Run It Up has been responsible for countless viral hits and has accumulated hundreds of millions of streams over the past few years and generated more than seven billion streams total. Currently, they have multiple viral hits including Moone Walker’s “Lizzo.”
Citi’s journey in music actually started much more spontaneously than the calculated moves he makes today. “I tell people all the time, it’s important to do a good deed,” the music exec and A&R explained to DX. “[There was this] young lady that was pregnant in my math class in college and she would miss a lot of days; so I would always grab her work.
“Her baby’s father actually end up being a record executive. He owned a studio in town on the plaza and he was very thankful of me doing what I did. So he was like, ‘Hey, look man, I got a video shoot for my group. For every person that you get to come, bring out to the video I give you X amount dollars,’ right? It might have been like $5 a head because I was a cool kid on campus.”
Citi pulled up to the video shoot with 1,000 people. He may not have actually made $5,000 that day, but it was the spark he needed to pursue event planning in Atlanta.
He went to a friend of his who had just received his liquor license at a local strip club, and asked if he could throw shows there on Mondays, its least busiest night. However, while most clubs rarely pop off on a Monday night, ATL is also known for its Magic City Mondays. “I’m the only crazy person to go up against the biggest night in the city” Citi said.
He began to go up against the popular Magic City night with his own open mic nights called “Celebrity Mondays.” Eventually, he was able to secure top tier talent to pull up to his parties and helped break new artists through the club.
“When the girls would change or in between sets, I would let an artist get up and perform,” Citi recalled. “And that became my passion at that moment; I realized I wanted to be in the new artist, artist development [game]. Because I just got that passion from seeing that spark of the artist when they see one person in the crowd rocking out to their shit; so that let’s me know that there is power in promotion. There is power in finding things that are talented and exposing the world to it.”
Eventually, Citi, who was out looking for new talent to break, stumbled across a group named Fast Life Yungstaz who were promoting a song called “Swag Surfin’.”
Citi first heard the song at a college bar when it was a bubbling underground cut and instantly recognized its potential to be something greater. “As soon as the beat drops every kid in the club jumps up,” he recalled. “I promise you the roof lifts off the club. It was the most magical music moment I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Citi later secured the group a record deal with LA Reid. From there, he continued to push forward new artists and find his niche within the crowded music industry.
Today, Run It Up Records is a premiere independent label that continues to break young artists through the power of music and social media — check out more info here.