The 20 most coveted Colorado music-industry jobs: The complete list with five new profiles
Nightclub Promoter (Francois Baptiste, 3Deep Productions)
Together with his partners Kevin Kain and Alvin Lacabe as 3Deep Productions, Francois Baptiste is one of Denver's top hip-hop promoters. He's promoted countless club nights in town over the years, and a few years back during All Star Weekend in Denver, he hosted some of the biggest names in hip-hop and basketball. Attending college at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Francois says, "I majored in chicks and parties."
At a frat party back when he was a student, he overheard someone say they needed a DJ, to which he replied, "We DJ!" Only problem was he wasn't. At the time, François and his buddy Damon Haggans, who was from the L.A. nightlife, had four total records between them, plus a subpar mixer and some turntables. Even so, it was good enough to turn that into a mobile DJ service on campus.
Raised in a small town, Denver was alluring to Baptiste. "I was in awe of the big city," he recalls, "and I came at a perfect time when hip-hop was still a burgeoning scene." Soon his college parties had turned into packed warehouse parties. Baptiste remembers when his life's ambition became clear. He was concert. "Literally you have a dream," he notes. "I was at McNichols at a concert and said 'I don't want to be here [in the crowd] no more. I want to be back there" -- there, as in backstage.
He was able to parlay the following he had established in Boulder to working on shows at the Fox Theatre. William Gully, who was working security at the Fox, introduced him to Don Strasburg at AEG, who enlisted his help throwing hip-hop shows. Baptiste's first show in 1993 was Common, the Beatnuts, Artifacts and Organized Confusion, which sold out, and he maintained a relationship with Strasburg.
Baptiste's daily workload consists of working with local hip-hop act, Foodchain, organizing weekly club nights, in addition to "making new relationships," as he puts in, and "checking up on old relationships. Making sure AEG urban events are promoted correctly."
"I love what I do and do what I love," he concludes. "Hip-hop is at its peak in Denver, and in the next five years, you will see some good stuff come out of Denver. Don't sleep on us." -- Antonio Valenzuela