We had the good fortune of connecting with Richard Murphy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Richard, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
in 2005, I had come to a cross road in my career. My contract at the company I was working for had come up for renewal. Many things had changed over the past three years. The atmosphere and culture I had come to love was falling apart due to infighting. In the aftermath, those left standing were absorbed into the entire concerts department. Before then we were our own Urban division of touring. When the contract was over, I’ll just say we parted ways amicably and I decided that instead of going to another agency, i would start a management company w/ my cousin and budding stand up comedian Charlie Murphy as my first client. It seemed like a no brainer to me.
What should our readers know about your business?
I think what sets me apart from others is the fact that in my heart of hearts, I’m an actor, a singer, a comedian and performer. That part of me stays pretty much locked up but parts of it do come out on occasion. I feel this allows me to see what’s special in others. As a singer, I can hear the special quality of someones voice and know what the consumer will be drawn to. As someone who’s family is comedy royalty, I know i know a good or great comic when I see one. It’s in my blood. But also, it’s my relationships w/ people. I don’t work with people just to make money. I develop strong bonds with the people I do business with. Thats just how I move. I love to work with people that I actually like as people.
Ive learned relationships are key and nurturing those relationships even when there’s nothing to gain. I’ve learned having your paperwork in order is key. When it’s in black & white, it’s easier to defend or resolve a dispute.
I got to where I am by just doing the work. Whatever the job required, I was of the mind state that I would do whatever I needed to do to accomplish the goal. “It’s not my job” isn’t in my vocabulary. If I have to carry a bag to make things move along, I grab that bag. I make that call or send that email. I’m a team player. I want my team to always win.
I feel like my brand or story is something I leave for my kids to pick up the ball and continue. My family is unique and I can see the talents in strength in the ones before me, passed down to me and my siblings and their seeds and so on and so forth. I want the Murphy name to continue to mean great things in entertainment. I want Emancipated Talent to stand for what it’s always meant to me. Freedom. Freedom to do what ever it is you want to do. To not be contained to one box. I started out as an agent, then became a manager, then became a producer and tour manager. I wear many hats and they’re all spawned from one or the other so it remains organic for me.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Atlanta Area? Or my area? I’m originally from Brooklyn NY and now living in Texas. If I was still in NY, id say let’s meet in the city and catch a play on or off broadway but before we did, let’s have a meal at my favorite Italian spot Carmines on 44th and Broadway, right around the corner from the theater district. If theater isn’t your thing, maybe we could hang out in Soho and have some Caribean cuisine at Ms Lilly’s. I’ve never been much of a club hopper except for when it cam eto work and having to be in those rooms to be seen. The next day, breakfast at Cafeteria and then a visit to the Museum of Natural history or the Hip Hop Museum.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My career in this business started when my older brother Ray Murphy, Jr. set me up w/ an interview at ICM to join their Agent Training Program. After being hired and serving 6 months in the mailroom, I was introduced to the contracts department where 2 women, Maureen and Wendy taught me how to issue contracts for concerts. After r a stint with them i sat on the desk of Mark Cheatham, my mentor who runs his division at CAA this very day. And of course a host of other artist’s and managers along the way who helped carve out milestones in my career.