We're excited to be welcoming Flava D onto the Virtuoso Stage on Thursday 24th Feb for a live session alongside her manager, Elijah. Ahead of this workshop on artist management, we wanted to share some of the story of how Flava D broke into the scene.
Flava D and her early career
Before becoming an established music producer, Flava D initially made her name by selling Grime instrumentals and beats to vocalists and rappers using MySpace (a popular platform for online communication before social media sites like Facebook and Instagram were well-known). Whilst MySpace was never likely to give her productions the same reach as releasing on a record label, it was a great way to get her music out into the world. As a result, her music got heard by one of the biggest Grime MCs in the Industry, The Godfather of Grime – Wiley.
Wiley enjoyed her music so much that he ended up purchasing some of the tracks from her and using them to record some of his most famous freestyle videos, including ‘Step 3 Freestyle’, ‘Shredded Wheat’ and ‘Step 18 Freestyle’. These tracks helped to launch her production career and led to her discovery by the Butterz record label, where she achieved great success expanding into other styles of UK Bass music.
Finding a collaborator for your music
What can we learn from this chapter of the Flava D story? This story shows us that it is always worth releasing your music to the world, whether this is on a major label, an independent label, or simply releasing on your own. There is a lot to compete with in the current industry, and you may feel as if your music is not as polished or as popular as some other tracks. But, if you release as much music as possible, the likelihood of finding good collaborators increases significantly. All it takes is for one person with influence to hear your tracks and enjoy them, and they could offer you some help or exposure that kick-starts your musical journey.
Having a back catalogue of releases shows that you are constantly working to better yourself as a musician. Which is something that many local labels will recognise if they come across your music and could further aid your chances of having tracks signed later down the line. Even if it isn’t the release that launches you into the next stage of your career, it could end up being the release that puts you onto the radar of a record label that later ends up signing some of your music.
Developing a fan base and support network
To top off the benefits of releasing your music, putting out your tracks will enable you to start growing a fan base. In the earliest stages of your musical journey, you may only have a small number of people listening to your music, and many of them will be your friends and family. Whilst this can be disheartening, these are the best people to support you through your first releases and gigs, which will enable you to grow your network of supporters to friends of friends and so on. When you can release music that your initial fanbase can enjoy and support, you will begin to grow your network significantly, putting you in a stronger position to release tracks in future.
To get advice on breaking into the music industry from Flava D, live and direct, check out our upcoming live session with her manager, Elijah (Butterz). You can also learn how Flava D makes her beats in her video course, UK Bass & breaks.