10 Questions with Big Poppa Stampley | Reve Insiders9 Dec 2021 2022-06-10 13:43
10 Questions with Big Poppa Stampley | Reve Insiders
Reve Insiders is an exclusive network of global leaders, businesses, brands, professionals and creatives that we have had the pleasure of working with or have stumbled across in some shape and form. We take an inside look into the lives of some of them. What makes them tick, what they are adding to the world to make a difference in the lives of others or in their own lives. This week we interviewed Big Poppa Stampley, an award-winning Bluesman, an actor, voice-over artist and all-round entertainer!
REVE INSIDERS: Big Poppa Stampley, can you share more about your earlier days in the music industry, and how you made the decision to become a full-time artist?
BIG POPPA STAMPLEY: I picked up the guitar as a senior in college, feeling I had missed the boat, hoping to one day be good enough to play in a band. My total expectation level of success. My musician friends in Chicago, some of them touring with the biggest acts in the business in Jazz, R&B, Rock fascinated me. My 1st guitar teacher, a great bassist and guitarist, Curtis Robertson, was moving to LA and introduced me to Reggie Boyd, main studio guitarist at the legendary CHESS Records in Chicago; it changed everything for me. I practiced 2 to 4 hrs daily; and with Reggie’s incredible method of teaching, was gigging in bands (my dream) in less than 2 years.
After playing the “Chittlin’ Circuit” in Chicago’s West and Southside, and Gary, Inn, getting experience, for sure; but getting ripped off more than paid; I decided to start my own band, figuring: I would make sure I got paid! ECLYPSE OF THE MOON was formed. 5 guys with young families, with a plan, I did all the marketing and booking (my job was in Corporate sales), and I played guitar. We soon started getting private parties, corporate gigs, weddings etc. as the members changed; I would hire the top musicians in Chicago. That band lasted 24 years; performed all over the midwest of the US, booked 100’s of really great dates, (that paid quite well, actually) and made me feel I could actually earn a living doing this.
REVE INSIDERS: What are some of the biggest perks of being in the creative industry?
BIG POPPA STAMPLEY: In the words of songwriter Barry Manilow, the biggest, “People actually pay me for something I would do for free.” To know you have figured out how to earn your living doing something that makes you happy. Control of my time. Validation that my work is appreciated.
REVE INSIDERS: What are some of your favorite on-set experiences as an actor, in which movies and why?
BIG POPPA STAMPLEY: During the filming of a John Voight modern western, we had to pause shooting due to a riding lawn mower noise, that was being picked up on the audio recording. A big CIA looking security guy went to inform the guy that he needed to stop, because “we were filming a movie with John Voight, James Caan, and Bo Derek.” The man was impressed and excited! “Wow that’s great, I ove their films! and mentions some of the films he had seen…Going on about scenes in the films etc…. But, I’m sorry, I can’t help you…” The security guard asked why?”…”Cause I’m not in the film”… and quickly negotiated himself a check, which they paid, immediately for him to stop cutting his grass.
REVE INSIDERS: You have had tons and tons of experience, not only the music industry, but in the movie and marketing industry too. Can you share a little about your transition through the several industries you have worked in and some of your biggest lessons?
BIG POPPA STAMPLEY: After college I went through a series of corporate sales gigs, that lasted 3 to 5 years each, in the insurance industry, hospitality in which the following customers were included: restaurants, bars, hospitals, manufacturing plants, prisons, nuclear plants, schools, hotels; Brokered mortgages; Real Estate sales, Real Estate investor, helped found a Dental HMO w/ 100 Dentists and specialists. As a working Musician: I found I could use my musical skills to teach in the schools: and developed MUSIC HISTORY IN MOTION, an ARTS Programming company. I have provided music performances and workshops for students, teachers, and BLUES in the SCHOOLS to over 20,00 students in several US states and the USVI, being a working musician, has opened the doors to song placements in films for me, and acting roles in TV and FILM… and VO (voiceovers) on radio, TV, and the web. It is better I feel, to add income streams; that are connected to your main career.
REVE INSIDERS: From your four albums, which one is your favorite and why?
BIG POPPA STAMPLEY: My favorite is the current one JukeBOX BLUES. Mainly because this was about my appreciation for the beginnings of blues and rock and roll.
REVE INSIDERS: What is your secret to landing big gigs and projects?
BIG POPPA STAMPLEY: Your EPK or electronic press kit. This is your bands story. Fans and buyers need to find your presence in the digital world.
REVE INSIDERS: How do you deal with the harder days?
BIG POPPA STAMPLEY: Meditate, relax, Tai Chi, watch a film.
REVE INSIDERS: You are full of energy, even as you age! How have you maintained your energy and enthusiasm?
BIG POPPA STAMPLEY: I had this crazy goal as a kid “To know everything”. I have always been willing to learn new things and willing to question what I thought I knew. I was turned on to a “True health” journey, in my twenties, that showed me how food can be your “medicine”…My diet is 95% organic non-GMO “superfoods” I workout regularly, Moringa, ( no medications at all) and though, after music, my favourite thing is “History,” I know you can’t live in the past. Your ability to adapt is the only way to ensure survival.
REVE INSIDERS: So far, what have been some of your most wildly successful projects and what projects do you have coming up?
BIG POPPA STAMPLEY: For a guy, who only wanted to play in a band; To being well-known now for being an award-winning solo guitarist and vocalist and songwriter, blows my mind. Cause I never had aspirations to sing, or play solo guitar. My Eclypse of the Moon band was considered one of the top bands in the midwest commanding $2k to $5k per date. I wanted to be involved in the schools and started an arts programming company that has worked with over 20K kids in the US and the Caribbean. The 6th CD will come in 2022 with the main song, a Blues / funk line dance! My Streaming show BPS’ BLUESWORLD with fans around the US and internationally is coming back… and I’m opening a music-lover based WEB store BlueWorldMarket.com… in other words I’m not slowing down.
REVE INSIDERS: What do you think of what a musicians’ role should be in the future of music?
BIG POPPA STAMPLEY: The musicians role as an artist or band used to be: to make music through creating songs; while; the booker, agent, label, promoter, venue, producer all made the money. Hip Hop changed all that; the musician became the businessman. With the Digital marketing tools today, a musician, which includes vocalists, and those advanced mixologists and producers who create their own music, you are not limited to record sales, anymore You can create music; for your CDs, set up tours, and marketing, for other artist’, write music for products, and service companies, TV, films, video games causes, to create ad revenue, streaming media, crowd funding, digital sales of music…and its possible to do much of this TOTALLY ON YOUR OWN, if you are willing to do the homework.
You’ve reached the end…
A big thank you to Mark for sharing parts of his journey with us. The more questions we ask, the more we want to know! We are set to publish a new 10 Questions blog interview every Thursday for the months of November and December. A new tradition that we’re adding to the list of them as we grow.
And always remember…