Bulleit’s Pioneer Project Will Highlight Music’s Next Generation of Hitmakers at Hypebeast’s 41 Division St. Location

“The 100 Hour Rule: Lessons on Navigating the Music Industry” panel will chart the intricacies of artist discovery, development and management.

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Established in 2022, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey’s Pioneer Project is a multi-year commitment to championing industry pioneers who lead with a frontier spirit across art, sustainability, food and technology. Diving into the highs and lows of artist development and management, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey’s Pioneer Project returns to spotlight the trailblazers working behind the scenes in music to cultivate rising talent. The Pioneer Project, in partnership with the record label and music distribution platform UnitedMasters, has provided over 100 hours of mentorship to emerging creators, this year spotlighting multidisciplinary artist SIRA (Marissa Lewis) and rap artist Oke Junior (Matthew Osivwemu). From managing the intricacies of music production, branding, finances, A&R and more the program facilitates relationships that aid artists in mastering and honing their craft. In collaboration with Hypebeast, SIRA and Oke Junior were formally paired with Artist Manager Ebonie Ward and A&R Executive Sickamore (Randall Jesse Medford) as their respective mentors. Hypebeast is charting their shared experiences as mentee and mentor pairings as the creators unpack career parallels and industry learnings that have informed their approach to collaboration.
 
From ushering in more women to the fore of music management and spearheading Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack label, Ebonie Ward and Sickamore have shaped music’s contemporary landscape by harnessing their entrepreneurial backgrounds and leveraging relationships with today’s most influential artists, producers and creatives. Ebonie Ward is the CEO, chairwoman and founder of 11th & Co, a women-led management company with an A-list roster featuring Gunna and Flo Milli, among others. Under her guidance, Ward empowers artists to embrace growth opportunities and develop a firm understanding of publishing, licensing, touring, branding and more, expanding their business and cultural footprint. 

Serving as a mentor, Ward joins SIRA, a multidisciplinary artist and singer hailing from NYC, for the Bulleit Pioneer Project. Released in 2023, SIRA’s debut EP, The Stars Between My Teeth, sees the visionary artist packaging delicate R&B with experimental drill, rock and electronic influences. Taking inspiration from her background in filmmaking, SIRA demonstrates a cinematic and layered approach to music.

Turning the lens to rap and hip-hop genres, Bulleit and Hypebeast tapped A&R Executive Sickamore and rap artist Oke Junior for the second mentor and mentee pairing. Sickamore is the mastermind known for leading Travis Scott’s ASTROWORLD (2018) and YG’s My Krazy Life (2014) to platinum status. The Trinidadian-born music maverick navigated Brooklyn’s music scene in the early 2000s, landing coveted internships with Just Blaze and a full-time position as Director of A&R position at Atlantic Records at the age of 21. During the Pioneer Project campaign, Sickamore will aid Oke Junior in refining his artist persona and musical inspirations, providing industry insights that help propel his art forward to larger fanbases and demographics. 

Born and raised in Oakland, California, Oke Junior is one of many artists leading the Bay Area’s revival of conscious rap, carving a niche sound and image inspired by his hometown experiences. Known for his lethal freestyles and melodic rhymes, Oke Junior’s most recent albums, I Don’t Follow I Lead (2020) and Outside Looking In (2019), demonstrate a sharp lyrical ability and poetic storytelling. 

In partnership with Hypebeast, the Bulleit Pioneer Project aims to provide valuable mentorship to emerging creators to help them navigate the intricacies of community, access, funding and media within their careers. The campaign will culminate in editorial and video content, including the return of Hypebeast’s Business of Hype podcast and an upcoming panel, including each mentee and mentor. “The 100 Hour Rule: Lessons on Navigating the Music Industry” panel discussion will unpack how independent artists overcome real-world challenges by leveraging their immediate communities to amplify their voices and art.

The event will take place at Hypebeast’s 41 Division St. Location in New York City’s Chinatown neighborhood on February 22 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST. Music lovers interested in attending the event can RSVP here. To learn more about the creatives spotlighted in Bulleit’s Pioneer Project, stay tuned on Hypebeast and Business of Hype.

Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Pioneer Project Campaign Ebonie Ward Sickamore SIRA Oke Junior Hypebeast New York Panel Discussion Business of HYPE

Bulleit Pioneer Project Presents: The 100 Hour Rule Event
Location: Hypebeast’s 41 Division St. Location
Address: 41 Divsion St. New York, NY 10002
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST

DISCLAIMER: We discourage irresponsible and/or underage drinking. Drink responsibly and legally.

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