The aim of UD’s Incubator programme is to develop the creative and business skills for talented, independent musicians emerging in the music industry. A six-month talent and career development opportunity for up to 10 exceptional independent artists, making music of Black origin, we’re happy to announce our 2023 cohort: Saiming, Arinola, Max McKenzie, Dan Dannah, Chrissy Day, David GotSound, Emiko, Mar!k and AE…
The self-proclaimed “S-travagant Man” Saiming, is an alternative UK rap artist from south London. Saiming gels together the intricately fast-paced rhythms of a grime MC over a range of mellow-toned, sample-centred, bass-heavy instrumentals to create a contemporary yet familiar sonic blend. Saiming’s debut single, ‘Saiming Says’, helped him to get his feet firmly on the starting blocks in late 2019. The effect of the track’s upbeat mood and creative punchlines are evident in its relative success, amassing over 10,000 streams on Spotify alone without a video or advertising.
‘WOOF MEOW’, his second single, produced by dilushselva and having premiered on Reprezent 107.3FM with DJXHNWAV, a fellow member of the creative collective ‘Da Community’. In the months since, the song has hit over a million streams on Spotify and found success on TikTok, with over 1000 videos having been made with it. ‘WOOF MEOW’ has been played on BBC Introducing London by Jess Iszatt as well as being featured in Soulection Radio Show #561 on Apple Music by Joe Kay.
“Saiming’s rapping is concentrated and tightly woven, equally clever and laid-back” Carter Fife, for Lyrical Lemonade
Arinola is a Jamaican and Nigerian producer, born and bred in north west London. At 20 years old, she is an accomplished music and vocal producer, singer/songwriter and pianist. With almost 1 million views across her TikTok account (@thearinola4), she has come a long way on her musical journey which began in primary school behind the piano performing Kesha’s ‘Tik Tok’. During her GCSEs, she realised that producing her own “old school” influenced tracks was something that not just her family encouraged and supported. Taking inspiration from Missy Elliot, Emeli Sande and Mariah Carey, she metamorphosed her compositions and demos into brand deals and projects with Dr Martens, Nike, Native Instruments and GRM Daily.
In 2019, she made the courageous decision to invest 100% of her efforts into music despite studying Computer Science for four years. To navigate life after the pandemic, Arinola started to give back to her community by teaching music production in a secondary school and offering 1-2-1 studio sessions. By 2022, her talent had been picked up by the likes of Converse, adidas and the BBC, making her one to watch within the industry.
I (Max Mckenzie) am a creative residing in Newham, east London. My creativity takes many forms, from comedy, music, scripts and poetry, I find all my art forms as ways of using the information I’ve processed from the world around me with purpose – whether that be to make people laugh, cry or think – maybe even dance. I know the art helps me mentally grow and forces me to expand on what I experience to make the art more exciting. Musically I’m inspired by the medium of rap due to me starting myself by MCing at squat raves during the rough patches of life. I’ve recently found myself using that ability to poetically tell stories at Orii Jam which has forced me to sonically expand myself to the sounds of jazz, fusing the energy of a good D&B MC with the sound of blues which it turns out, sounds really good.
Welcome to the world of Dan Dannah. Hailing from London with roots in both the west and east side of the city, Dan is a breath of fresh air in the UK scene. His smooth yet sharp flow is matched by his insightful lyrics resulting in a beautiful combination of passion and aggression. Whilst having always pursued music as a creative hobby, Dan is now ready to take it to the next level. Having wowed at UD’s Open Mic event last year, we’re totally here for it.
South London raised alternative R&B creative, Chrissy Day, is the blueprint for versatile melodies, vocals and songwriting techniques. Of Jamaican, Egyptian and Ethiopian heritage, Ms Day strives to incorporate all aspects of her culture into her music, image and brand. She uncovered her devotion and dedication for music in the early years of her life, growing and perfecting her sound to develop her own unique style and delivery. Honouring spoken word and poetry aligning with her melodic tone and vocal clarity, Ms Day draws inspiration from a number of creatives both current and classic, including Michael Jackson, Sade, Anita Baker, Chris Brown, Sza, Paramore, Kehlani, Frank Ocean, Tyler The Creator, Audrey Nuna and many more. Her eclectic taste in music sets the tone for her versatile sound and ability to express and emanate through a number of genres.
David wrote his first rap lyric at age 9, but didn’t start recording music until the age of 13. One of David’s first sources of inspiration came after watching Chip’s ‘Who Are You’ video for the first time, amazed by Chip’s catchy lyrics and skippy flow. This was the first time David recalls really connecting with rap and grime music from the UK, beginning a lifelong obsession.
Fast forward to 2023, David, now known as David GotSound, is slowly but surely building a career as a rap artist and producer. Since 2019, David has released two EPs, numerous music videos, even more singles and performed at venues all over London.
The Bexley native’s perspective is that of a young black man chasing his dreams in the Big Smoke, never shying away from the highs and lows of what this might entail. The son of two Nigerian immigrants, the work ethic and values his upbringing instilled in him is evident through his music and visuals, showing a clear dedication to high production value and an honesty listeners can connect with. David’s life is filled with love, passion, joy, adventure and sometimes challenges. David is passionate about using his music, visuals and live appearances to uplift himself and anyone who decides to press play.
Emiko is an exciting emerging artist. Hailing from west London, with a voice that carries a very strong message, Emiko embarked on his music journey just just a few years ago, with an international co-sign from artist Masego. He also joined Nadia Jae on BBC 1Xtra RnB Mash Up, opened the 2019 Screen Nation Award ceremony & performed at The Great Escape Festival. David has toured the UK (including Jazz Cafe, London) and performed several shows around the UK. Heavily influenced by the greats of our past and present such as Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Lauryn Hill and Frank Ocean, music has always been a way for Emiko to channel his identity through the art of expression. With a voice so timely yet so timeless, singer-songwriter Emiko is an exciting artist that exudes the kind of energy, soul and quality found only in the music from our past whilst still remaining fresh and current.
I call myself The Spontaneous Musician because most of the music I makes is done completely on a whim. I’m an east London-born, Caribbean raised producer, rapper, singer/songwriter, guitarist and bass player who likes blending modern genres with elements of freestyle. I like soaking up the styles and techniques of other musicians and incorporating them into my work; It doesn’t matter if it’s hip-hop, trap, electronic, Afrobeat, reggae, soca, dancehall, progressive rock, R&B, jazz, funk, indie, classical or metal – as long as it has a sound, I’ll try to learn from it. Groove and feel also play an important role in the stuff I put out. I makes stuff you can dance to, relate to, or feel some sort of positive connection with. In a world full of carbon copies, I choose to be a compilation.
AE are the South London female duo of Ads and Els. The young duo burst onto the scene during lockdown with their debut 4-track EP ‘Summer We Never Had’ (2020) and have been going from strength to strength ever since. In 2021, AE were amongst the MOBO Unsung top 20 finalists, touring and performing across the country. They also feature on the MOBO Unsung compilation album: Class of 2022. With the release of the self-directed music video ‘Mistaken’ (2022), AE caught the attention of many, going viral and grabbing public and label interest. Choosing to remain independent for the time being, the girls had a mini press and radio run earning features from the likes of Complex UK, TRENCH and radio plays on stations such as Kiss, Reprezent, No Signal and 1Xtra. They also received a co-sign from Grammy nominated US superstar, Rapsody. Infusing authentic hip-hop, drill and R&B into their raps gives the girls a unique edge. With their fiery lyrics, fun wordplay and catchy melodies, these girls are definitely ones to watch.
Keep your eyes peeled for more updates from our Incubator 2023 artists and learn more about our Incubator Programme HERE.