Genesis Music Entertainment is a culmination of a disc jockey & talent scout’s vision of the caliber of artist the music industry should be filled with that’s impossible to find sitting behind a desk in an office or a boardroom. Artist that can only be found by frequenting dance floors of the hottest night clubs..Genesis is the future”
Bronx born and Brooklyn bred music executive Kevin “Sugar-Daddy” Woodley spent many of his formative years in the entertainment industry spotlight. Mr. Woodley began his career as a rapper and disc-jockey at John Jay College radio station, WJJC, in New York. While in college “Sugar-Daddy” landed a gig as the house disc-jockey for Laff’s, a prominent New York nightclub where he befriended one of the club’s nightly promoters, Russell Simmons. Their love of music fostered a relationship both professional and personal, and Simmons began to manage “Sugar-Daddy”. Simmons introduced Sugar-Daddy to his brother then known as “DJ Run”. Under Simmons management Sugar-Daddy released the rap version “Another One Bites the Dust”. Sugar-Daddy and “DJ Run” began doing local shows, however Sugar-Daddy’s love of music was focused on the turn-tables, not the stage.
Sugar-Daddy gave up the mic temporarily and returned to the club scene spinning records in New York City’s prominent nightclubs including Justines, Leviticus, Pegasus, Xenon and Magique. While spinning at another prominent nightclub, Gotham’s New York, Sugar-Daddy was approached by a young club owner who was looking for a disc-jockey with a name and a following to play at a new nightclub, Bentley’s. Sugar-Daddy accepted the gig and began breaking emerging R&B and hip hop acts from the tri-state area. Several clubs considered rap music taboo but being reared in the Bronx during the origin of hip hop Woodley understood the music as an emerging culture and embraced it. Sugar-Daddy quickly coined Bentley’s the premiere club in New York for R&B and hip hop music”.
Reigning as one of New York’s premiere disc-jockeys Sugar-Daddy was praised for being the first DJ to play & break several records including Run D MC’s “Rock Box”, Keith Sweat “I Want Her”, Guy “Groove Me”, Howard Johnson “So Fine” and Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam “Take You Home”. Sugar-Daddy recalls his friend Larry Blackman sitting in the club writing songs in the DJ booth including “Attack Me With Your Love”, “Single Life”, and “She’s Strange”.
The success of Bentley’s led to an array of successful nightclub ventures. Sugar-Daddy continually established relationships with emerging artist, producers and managers, serving as entertainment director to several legendary venues in New York including Union Square, The Red Parrot, The Silver Shadow and The Copacabana. Sugar-Daddy booked first time New York performances for recording artist Salt and Pepper, Doug E Fresh, Slick Rick, Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Johnny Kemp, Whodini, Jocelyn Brown, Loose Ends, Will Downing, EnVogue, Al B Sure and Heavy D & the Boys to name a few.
Sugar-Daddy’s “ear to the streets for hits” led to an invitation as a Billboard reporter and a request by WKTU then program director, Carlos DeJesus, and 98.7 Kiss FM program director, Tony Q for Woodley to serve as a music consultant for the radio stations. Sugar-Daddy’s new radio relationships and subsequent introduction to Kiss FM general manager Barry Mayo and incoming program director Tony Grey led to him becoming the first disc-jockey in New York to have a weekly “live” mix-show. Sugar-Daddy also began to build his international demand as a disc-jockey and began playing as a feature DJ in Atlantic City as well as abroad in Indonesia, China, Japan, Singapore, Bangkok, Tai Pei and Kuala Lumpar .
Sugar-Daddy’s lightning rod for talent caught the eye of CBS music executive, Cecil Holmes and in 1985 DJ Sugar-Daddy joined Columbia Records developing the pop & urban music roster including directing four multi-platinum Lp’s for New Kids on the Block, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Full Force, Surface, Johnny Kemp, Regina Belle and Earth Wind & Fire . Kevin “Sugar-Daddy” Woodley’s club roots enabled him to also find & sign recording artist Raze releasing the dance hit “Break for Love” and to hire Shep Pettibone to remix George Michael’s single “I Want Your Sex”. “Everyone thought I was crazy. The Lp was not selling and I suggested Shep remix the single so I could play it in the club and give the record an urban base. To make sure it worked I tested the single on the dance floor and it worked --the crowd went bananas. Urban clubs embraced the artist, sales were phenomenal, the rest is history.”
During Woodley’s tenure at Columbia Records, Def Jam Recordings was in the process of joining Columbia as an independent label. Russell Simmons wanted someone on the inside who understood the music and the culture of hip hop. Simmons requested Woodley serve as liaison to the roster of Def Jam recording artist LL Cool J, Public Enemy, 3rd Base and Slick Rick . Woodley also penned the acquisition of Chris Shwartz “Ruffhouse Records” which spurned the success of Jermaine Dupri, Kriss Kross, Xscape and The Fugees.
In 1990, Woodley was approached by Sylvia Rhone to head the A&R division of Atlantic Records. During his (5) years at Atlantic Woodley signed platinum recording artist I.N.T.R.O. and supervised Lp’s for Levert, EnVogue, Glen Jones, The Rude Boys and Gerald Albright . Woodley also introduced Atlantic recording artist M.C. Lyte to hitmaker Teddy Riley producing the gold single “Ruffneck” accrediting MC Lyte as the first solo female rapper with a certified gold single. While at Atlantic Records Woodley was approached by Ed McMahon to serve as a judge on the CBS hit show Star Search.
Woodley explains “My experience at Atlantic Records strengthened my administrative skills as a senior executive and I learned the nuts & bolts of the record business & the recording process whereas Columbia was a very creative environment and an extension of the club for me. I did in the boardroom what I did in the dj booth --I found hits. As a talent scout its extremely frustrating to find talent and not be able to sign it because of bureaucracy."
Two of the most memorable experiences in the music industry Woodley recalls a rap artist brought to him by his mentor Cecil Holme’s nephew Dame Dash and DJ Clark Kent, and an R&B artist he saw perform at Irving Plaza in New York. “Damon and Clark bought me this artist, Jay Z, and I thought he was phenomenal. We did a demo deal and I pretty much put my job on the line to get this artist signed. Long story short I didn’t have the authority to sign it without consensus. I will never forget Dame and Clark screaming to the entire floor “Your outta your f*&% minds if you pass on this artist. He’s the Jesus Christ of Hip Hop”. I have knocked myself in the head for not quitting my job and putting the record out independently, I knew better. I keep the letter I received from the label refusing to sign the artist framed on my wall in my office as a reminder. The artist I saw perform at Irving Plaza was amazing, his name was Maxwell again I knew better.”
During his extraordinary career from rapper to disc-jockey, to music executive, to night-club investor and restaurateur, Kevin “Sugar-Daddy” Woodley has maintained the ability to keep his finger on the pulse of New York’s nightlife and entertainment attributing his success to God for blessing him with “ears” and to his mentors Cecil Holmes and Tony Grey. “Music has blessed me with a great life. “Working in clubs as a DJ then becoming an A&R executive is a natural progression. Being a DJ allows you to listen to music and program it. Playing for a large crowd of people gives extra insight. It fine tunes my ears…keeps me on top of what’s hot and helps me understand why one record works and another does not.” The primary difference between an indie label and a major label is primarily funding and maintaining a knowledgeable well seasoned staff of executives to facilitate the day-to day operations of the organization. Genesis is ten years in the making, and we have been blessed to be able to fully fund our venture and recruit seasoned competent & creative music executives.
Crowned with the title “The King of Clubs” for his contribution to music, nightlife & entertainment Kevin “Sugar-Daddy” Woodley continues to scout emerging talent, spin throughout the hottest nightclubs & radio stations in the U.S. & abroad, as well as preparing upcoming releases for his independent record label, Genesis Recordings.