Shawn Prez – CEO of Power Moves Inc.

Former VP of Bad Boy Records, CEO of Power Moves Inc. Exclusive Interview

Prez is a South Bronx native who began his career as an intern at Bad Boy Entertainment and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming Vice President of Marketing & Promotions. Leveraging his innate understanding of core marketing, brand fundamentals, and creativity, Prez moved on to launch Power Moves Incorporated (PMI), a marketing and promotions company. Known for innovative, authentic, high profile marketing programs, PMI became the premier agency responsible for highly successful political marketing campaigns like Vote or Die that positioned the agency, particularly Shawn Prez, as a highly sought-after asset election years. Prez also founded Global Spin Awards. Aired on Revolt TV, the award show is often referred to as “the Grammys for DJs” and is celebrated globally by artists and industry heavy-weights. Here we have an exclusive interview with the mogul-minded businessman, who speaks about his early years, success habits, and more. 

Shawn Prez with DJ Khaled, Tami Roman & Tami’s daughter Jazz at the Global Spin Awards

1. How did it all begin, what is your story?

I’m a regular kid born and raised in the south Bronx of New York City.

I was not the best student, but I thought I was a better student than I was. The New York public school system sucked, but it wasn’t until I was at an integrated college I realised how academically behind I was.

Where I didn’t excel in academics, I had this overwhelming drive to be successful. I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Somewhere along my college years, I decided to drop out. For no other reason than the fact that I knew whatever it was God wanted me to do, it was not there at that time on that college campus. So I left school and did much soul-searching.

I walked the earth. I looked at everything under the sun as an occupation, while I was doing that I enrolled in a local college that somebody told me about. I took one internship didn’t get a job. Two internships didn’t get a job fast forward, and I finally got a job at my fifth internship.

It was an upstart company called Bad Boy Records and was run by a man named Sean Puffy Combs.

The world has come to know him as Diddy, Brother Love, and every other name that he has had.

I helped him build that label, Sean John, and Ciroc Vodka. I branched out and created a marketing and promotions company called Power Moves Inc, and we have worked with many companies. Fortune 500 companies like McDonald’s, some of our current clients are Black Lives Matter, and Metro by T-Mobile. We have many clients under our belt, and we specialise in grassroots and alternative marketing.

Now my life’s assignment is to give back and help inspire and motivate entrepreneurs, supporting people who are seeking entrepreneurship as a career choice.

2. So what is keeping you busy right now?

My marketing company Power Moves Inc, we started it 20 years ago. It specialises in grassroots and alternative marketing. What does that mean? It is anything that’s not traditional. When you think of conventional, you think radio and TV advertisements, we are on the ground, we’re in your face, with ambassadors, and we do lots of influencer marketing. We get deep into urban America and specialise in reaching urban consumers because we are urban consumers. We understand how they think, how they work, what they do in their downtime. We help corporations tailor their message to reach urban consumers to accept it, so it doesn’t come across like traditional marketing, allowing them to speak the consumer’s language.

The second part of what keeps me busy is what I’m doing now interviews, travelling up in down the country, speaking to corporate America, speaking at local college campuses. I’m passionate about entrepreneurship, encouraging people to go out and build businesses from the ground up.

3. Being an entrepreneur myself in the UK, I found it isn’t comfortable doing things the first time, I read that you had an awards ceremony. For the past four years, I have been doing an awards ceremony in the Southwest UK. There was no ceremony celebrating our music, our entrepreneurship, or our creativity. It was very separated. I knew we needed a platform to honour the creatives and entrepreneurs doing great work in our community. Since I’ve started, there are now many people in my city doing what I’m doing. What advice would you get an entrepreneur like myself because when you’re the first, it feels like you get all the daggers and all the doubt, so what would you say to an entrepreneur who needs to stay motivated and focused on their vision?

Excellent question I will break it down into parts, let’s talk about my Global Spin Awards, it’s an award ceremony that celebrates DJs. It was the first of its kind in the USA. You have the Grammys for recording artists; you have the Oscars – the Academy Awards which celebrates actors, behind the music was the DJs. They were the people breaking the records, but there was no organised ceremony that’s ever honoured them. No one gave them the credit they deserved, so my team at Power Moves Inc decided to go out there and create the ceremony. On the surface, we thought it would be a great idea because it was never done before. There was a hole in the marketplace, and there was a need. Getting into it, we found what you were talking about, so many people didn’t believe, and many people thought because it doesn’t exist, there must be a reason why it didn’t exist. Maybe some felt DJs are not as important as my team, and I believed they were.

So I will say to any entrepreneur and visionary, nobody will see your dream until you bring it into reality. That is why entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs; they can look fear in the face and decide to march forward. To entrepreneurs out there; if you have a vision in your head, you can’t expect people to buy into it. Most people are not visionary; many people are followers, entrepreneurs are leaders by nature, so you have to go out there make people believe. The way you make people believe is you have to build this thing, in my case, it was the Global Spin Awards for the DJs, year after year we kept growing and making it bigger and bigger. It took three years before even some of the DJs themselves started to embrace us.

You would think the DJ’s themselves would embrace us from day one…no!

Some did, but a vast majority didn’t come on board until year three, but it’s because the vision was in my head. I had to build it so they can see my vision, and then eventually they came on-board. So whatever it is you guys are doing, I would say if God puts an idea in your head, he did it for a reason. You can build it now, whether you get the support of your family, peers, and industry or not. It is your job to go out there and make it into a tangible, visible reality, and as you do that, you will start to get support. More time, it will be supporters who don’t know you, it will be people you didn’t tell about your idea, they will come along and give you to push that you need to continue to go forward.

All your family, friends and people you thought should have been supporting you from the beginning will start to come on board because they will see this is real. Just keep marching forward.

It is no one else’s responsibility to see your vision; it is your responsibility to make them see your vision building it from an idea in your head to a real tangible, visible reality.


There is a wonderful saying I live by from the series Chicken Soup For The Soul by Jack Canfield; he says, “you are not given a dream unless you have the capacity to fulfill it.” Think about that for a second, that’s kind of what I was alluding to earlier, if God puts a dream in your head he puts a vision in your head you are special just because God chose you out of the millions of people on planet Earth. Whether it’s there in the UK or here in the states, it doesn’t matter if you are homeless, feel you don’t have the skillset, or don’t have a job, it was given to you because you can fulfill it. Your journey has led you to now creating this magazine. It doesn’t matter if you come from a journalism background or majored in communications, none of that matters. You were chosen and given the vision. Now it is your duty to go out there and see this vision through.

To any entrepreneurs reading this, if you have a vision in your head, count yourself unique. A lot of people out there don’t even have dreams. They are not the chosen ones. You have to understand if God gave you this is dream, even if you think you’re not ready for it. It is your duty to go out and bring it to life by showing the world your vision.

4. Do you believe you have to be an individualist to be successful?

I don’t believe you have to be an individualist because everyone can’t be a chief. We need some Indians; I am pro-entrepreneurship that’s just who I am, but many successful people have never been entrepreneurs, and they don’t aspire to be an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs are type A personalities, we have these grand visions, and we are willing to put in the work. Still, you cannot build a successful empire by yourself. It would help if you had other individuals whose role is to be the wingman; their purpose is to be executors of your vision and dreams. There are tons of highly successful and wealthy people who are not entrepreneurs, but they’ve worked alongside entrepreneurs and have worked within companies. They have done well-creating wealth for themselves. Don’t ever believe you have to be an individualist or an entrepreneur to be successful. You can be successful in working within a company. There are millions of hugely successful and wealthy people who have never branched out.

Mogul Magazine

I can agree with what you’re saying. I found that I’ve always been a great team player throughout my life, and it has prepared me to do what I’m doing today. I’ve developed my skills being a great team player and working in a supportive role.

Yes, to be a great leader at some point, it is a must that you were a great follower. It helps if you were a great student before you can graduate and become a teacher.

So don’t have this thing in your head where you think I have to be an entrepreneur. I have to be a boss; there is a lot that comes with this thing. Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Once you are the boss, a lot comes with that, but if you were a great student by the time you become the teacher, you’re in a better position. You have watched successful people and walked the walk, you have been in different situations, and now you know what to do.

The failure rate for new businesses is somewhere between 70 to 80%. I think some of the reasons so many companies fail is that most people never wanted to be great students before then stepped out there and became teachers.

Shawn Prez on the Breakfast Club

5. What are you passionate about outside of Business?

My passion has always been in Business the same way some people are passionate about sports or video games. My passion since I was young has always been Business. The heroes that I looked up to are entrepreneurs and people who had built businesses from the ground up. My real passion is Business; I could talk about this subject all day and night.

But as you get a little older, you start to realise our greatest commodity is time. There is no substitute. All of us have the same 24 hours in the day; we all have the same 24 hours, so now Business and entrepreneurship is my passion, but my family comes first. Because I realised that I’m getting older, I’m not always going to be here; I need as much quality time to make as many memories as humanly possible. I’m so sorry God, he is still my number on. I acknowledge him and mention him in any conversation because any success that I have had, and will ever have I attribute to him wholeheartedly. I’m just a kid from the South Bronx; there’s nothing special about me. I give all praise and credit to God; he gave me a good work ethic and a semi-intelligent brain. I’m a little analytical and a lot strategic. Number one God, number two-family and work is number three.

6. What are two habits that have served you well throughout your career?

I don’t know if there habits, but I have personality traits that have served me well, one of which would be I’ve always been a leader. I was put into this role when I was very young. Born and raised by my single mother, my mum is the most beautiful woman; she is the strongest person I have ever met on earth. I love her dearly. I had lots of brothers and sisters. I had to be the father we did not have within our household, so I think I have natural leadership skills. From a very young age, I felt that I had to step up and be the man of the house. I think that’s one personality trait that has helped me.

2 is work ethic; people get this confused; you cannot have success without it. I have an incredible work ethic I don’t care how brilliant you are or how many resources you have, you may come from wealth or be the smartest person in the world, but if you were lazy and unwilling to put in the time you won’t succeed.

If 5 o’clock means I am shutting down, I do not want to think about work until tomorrow morning the odds are you are not going to be successful. I have always had an extreme work ethic, so what I lack in terms of education, not being born into wealth or access to financial resources, I made up for it with a work ethic, a willingness, and an openness to learn by being a student of the game until I felt I was educated enough to become the teacher. Overall its leadership and work ethic.

7. To date, what achievement are you most proud of?

Overall in life, I would say my son will always be my most outstanding achievement from a personal standpoint and as a human being.

From a business standpoint, I don’t have one, in particular, what I am doing now with the public speaking and giving back. I know that this will ultimately be my most incredible legacy because my dream is to give back, educate and inspire entrepreneurs, and success seekers. Even if I never meet them, they will say that guy Shawn Prez, I used to listen to him or read an article, heard his interview, and he inspired me to go out there and believe in myself. I took a gamble because he gave me the courage to stop saying the grass is greener on the other side, and look within myself to understand that everything I needed to succeed was always within me. I was so busy focused on looking at other people I didn’t look in the mirror and say I may not have what they have but what God equipped me with is enough, I am more than enough.

When my journey is over, I pray my legacy is that I have touched millions of people and encouraged them to go out there and believe in themselves.

Outside of that, I can say building a company from the ground up not once but twice. Two multi-million-dollar businesses, that’s incredible to me. I can say working alongside Sean Diddy Combs, Helping him create several multi-million dollar businesses that have been incredible for me. I can say making the Global Spin Awards, something that did not exist. We thought of the name and the concept. Bringing it to a level where some of the biggest names in the music industry not only attended but look forward to being in a part of every year has been a fantastic achievement.

Shawn Prez & Music Mogul Diddy

8. Who influenced you in Business?

My mentor has been Sean Diddy Combs, I have known him since his early 20s. I’ve worked alongside him; I see what it takes to be successful not because I read it, but because I lived it, and I’ve watched somebody have an extreme work ethic. I spoke about my work ethic, but his work ethic is intense I had the chance to sit in meetings and in board rooms at negotiating tables and see a master at work, so I would have to say, Sean Diddy Combs.

From afar, I would say people like Oprah Winfrey, I may disagree with how she treats the rap community at times, but I can respect how she’s created a platform to uplift and shine a different light on black people. To give honour to black entertainers and black executives that came before her, she does with her Legends Ball; I love that about her. She is well-spoken and articulate; she is a great role model—other people like Russell Simmons, another great role model for me. I like nontraditional because I don’t identify with the corporate suit and tie wearing execs, that’s never been who I am. Again I’m the kid from South Bronx; I was raised in the hood. I can’t be anything other than who I am. I genuinely love people who are unapologetically themselves and have figured out a way to become successful and not conform to society, making society work to them.

I can’t forget my idol in a real-life who is Mr Muhammad Ali; I love so much of what he represented and how he stood up for his people. I would like to believe I’m cut from the same cloth. I love the fact that he was willing to lose everything for what he believes in. That is vital; you have to believe in something; you have to have conviction about something that you can give everything up because your principles mean more to you than fame, celebrity, and wealth. He exemplifies that I would have to put him at the top of the list.

9. If there was one Business, You wish you created what would it be and why?

I wish I had created Def Jam Records, coming from the entertainment industry. I know what Def Jam Records means to Hip-Hop and the music industry. It was a cultural shift that gave people all over the world a glimpse into what it meant to be young Black, and American. To see people overseas really appreciate and adopt our culture. People are listening to our music, but more importantly, loving in our culture.

From their fashion and style to the slang, there were record labels before Def Jam and record labels after, but he made Hip-Hop mainstream; Russell Simmon’s shoes would have been a great run for me. That’s the one that sticks out for me.

10. Where can you see the Power Moves Empire being in 10 years?

At Power Moves Inc, our goal is to reach a bare minimum of one hundred million people, from speaking to my teaching, and putting out more online courses to help people learn what it takes to succeed. For my corporation to reach at the bare minimum 100 million people, but in terms of myself – I identify with something you said earlier – I built a career from behind-the-scenes, everybody knows Power Moves Inc. and the Global Spin Awards. This part of my life requires me, Shawn Prez, to come from behind the brand, people know the brands they might know my name and know I was the CEO, but they didn’t know my face. I was not the voice piece for those brands. The work that I am doing now requires me to step from behind the shadows. It’s me mentoring, consulting, teaching, and educating generations of success seekers and entrepreneurs. So in 10 years, I will be the most significant motivational speaker on planet EarthEarth. When you think about entrepreneurship, especially within the black community in the mainstream world, my name will be synonymous.

I know that God ordained this to me; it wouldn’t be my vision if I couldn’t fulfil it.

In ten years when you are on top of the world and Mogul Magazine is killing it. We will do a follow-up interview. You’re going to say Sean; you did it; you are the number one speaker on EarthEarth.

11.What are your thoughts on the entertainment industry for the black community? Do you think we need ownership?

I have this conversation often, now if any white people are reading this, please don’t take it the wrong way. We as a people, black people we have been held down oppressed, set up to fail for generations. We have not been put into positions to create wealth since we were brought to this country in shackles. We are hundreds of years behind our white counterparts in terms of financial literacy. What do you do when you have the money? That is why you see so many athletes and people that have made money squander it away. They don’t know how to set their money out, so it works for them in the future. Its because we are 1-2 generations, as a global people who are allowed to make and create wealth. We are still trying to figure out financial literacy.

I know you asked about entertainment, but for me, for black people, it starts with financial education.

In the past, we never needed financial education or financial literacy because we didn’t have any money, were born poor and died poor, and we left our families with nothing.

We’re getting a little better, but all of us need to be more educated about what to do with our money, so once we get it we can create generational wealth just like our white counterparts. That’s number one.

I’m 6ft4 I never wanted to be a basketball player or athlete, rap music was booming, and I worked alongside some of the biggest and best rappers and R&B singers in the world, but I never aspired to be one. I was always comfortable behind-the-scenes being a businessman. I think our people, whether it’s entertainment or not, can create wealth and have successful businesses without being in front of the camera. You don’t need to bounce a basketball or hit the ball out of the park to succeed. God gave you your brain, your heart, and instinct – use it.

Stop aspiring to put gold chains around your neck and learning how to rap. Some people have never rapped a lyric in their life or dunked a ball, and they are incredibly successful. So identify with your gifts and put that into motion to create your success. To answer your question, number one is financial literacy, number two; you don’t always have to be the talent you can be the business brains behind the talent and be wealthy, creating generational wealth.

12. What would you say are the elements for your success?

You have to believe it starts within. Talking to so many different people, many don’t see themselves wealthy. They can’t envision themselves as wealthy. It all begins with a deep-rooted belief in yourself.

Successful people are no more human than me.

We breathe the same air; we got two eyes and a nose, we’re human. They’re not superhuman, maybe people with different gifts than I have, but we all have unique talents. A vast majority of successful people believe in themselves. The same way I told you to talk to me in 10 years, and I will be the most significant motivational speaker on earth. I believe that there is nothing nobody can tell me to make me not feel that.

There’s somebody else in this space or any other space that no matter how talented they are, they could probably run circles around me – they can’t see themselves at the level that I see myself. You have to be able to see yourself and honestly believe you can do it. Everything you need to do it, you already possess.

13. What can we expect from you over the next year?

Covid-19 I’m sure is affecting the UK just as much as it’s affecting the USA.

I want to send my deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones or been affected by Covid throughout this period. I decided for myself while in quarantine a few months ago that I’m going to make this time work for me. I was not going to be the person that re-emerged into society 10-15lbs overweight. I don’t want to be well-rested and accomplish nothing; that was not going to be how I made this time served me.

So I did something I always wanted to do, which was work on my first book. I am a couple of weeks from completing my first book. Every week, at least two or three times a week, I have interviewed people for my podcast. I’m having deep-dive discussions with successful entrepreneurs and high-level executives not just on their successes but also on the road they travelled to get there.

My marketing company has not missed a beat, we have continued to work, what we can’t do on the ground we do virtually.

I am probably in better health because I spent much time exercising and being focused on my eating. I did not use it to put my feet up just because I don’t have to go into the office.

Lastly, I don’t care if you’re locked up in a cell right now. No experience in your life is wasted. It is divine; now, what you do with your experience is on you. We are not randomly put into positions; everything you have done, everything you will ever do, is like the spiderweb. It all comes together to lead you to that main thing that God put you here on this earth to do. You have to figure out what that thing is.

I don’t care if you’re working a dead-end job, if you are unemployed or in a cell, you’re in that position to learn something. Stop thinking you’re just wasting time or wasting your life. You’re going to a dead-end job learning nothing; there is something there for you to learn. That’s number one.

Number two is for any entrepreneur out there; the theory is 70% to 80% fails. Failure is part of the process. Someone needs to read this, you started a business, and it didn’t work out. The goal is to get back on the horse and not give up. If you can look back over your experiences and see it didn’t work is because of X, Y, and Z, now I’m going to fix these problems, get back on the horse and do it again the right way. You will see that was an experience you were supposed to go through because now you are wiser, more educated, and have more experience than the first time you tried it.

Don’t give up on yourself; keep going, keep chasing your dreams. If you like conversations like this, you can find me on the links below.





Leave a Reply


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)