Sat, 23rd March 2019
Middle Yard, Camden Lock
Featuring some of the BIGGEST players of our music scene, an accomplished panel sat down for Q&A’s, in-depth 1 – 1 interviews and gave us the opportunity to hear first hand experiences and advice from industry insiders of numerous sectors of the music and entertainment industry. One of the biggest events of the year, LinkUpTV teamed up with Footasylum’s brand new youth focused initiative BRKTHRU, this is an event you NEEDED to be at if you want to learn, be inspired and network with the right people.
It was a day of good vibes, good music, invaluable information and access to some of the biggest names in the UK music industry all under Dingwalls roof!
I got in to the event and met my girl Francesca who had saved me a seat near the front, god knows my left ear needs the front row support…
Rob Bruce of Capital Xtra was taking the lead speaking with Steel Banglez, Carns Hill & Rymez.
This talk was based on their experiences in the music industry from a music producer aspect.
In terms of following your dreams and trying to maintain a relationship Steel Banglez had the audience laughing when he said;
‘First time, I had one girlfriend, first time she said to me why you in the studio?
I just dumped her. Your mad, this is my ting.’
‘My mums been wearing the same shoes for ten years blud, i’m freshie, I’m putting some Loubs on her, about you? Get out of here! LOL I’m alright ill just get a hug from mumzie.’
Rob gave the audience a cheeky disclaimer ‘Take your time this doesn’t mean you go and drop your relationship’
Steel Banglez also let everyone know;
‘The passion is real, the dream is real, this shit is real, I’m living proof, stay focused & try not to be on a buzz all the time, stay away from the drugs as much as you can, whether its weed/alcohol, just focus on that feeling when you first wanted to become what you wanted to become and pray. that’s it.’
Questions were taken from the audience, with one person asking Steel Banglez ‘How important is your brand as a music producer?’
‘I come from an era where music producers weren’t respected, people weren’t respecting us, people weren’t paying us, I was broke for too long uno what I’m saying, then I started seeing really in the Atlanta scene, that producers started putting their tags on tunes, I actually had a tag on ‘Go down south’ by Krept, Konan, Yungen and Chip, but it was taken off and that really hurt me, it was the only thing I could really make P off. Then Cashtastic got deported, I used to work with Cashtastic, and then when I went in to depression I was mad stressed, I was like bro I just put 3 years into this guy, no one in the game gave a fuck about me straight, people that I once worked with weren’t fucking with me, it was like I got black balled because he got deported. But then I thought you know what, there’s some new kids coming, and I found Mostack, then all the mistakes I’d made as a producer back then, I corrected with Mo, so then I put my tags in there, I made my logo, I started seeing what the Atlanta producers were doing, then I started building my brand. And thats when I started seeing success.’
Rob kept the conversation flowing asking ‘how many years has that taken you to build your brand?’
‘Mist changed my life init, ‘Karlas back’, I heard him and my bredrin came down, on new years day, I weren’t celebrating, I was in the studio, every new years, believe that. I don’t go out new years, you mad. I’m dedicated to my dream, mad. I don’t do a lot of things bro, I’m dedicated bruv. Next day I went straight to Mists’s house, picked him up came back, put him in the studio we made ‘Karlas back’, slapped it out in June that year (2016) it went off and he changed my life, he accepted it, most people were like, why does your tag have to be on there? but you don’t understand what were going through you know what I’m saying, how hard man worked to get here. It’s a joke, all we want is a bit of recognition. So, that’s the importance of building your own brand, no one can build you like you. It’s important having your tag, logo and image.
I think being asian plays a big factor in it, I think the asian community in this country were very secluded, they weren’t really integrated, like we have our high roads and everyones just kind of private, but I think the music and what me and Mist did was bring asians integrated in to black music and that was really important.’
While I was sitting there concentrating on the information that was being given to us, I thought to myself, this is priceless information, invaluable awareness of the music industry and had to give thanks in my head for the way the universe and francesca had managed to resolve all the issues I had about getting to this event. Obviously I am not a music producer but to be able to understand the challenges that the producers faced, means I am able to now well inform producers that may lack that knowledge. The encouragement and empowerment at the event really took a hold of me and I found Steel Banglez very genuine, honest and inspiring.
Nadia Jae was dj’ing and providing us with good vibes throughout the intervals.
Next up on the panel Q&A was Kenny Allstar from BBC Radio 1Xtra – This was a panel I was extremely interested in as his guests were Ms Banks and Mr Eazi. There was no way I was missing this talk.
Kenny Allstar highlighted that as a creative it can be hard to maintain a regular job and at some point there is going to be a sacrifice you have to make in that area of your life.
Going straight to Ms Banks he asked her ‘At what point did she realise that she had to give her all to music and what sacrifices did she have to make?’
Ms Banks took us on her journey explaining;
‘Basically I always knew I wanted to quit my job, but I didn’t actually quit my job, I got fired… I gave discount to one of my bredrins, actually 3 of them. I’m gonna go back to that shop at some point and do something with them so let me not say too much. But yeah I gave my bredrins discount and I got fired, but it was the best thing that happened to me, because it forced me to get on my grind. And actually after that I didn’t really want to work but I knew I had to make money to fund my videos and studio time, so I tried to work again and I started being really honest in my interviews, like yeah I want to be an artist and this is just like a meantime thing, but no one was hiring me, coz no one wants that, they want people that are going to be there in the long run.’
Mr Eazi described his breakthrough saying he thought he was being scammed when he was approached to do 5 shows in the UK, he was working for his own company that delivered phones, and got a call to meet some industry people at a nice posh hotel so he had to call his friend to pretend to be his manager, his other friend had to take priority of his company and he was blown away by the offer… looking back on it now he said he would’ve asked for more money but was still skeptical even throughout the payment process and getting everything ready.
Kenny Allstar wrapped up his chat with Ms Banks & Mr Eazi just in time for a well needed breather, which gave me the chance to network and speak to others about their thoughts on the industry and how the event was going.
Francesca and friend Rhwa had found the talks interesting so far and described some of the information they received as ‘extremely valuable’
There was an area set up for the host’s and panelists to do their exclusive interviews and take photo’s – taking the lead on this was Faris, who was hosting the interviews for BRKTHRU X LINKUPTV – He enjoyed what he was doing and gave me some great advice to help build my confidence and tips on hosting. Faris told me a bit about himself and how he had got to where he was now, through hard work, dedication, education and discipline.
I also caught up with Arnold Jorge who first found fame back in 2009 when he burst onto Channel AKA with his alter ego and comedy bad boy ‘A Squeezy’. Since then Jorge has appeared on BBC2, Channel 4, SBTV and more. He’s also found himself dabbling in music with his online parodies which have gained him a lot of attention over the years.
I wasn’t really in the loop with what Arnold was up to right now so I asked him and he told me about his new project ‘YOUR FLICKS AND CHILL’ where he invites rappers to take a trip down memory lane to go through some of their most iconic music videos and tracks.
First in a brand new series. Arnold is joined in the Z by UNiDAYS Cinema with Rap legend Giggs as they take a trip down memory lane to go through some of his most iconic music videos in episode 1 of Your Flicks & Chill. They talk about the success of his notorious track ‘Talking the Hardest’ all the way down to the darker times of coming out of prison and being forced to start from scratch.
In this 1st episode with Giggs, Arnold Jorge gives his honest opinion about the popular single ‘3 wheel ups’ and truthfully stated he did not like it. you can watch the full discussion here.
Manny Norte was hosting the 1 on 1 talk with Giggs
Manny Norte was hosting the 1 on 1 talk with Giggs
For more industry advice and information about the event please contact;
Until next time…