We live in a narcissistic world where hard working people are often dismissed/ignored, and not acknowledged for their input in creating opportunities and breaking down monumental barriers that are beneficial not just to themselves but to everyone around them.
I began thinking about the growth of the Urban Music Industry in the UK. The individuals who have for many years been grinding behind the scenes and fighting extremely hard to bring Urban genres such as Grime and UK Hip Hop to the forefront of Mainstream UK and on a bigger global platform. Go-getters who are very determined to be successful in their own rights, but also have an unconditional love and passion for the culture. Key individuals who continuously implement ideas and create opportunities from inception to bring success upon a type of music that has shifted the Culture of multi-cultural Britain. A genre that drives the current generation of youths from different races, social classes and cultures who have fully embraced it with open arms. But an unfortunate truth still remains, for decades a shadow amongst other genres such as Pop, Rock, Indie music etc. For that reason, I decided to sit down and talk to a young lady, who at only age 25 has become an integral core part of the UK Black Music movement, a contagious movement that has exploded and continues to advance globally at a very rapid pace.
In the words of David Della Rocco:
‘There’s two type of people in this world, You got your talkers and you got your doers. Most people are talkers, All they do is talk. But when it’s all said and done, It’s the doers that change the world’.
Introducing Natasha Demetriou AKA Tasha Demi
North London born go-getter Tasha Demi, was raised in Enfield by her English mother and Cypriot Greek father. Whilst talking about her upbringing, Tasha spoke passionately about her love affair with music that stemmed from a very young age “I used to go to concerts here and there, my dad was a DJ growing up, and we used to go to his gigs, on top of that my godfather used to own a record store”.
Tasha was blogging WAY before blogging was a thing! Something that started off purely as a hobby on her own website, which then grew to two friends and one camera hitting the streets to interview the best in upcoming UK talent. Her website soon began to pick up, as did the videos, and her Twitter followers and her phone has not stopped ringing ever since! Thankfully with the support of her parents Tasha was able to continue pursuing her interests in the arts. From a very young age Tasha was active in theatre school, participating in gymnastics and competitive cheerleading. Tasha is the epitome of beauty and brains, she graduated from University Of The Arts with a degree in Media and Cultural Studies. Whilst at University she discovered her passion for writing (which was actually a dislike of hers growing up). A project in University that made her fall in love with the art of written words: A lecturer said to her ‘When you write about what you love, you will fall in love with writing, something I truly believe in. Tasha did exactly that, she wrote about a topic she loved – Cheerleading. That advice, was a turning point for Tasha, it later lead her to starting her own blog about all things music and artists, eventually leading her into a full blown career in media, interviewing and reviewing well known UK artists.
Natasha Demetriou got her first big break at Channel 4 / Box Television (which consists of 4Music, The Box, Smash Hits, Kerrang! and many more music TV channels) after successfully completing a gruelling assessment day, competing with twenty other finalist applicants. She impressed the judges with her creativity and landed the 12-month-paid-internship. “As soon as I was told that I got the job, I immediately handed my notice and quit my retail job, which was the best feeling in the world,” said Tasha. During her internship Tasha found herself taking part in various photo and video shoots for stars such as Nichole Scherzinger, Ariana Grande, and Nelly to name a few. Since then Natasha has written television shows, arranged interviews, photoshoots and television opportunities for artists – both internationally and in the UK urban music scene. Tasha also helped introduce innovative ideas in her time over at BOX TV – including the use of user generated content in TV shows, which is still used today on music channels like 4Music amongst others. When asked about how she felt about implementing ideas that are still used today on music channels, Natasha replied, “it feels weird looking back on your achievements, I’m very proud of the things that I have done, when you’re in the moment you’re so focused on what’s next you don’t take time to reflect on the success and impacts you’ve created. Now I make sure that I live in the moment, looking back I am very proud of my achievements thus far’’.
Describing one of her biggest achievements to date as being part of the Talent and Music team for the legendary MTV Europe Video Music Awards for the last 2 years, and this year will make it her third time as she flies out to Rotterdam in a couple of weeks for the show. “My role is essentially to ensure everything runs smooth between the performers and the production teams. I have my own team who have to look after the talent, and I have to make sure everyone is happy and where they need to be at the correct time. The show goes out live to the world so there is no room for anything going wrong! It includes a lot of running back and forth to front of house and behind the scenes, making sure everything is on point”. A description she’d later describe as a project manager for the artists during the awards show. As we sat there Tasha was looking back at a monumental moment in her life, a moment that solidified her career within the music industry. When asked how she dealt with the pressure and stress of such as huge production, Natasha happily laughed stating, “I love it. I’m in my element. I wouldn’t want to do anything else! Knowing that you’re an incredibly important part of one of the biggest music award shows in the world is just amazing! Happily describing that moment in Milan as one of her best experiences, Tasha said smiling as she reminisced “I love the guys over at MTV – they’re one of the best teams I’ve ever worked with!
We Talk, The UK Music Industry With Tasha
Tasha was very excited when the subject of the UK urban music scene was mentioned. She spoke happily about the growing genre and the rest of the world finally catching on to our amazing homegrown talented musicians. We both agreed that there is a large pool of talented artists both established and up-and-coming, legends that have been consistently delivering great music and exciting times with the new generation of fearless artists. We spoke about the unfortunate lack of diversity and equality for the urban artist in main stream music, but were very excited about the future prospectus for the scene.
The conversation flowed beautifully as we were immersed in discussing our love for the music and genre. We exchanged epic monumental moments within the scene, such as Drake acknowledging Sneakbo and jumping onto the Jetski Wave. Rapper Drake leaving a show just to make sure he surprised guests at a Section Boyz show. Kanye West performing ‘All Day Ni**** at the Brit Awards, practically with 70% of the UK urban music scene. Amongst all those epic moments, Skepta winning the Mercury Prize award. Speaking about his win, gave us chills, we talked about how inspiring it was and how that moment meant the beginning of something enormous for Grime and UK Hip Hop. In that moment we started talking about old school Grime, the days of Channel U and how it made everyone feel.
After bonding emotionally over Grime, I proceeded to ask Tasha about what advise she’d give a new artists trying to break into the industry. ‘’You have to be very resourceful and willing to grind from the bottom up. Utilise social media to your advantage, build your fan base by interacting with your fans. Make sure you’re consistently putting out great music and keeping your fans engaged with new music. Be seen, try getting performances, networking with the correct people. You cannot expect others to build you up, especially in a world where it is easier to create your own opportunities’’ was her response. The likes of A&R’s and people within the industry like Tasha are attracted to hard work and consistency, when looking for a new artist. If your goal is to catch their attention, you have to follow the above protocol, eventually if you’re good enough the rest of the world will catch on. Tasha spoke about her own experience working with new artists. She mentioned being part of a team that has helped get artists signed through their contribution from helping work on the artist’s EP, strategic marketing from inception which lead to a record label deal.
Tasha spoke about her close relationships with artists that she has practically grown up with, she mentioned the importance of being genuine and nice to people. ‘It is a very small world so you have to be professional and be kind to others, work with people and do not treat people badly, as your network is very important and a bad reputation is extremely detrimental to your career. Especially for someone that is new and has not yet built any strong connections within the industry.
Tasha gave Certified-UK an exclusive, all we can say is that she is working on a huge project that involves your favourite UK MC’s. A project that further shows unity within the genre and growth, monumental project that will expose you to great music, more information will be released soon!
Today Tasha Demi works in marketing at Globally Renowned Music Label Universal Music, is a Writer for MTV Wrap Up, Music Editor at Verge Magazine and she also co-presents a podcast called Group Chat amongst many other things.