One of the biggest problems with the music business (or any business, for that matter) is that you’re never quite sure who you can trust. People talk a lot; the difference is some can back up their talk, while others simply can’t.
And other times, not only can they not back it up – they go to the extreme to create an entire façade.
One of those frauds is Antoine Keane a.k.a “Dominic Edmonds”.
I got contacted by Antoine Keane a couple months ago about doing some consultation work for his independent label, SRB/WongGee Records. He claimed to have distribution with Warner Music and that he had some family inheritance which he’s invested into his company (he claims to be the son of Babyface’s brother, Kevon Edmonds).
Obviously, I hear people run their mouths often, so to be honest, I didn’t really pay this guy much mind at first – but he continued to hound me, so I finally decided to take a call.
After speaking to him for 15-20 minutes, I grew even more suspicious about him and his character.
I know some trust fund babies who share similar characteristics with this guy (they talk a lot… A LOT) but sometimes actually do have capital to invest in their ideas. I really wasn’t sure how to read him, but I figured I would give him the benefit of the doubt.
Anyhow, over the next few weeks, while I still had some suspicions about him, some of what he was saying was actually checking out. Antoine Keane told me Lacey Schwimmer from ABC‘s “Dancing With The Stars”, is making her music debut and that he had just signed her.
I didn’t believe him, until I noticed some press coverage announcing her signing to his new label, WMS/WongGee, as well as video of her in the studio with him (he’s the skinny kid sitting down eating chicken). That offered me some proof that maybe – just maybe – this guy checks out.
As some of you know, I decided to close my old business in September, so when Antoine Keane a.k.a Dominic Edmonds asked me again for consultation work, I told him I was no longer for hire. He insisted that I join his team and help him run things.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve been asked to help run an indie, but obviously given the fact that I had just closed my old business to focus on other goals, I refused his offer.
He continued to persist, hoping I would change my mind, but after realizing that I won’t budge, he asked if I could submit any tracks for Lacey’s project.
That’s when we really started talking.
I sent him a couple tracks (from some producers I work with) and after a few days, we agreed on a placement. After that, he started calling me every hour of every day.
If he couldn’t reach me by phone, he’d send me a message on Blackberry Messenger. If he couldn’t reach me on BBM, he would email me.
When we would talk, he never had any updates on the placement. No Producer Agreement, no recording itinerary, no payment – nothing.
He would try to keep me on the phone for as long as he could just to talk about random things. I got suspicious.
Is he just trying to find out more about me?
Does he suspect that I’m suspicious about him and he’s trying to break down the barrier?
What’s he doing?
Everytime I’d mention the paperwork for the placement, Antoine Keane would offer a new excuse and a new delay. Half of his excuses didn’t even make sense. I began to suspect maybe he’s just a rich kid who read one or two books about the music business and now wants to play “industry”.
I was extremely skeptical about the validity of Antoine Keane/Dominic Edmonds.
Then, I got an email from someone warning me about Antoine Keane, confirming all the suspicions I’ve had about him. I decided to take it a step further and contact a few others whom I knew he had been in touch with.
The second I brought up his name, they all reacted extremely, telling me their experience with this guy.
Fake distribution, fake assets, fake affiliations… fake bank accounts.
Let me repeat that once more – FAKE BANK ACCOUNTS!
Some of the affiliations Antoine Keane a.k.a Dominic Edmonds claims are Babyface, Kevin Liles, Rick Rubin, and Chris Lighty. He even registered an 800# which he’s set to display Chris Lighty’s name on the outgoing caller ID.
If you get a call from someone claiming to rep Chris Lighty – check your sources!
In the past week alone, I’ve been in touch with several others who have all been contacted by Antoine Keane a.k.a Dominic Edmonds (Antoine Keane probably isn’t even his real name either). They all share similar stories about his claims and their similar suspicions.
Fortunately, I wasn’t taken as many of the people I’ve been speaking with have been. I only lost time – others lost their money.
Babyface & Kevon Edmonds’ family don’t know of him. Kevin Liles & Chris Lighty never heard of him. None of his claims are real. Beware!
The music business is littered with snakes and trash-talkers, but it’s also a relatively small network, when discussing the people involved.
Everyone knows everyone.
And even those whom you don’t know – it’s usually not that difficult to get in touch with them. So when someone like Antoine Keane/Dominic Edmonds attempts to bamboozle others, we will find out – and we will air you out.
Sorry dude, game over.