The 9th Annual Southern Entertainment Awards & Music Industry Conference was held in Memphis, Tennessee from March 30 to April 2, 2012.
More than 1,500 of the entertainment industry’s most influential individuals attend the SEAs to partake in educational panels, the annual fashion show and showcase featuring emerging talent, as well as the awards presentation, which were hosted by Gangsta Boo and producer, Drumma Boy.
This year’s informative panels helped attendees take a product from concept to the market with seminars titled, “Putting Together the Team for the Dream,” “Give the People What they Want/Need,” “From Word of Mouth to the Entire South,” and “From an Artist to an Entertainer: Don’t Just Show Up, Show Out!”
In addition to the panels, unlimited networking opportunities make the SEAs one of the most recognized Awards & Conferences in the South.
The Queen’s Castle had an opportunity to interview SEA co-founder, Janiro Hawkins, about the conference, the decision to streamline categories, and what we can expect for the 10th Anniversary of the conference.
TQC: In your 9th SEA Awards season, when you look back over the past years, what accomplishments are you most proud of?
JH: Honestly I applaud those who continue to support the event. It is a great feeling to know that we have created a platform to educate, entertain & acknowledge people for their contributions to music & entertainment.
TQC: This year, the SEA’s have streamlined the nomination categories, soon after the Grammy’s followed. What were some of the reasons the decision to condense the ballot came about? How do you think it will improve the nomination, voting and awards process overall?
JH: Through feedback year over year and in attempts to annually make changes, one of the biggest changes for upcoming events was in our categories (feedback given that there were too many categories). We reduced our categories to where all awards can be distributed on the day of the actual awards ceremony. Many of people may wonder why this change occurred in the first place, well, it was because several years ago feedback was given that the awards ceremony was entirely too long. So in efforts to respond to feedback given we made some minor changes. Seeing the Grammy Academy follow suit shortly thereafter was only confirmation that the right decision was made.
TQC: SEAs are known for giving a platform to performers that have very successful careers. What groups or performers will hit the stage this weekend that you believe is the next to blow up?
JH: In the past we’ve had several names grace our stage and go on the establish future careers. This year will be no different with performances from Trae Tha Truth, Ashthon Jones, Shannon Sanders, Dirt Dolla & Dallas Blocker.
TQC: What elements of the SEAs sets it apart from other regional and/or national award shows?
JH: One element that may set our event apart from others is the fact that we allow the general public/consumer to have the controlling interest in who makes the ballot and ultimately in who wins.
TQC: As you look forward to the 10th anniversary of the SEAs, what are some plans you have for the future of the brand? What type of Awards and Conference will the SEAs be when you celebrate your 15th and 20th anniversaries?
JH: As we look to the 10th Annual Southern Ent Awards & Conference we’re seeking innovative ways to reach outside to those who could benefit from our event but are unable to attend.
The Queen’s Castle was in attendance for last year’s Awards & Conference and the experience helped us understand why the SEAs are held in such high regard among industry heavyweights in the south and beyond.
The 9th Annual Southern Entertainment Award Winners:
DJ IN THE SOUTH: Dj Scream
FEMALE DJ OF THE YEAR: Dj Dimepiece
SLEPT ON DJ OF THE YEAR: Dj Drop
MIXTAPE DJ OF THE YEAR: Dj Slikk
MIXTAPE OF THE YEAR: BIG K.R.I.T. “Return of 4Eva”
MIX-TAPE ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Yo Gotti
BEST SKILLS / DJ OF THE YEAR: Dj Amo
CLUB DJ OF THE YEAR: Dj Swagger
RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR: Dirtysouthradioonline
PROGRAM / MUSIC DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR: Devin Steel
PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR: Mike Wise
SLEPT ON PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR: Cymandye
NIGHTCLUB / VENUE OF THE YEAR: Club 152
RETAILER OF THE YEAR: T.I.T.S. Clothing
RECORD / CLUB PROMOTER OF THE YEAR: Curtis Givens
INDUSTRY EVENT / SERVICE OF THE YEAR: Core Dj Retreat
COMMUNITY ACTIVIST / ROLE MODEL OF THE YEAR: Trae The Truth
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Slim Thug “The Thug Show”
ARTIST OF THE YEAR: 2 Chainz
GROUP OF THE YEAR: Step Brothers (Don Trip & Starlito)
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR: Lex Luger
SLEPT ON ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Axtion
RECORD LABEL OF THE YEAR: Suave Up Ent
PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR: Miscellaneous
POWER PLAYER / EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR: Kevin Shine
DVD/FILM OF THE YEAR: Dj Juice “Guess Who’s Back” – Video Blends 71
PHOTOGRAPHER/JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR: Patrick Covington
MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR: XXL
GRAPHIC DESIGNER OF THE YEAR: Money Graphics LLC
INTERNET HUSTLER OF THE YEAR: Urban Professionals
WEBSITE OF THE YEAR: WSHH
MODEL OF THE YEAR: Tehmeena aka Ms. Meena
SLEPT ON MODEL OF THE YEAR: Lea “Sweetlealea” Ayers
MODEL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: Kyss Kyss Models
The Queen’s Castle congratulates all of this year’s Award winners!
If you’re interested in submitting your nominations for the 10th Annual Southern Entertainment Awards & Conference, which begin on May 1, go here.