for your company or was it just an obvious choice?
It was kind of hard, because I love my city and the history of Atlanta so of course I had to do my research to find a way to show my two loves music and Atlanta. The problem I had was finding a way to represent Atlanta and still connect with others, because overall I want it to be a universal household name.
You went to Georgia State University and majored in music;as well as when you were in Middle School you formed a group which emulated The Fugees; so what career did you dream of having when you was studying?
Growing up I idealised Sean “Diddy” Combs as a successful businessman in the entertainment industry. I planned to be an artist, and afterwards have a record label. So once I stopped being an artist I could focus on my own entertainment company almost like Bad Boy.
I’m impressed that you can play 5 instruments including the iconic sax! What’s your favourite instrument to play? What sort of music genre do you enjoy listening to?
My instrument was the sax even though I learned the bassoon, trumpet, baritone, and drums I still appreciated where it started from which was the sax. As far as the type of music I enjoyed, I like jazz & blues with a appreciation of the instruments and if it was R&B and Hip Hop, it’s lyrical content.
Are there any new services you hope to introduce in 2014?
I have one of my consulting managers that wants to do sports management so we have been discussing it but as of right now not at the moment. We have enough on our plate.
You have worked with talent in the past such as Jermaine Dupri, Nivea, Young Bloodz, Bone Crusher…. is there anybody (alive or dead) you would love to work with if you had the chance? Who would make you totally awestruck?
If I was still an artist, I would love to work with Andre “3000” & Kanye West. I would also like to work Jay Z from a business aspect of the entertainment industry.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
A lot of people don’t know but I have a background in fashion. I am slowly working on three different clothing lines but that is further down the line. So I like to consider myself being fashion forward. My favorite brands are Akoo, Polo, and Gucci. As far as shoes are concerned, I’m a sneaker-head and collect shoes but I only like Air Force Ones and Retro Jordans, and Gucci and Prada dress shoes.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
Being that I’m 6 ft tall I don’t have many shops that cater to my height, so my stylist gets most of my clothes from different places. I’m just not sure where from.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
I’m looking to work with upcoming designers to help build their line as a brand ambassador, so if there are any designers reading this, please contact so we can talk. I’m looking for something different.
Boots or Shoes?
Both it depends on what I’m wearing that day jeans or a suit.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers of the blog can learn more about you and Gate City Management.
It was so nice chatting to you Chris and I wish Gate City Management all the best in 2014 and beyond. Don’t forget, my designer friends, to get in touch with Chris …
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Photo Credits: Photos have been published with kind permission from Chris Whymon and Gate City Management.