Burning Sands. How Far Will One Go: In the Name Of Pledging!

On a lovely Saturday, I decided to relax, put my feet up and indulge in some solo Netflix and Chill! No distractions, so I can fully focus on finishing the film 😉 😉
On this occasion, I came across a Netflix original film titled Burning Sands. A film directed by Gerard McMurray, he also co-wrote the film with Christine T Berg. The lead actor is singer and actor Trevor Jackson! 
Burning Sands is about a group of young men who are in their first year at Fredrick Douglas University, a historic black college. The film takes you on a journey of discovery, the struggles of identity, and the ugly side of pledging for a famous African-American fraternity.
Personally, I have watched a lot of American films that highlights the life of a college student pledging to their fraternity of choice. Individuals deciding on making a serious lifelong commitment to a Black Greek organisation that they will forever be a part of. Famously, films such as Stomp the Yard and Schools Daze to name a few.
For us that do not live in the States, we attend university, if we can be bothered we decided to join a society of choice, for example Drama club or even French club. Nothing that involves any commitments once we leave the vicinities!
For American students, they are often faced with extra activities or Hazing as they call it! Hazing is the practice of initiation, that a lot of pledges go through during the period of entering an organisation, a process that will test their character, discipline, patience and strengths as an individual.  All those characteristics will govern whether they are eligible to join the sisterhood or brotherhood. Hazing is an illegal practice that is unfortunately imposed upon scholars who seek guidance and identity from a society. I came across a few articles that implied that there have been about 125 hazing Fraternity deaths since 1835, with 25% of them happening in the 2000s and 2010s alone. Scary! It looks like in modern times; the practice has become more dangerous and harsh!
To clarify, hazing is not a practice that all fraternities do! Within every practice, there is a group of minorities who choose to use their power for their own pleasure, which can lead to tragic circumstances. Burning Sands highlights those occasions, when a leader is overtaken by his ego and power, choosing to exercise that whilst forgetting the meaning behind the brotherhood!
Brotherhood and a sisterhood of a lifetime is what joiners look for, the opportunity to share collective goals and understandings, to build relationships that will be honoured and last a lifetime. A support system that will loyalty to their needs, togetherness throughout a life time of trials and tribulations, from the day you join till the day you die!
Other familiar faces that feature in Burning Sands are Empires Serayah and Moonlight Oscar winning actor Trevante Rhodes. And 50 cents right hand man from television powerhouse show Power Rotimi.
I would highly recommend this film! An insight into a well known practice that is often ignored! Yet detrimental to the mental and physical state and wellbeing of many young individuals embarking on their journey into adulthood!  
Let me know your thoughts? Are you as obsessed with American College films as I am? Did you learn something new??
Leave your comments below!

Hip Hop vs The Police – The Unfortunate Casualty Within Music

The Hip Hop police have existed within the music industry for decades almost being part of the furniture. The term itself refers to a group of policeman who target a certain demographic of rappers, which they refer to as street or gangster rappers.  Unfortunately, this type of policing which originated in the United States, has managed to manifest itself into the UK Urban music scene, or for a lack of a better word UK Street Hip Hop. Many artists have fell casualty to this type of policing, from the days of The So Solid crew to current rappers Giggs and Sneakbo.

The presence of this type of policing to an artist restricts their movement and progression. From sudden show cancellations, to being banned from certain venues and limiting their radio plays throughout mainstream airways, and also lack of displayed physical copies of albums on shelves. Being labelled as a gangster or street rapper systematically works against you, the negative connotations and perceptions make you an institutional target.

In an interview on Not For The Radio, London gangster rapper Giggs spoke about his battles with the ‘Hip Hop police’. Speaking openly about the racial bias and prejudice he has encountered since his inception into the music industry. Giggs spoke about being told by music insiders that nationally syndicated radio stations such as BBC 1xtra were refusing to play his music, and club DJ’s across London were not being allowed to play his music. The politics did not stop there, he revealed at that stage he had yet to be allowed to perform in his home town of London since he started rapping. Until recently the rapper had to perform secret gigs in London (Carefully planned unadvertised gigs) and perform outside of London, but to everyone’s surprise and excitement the rapper finally announced his tour dates for his LandLord Album which includes a London date, for the 11th of November. Finally, his London fans can celebrate with the LandLord himself!

We can all agree that ‘they’ as DJ Khaled would say, have been trying to supress the man’s growth and stop him from having a successfully smooth journey within the music industry. The truth within his lyrical content and storytelling is what the police and the non-hip hop lovers search for when trying to incriminate and stereotype him and other rappers.  Often ignorantly without understanding the man behind the message, not caring enough to understand one’s journey through hardship, struggles and perseverance, they convict you without knowledge.

As law enforcement, the police have a job to serve and protect those who they believe are a potential danger to society and are capable of polluting the minds of those who are easily influenced. Unfortunately, some of the language and lyrics that certain rappers use to glamourize the gang lifestyle justifies their actions and concerns. In every situation there are a minority of ignorant people who choose to use their platform to encourage negativity and ignorance, and Hip Hop often falls casualty to that.

There is a big difference between biographically depicting your lifes journey through lyrical content to empower, encourage and uplift your audience and spewing venomous lyrics that hype and encourage impressionable people to go out and commit criminal activities against one another. Young people these days can be extremely impressionable and believe everything they hear. I believe that a rapper like Giggs represents the first example, but he is treated like someone who is doing the latter, which is unfortunate.

There’s a huge elephant in the room when it comes to inequality within the music industry as a whole.  Other genres of music that are typically associated with Caucasians, such as Heavy Metal/ Rock/ Punk and satanic music focuses and glamorises negative notions of death, rioting, killing and suicide etc. The artists are rarely individually held accountable, but Hip Hop artists seem to be singled out and personally targeted.

Can one question whether institutional racism has a lot to do with this type of treatment towards black rappers? Just to elaborate on Institutional or systematic racism (They are forms of restrictions that were put in place deliberately or indirectly into political and social institutions, limiting certain ethnic groups’ human rights). To the naked eye the restriction and prejudice is not seen but it takes into effect within organisations, institutions and within government.

For those artists who clearly have a much more decorated past than other artists, it is unfair and unfortunate that they are continuously judged and treated like a criminal when it is clearly a thing of the past. There is a saying ‘The choices you make in life, predict and shape your future’ but that narrative should be retracted if growth has been shown and they no longer choose to live that life. Just because one has had a disruptive start in life, does not mean that another should continue to disrupt their future.

Surely as a person of the law, you’d encourage change and progression amongst people. In light of the police brutality towards young black men in the United States of America, there was mention of police departments having targets in which they have to arrest a certain number of individuals daily, to make up systematic targets. Is it wrong to insinuate that in order to reach those targets, there needs to be a few black men being involved in illegal activities, therefore helping eliminate gang related crimes and uplifting those already involved or trying to get out would defeat the purpose and would affect targets? There is no certainty whether it relates to the police in the UK, but systematic racism is exactly that. Not obvious, but effects certain groups whom are unaware.

There are a lot of changes that need to incur in order for equality to be present amongst all genres and groups within music. The challenge is to tackle a system which in its core isn’t set up to benefit minorities especially those with a past that the government is aware of. It is up to us as a genre to change the narrative. We should all be held accountable for the information and the message that is delivered to the young generation, to those impressionable and most importantly the media, who in the end will not have any ammunition to assassinate the characters of our black brothers. To end on a positive note, there are plenty of positive influential rappers who have chosen to use their platform for greatness and they are the ones that should be celebrated and championed!

The Black man : A life systematically deemed invaluable

Dehumanised and Imprisoned, an insight into the revealing Netflix Documentary 13th. Such a narrative is extremely important, 13th is powerful and eye opening, accurately depicted story that allows a deep understanding into the lives of the oppressed.

13th brought me to tears, Tears of sadness, deep sadness. A sadness that stems from grown up with and positively being influenced and lead by strong Black males. Men of substance and intellect who have a lot to offer the world, fortunately for them, they’ve had the opportunity to live a progressive life, which wasn’t the case for young Black Men in the past. Innocent lives of young Black Men were taken away because of government systems that were created by the oppressor, designed to imprison and take away their freedom and livelihood for their monetary benefits and control. The biggest casualty being the Black Man.

In America, Black men make up 46% of Prisoners, bearing in mind Black People only account for 12.2% of the entire population which is absolutely astonishing! Described as ‘Super Predators’ during Bill Clintons’ reign as president, black men were subjected to longer and tougher prison sentences for petty crimes. A detrimental description of the Black man, which lead to an epidemic fear of the Black Man. A fear felt by both White and Black people, due to a media smear campaign that brainwashed the large majority of a lost nation. A stereotype that has forever haunted the Black Man, the term ‘Super Predator’ created a stereotype that today is still the unfortunate narrative!

In 2016, police brutality and systematic oppression is still very prominent. Living in a Social Media era visuals circulate immediately despite how gruesome they are. We as a society have been subjected to first-hand videos of the unfortunate killings of innocent young black men across the United States.

Social Media has given us the access to the actions of law enforcement. We have seen policemen get away with first degree murder! It is bitter sweet, as we have knowledge and evidence but still we’re unable to stop their actions, with the Law on their side and a blue code of secrecy, the question is What Action Can We As A Global Society Do To Make Changes??

As a very big fan of Hip Hop music, I am appreciative of the music and the people behind the talent. Black people have created a culture that has taken on a world of its own. Hip Hop music is more than just words and a beat, it is a culture that sees no race, no colour or economic status. Hip Hop unites people globally purely on the strength of Music. Music that originally derived from the disadvantaged black man, for the disadvantaged black man. In 2016 Hip Hop music is the biggest influencer globally, from the music to the lifestyle, culture, dress code and the language. It’s all Hip Hop!Reflecting on the Hip Hop culture as a whole and analysing the contradictions between the fear of black men and the global love of the hip hop culture. I began dissecting the contradictions between the fear and the influence which is ironic, people fearing something they imitate in all aspects of their lives. A fear that many non-black parents have, the worry of their children being caught up in a ‘Dangerous’ lifestyle of gangs, drugs and violence, which is the narrative of Hip Hop culture to those who are ignorant. It is hearsay based on the media’s perception of the black man and its culture which is perceived a negative.

Is the power of Hip Hop greater than the ‘Hate’ of the Black man? Despite the negative media portrayal of black males. The power of the internet means that the government cannot stop the force that is the black man and its culture. Despite their attempt too, from the incarceration of certain rappers and the ‘Hip Hop Police’ on constant patrol, it hasn’t stopped black men from succeeding against all odds. Successful black men such as Jay Z, P Diddy, Kanye West are all testament to the power of the music.

Long may black men continue to showcase their importance, talent and intellect on bigger and bigger platforms globally! May they continue to disregard negative notions that depict them wrongfully, and may the NEVER allow people’s perception to cloud their dreams! we are proud and appreciate you!!

 

Hip Hop/Grime Its Bigger Than Being Black

In light of recent shocking police brutality incidents in the USA towards young black men, I began to think about this so-called fear and threatening perception other races have of young black men globally. The media’s negative portrayal which spills into real life fears.  London took a stand itself and staged several marches for justice supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.  A movement which stands against police brutality, its purpose is to unifying against racism and senseless killings of the black man.

Reflecting on the Urban Hip Hop culture as a whole and analysing the contradictions between the fear of black men and the global love for hip hop culture, an extremely influential culture which derives from black culture and led by black men. The Grime and Hip Hop culture has a lot of facets to it from fashion to lifestyle, music and the language spoken. I began dissecting the contradictions between the fear and the influence which is ironic, people fearing something they imitate in all aspects of their lives. It is an unfair stereotype and label which paints the grime/hip hop culture as violent and bad influentially towards the younger generation, but then again it is also copied across the spectrum. The UK Grime & Hip Hop culture has grown immensely in the past few years, and continues to grow with artist such as Skepta, Stormzy, Chip, Krept & Konan, Devlin, Wiley, JME etc. selling out shows across the UK and Europe.

Strangely statistics show that the biggest buyers of grime & hip hop music are Caucasian. They do not only purchase but they also make up the overall audience at popular Grime and Hip Hop events/concerts such as Eskimo Dance and Culture Clash. If you put this in perspective black people only make up 4% of the UK, which is a minuet percentage of people but the influence is greater than those numbers. As previously mentioned, Hip Hop and Grime culture is more than just music, often pigeon held to individuals just rapping about ‘Gangs; Girls; Cars; Drugs and Alcohol’. Those types of stereotypical perceptions are what hurts the culture as a whole and puts a negative stigma to those unfamiliar with the reality, that is why the narrative needs to be spread with truth and knowledge. The culture as a whole is a compilation of music, fashion, food, sports, the barbershop, the youth, neighbourhoods etc. The way we dress transcends globally for example London fashion trendsetters Trapstar influencing legendry artists such as Jay Z and Rihanna and plenty more. And that is only one aspect of the culture. Globally renowned festivals such as Wireless allowing the likes of Skepta to headline, Glastonbury having the likes of Stormzy, Section Boys and BBK-Skepta etc is just another example of the growth within the culture. Grime and Hip Hop culture is here to stay, and it continues to grow and influence every aspect of people’s lives regardless of race either directly or indirectly. The language you spew, the way you dress, the way you do your hair, the music you listen and so-forth, that is Hip Hop.

North London based rapper Skepta is a huge testament to the growth of the industry, he has influenced a new generation of youths by being himself, not conforming to what’s expected, and his formula has worked extremely well.

A Creative Conversation With Tasha Demi – Determination & Grind!

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

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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!

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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.

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A final quote from Tasha “Never ever forget why you started – never lose that passion! And don’t forget to take a second every now and then to stop what you’re doing and acknowledge your own movements. You have to be your own cheerleader! Just because you’re not exactly where you want to be yet, don’t let that ruin your journey and the achievements you’ve made so far!”

Certified UK Interview: A Seat At The Table With DJ Melody Kane

October 1st, I attended Urban Development’s All Dayer Industry Take Over.  As I sat in the audience listening and feeling empowered by the Powered By Girls I Rate panel, I came out of the seminar with a new lease to life, ready to tackle my own goals head-on. The panel included inspirational talks from powerful women from across the UK music industry.

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I was particularly inspired and touched by Melody Kane’s story, the path she chose against all odds, the choices she made, her work ethic and her story on how she became a successful DJ. Today she is a successful global DJ in a very male dominated industry, and she is winning! Which makes me extremely happy! I had to get her thoughts and opinions on a few things, to both encourage and inspire the youth of today.

Growing up, what was life like? Life struggles before the success? (To give our audience a real perspective of what it takes to be successful)

Like most kids of mixed parentage, there were ups & downs. I grew up in a pretty white neighbourhood, so came across all the usual stupid racism. I never really understood why people treated me & my brother differently. So I think we both turned to music for escapism. He’s a few years older than me & was a proper B-Boy, so I grew up listening to 90’s Hip Hop & Reggae. My love for music seemed to overtake everything else & I found it a great way to block out all the negativities around me, so as soon as I was old enough, I went to my first rave, which was a UKG party with EZ DJing…….that was a definite turning point in my life, I knew this is what I wanted to be.

What kept you going through your toughest times?  (still managing to build your platform and succeed)

It sounds a bit cheesy, but I never tried to focus on the tough times. I have a ‘half full’ personality and never been afraid of hard work. So I just stayed focused on the positive elements & soon all the negative parts started to become easier. I still work like this today. I’m a massive believer in Karma, and that if you put the work in, you’ll get the results.

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As a successful female global DJ, In the beginning of your career what was the reception like towards you from other DJ’s towards? (In such a Male dominated field)

First thing I did, was to start DJing publicly when I was ready. And not just when I thought I was ready. I would ask established DJ’s to watch me and give me honest feedback about my skills. When my peers said I was ready, that gave me the confidence to start to play out. When I first started playing, I used to get the comment ‘She’s a good DJ for a Girl’ a lot……..and to be honest, although it bugged me, I took this as a challenge. So I kept practicing and worked on my performance as well as technical ability. I haven’t heard that comment for a few years now & that makes me happy.

Do you have any advice for someone trying to get into the music industry? (challenges to expect)

The music business is a big bad intense industry full of amazing highs and terrible lows. The best advice I would give, would be to firstly, be amazing at what you do & listen to the advice of your peers. If you can’t take constructive criticism this is not the industry for you. Secondly, surround yourself with a good team that you trust & want to see you grow. And thirdly, if you’re not prepared to grind harder than you ever had, then don’t even bother trying to get in the business. It all looks exciting and glamourous, but I can assure everyone, that behind each gig, tour or even each Insta pic, there’s a team working hard to make it look like that.

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Are you inspired by the current UK Urban music scene?

I’ve been playing homegrown music for years, so I love how now it’s crept into the mainstream. I can finally see some of my industry friends grown to the full potential that I always knew they had. I think it’s awesome how artists don’t have to stick to specific genres in the UK, in my opinion it’s what makes our music the best in the world. So I welcome all the collaborations, remixes etc. I love how the world is watching us.

What has been the most innovative way you have received music?

It’s fun when you’re at a festival and you get given a USB stick with music on – I don’t get many CD’s any more, I do kind of miss that. A private link to your own listening party is pretty dope. I went to a pre-release album launch party of a major artist & we all listened to the music via the ‘Silent Disco’ set up – that was sick.

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How do you feel about the current climate of music in the UK?

Like I said before, I’m very proud that the UK street scene is getting mad love right now, and I think that we produce some of the best dance music in the world. We have huge artists like Adele running things internationally and the UK’s Festivals are amazing. I feel blessed to be part of this movement.

We appreciate Melody for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk to us, which included a trip to the USA doing her thing as the Extraordinary DJ she is.

 

Certified UK Interview Nadia Jae: Decks, R&B and Motherhood

As her career continues to grow, Nadia Jae has created her platform celebrating R&B, CRnB that will build and will grow within the UK music scene for Soulful music. I had the opportunity to talk to the beautiful, hardworking Presenter, DJ, Writer & Super Mom.

How has the start of 2017 been for you?

Really chilled actually. Well my version of chilled is Radio Mon-Thurs and a booking on the weekend! I overworked my ass off last year and I decided it made no sense to burn myself out or add extra momentum by force. It could be June or January and I would have felt the same. Just happy to be alive and now enjoying the fruits of my labour for once!

Let’s begin with your Radio personality career, growing up was music always your passion and did you think it was going to be a career choice?

Not at all. I loved music like any other person but Dance was my passion. I was a professional dancer until the age of 18 and the I went to off to uni. In my second year, I got pregnant and we know the rest lol.

Was a career in music easy to get into, and financially was it hard working your way up?

I honestly think I was lucky because I was high key trying to be a TV presenter and possible weather girl. I wasn’t interested in radio other than my love for Jenny Francis, and I certainly wasn’t trying to be no DJ. My dad is a DJ/Host so I guess it was always a possibility, but I was the child making up dances in my room. Radio found me. I saw an advert for radio on Star Now a few years ago, and started working at Westside and that was it. Felt like I had found my groove. Financially it was hard. I had to balance a home, a child, my dream and everything else in between. But I loved it, and once you are in love with what you do the hard times are worth it.

Now you’re establishing yourself in the UK music industry, what’s it like juggling the many jobs you have as a DJ, presenter and writer, including owning your own company (which we will discuss) how do you manage all of that including being a mother to a young son? (Super Women!)

I’m not quite established yet but I am certainly grateful to those who support me and listen to the show. When you put it like that I am doing a lot! I spend a lot of time missing events and not socialising as much which I wouldn’t recommend lol. However, good sleep and eating patterns keep me sane. It’s important to know when your body needs rest. My diary is my best friend she deserves all the credit! Having a son is hard work because he’s 10 now so his needs are different. But, prioritising is my secret weapon.

What’s motherhood like for you? Does your son enjoy the perks of your success?

Oh gosh I love it! Gives me purpose. He does but I’m not sure he knows it to be fair. Going to WSTRN’s show and meeting Chip, Ghetts and Richard Blackwood is nothing to him lol. My son models so he has quite a few amazing experiences himself including playing football with Wayne Rooney. Not a bad life.

You have a few residencies as a DJ at prominent venues in London, when did you decide to become a DJ and how has that experience been thus far?

Man I still pinch myself because there are so many amazing DJ’s out there that haven’t had the platform or exposure that they deserve. I had a mix featured on BBC 1xtra after 6 months of DJing. It’s been amazing and scary, one of best decisions I have made career wise. I’ve been DJing for a year now so I just want to spend more time perfecting my craft.

https://soundcloud.com/itsnadiajae

You’re a very big fan of R&B music, you’ve created a great platform that recognises and celebrates the genre. How was that journey and the reception from the industry. How proud are you of how far it’s come?

Aw man RnB made me. Quite literally lol. I am mega proud of CRnB that is my second baby next to my son of course. It was such a small idea and seeing it grow in such a short space of time is incredible. I’m just glad people are still in love with the music and I look forward to putting more talent in the limelight.

What plans have you got for 2017?

More events, more holidays and less stress. in that order.