Sacramento, we have been blessed to have a wonderful team and leader helping keep universal sound alive. Rich Wing, co-owner of TheMashup.net, is someone you need to thank when you see him out in the streets. I have been in contact with this busy man to bring you into the light of how this man came to love music and share his joy with us…Sacramento this interview is very special to me. The energy we have as a city is what he is trying to capture to show our outsiders that we deserve to have great shows, our artists to be seen and local businesses thrive. Enjoy.
Q: Please explain your role and a brief development of themashup.net?
A: I handle the marketing/promotions for Themashup.net and talent buyer for FUSE. I co-own the website with my good friend Carlos Lopez aka Cawzlos. After a couple years of throwing our own events we started to have conversations about what things were not being represented in our city. Asking ourselves, how we could reach more people? How do we change the game in our city and do it in a way that benefits everyone? These were some of the questions that lead to the development of TheMashUp.net
Q: Tell me how you came to create TheMashUp.Net?
A: Carlos and I came up with a blueprint. His idea was to create a zine mag with a calendar center page that promoted all of our crew and extended crew’s events. This would save us time and energy when doing ground promo plus covering more territory. That idea sat on the back burner for while. A couples years go by and we came up with an idea for a local event night that I called The Mash Up. This weekly event would feature all genres of music fused with Hip-hop in one night; Rock, Reggae, Jazz, Funk etc. The night never got off the ground. It was a great idea but the venue owner didn’t have the patience for people to catch on to it. Since we both have a love for all genres of music The Mash Up name stuck. Shortly after that we hooked up with talented graphic guru that designed for Unseen-Heroes. We teamed up and the three of us started sharing ideas on what we would want to see on the website. Blog, internet radio, cd reviews, mixtapes, online TV, events, and clothing. While creating the blueprint for The Mash Up I had a friend that had spent a year interning for Vibe online magazine and was returning back to Cali. She was excited to hear we were starting a blog. With her experience in writing and blogging she took on the creative director position for our blog. We launched The Mash Up blog in July of ’09. Our mission is to change traditional promotional marketing and branding in the music industry locally and nationally while giving our city a bigger platform to expose their talents. We set fourth with this movement to break down barriers and to enlighten the masses through music, culture and lifestyle. Basically, we’re trying to make noise out here so the world recognizes the talent in our city.
Q: What/Who were your musical influences growing up?
A: I had a wide variety of influences growing up. Moms played a lot of Disco and salsa back in the day. I dug it, but around the age of 8 I spent more time over at my dads and he would always have Classic Rock/Soul music playing while working on his car, Eagles to Commodores and everything in between. Around that time pops introduced me to The Beatles. I remember him letting me put the needle on the record as he explained how the sound was recorded; from the record through the needle to the receiver out to the speaker. In the 3rd grade I was introduced to Hip Hop and it was a wrap. I couldn’t get enough of it. It all started with watching and emulating friends at school, pop locking to groups like Mantronix and Afrika Bambaataa. Then it grew into UTFO, Stetsosonic, L.L., Run DMC, and Beastie Boys. Listening to deejay’s cut it up like Grandmaster Flash, Jam Master Jay, and Mixmaster Ice sparked the itch to learn how to scratch in ’89. In ’94 I worked for Virgin Megastore which exposed me to a new world in music. I got heavy into Acid Jazz fusions. Incognito, Jazzmatazz, Main Source, Massive Attack, Portishead, and New Breed. From world music to all Latino genres, it was all there for me to explore. That year I met Mix Master Mike through my roommate who was part of a deejay crew out of South Sac. That crew inspired me to get back on the turntables. Dope deejays with unique styles. That same year I promoted Mike’s first album Mix Masterpiece. Went to work for Black Market Threadz (Hip Hop clothing company) in Oakland which introduced me to a lot of underground shows that featured artists like Zion-I, Kirby Dominant, Living Legends, Ab Rude, Invisible Skratch Piklz, Safir, and Ras Kas to name a few. Mix Master Mike, Living legends and my pare Grumpy (UBC/Black Market) had big influences on my developing my first couple shows in the late 90’s. In the last couple of years I’ve been heavily exploring the talent in the Latino world of Hip Hop and Electro fusion they have so many great influences.
Q: How do you feel about Sacramento’s music scene? Do you think Sac lacks in the scene?
A: Man, I feel that we need more unity in this city. That is clear. I lived in the bay for short period in the late 90’s and the clothing company I worked for would sell clothing at the Hip Hop shows inside Maritime Hall and other venues in SF on a regular, from Outkast to local Living Legends shows. So I definitely got a taste of the scene in the bay. It was always a positive vibe and local heads would stay for each other’s performances. Everyone was down to network. I noticed a difference right away when I came back to Sac. In the last 10 years or so I’ve really noticed that local Hip Hop artists wouldn’t support each other very much. It became very separated. Artists would leave after performing instead of supporting the next group. It’s gotten better though! I’ve witnessed a lot of positive cats out here that truly support heavy. So, I think we’re still growing as a scene and I feel that now is definitely the time we need to start reaching out to folks we wouldn’t normally reach out to and network it out.
Q: Why Sacramento?
A: I’m rooted here. I have four beautiful children, a beautiful and patient wife. Family comes first for me and I don’t think I’ll be moving anytime soon. I love my city with all its ups and downs. Whether I lived in Seattle or Austin I would want to give back to Hip Hop in some way. Promotions chose me, so this has become my way of giving back to a culture that changed my life. Bringing people together has always been something I enjoyed doing. We take risks on every show to bring good music to the people. So to your readers please support a show or two!
Q: What are your goals for TheMashUp.net and for Sacramento music fans?
A: We’ve accomplished a lot in almost two years but I feel we have a lot more growing to do as a company. I would say some of our goals that remain are to put our city on the map for good and to continue bringing legends and new breaking artists to our city. Keep supporting our local artist and businesses. For The Mash Up we will continue to create more outlets on the site to promote our talent. For instance; more mixtapes, Mash Up clothing, more fused Hip Hop represented on our blog and maybe online radio. The Mash Up has been in the works planning our first multi-cultural, multi-genre, arts and music festival for the summer of 2012. This has been something I’ve wanted to do for some time.
Q: You have been bringing phenomenal shows to Sacramento for a few years now showcasing some of my favorite artists and will be ever grateful to you, but if you had a chance to sit down and see one of your favorite artist/group who would it be and why?
A: Wow that’s a good question. I have witnessed many phenomenal groups in my day. From Parlament to The Roots to Spearhead to Outkast, it’s hard to pick just one group but I would have to say Beastie Boys. I’ve always been a fan but I think the reason why I would pick them is that they have always tried new things with Hip Hop. They don’t take it too serious. I like to see the artist evolve. I don’t understand in putting your favorite artist in a time capsule and only holding on to those years of an artist. Also, they are cross generation artists that relate to the masses in a way that not many other Hip Hop groups have done over the past 25 years. And who knows when they’re last performance might be. Plus they recognize the importance of the Deejay. Shout out to Mix Master Mike!
Q: Our ever changing music genre’s soul music has taken a new form, along with hip hop, reggae, drum and bass making a mixture a fuse what have you of great musical forms, but if you were to describe in one word what this music means to you what would it be?
I was going to summarize this interview but after reading it over and over again I felt that I needed to post it all. His commitment to music and Sacramento is very clear. The lifting up of our city’s talented individuals by supporting locally and international underground artists is something that brings him joy. A lot of people in our city do not want to take on that responsibility but he doesn’t ask for much, just support. Our small city can become a union of music monsters and together we can make our capitol city shine for all to see. Check out TheMashUp.net and show your support.