Alexandra de Scheel is widely known by her artist name Delyric Oracle. She has spent ir majority of her younger life getting ahead in school, traveling between continents, where she ended up staying in Switzerland for high school longer than anywhere else, followed by undergraduate school in London where Alexandra attained two BAs in sociology and journalism. During this time, Alexandra published several books while serving as the editor of a newspaper in Switzerland. Alexandra subsequently attended graduate school in Denmark for a Masters degree in cognitive semiotics. Despite her academic interests, Alexandra has always had a constant involvement in activism and Hip Hop; as an artist and activist her passion grew greater and greater. She was ultimately able to combine and explore her passions when she met, Adam T Young, her partner who motivated her to develop their current company, Delyric Entertainment. With Delyric Entertainment, Alexandra created the company, logo, website, forum, packages, concepts, slogan, marketing strategies, business plan, mobile app and social media by herself from scratch.
In your own words what do you do?
I try to give people the chances that I believe they should be given fairly anyway. I have been around so many people from sheiks to CEOs to nomads to artists to world leaders and crooked individuals. I don’t believe in authority based rules and culture bouncing. I’ve always believed in what came from within and whether something passes the test of my heart, conscience, gut and mind. And whether it bore the test of the empirical evidence provided by experience. I have traveled from one continent to another every few months since I was two months old. This coupled with my natural curiosity and very strong belief in fairness and logic which have been a part of me as far back as anyone can remember, I always questioned traditions or rules or beliefs that did not sit right and would keep asking “but why?” until the adult I was speaking to either gave up and changed their perspective realizing that it didn’t make sense or gave me a legitimate reasoning or as often the case said something akin to “that’s just the way it is”. That never made sense to me even before the lack of cultural relativism set in from never being in one place long enough to do more than observe, interact experimentally/however I wanted with no worry since it was a vacation mindset knowing I wouldn’t be there long. As a child I became obsessed by relating the grand unified human theory, I’d come to view existed linking us all across nation, religion, gender and race anyway I could. So, I would spend hours every day dissecting, sociology, philosophy, psychology, physics and neurology texts looking to explain what I knew in a way that didn’t come from a child but was referenced using the science they believed in which I now realize wasn’t very scientific but I did always try my best using the same resources to disprove any belief I had and only then, would use them to explain them.
Seeing so many in such high and low positions all over the world and always having that outside perspective made injustices both painful and obvious and led to my activism which is also incorporated into the label, in both principle, giving the heart and soul of this movement and collective consciousness, the independent artist and the trimonthly Cause for Applause shows that myself and Carlos Cureno with some help from Rev Jarett Maupin and now as well Blockstar and Adam T Young are putting on. We are holding the first one for homelessness and then Black Lives Matter and then Love Men which will focus on Fathers Rights.
What led you to your current career?
When I was in high school abroad (at Institut Le Rosey) I finally began to occasionally experience the pleasure of actually living life rather than simply studying it. The best part of which was actually pain and mistakes, because they provided more insight and opportunity for growth than anything else. I originally studied sociology and journalism and got a double bachelor in those subjects, but i wanted something with more tangible and empirical evidence so I switched to cognitive semiotics, a neurological field for my Masters. While I was studying overseas for this I was making quite popular opinion videos on youtube about politics philosophy and life. One of the people who watched had begun an obsessive harassment of me and when I told him firmly to leave me alone he ended up shooting up his school and killing 25 people which the media in part blamed on me. I ended up moving across the world back to America to be with someone I didn’t know well enough who used what happened to keep me from leaving by saying he would kill himself or others and playing to my guilt. Eventually I chose freedom over the risk and called his bluff and ever since have been, following my heart and gut to wherever they lead. For once I did what I wanted to not what was smart to do and it was the smartest thing Id ever chose to do, because you aren’t living at all if you aren’t living how you want to for you. There was only ever one direction that would lead, the one constant home I’ve always had anywhere in the world; Hip Hop.
I had always written lyrics thinking Id never use them but when I was going through what I needed to in order to get where I need to get to have the courage few do to fully be me. You have to know who that is first.
And that takes digging, I’ve always been a writer so I used writing to let it flow, and whenever I’ve done that it would end up coming out in rhyme. I never wanted to be in the business end of it. I’ve been there done that. And I was groomed by the worlds biggest business sharks growing up and always took in, and, listened to, what they said so when I go business I tend to go all in and I needed that all for my artistry. But I did also believe in taking opportunities so when the opportunity to create a team for a member of the original rap group’s son presented itself in the form of him asking me and my then new boyfriend (who I had met when he scouted me for distribution at his previous label) Adam T Young to be his second in commands and basically form his company and label I took it.
Could you walk us through your process of developing your career?
I just went in full throttle, I had no fear or doubt left just what had always been in my ear (the voices of 2Pac and KRS). When I began following my gut and heart they didn’t lead me to heaven first. They led me into hell literally and back as I felt everything my observational compartmentalization locked away from me actually experiencing but I came out of that knowing exactly who I was and remade as exactly who I should have been stripped free of all previous insecurity, ego, doubt, fear, triggers, issues and the like. That’s when my gut lead me in turbo speed down the path I had wanted so much I was scared to even dream it.
I always, believed dreams were for others not me, I had to fix the world as its weight literally felt on me but by then I had learned through actually experiencing experiences that I couldn’t do that because people can only fully understand the knowledge their soul already knows and their guts relay if they are in touch with their soul by experience and lesson learning from introspection of that experience.
Did you encounter any particular difficulties in the beginning?
My last year at my former record label with my partner Adam T Young was one long difficulty for both of us due to mismanagement by our former boss.
I knew he was shady, a lot of people knew he was but we could never quite put our finger on it so let our feelings go to get work done. Longer story short, that year we built him and his wife a million dollar business from nothing while paying for their expenses. Money they were meant to have borrowed and while despite working day and night and putting forth a large part of everything they had I was never once treated with an ounce of respect due to my gender and would be randomly promoted, demoted and overloaded with things not my responsibility by his wife based on mood, never work done. My work ethic never waivered despite the fact in all of this we never once were paid, but we got them paid, with the help of a team filled with sexism, snakes, fake people and manipulation and sabotage like I have never seen in one place, though did feel and mention feeling of to my boyfriend before letting go to “give people a chance” and the accuracy of each detailed premonition my gut came out with alone, coupled with others baring witness to this and begrudgingly admitting to my instincts, finally allowed me to trust my gut fully no questions asked.
During the end of our time at that record label my boyfriend was still very much invested in the company and so did not see all negative as he always is loyal to the end. He had given so much and given them so much perhaps, a part of him didn’t want to see But after one too many sleep deprived nights working in every aspect for people who (due to me paying them should have technically been working for me), having to sit back and watch the bad business I warned them not to engage in play out or watch an opportunity I got them vanish due to incompetence and arrogance then, as was usual, get blamed for them doing the opposite of what I suggested. I had had enough and decided with or without my boyfriend I was leaving and not spending another cent of my money on anyone but us. Despite meeting him and my boyfriend due to the offer of distribution and producing / management for my music. I had been told over and over again to leave it for later and focus on the man, who didn’t really get or know Hip Hop, seemed to hate performing and needed ghostwriters and others to do his cadence for him in reference tracks to even get anything passing for good music out and the man who would have been a millionaire months earlier had he listened to anything that myself or anyone had said or suggested to legitimately grow his business.
So I put much of what I had left into what was meant to be my label with my boyfriend Adam T Young , but he didn’t want any part of it at the time due to his strong loyalty and dedication to whomever he works with, one which, along with his sales savvy and social media guru status, he thankfully brought to Delyric Entertainment once fully healed from the blow such loyalty given to one so underserving can deliver including naming it so I named it Delyric Entertainment. I said it was merely a placeholder or escape route, but the truth is I felt something in my heart when I first said the name that night and had the thought of reading about Hopsin similarly being spurned to research how to create and then officially create FunkVolume from similar passions displaced and I knew that night was an, origin story in the making too.
As time passed however , I gave an honest try at making myself trust them and believing when they called us family to the extent we even spent our Christmas shopping for a used car for their daughter while on a “tour” with them which was more a tour of places in California their daughter was playing basketball, excellently I may add. That girl is wise beyond her years, kind as can be and already on her way to being a published author. After which we exchanged gifts, I bought them personal, fairly but not crazy expensive gifts. They gave us half of a box of BlockStar sponsored T-shirts given to us through them by our manager Carlos Cureno when he interviewed the man for Hip Hop Vibe.
That and being chastised for helping further the career of a British rapper that Adam had brought over for this guy. A rapper who paid nearly 10 grand for a lot of frills and pomp that never was delivered, instead he stayed in Vegas placed without asking in one of the homes of our roommate and friend Garry aka Sun of Hollywood aka the difference between if something happens in LA and it doesn’t.
He is too nice but eventually they blew it with him, the British emcee and even, to my genuine surprise, Adam. That led us on a journey to where we are now. It kind of killed Adam to believe so fully in someone and something and have it be that much of a mirage. Meanwhile I went into turbo-speed work mode. I had to fight Adam and most others every step of the way in moving on and forward at some point or another cause no one was really in the right place to see my vision, except Adam (who still had some healing to do and was busy at the time working to ensure we were good on rent and food while I went about setting things up and Carlos Cureno aka Djayy Charliee (though being a celebrity deejay organising shows with us for Dej Loaf and after parties for Drake; he is swamped and Scott Da Radiogrind (who was also busy at work to make the move over here but like the others gave what he could when he could and had belief that helped more than anything) and so I just started, I didn’t know what to do first, so I started with the LLC then the label and the website then it just started flowing and I couldn’t seem to stop working and coming up with ideas for deals or things we had to offer and ways to sell them or expand. I created the proper channels to set up distribution, made sure we were a fully incorporated llc and had promotion channels set up and a bank account an EIN number and then set up a website , designed every inch by myself and did the SEO , keyword analysis, analytics, set up email marketing campaigns with the. What i soon found to be tens of thousands of major contacts Adam and I had stacked between us, created the packages and the names ( www.delyricentertainment.com/deals ) and the idea of DIY items and realized somewhere along the way what we had here.
Adam got daily requests from artists to pay for his management , sales and social media guru techniques, djayy charliee had video distribution and fm radio plugs and a brother who was a professional videographer and his own drone, I had extensive business knowhow, the love and knowledge of the music, the respect and the ideas and willingness to learn whatever I had to to make it happen (website design, analytical, app making, etc) and I came up with a way to integrate my cognitive semiotics degree and selling playlists with neuro triggers to impulses stores wish to trigger in buyers which will legitimately serve this purpose while also leaving spots open for the right match that we could also offer through the label.
We also instantly signed the best male vocalist I have ever heard; Shawn Dutch, whose rendition of John Legend has even received accolades from John Legend himself. Also, despite my decision not to in any way influence or make things difficult for those assets I brought to the previous label, wanting them to come to their own conclusions… both the best ones and the best connects or business associations we met during that period all came to us one by one having seen what we did and having renewed hunger to put their skills to use in collaboration with us including Ivan on the Beat (the kid who wanted to do business abroad with us so got a second job at an airline to get us free tickets and once drove from San Fransisco to Vegas to attend CES with us last minute with no change in clothes just the suit on his back…and being an audiophile like no other producer I know he killed it with Sieneheser). Mula West (my brother from before I brought him in to work with us. He was actually the first one, and only one other than myself, to quit on principle of (pardon my french) smelling bullshit and not standing for it and he did so long before I did) and Sun of Hollywood www.delyricentertainment.com/sun-of-hollywood ) who regularly hangs with Wiz Khalifa, Warren G, Kardashians, Snoop and his mother (who Djayy Charliee is also friends with oddly) and every other model, rapper, musician, actor, actress, paparazzi and other related industry insider being one of the finest PR agents and former TMZ photographers (now in talks with BET).
We were the best in our respective fields and didn’t need shiesters or users or snakes coming in under the guise of authority based on name or age. We didn’t need anyone to offer rappers and young people everything to make their own dreams come true and ours in the process. Now we have an amazing team and family working with us, all towards shared visions and goals for the future.
And now, everyone is seeing the vision. I even got back in the swing of activism with trimonthly Applause for a Cause shows Delyric Entertainment in association with Djayy Charliee / Fresh Empire and Rev Jarett Maupin are hosting in Phoenix Az (the place I was drawn to go after my hellish journey to awaken to let myself be me and travel my path to see where it may lead beyond my wildest nightmares and wildest dreams apparently. It led me to life, living and reality. I haven’t watched tv or movies in years. All I do, all I can do, is grind and work because to me work and life and joy are all one in the same now.
What is your long term plan?
Ive learned better than to make specific plans for life as to follow them would be ignoring all the information and better options life presents to make you a wiser you than the person who made the plan that can put blinders to those opportunities on you. But I know where I’m going. I’ve combined the three aspects of me; the CEO/entrepreneur, the activist and the Hip Hop head/artist into a career path I created from scratch by myself for myself. Every week I take on a different additional project to catapult the label further; website, SEO, forum, packages, sales, mobile app, etc. People for one reason or another couldn’t see my vision at first so I created it and showed them what I was talking about and the best and brightest I met along the way from Adam T Young (without whom I wouldn’t have ever even known to combine those sides of me into one or found the way too keep experiencing life rather than be on numb autopilot churning out lyrics to teach preach and heal) to DjayyCharliee (who helped the formation by being as workaholic as myself and Adam) to those we met at our previous label or lost touch with. Everyone is now where they are supposed to be and we have everyone and everything we need to take over and take back this music, culture and lifestyle for the artist and the community.
Could you share with us some industry insights?
Network network network. Start local and build global. Take every opportunity that comes your way don’t sit there waiting to somehow be discovered or seen. Make yourself unmissable by performing at any local event or open mic night etc. Don’t be afraid of what could go wrong because that’s what you need to build off to make it go right. Don’t pay for the appearance of likes.
Everyone knows a good PR campaign is necessary to make any legitimate attempt at making it in any industry and more so than usual in the music industry.
Everybody also knows that good PR campaigns are not cheap running at an average of tens of thousands of dollars.
So what do artists do when they cant afford it?
They cut corners and end up spending $5 here and $10 there for for some cheap freelance site gig from a dude in sri lanka who they hope is really sending their quickly or cheaply made bio or epk out to who he says he is while they spend another $20 to $100 on fake views and likes and fans not realizing this is actually stopping them from being able to reach any actual fans who may purchase their music because of the way social media sites regulate how many people are actually seeing what you put out there
They spend years essentially paying for the mirage of a fandom which is blocking anyone who would be a real fan from seeing them thereby paying for their own isolation from the market.
If you had a shoe company you wouldn’t spend all your time and money making shoe after shoe for actors you pay to play clients would you?
Of course not. not only would you be losing rather than making money your shoes would not even be appreciated and you would have no time to spend on looking for or seeing real clients
But if you build the idea of a clientele and that image somehow translating into real clients is all you have you are going to find yourself desperately trying not to lose it and continuing to pay to play till you run out of money and creative drive.
So what’s the alternative when you cant afford real pr and you can’t afford not to have real PR? Us. We include various legitimate pr campaigns in every package so there is help for everyone even if you only have a few hundred to invest in your career.
You will be assigned an experienced project manager who will coordinate your PR, Radio PR, Social Media Pro, Spotify advertising, VEVO and Store Promo campaigns.
What are some important lessons you’ve learnt about entrepreneurship?
You have to believe in yourself, ignore evrything else and keep working until your dream becomes your reality. Not achieving it right away isnt a sign you should quit its a sign post showing you the way to go further towards success so you never have to or want to quit.
Any tips of advice for achieving success?
You already know what to do, stop letting doubt and fear tell you that you aren’t ready, as soon as you do that you will be.