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Via: Allhiphop

When Tony Neal first founded the Core DJ’s and began planning for the Core DJ’s Retreat, it was originally designed to be for independent artists. It has grown dramatically since.

Remaining focused on independent acts, while gaining the attention of the music industry professionals across the board, and now in its 13th retreat, the Core DJ’s retreat kicks off today (November 11th).

The retreat starts with pre-party hosted Brick Squad/Mizay Ent./Furious Ent., featuring Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka, OJ Da Juiceman, Bo Deal, Ray Rizzy and Muffy.

Amidst the busy schedule that he and his team planned, Tony took the time to explain that he is looking to create a family environment that encourages artists and DJ to build relationships.

“It was really designed for independent artists at first, and it just grew and we saw the need for it to grow with national artists as well, so we kind of designed it as a bigger situation than networking, that’s why we call it a retreat,” Tony Neal told in an exclusive interview.

“Its not called conference because it’s not corporate. I think anything that is a conference is corporate. We call it a retreat because its corporate based, but its kind of mixed and it’s a little bit more relaxed and it’s really to get the artist and DJ relationships better. They come in and meet each other and have a better understanding of how each other operate, you know what I’m saying?” Tony Neal told

In many ways this allows for DJ’s to grow their businesses and get jobs in other places and allows artists to connect with grassroots DJ’s who are crucial to the development of a hit record.

When asked about what development he has seen amongst the retreats attendees over the years, Tony said, “A lot of DJ grow and get jobs outside of their own market.”

Tony also added that, “a lot of DJ’s skills are increased, and they get to bump shoulders with artists that they haven’t gotten to see and artists get a chance to talk to DJ’s they haven’t seen. It’s really like a big family situation. That’s what its designed for.”

Tony strongly believes that when DJ’s and industry tastemakers are more relaxed they are more likely to be receptive to someone playing their record, as opposed to approaching an industry in an inappropriate situation.

“When you are more relaxed with somebody you will be more apt to play their record or you know how to approach a DJ at a B and C market, verses going right at the A market DJ,” Tony Neal explained. “Because B and C market DJ’s really start the records off first, unless you have particular situations, like big record breakers, like Drama or other people like that. But really you want to start the records off on a testing level with the B and C market DJ’s, and we have a lot of A DJ’s and B DJ’s, but we really want everyone who has the capability of breaking a record in one spot and all the independent artists that are going to be bigger on an national level who will be bigger later on in their career.”

While registration is still possible, those interested shouldn’t just go to see the artists that are booked at clubs or to speak or appear.

“We don’t book artists, but they come off from all angles Akon, Devine Stephens, its like everyone musically inclined comes. Not just artists, producers, writers, it’s everything, because the situation is bigger than just the artists, publicists, writers they all come too” Neal humbly clarified.

Those artists scheduled to appear include Diddy and Dirty Money, Ludacris, Dipset (Jim Jones, Camron, Juelz Santana, and Freaky Zeeky), DJ Drama, DJ Smalls, Lil’ Scrappy, Dorrough, Webbie Lil Phat, Jazzy Pha, Diamond, Trina, Cy High the Prince, Shawnna, Rocko, Shawty Lo, Tity Boi, , Mouse on the Track, Yung Berg and many more.

The retreat will include appearances from several record labels as well, including but not limited to Asylum, Universal, EM, Warner Music Group, Jive, Sony BMG, Atlantic, Cash Money Records, Columbia, Interscope and Poe Boy.

Those interested, who will be in the Atlanta, are encouraged to register for the Core DJ’s Retreat XIII online on the via their website at or by phone 877-333-9940 EXT 2.