Sha Money XL
- Label: Formerly Epic Records
- Major: Sony Music
- Industry: Entertainment
- Experience: 10+
Born in the 2-11-76 as Michael Clervoix, Sha Money XL is a first generation Haitian American; and like the majority of immigrants growing up in Queens NY, it was a struggle. “Being from Haiti makes it natural for me to do anything and everything to survive and strive for more,” the industry heavy weight explains. Sha was exposed to the drugs & crime which ran rampant through the streets in the 80’s; but more importantly, he was introduced to Hip-Hop. “Walking down Hollis and Jamaica Ave, seeing Run, Jam Master Jay and DMC in their Benz, being the first to ever go platinum and being from my stomping ground was a great inspiration to me,” Sha divulges. “I was surrounded by a lot of successful rappers, LL Cool J, Salt and Pepa, Onyx and industry vet Steve Stoute in my neighborhood which was very motivating.”
From an early age, Sha displayed an above average talent playing the piano. It was through this undeniable talent that at the age of 11, he preformed at the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York City. But when he hit his teens, Sha opted to trade in his 88 keys for two turntables and a microphone. He became a well respected DJ & M.C. in his neighborhood.
For all be it a brief period, Sha fell prey to the streets. The attraction of fast money and ‘hood respect replaced the appeal of the vinyl and the Mic he had once cherished. But 1996 saw Sha take some time for reflection and once again he was reunited with the talent he had abandoned. Trying to find himself, Sha went from DJ to producer/engineer during this time, spending countless hours’ fine tuning his skills.
Enrolling on a marketing course at NYU Sha was given the opportunity to intern at DEF JAM under Industry vet Julie Greenwald & JMJ Records. It was through his time at JMJ that Sha would meet and establish the foundations of a friendship with a young 50 Cent. Sha continued to work as a producer and to promote his talents, branding himself as he worked with Queens underground MC’s such as Cormega, Mobb Deep, Onyx and Tragedy. Success was always in Sha’s sights but just never in his reach.
50 Cent success
But after years of learning to understand and adapting to the politics rife within the music industry, Sha found himself working alongside 50 Cent again. “50 didn’t trust a lot of heads, so I had no choice but to fill in the blanks,” Sha divulges when talking of the duo’s working relationship. It was through his union with 50 that Sha got first hand experience at multi- tasking. “You have to be self made, self motivated and be able to multi task, as the industry will only move when they see, hear and believe in your passion,” he clarifies. He was the engineer, the A&R, the manager, the executive producer, & the guerilla marketer when he and Curtis Jackson commenced their attack on the music industry.
No job was too big for this burgeoning entrepreneur in preparing 50 Cent for his inevitable success. “We had a belief in each other, I was the ‘people’ person and he was the magnet that brought people in; I was the glue that maintained the relationships.” So needless to say it was during this period in time and through his unquestionable thirst for triumph and recognition that Sha Money XL emerged as one of the music industries hardest working personalities.
Bringing 50 Cent to the mainstream and having proved himself as a force to be reckoned with Sha Money XL was finally at a place where he could call the shots and determine his destiny. Working on branding G Unit globally as well as the Worlds biggest Hip-Hop icon came easy. After four years as the President of G Unit Records, overseeing over thirty million albums sold and directing the day to day lives of Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo and DJ Whoo Kid, it was time for the once producer to familiarize himself again in what he considers his safe haven; the studio.Throughout his tenure at G Unit, Sha had constantly maintained a balance of executive and producer. He Co-Executive produced and produced on the majority of the albums released through the label.