UD Music is aimed at creating professional opportunities for the most talented individuals in Black music.
We’ve been uncompromising about Black music culture and creating opportunities in the industry for over 20 years and UD continues to innovate in the digital era, curating a range of bespoke offerings for emerging artists.
Whether it’s additional funding required for studio time, support in releasing your music or your dream to secure a recording deal, UD are committed to supporting the talent of tomorrow.
“You have my support. Thinking about Amy Winehouse, she wrote some of the songs on her first album when she was 15 years old. Young people need support and access to resources like this, until people like me find them later when their songs are more developed.”
Darcus Beese OBE, President Island Records (2008 – 2018)
At UD we work with a wide variety of artists, inspired by the sounds, words and rhythms of Black Music culture. From the underground up, we have solutions to take artist careers to the next level.
Back in 2015, UD hooked up with Devlin, a grime MC from east London who had already enjoyed commercial success. Boasting collaborations with Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sande and Wretch32, it was while working on his third studio album, The Devil In (featuring cuts with Maverick Sabre and Skepta), that UD negotiated Devlin a worldwide publishing deal, through their partnership with Bucks, and secured his album release in 2017, in a joint venture with Believe distribution.
A rapper, singer and actress from Hackney, UD began to manage Paigey Cakey in 2016 via a bespoke Accelerator Development deal. Previously a DIY artist, Paigey’s music enjoyed growth across digital platforms with her music being used in campaigns by Superdry and Dr. Marten. Her eight-track release, Red Velvet, benefitted from additional funding, secured via PRSF’s Women In Music.
Initially comprising six young singer-songwriters who’d shown great potential in UD’s 2016 songwriting camps, fast forward to now and the Flames Collective boasts over 20 members, aged from 14-20 years old. Together they write, arrange and compose original music and have already performed at The Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, EFG London Jazz Festival, The Great Escape, Byline Festival and Kings Place (alongside Black Butter signee Amaria).
Recently joining recording sessions for a number of high-profile artists on Universal and Sony, the Flames reworking of the classic song, ‘Proud Mary’, features on the acclaimed film drama Rocks, available to view on Netflix.
The Flames Collective’s debut four-track EP, Dreaming, a mix of original and covers, was released in 2019 via UD Music. To date the EP has achieved over 4,000 monthly Spotify listeners, landing in 24 playlists and earning the group social media followers including Ray BLK, Mahogany Sessions and Jake Bug (one of the Flames’ favourite collaborators to date).
“They are amazing!!!! Thank you so much for sharing would love to see their next performance they are so talented! WE ARE OBSESSED WITH THEM!”Grace Ladoja, Skepta manager
“This is wicked!!! They’re all amazing. I’ve replayed Yebba one soooo many times. So inspiring wow! This is what I live for… ? Thank you for sending. Omg I got goose bumps from that Yebba performance. Wow…”Jamal Edwards, SBTV
The Rumours EP was released via Ingrooves on 25th January to DSPs Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer and Pandora. Un:hurd, a one stop music marketing shop that specialises in delivering release strategies, is leading the marketing campaign (with a focus on paid social ads and playlist pushing). To date, the release has achieved 4,000 monthly Spotify listeners from scratch and has grown from number 2 to 17 in the popularity index, which is a key metric Spotify uses to determine features in playlists (for context, anywhere near 40 is a great place to be) and landed in 24 playlists with a reach of 65k, at its peak. A paid social media spend of £100 on Instagram and Facebook generated reach of just over 30k.
We are planning to release 1 track + visual per month to build their profile organically over the next 12 months. There are currently four new tracks in development. In the interim, Flames recorded a cover of Driver’s License in January for socials. Volunteers from the group are managing organic social media posts on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram within a support framework provided by un:Hurd to build streams and followers. Recent new followers including Liv Warfield, Ray BLK, Mahogany Sessions and Jake Bugg.
Adrian Okezie aka Digital Mozart
Digital Mozart, a producer and DJ from east London, has dubbed his sound ‘Neo Garage’. Into blending R&B, hip-hop, UK garage and other forms of UK bass music with intricate vocal chops and sample delights (as heard on Beats 1’s and Rinse FM), Mozart also uses his skills as a graphic designer to complement his avant-garde approach.
Akin Soul is a 19-year-old jazz and soul singer, multi-instrumentalist & songwriter from south east London who plays trombone, keys and guitar. Raised on a diet of Marvin Gaye, Stevie, Quincy Jones, Lalah & Donny Hathaway, Kim Burrell, Sarah Vaughn, Ella, Amy & Corinne Bailey Rae… In 2018 Akin founded the 12 piece band Akin Soul & The Soul Tribe who have gone on to perform across London at All Point’s East Festival, Off The Cuff, The Garage & Pop Brixton. Akin is currently studying Jazz at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London and has blessed the mic at Steam Down, McNasty’s Fireball Sessions & Belmont Villa. Akin has also co-released a track with older brother, jazz-drill pioneer, Xvngo.
North London based, Nayana, 18, comes from a Trinidadian family, who have a great respect for music,
from soca all the way to classical music. Currently studying music performance and the intricacies of creating new and exciting sounds as a student at BIMM, Nayana is also championing her own soulful strain of R&B. Embarking on her career with a cut called ‘The Flight’, which she describes as “deliciously forward-thinking R&B…”, expect powerful vocals
Molly became part of Flames Collective in Jan 2020, our flagship programme working with young people from inner-city secondary schools who demonstrate high potential when it comes to music. Now 19-years-old, Molly is releasing her debut single through our Incubator and Talent Development Accelerator programme in collaboration with Island Records, and is the first solo artist to come through UD’s new imprint.
Molly met Lauren Faith last year when they began sharing vocals and beats and started a creative relationship, one of mentorship and friendship, which developed into the song that would become Molly’s debut single, ‘Please Just Wait’. Lauren’s neo-soul and jazz influenced background partnered with Molly’s inimitable ability to capture the harsh emotion of teenage breakups and soaring vocal range has proved to be an incredible force. The official video, which was filmed in and around Molly’s neighbourhood in Essex and the house she grew up in – which was built from the ground up by her father and mother – portrays the innocence of youth and yearning when a relationship comes to an end.
Molly Elizabeth and Flames Collective spent the pandemic contributing to the soundtrack to Theresa Ikoko’s BAFTA winning feature film, Rocks.When she first joined the Flames Collective in her very first session she was given a solo in “Proud Mary”, a cover of Tina Turner’s 1969 hit that the group had been asked to record especially for the movie. In the heartbreaking portrayal of girlhood — not unlike that of Molly’s songwriting — the cover sits alongside music by the likes of her Gen Z contemporaries, Jorja Smith and Celeste.
The eldest of three girls – and of 14 cousins who all live in the same small Essex neighbourhood – Molly Elizabeth has grown up being everyone’s big sister. “I think that shaped who I am, being the one they all look up to, who they ask about life,” Molly says. “I’ve always had to be in control of situations, even when I didn’t know what to do”.
We’re incredibly proud of Molly Elizabeth and her new single, click here to stream it on all platforms!
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