When I first met Mathew in 2001 he was trying to steal one of my clients, music producer Damon Elliott. Mathew was the manager of Destiny’s Child and his daughter, Beyonce. Damon was producing a track called Sexy Daddy on the ‘Survivor’ album which ended up selling over 5 million albums.
Damon Elliott is Dionne Warwick’s son and I was his personal manager from 1996-2010. I was managing Flesh n Bone from Bone Thugs n Harmony at a studio in Hollywood and the studio owner told me I had to meet Damon.
I was actually sold when she said he was Dionne Warwick’s son, I was a big fan of hers, but he was something special. His father was an actor & jazz drummer Bill Elliott and he had some real funky beats.
I met with Damon and told him to bring back some beats for Flesh and his brother Layzie Bone to listen to. Damon came back the next day and brought some killer tracks which Flesh & Layzie loved.
Damon produced the majority of Flesh n Bones first solo album T.H.U.G.S. He went on to produce records for Pink, Jessica Simpson, Mya, Dionne Warwick, Keyshia Cole, Destiny’s Child and many more.
Getting back to Mathew Knowles, while Damon was working with Beyonce her father was trying to convince him to leave me and go with him as a personal manager. At that time Mathew was one of the most powerful managers in the music business and Destiny’s Child was arguably the number one singing group in the world.
I have to hand it Damon, he could have dropped me like a hot potato and gone with Mathew but he stayed loyal to me and told Mathew it wasn’t going to happen. I was happy but after analyzing the situation, I advised Damon to let me speak to Mathew about co-managing him.
I thought if we could use Mathew’s clout in the business, Damon would stay busy on major projects making major money. I told Mathew that since he was busy with DC I could handle Damon day to day and maybe bring in a few more producers to manage. Between the two of us we knew a lot of talented people.
Mathew flew me to his offices in Houston, TX to sit down with his staff and map out the company. Ira Dotson was my liaison with Mathew’s company Music World. Ira was a real decent and hard working guy.
Mathew immediately put me on a $5K/month retainer while we got organized. I told him I was friends with Will I am from the newly formed Black Eyed Peas and I had some other guys I could talk to in LA.
I met up with Will at his studio and gave him our idea of a producer’s management idea and he loved it. This was right before the Peas blew up.
My next meeting was with this white guy from South Africa that Ira & Mathew turned me on to, J.R. Rotem. J.R. was in the process of moving to Los Angeles from Northern California and he also loved the idea. He was working on his first big production on the Survivor album from Destiny’s Child.
My third meeting was with this duo I met through Damon, The Underdogs, an R&B/pop production duo composed of Harvey Mason, Jr. and Damon Thomas. I drove out to Harvey’s house in Northridge and they two, wanted to sign with our management company.
I knew at the time that with Damon Elliott, Will I am, J.R. Rotem and The Underdogs we had mega potential. Mathew was making millions of dollars for Columbia Records with Destiny’s Child and my contacts I knew from my 6 years with Ruthless Records.
I thought at that point, for the second time, I was finally going to cartch the golden ring. In my opinion, the talent between these 5 producers was overwhelming and they all seemed manageable.
But Mathew was a no show. He wouldn’t meet with the acts, too busy. We started looking flakey to these acts. I was still managing Damon but I knew these other guys were going to blow up.
And they did. Will I am & The Black Eyed Peas. The group sold approximately 33 million albums & 31 million singles.
J.R. Rotem was called the “White Dr. Dre” and went on to produce Britney Spears, Rihanna, Sean Kingston, Rick Ross, Niki Manaj, Destiny’s Child, Gwen Stafani and many more selling millions of albums
The Underdogs went on to produce James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Chris Brown, Mary J Blige, Tyrese, Jennifer Hudson, Jordon Sparks, Beyonce and many more.
They also did the music for the Straight Outta Compton.