(AllHipHop Features) Since being invited to join the touring family of the Legendary Roots Crew back in 1999, Tina hasn’t looked back, amassing a client list that has included some of music’s hottest acts including Lil’ Wayne, Fergie, The Black Eyed Peas, Nicki Minaj, Queen Latifah, Jill Scott, Maxwell, and Mayer Hawthorne just to name a few. After her humble beginnings, she managed the highest grossing tour in the history of Hip-Hop, Lil’ Wayne’s AMERICA’S MOST WANTED TOUR. The following year, she hit the road with The Black Eyed Peas, guiding the group through 15 countries, 76 cities and 99 sold out shows before 1.3 million attendees, grossing more than $86 million dollars along the way. In 2011, she rejoined Lil’ Wayne when he and Nicki Minaj headed out on the I AM STILL MUSIC TOUR. Currently, she’s using her masterful skills to guide the elusive D’Angelo during his critically-acclaimed comeback run in Europe and the United States.
Since then she’s acquired 2016 Grammy nominated cult classic band The Internet as well as award-winning gospel duo Mary Mary and newcomer and already a hit TY Dolla $ign.
It doesn’t take much to see that Tina’s ability to reach across genres while managing tours of all sizes gets results. Her ability to iron out even the most minute details, while also diplomatically leading her clients through unexpected snafus. The occasional political unrest has made her one of the industry’s most successful touring experts. While many adjectives could be used to describe Tina—determined, unapologetic, astute and intrepid, just to name a few—one word that won’t be used to describe her anytime soon is conventional. Life on the road is not for the faint at heart, but Tina manages to make it look easy by juggling a hefty load complete with rained out stadiums, declined credit cards, strip searches, sexist promoters, antagonistic customs officers, demanding wives and everything in between.
Ms. Tina Farris truly shows grace under pressure handling some of the most impeccable tours in the world. In between scheduling these exclusive tours, she took some time to connect with AllHipHop to talk work, life and being a leader in the music industry.
AllHipHop: Could you explain what your job entails:
Tina Farris: I provide Innovative, strategic, proactive and resourceful tour and production management with expertise in producing small, intimate concerts to multi-million dollar, dynamic entertainment experiences globally on behalf of world-renowned artists in the music industry
AllHipHop: What’s the most enjoyable part of the job and your duties:
Tina Farris: The reveal of the show. The moment the first note is played and the lights go up.
AllHipHop: What is the hardest part:
Tina Farris: Early morning lobby calls.
AllHipHop: Can you describe a moment of adversity personal and in your career?
Tina Farris: My hardest moment of adversity was deciding whether or not to have a family. It’s a career that you are married to.
AllHipHop: What keeps you from giving up?
Tina Farris: I love live music and traveling. Your managing satiates both my wanderlust and my ear.
AllHipHop: Who inspired you to become a leader or boss in the industry?
Tina Farris: Harvey Fuqua – my grandfather – who was a songwriter, producer and A&R for Motown put the touring bug in me. Richard Nichols, manager of the Roots, who gave me the chance and taught me how to finesse the industry as one of the sole women, let alone African Americans, on this side of management. But who showed me how to be a boss, and still does, is my grandmother Big Tina Farris. She pulls no punches.
AllHipHop: How do you balance work and personal life?
Tina Farris: The most difficult tight-rope walk ever. I’m still managing. But I found a teammate and a partner who doesn’t mind my brand of crazy. That’s the key.
AllHipHop: What do you like to do for fun?
Tina Farris: I like decorating my house and driving up the PCH.
AllHipHop: What does it mean to you to be a powerful woman and a boss in the urban music and hip-hop industry?
Tina Farris: It means that you have to have pretty tough skin and a hairdresser in every town. There’s a particular brand of misogyny in hip-hop and I’ve tried hard not to allow it to permeate my life. Nevertheless, sometimes it wins. I curse like a sailor and it’s not easy to pull anything over on me. The toughest part is knowing when to let it slide or when to tell someone about themselves. I’ve learned to be strategic based on my end game.
AllHipHop: Any final Thoughts or words of advice?
Tina Farris: Tour managing is not for the faint of heart. You must be a logistical wizard not only for your clients but for your personal goals as a woman in this one life. Plan accordingly.