Just B Polo, IMC’s 2014 Artist Showcase winner, captured the hearts of fans and the favor of expert judges. But before he made it to that life-changing performance in Atlanta, GA, Just B Polo was among the ranks of a million other young and ambitious artists hungry for a chance to shine.
As a 20-year-old rapper from Long Island, NY, Just B Polo heard about The International Music Conference through a friend who frequented the music scenes of Atlanta. When asked what made him sign up for the showcase Just B Polo replied, “I think I was told through a friend that lives down in Atlanta. He told me about all the industry people that would be involved and I defiantly [sic] wanted to be apart [sic] of that.” The mention of the IMC industry insiders that would be in attendance was more than enough to confirm Just B Polo’s intuition that this event was one he couldn’t afford to miss.
In anticipation of the competition showdown, he submitted his information online and began preparing for the showcase. Focusing on perfecting and polishing every aspect of his performance, from showmanship all the way to dictation of each rhyme, Just B Polo knew he only had one chance to get it right.
“I was surprised because I didn’t think I was going to win… I never did a show where you actually get critiqued by judges after the show and a winner that gets awards.”
After feeling the euphoria of performing and the exhilarating energy of the room, the excitement was short-lived and it was time to hear the criticism. Although he was nervous to hear their initial responses, he was ready to embrace their suggestions. When asked about the most memorable piece of critique he received, Just B Polo explained how the judges felt his stage presence was the area that needed the most improvement. He has implemented those changes by stating, “Now when I do shows I go out with more confidence and I try to interact more with the crowd, like jump in the crowd. It was definatly [sic] good advice.”
Among a few other small details, criticism was not all the judges wanted to say to Just B Polo because they later announced that he was the grand prize winner. Just B Polo admitted, “I was surprised because I didn’t think I was going to win… I never did a show where you actually get critiqued by judges after the show and a winner that gets awards.”
Since winning the showcase Just B Polo has been continuing to master his craft. “I’ve been doing a lot more shows and that was one of my first shows. I recently put out an album on July 1st and have been shopping that around in the industry. Just trying to build a fan base.” As far as his meeting with the A&R the IMC set him up with he explained they have been “talking extensively” about his music career. He is extremely hopeful for collaborations in the future. For up-coming artists looking to attend the IMC Just B Polo advises“just be social because you never know how important someone is until you meet them. The more people you meet the more opportunities you will have.