With our Industry Takeover Seminars starting again in April, at the all-new UD Talent House in east London, we take a minute to soak in the pearls of wisdom from some of our previous panellists. Read on for knowledge courtesy of Darcus Beese, Jasmine Dotiwala, Alex Boateng, Etta Bond and more…
Back in March 2015, UD did what they do best; bringing together a vast array of industry specialists and respected artists within the scene for Industry Takeover. We witnessed live performances by the likes of Etta Bond, Nick Brewer and Ghetts, a healthy yet close to the bone debate titled, ‘Grime 2.0’ featuring Chip, GRM Daily’s Posty and hosted by our very own grime warrior Chantelle Fiddy. Plus deeper insights into the world of record labels as esteemed broadcaster Jasmine Dotiwala delved into the background of Island Record’s then President, Darcus Beese in a frank discussion alongside the uniquely talented George The Poet. For anyone wanting to enter or even take the next steps in the music business, the information and opportunity to talk to those who have been there done that is truly a blessing.
We’ve rounded up some of the best quotes from artists and tastemakers in the UK music scene.
Why UD matters?
“[UD] is seriously important, to give people an understanding at a grass-roots level about what the expectations are of them in the early parts of their career. Being able to have people give feedback from all the different areas of the music business in one place, in one day, is amazing. The people that run UD are doing an absolutely fantastic job. That’s why I’ve got no issues about giving my time up.” Darcus Beese, former President, Island Records
“It’s really important that companies like UD exist, when I was younger, everyone on my peer level was trying to get involved in the industry; whether it was being front of stage or back of house, we just had no breaks. The great thing about UD is they have a huge base in the UK, especially in London, and east London specifically, educating young people about the creative arts industries, the be all and end all of contracts, negotiations and how music works. It’s a brilliant thing.” Jasmine Dotiwala, Broadcaster, producer and columnist.
“Industry Takeover – it’s good for people to be in this sort of environment, to be able to see people that are a few steps ahead and talk to them because I often think people think the grass is greener; sometimes it’s good to actually see the reality.” Etta Bond, Music Artist
“Events like [Industry Takeover] are massively important just to educate people because so many people want to get into the business but don’t know the truth and the reality. I think that it’s key that they are made aware of it before making that decision. I’m looking forward to giving people a bit of a reality because sometimes there’s a mystique around [the music industry] and just breaking it down, the record labels and the whole industry is usually relationships, resources and people.” Alex Boateng, former A&R and Marketing Manager, Island Records
“UD is important simply because of where we’re from and what we’re trying to do, there’s definitely a lot you need to learn. I’ve been in this industry and just had to learn as I go along and sometimes you make a lot of mistakes, whereas things like [Industry Takeover], you can learn a whole lot before you even make the mistake, you might be able to avoid it all together.” JIIK, Music Artist and Entrepreneur
“[UD] seem like a company that care and it’s youth based; everyone that has come down here seems like they have a real genuine interest in what is going on in the industry. As a company they have a genuine interest in what they do and how they run things and how they want people to develop their skills, so that’s why I work with UD.” Posty, GRM Daily Founder
“I think it’s crucial for artists and people working in grass roots music industry to understand which direction the industry is going in and you can’t be naive and just expect that a good song is going to reach people, so with companies like UD, you’re making sure that you’re educating the future of music basically so it’s vital that you have [Industry Takeover] days where people come together, they impart knowledge, they ask questions and get to network and basically get to the next level. I think the best thing about this event is that people are at that right level, they are willing to learn, they want to meet other people in their world and get to the next stage.” Joe Frankland, Industry Fund Manager, PRS for Music Foundation
The Best Piece Of Advice…
“Just be true to yourself and stay consistent and try to find a gap in the market which isn’t already being filled – whether you want to be an artist, producer or entrepreneur, just try and do things differently to everyone else, that’s the way I became successful.” Posty, GRM Daily Founder
“Grow another layer of skin and don’t compare yourself to others. Recognise what is unique about yourself; that is your selling point.” Lady Lykez, Music Artist and Radio Presenter
“Be careful about who you hang out with because you are the average of the five people you hang out most with, so make sure you’re hanging out with winners and leaders who are going places. Dress for the job that you want, not the job that you have – if you want people who have never met you to take you seriously, you’ve got to leave a great first impression. The advice is just be professional, reliable, responsible, things like punctuality and politeness are a given but also make sure that you’re the best at what you do, there’s always a niche for everyone.” Jasmine Dotiwala, Broadcaster, producer and columnist.
“Research everything! You can never know too much about something you’re actually trying to get into. I hope I’ve given the message of taking control, I think people believe that as an artist, the whole business side of things or the responsible side of things, is someone else’s job but that’s how you get taken advantage of.” George The Poet, Spoken Word Performer, Public Speaker and music artist
“My catchphrase is ‘don’t wait for permission to exist’. It’s not about going to knock on record company doors and begging to be signed. It’s about going out there, existing, uploading your music, creating content and inviting people into your world and if what you’re doing is good, people will find you. If what you’re doing isn’t quite hitting the mark, the brutal comments will tell you and it’s whether you’re resolute enough to go again and again and again, until you actually hit the bull’s eye. That could be year one, year two, year three or year four, it depends how hard you want to work for it.” Darcus Beese, former President, Island Records
WORDS: Nardene Scott