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UD Low Down: Industry Takeover Series, March 20th @ Talent House

UD concluded the Industry Takeover Series with An Introduction to Publishing and A&R, featuring Derek Amedume and Daniel Burgess, alongside a songwriting workshop led by legends Dyo and Talay Riley…

Our industry professionals provided the audience with a comprehensive overview of their experiences, addressing questions such as ‘What role does a publisher play in the music business?’ and ‘What’s the difference between Publishing A&R and Recording A&R?’ True to UD style, attendees received invaluable guidance on how to advance their professional development, navigate relationships, and promote themselves within the music industry.

Our panel featured Derek Amedume (A&R Manager, Producer and Consultant at 2 Tones/Stellar Songs/Tim and Danny Music) and Daniel Burgess (Publisher at Domino Records). With years of combined experience under their belts, they shared their journeys in the music industry, leading them to their current roles. Daniel and Derek emphasised the importance of adaptivity within the industry and the significance of building a community and network for development. Derek, instrumental in UD’s foundations, shared his beginnings, working with legends like Dyo and Talay Riley at the outset of their careers, and the importance of mentorship and camaraderie in navigating the industry.

Derek Amedume
Daniel Burgess

“I don’t see data and streams as the deciding factor of who I discover, that comes later…”

Daniel Burgess

During the discussion and Q&A led by UD legend and Community Manager, Cleo, panelists shared anecdotes ranging from interactions with big artists in LA to tales of perseverance in a challenging industry. Derek and Daniel discussed the joys of signing big artists and scouting new talent, emphasising the importance of personal values and connections in navigating the industry. They also addressed the taboo topic of money, highlighting the struggles behind generating revenue and the significance of leveraging community and experience for successful collaboration.

The audience, filled with prospective publishers, artists, and writers, posed important questions about development in writing and the pursuit of publishing or record deals. Panel members offered direct and personalised advice with Cleo aptly summarising the magical nature of the industry, concluding the panel discussion.

Elsewhere at Talent House, Dyo and Talay Riley guided us through the intricacies of the elusive songwriting process, drawing from their extensive experiences in the music industry and engaging with up-and-coming artists to offer valuable insights and support.

Talay Riley

Before delving into the event, it’s essential to recognise the profound impact of our workshop leaders. Dyo has lent her vocals to several successful tracks, including Chipmunk’s cultural reset ‘Oopsy Daisy’ (penned by Talay), kickstarting an impressive career collaborating with renowned artists and contributing to major movie soundtracks like the recent musical adaptation of ‘The Color Purple’. Talay, a Grammy award-winning songwriter, has crafted hits for artists ranging from Usher to Wretch 32 and K-pop sensations, showcasing a diverse range of expertise within the industry.


Despite their current success, their journey began in a humble church choir. Alongside Derek, they honed their craft in school, freestyling, and composing songs together. They had the privilege of growing together, navigating the industry’s challenges by forging strong relationships and seizing opportunities collectively.

During the workshop, Dyo and Talay took the time to connect with each attendee, attentively listening to their stories. The diverse audience, comprised of singers, songwriters, and producers spanning various genres such as neo-soul, house, and rap, fostering an intimate environment conducive to sharing experiences.

Talay, reflecting on his first publishing deal at 17, focused on the importance of stepping out of one’s comfort zone to enhance creativity.

“You can’t approach every single song the same way.

Talay Riley

Both speakers stressed the significance of staying attuned to various musical styles and not giving up, citing personal experiences of overcoming challenges in their careers.

Addressing common concerns such as writer’s block and performance pressure, the speakers reassured attendees that finding one’s rhythm takes time. They encouraged the group to listen to each other’s work, celebrating emerging talents and fostering a supportive atmosphere.

The workshop covered a range of topics, from the importance of supporting emerging artists to the use of different software like Logic, FL Studio, and Ableton. Talay’s insights into the intricacies of song ownership and the logistics of the industry provided valuable practical knowledge.

Participants were also treated to a glimpse of Talay’s minimalist approach to demo creation, allowing artists room for interpretation. Dyo shared personal anecdotes, including a song that took seven years to gain traction, underscoring the unpredictable nature of the music industry.

The workshop concluded with a listening session, where attendees had the opportunity to share their music. The event left participants feeling inspired and empowered to pursue their musical aspiration and celebrate their different but interconnected journeys.

“It’s about getting in the right rooms...”

Talay Riley

The songwriting workshop led by Dyo and Talay was a transformative experience, offering invaluable guidance and fostering a sense of community among aspiring artists.

The Industry Takeover Series concluded with an evening of networking, where creatives from diverse backgrounds embraced the advice shared on the panel, supporting and connecting with each other as they shape the future of music.

Words: Tumi Mary Ogundamisi

Photography: Joey Hoang

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