Looking for your soul? You might find Asya Shein, an Indie Legend in the making.

Looking for your soul? You might find Asya Shein, an Indie Legend in the making.
page52 I honestly try not to do articles on people whom I like because I don’t want to be biased and tell an unbalanced story. But there are times when that rule flies out the window and I have to share with the world some of the amazing people I come across in my search for “indies” doing amazing things across the planet. World, meet Asya Shein….AGAIN! Chances are if you’ve been to a web 2.0 conference or travel in soul / hip hop / progressive music circles you’ve met or seen her before. If not, I’m sure you’ve been to an event sponsored by Fusicology, her event/portal even if you didn’t know it. At first glance Asya is your typical type-A personality. A go-getting, self-educated, scene-hopping, jet-setting, entrepreneur who is building her vision right before our eyes with her brand FUSICOLOGY. Finding her passion for soul music while helping put on events in Detroit, Asya is a pioneer for those looking to find events, people, businesses and thoughts on the “soul diaspora” as she calls. I want to say right off that she isn’t the only person I’ve heard use that term but she is the first and would say herself that she didn’t come up with it, but loves to use it. If you love progressive soul music you know exactly what she’s talking about, if not consider any music which has  soul as it’s base and you’re on the right track. When asked if she has any words for independents out there, she starts with advice once given to her from a record label executive, “You trade security for freedom. I pride myself on working, I work everyday except Saturday and well it’s not a 9 to 5 by any stretch but it’s mine. There’s a lot freedom and if someone calls and they need me in Chicago tomorrow I can go. You can’t do that with a 9 to 5, or if I want to go to DEEP (a weekly in LA showcasing what else, the soul diaspora) and danced too much on Sunday, I can get up at 10am on Monday because I have that freedom.” With the proliferation of events sites from Flavorpill.com, Thrillist, and Going.com to name a few, finding events in your city isn’t as much of a problem as it used to be. But there were a lot of sites that claimed to have their “ear to the ground” that were missing the events those “in the know” in soul circles frequented for years. Events thrown by people like Rich Medina in the east and Sake 1 in the west didn’t have a home where their events could be found by the masses until Fusicology came into being. I don’t want to undercut sites like True Skool as if they weren’t around but they didn’t cover the breath of what was there and not on a national platform. I asked Asya about being a big player in a small but national seen, “I have a nice balance, I’m pretty lucky I work with really huge companies and agencies and I still turn around and mess with Okayplayer or Spitkicker. Even though they don’t have a lot of money their content is great and balance is important to have so you’re not all commercial.” If you’re a business owner, working with other independents can be a gift and a curse at times, although the rewards are always there is some form. I asked Asya what her take was, “Working with independent companies, things can work slow because people are so busy and crazy. The corporations are gonna cut you a big check but with your independent partners it’s more about partnerships and credibility.” What Asya has done with Fusicology is make a home for the splintering soul scene. Those whom love soul, nu soul, nu jazz, broken beat, house, downtempo, hip hop, soul hop, jazz, and all things in between. If you’re a fan of the soul dispora you have a friend in Asya Shein. Read more about Asya in her own words… [caption id="attachment_3435" align="alignleft" width="267" caption="Asya Shein (photo by Niki Wood)"]Asya Shein (photo by)[/caption]Where are you from? Raised in Toronto, lived in Israel for a year at 5 years old. Moved to Dayton, OH for a year at 16, Detroit from 17 - 20 and Chicago for 1 year 20 - 21 then moved to LA in 2000 at age 21 :) I am 30 now - bam lol Where do you look for inspiration? All is within, the Uni-Verse provides - Power of Intention. My parents inspire me most of all, their honest work ethic and starting with nothing as immigrants and succeeding. Entrepreneurs, Dancers, Lyricists, Poets, Vocalists, Good Producers & DJs and Scientists inspire me too :) Where is you favorite spot on earth? A hilly Caribbean beach Where is the best place to start? Detroit, hands down. Great people who always keep it real with you. How did you start? Promoted underground clubs in Toronto, then Ohio and then became the assistant to Laura Gavoor at Yin-Sight Management in Detroit and booking DJs and promoting at Motor Lounge. Then moved to Chicago, marketed 2 independent deep house labels, started my own agency Mir Media and then moved to LA, continuing the agency. I booked people like ?uestlove, Jazzy Jeff, Pete Rock, Maseo of De La Soul, many house and nu jazz artists and co-managed Peven Everett; I also booked shows and a European tour for the late great J Dilla. In 2003 I started Fusicology.com and by 2006 I focused on the website 100% and now we're in 18 cities :) How did you decide on this path/thing? I believe that bling and all the BS that comes with that type of living and commercial music may have it's place, but not in my direct world. I believe in the Soul Diaspora and want to expand the "good music". Different world comes with a change in the musical regime. In the 90s I lived for artists like Black Star and parties like Body & Soul - I deeply believe that they all are intertwined as conscious, forward, progressive quality music. How many times have you wanted to quit? Honestly never - don't know what else I'd do! 9/11 was hard on the agency but I never lost faith How do you pay your bills? Advertising, partnerships, PR work, events and grinding! How do you become legendary? Continue to do what I do, never sway and never quit What makes you good? I work hard, am honest and cautious - don't trust everyone and don't hold grudges yet always remember who had and has your back What is your end goal? Becoming the international "Craigslist" hub for the Progressive Music and Culture scene we represent and eventually doing philanthropic work helping the citizens of the world - really! :) What is your style? Urban alternative :) What is your formula? I am a December Capricorn-Sagittarius cusp so I naturally work hard, play hard and flow with the Uni-Verse. Work hard means sacrifices like working night and weekends, little to no alcohol, exercise, not giving away too much info and keeping it professional Who influences you? My parents, my best friends (especially June Joseph in NYC) and culture/tech muses of mine (like Ant Lively in LA) Who is on your team? Asya Shein—CEO Nina Morena—CIO Jocelyne Ninneman—Senior Editor Victor Nwankwo—Programmer + all city managers esp. Brandon Felton (DC/Bmore), Sandy Yap (NYC) and Simon Fisher (Toronto) Who have you enlisted for help? Various promoters, programmers, designers, accountants and business managers Who do you call family? Since I am an only child definitely my close friends are my family - they got my back! Why are you independent? This is all I know :) Why do you do what you do? To spread music, culture, media and the love I have for it Why should we care? With a changing world the music we promote i.e the Soul Diaspora through the internet hub is key to bringing people together. Why don't most people make it? Laziness, flat out. Read more about fusicology

About the Author

Rai-mon Nemar is an independent lifestyle advocate and the founder of LEGENDmag. With a background in music, coupled with more then 12 years of being an entrepreneur, Rai-mon is a forward-thinking progressive who's life work is synthesizing the independent aesthetic and creating a community for "indies". Visit his blog IndieGuy and follow him on twitter.