Alterik Finney a.k.a KI Back at it is the CEO of Jersey We Lit Records, Alterik is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Alterik provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of Jersey We Lit Records .
Alterik Finney a.k.a KI Back at it joins other leading Bestselling Authors, International Speakers & entrepreneurs, CEOs, and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team is delighted to have Alterik join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.CEO of Jersey We Lit Records, Alterik Finney, also known as KI Back at it has been known to be one of the most consistent artists from New Jersey, with no others releasing as much in a short period. His interest in music and rap has been a continuous thread throughout his life, one that will always stick with him. Born in Elizabeth, NJ and growing up around Newark, NJ in the early 90s, KI Back at it participated in street battles with the other kids in the area. He was influenced by all the veterans like Naz and Jay Z. Although he enjoyed being involved in the battles and listening to his favorite artists, being able to produce music was another story. Even though his abilities were growing, he was fine-tuning his skills and sharpening his lyrical flow, studio time was simply too expensive in those days. KI Back at it has been candid about his past struggles and the adversity he has overcome. He has done a lot of outreach with younger ones to help them learn from his mistakes so that they can have a more positive experience in life, specifically using music as an outlet. One of the mistakes he has spoken about is “doing time”.
It was actually while he was “doing time” that he learned how to start composing songs without writing them down, as he didn’t have access to paper. Instead of letting that period of his life set him back, he chose to use it as an opportunity to hone his skills, move forward, and seek personal growth. These are all subjects he helps teach others now as well. In the course of technological progress, KI Back at it has also made progress. He went from the limitations of working with CDs and smaller labels, and smaller artists, to the boundless opportunities presented by the burgeoning popularity of the internet, and then a whole new world opened up when streaming became the new norm for artists. Now that these things have made distribution much easier for KI Back at it, he has been able to focus on his own label, Jersey We Lit Records. He started the label on his own and once he decided to invest into the label is when he mastered and perfected his own unique sound his fans have come to recognize and adore. As soon as he began to create music, KI has released something new every day. His latest release is a catchy James Brown sample titled “I said Dance”. His other notable works include the albums Addicted to Hip Hop and Destroy and Rebuild. KI Back at it has accomplished a great deal in his life, overcoming and building his label from the ground up. He does all of his own recording, mixing, mastering, and creating songs using no pad. Not only has he perfected his own sound, he has also taken the initiative to hold his mentoring efforts to teach younger ones with an interest in the enterprise, giving them reason and helping them find purpose in their lives.
Ki Back at it’s single “You Different” was just featured on CJMTFM1 (106.5) in Banff, Alberta, CKUT (90.3) in Montreal, KYLD (94.9) and (106.1) in San Francisco, CA, US. Stay tuned for more great singles coming to a radio station near you.
Let's start by telling us about your business.
Jersey We Lit Records is my own label which I started from the ground up. I have perfected the whole sound and do all of the recording, mixing, mastering, and creating songs. I also use the studio space to mentor younger ones that have an interest in the industry, I want to be able to help them learn from the mistakes I have made in my life so that theirs can have more direction, to keep them focused and on a clearer path. I also do what I do to provide a better life for my son. I want him to have the things I didn’t have when I was growing up.
Q: Please tell us how you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
I really try to speak my truth through my music. I am very genuine in everything I do, and I believe that really resonates with my listeners which in turn, results in fans.
Q: Please tell us the one thing that separates your business from the competition?
Other artists may not take the time I do to really pay attention to the youths in our area. When I let them come into my studio, it’s not even about trying to make a sale or charge them for their time. It’s about teaching them, educating them about the business and helping them find their passion. That is more important to me than the money. It’s about community. We take care of each other.
Q: And to finish this section, please tell us what is the one major key to your company’s success?
I think a major key is my drive and energy. Where I came from, and learning from my struggle. I don’t want my son to go through that, I want him to have a 100% different life than I had, that keeps me strong and going.
Q: For our readers just starting to build a company, what advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
Remember to be genuine. If you are trying to be someone you aren’t; if you are trying to “fake it” in any way, I don’t think you will have success in the end.
Q: For entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what one big piece of advice can you give them when times get a little challenging
Stay positive and keep good energy because once you start getting depressed everything gets worse. That is something I have definitely noticed over the years through many different jobs. No matter what I was going through and even when I was treated wrongly. I needed to maintain a positive attitude. A negative attitude will kill your drive and motivation, and if you are artist it can even kill your creativity.
Q: In today’s fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
I subscribe to numerous newsletters to stay informed about all of the latest news in the music industry. I have my different channels to keep up with the latest technology too. I have a few artists I personally follow; podcasts I listen to. I like to relax and listen to my favorite artists for inspiration.
Q: What is your “Why”? In one sentence, why do you get up in the morning?
I get up in the morning because I want my son to have a better life and because I love making music.
Q: In one sentence, what is the most important thing one has to do to be a great leader?
To be a great leader, you need to be confident.
Q: In one sentence, describe how important your customers are to your business?
My listeners are very important to me and keep me motivated, even on the worst days, to keep going.
Q: In one sentence, describe a positive way that technology can make the world a better place?
Technology has made the world a better place by making it easier for people to make money.
Q: In one sentence, tell us something positive to motivate our readers?
If you put good out into the world, it will come back to you.
Q: In one sentence, tell us how you start your day to get ready?
I always try to start with positive meditation, it helps prepare me for a productive day.
Q: In one sentence, describe how you handle rejection and setback?
I handle rejection and setback by not dwelling on it, that is the only way you will be able to move on.
Q: In one sentence, describe what your hiring philosophy is?
Make sure you hire people with positive attitudes.
Q: In one sentence, describe how you keep your sanity in a competitive business environment?
My therapeutic time is when I am creating my music so I try to create and release as much as I can every week.
Alterik Finney a.k.a KI Back at it, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We appreciate you participating in this important roundtable interview series, and helping our readers learn more about what it takes to build a great company and become a great leader. We wish you, your family, and of course Jersey We Lit Records , nothing but the best.