Thursday, October 21, 2010

The World of The Unsigned Artist Revealed!

Getting into the music business is hard, its’ often a matter of knowing the right people or being in the right place at the right time. ‘Right’ seems to be repeatedly used to describe getting into this lucrative business yet ,it cannot  be used to define the means an artist must go to, to become a part of it. Pav Bhatti delves into the world of the unsigned artist and the connotations attached to it...

There are thousands of people in the world that have a pipeline dream of making it onto T.V screens in every continent, singing to the masses at the best festivals and venues in the world, jet-setting and being recognised for their talent - being the ultimate success - but very few make it.

I was once one of these individuals, disillusioned as to the difficulties and hierarchical structure of the music industry. When you are born with a passion for music and told by many that you possess a talent unlike any other -you start to believe it. Hopefully my friends, family  and teachers weren’t telling ‘white lies’ like the people who tell their tone-deaf friends to audition for X-factor - much to our amusement!

Like thousands of others I got together a band and began what could be noted by my biographer as my first E.P. Being a teenager at the time, my influences were like most my age: Nirvana - a band that seemed to understand the angst that every teenager feels at some point in their life.  By default, I started to learn how to play the guitar like my idols and I felt like I could make it.... but the vital question was... how?

How could I make my dream a reality? What were the steps between myself in the practice room of my High School  and being on MTV or on stage at Wembly? Trust me when I say: you do not get these answers from google.

So what did I do?... I read various interviews and books on how to get into the industry - they did not work.  I spoke to people who had remained on the outskirts of the industry merely managing to get their foot in the door. I heard stories of record labels wanting image changes, song changes even a whole new genre of music to be performed, but mostly, I heard tale after tale of rejection and feelings of being unsuccessful and old.

I guess I am one of those people that lose faith if they do not get what I want in the time-scale they expect to get it in. When I didn’t get my record contract with E.M.I three weeks after I decided I wanted to be a famous, I decided to give up. That was the end of my career as a Rock-Star. But unlike myself there are thousands of acts and artists that persist, push and eventually excel in the music industry.

To me: making it in the industry is 1 part talent, 3 parts luck and  6 parts persistence. That is, if you haven’t got contacts dotted in PR, Record Labels or a Mommy and Daddy with a 6 figure salary - each.

So if you are going to be the next big thing... and nothing has come up just yet. The key is to carry on, if you manage to add three parts of luck to your life bowl you could make it to he NME awards, Brits or even the Grammys?! The future is open and fate is what you make of it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


This is Lil Boosie’s third solo album which has been released after innumerable mix-tapes. This album has been recorded and released at a pivotal time in his life - he is currently awaiting his sentencing on 7 counts of murder. Despite the circumstances, this is Boosie’s most well rounded album to date, showing his growth as an artist.

The first few songs on the very literally named ‘Incarcerated’ album, talk about his current situation dripping with paranoia and hatred for the oppressive system he is locked into. The main topics of discussion are Judges, Cops, fake friends and haters.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them!

Kelly Rowland has always been in the shadow of her band-mate Beyonce. Both tried to make it as solo artists and whilst Kelly struggled to reach the top 20, Beyonce’s career skyrocketed. Kelly’s career didn’t take off until she cleverly noticed the recurring theme - that the remixes of her music always superseded her originals. Like any logical business woman, she teamed up with the producers that had independently remixed and released her music including the likes of David Guetta -  to give the masses what they craved and this time fully reaping the benefits! A serious case of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them!’ Her new release, a ballad called ‘Forever is Just a Day Away’ has definitely got the David Guetta stamp on it - if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right?

What Do Alicia Keys, New York and Egypt have in Common?

Well its pretty simple: Alicia Keys gave birth to a little baby boy called Egypt in New York! Three months after being married to hubby Swizz Beats, Alicia gave birth to Egypt. So if we do the math... that means little Egypt was occupying the womb when Alicia walked down the aisle in July!! If his parents are anything to go by Egypt will not only be very talented but he will most definitely be a hit with ladies! What a lucky boy!

Album Review!!!

Lyricson - "Messages" 
(released November 8th 2010) 

In recent years Reggae has focused less on its foundations as an outlet to voice political opinion and open respect for personal religion and instead has arguably focused on pleasing Western audiences. Lyricson turns this around by presenting Reggae in its purest form with his new album entitled Messages.

From the offset Lyricson introduces us to the world of Rastafari with mentions of Zion, Jah and Haile Salassie and lyrics that express his devotion and unalterable belief in his religion: ‘Protect me Jah... Rastafari love worth more than silver and gold.’

A classic Reggae base runs throughout this album which is matched with classic themes found in traditional Reggae music: love, religion, war and politically fuelled passion. Despite this over the course of a 16 track run we find many different influences permeating the tracks which is refreshing. It is rare to find a 16 track album nowadays but its almost impossible to find one filled with back to back great tracks, Lyricson’s is the exception. Messages will be released on the 8th of November!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Andy C Phone Interview Questions

Is there any reason you waited two years to release Nightlife 5?

It’s been a hectic couple of years with touring. I waited a couple of years so I would have a lot of tunes to go on it. It was a case of building up a set of good tunes

Obviously your Nightlife mixes do really well otherwise you wouldn’t have got to your 5th, how is this one different to the others?

I always try and make them special. Its a case of trying to get what I do in the clubs onto CD. I never wanted to make one CD mellow and one CD party... I just wanted it to encapsulate what one of my sets is like. It represents me in a club.

How do you pick which acts to use on Nightlife?

Its not a case of choosing whose on, the tunes choose themselves by being really good. So that makes my life a lot easier. On this album there is maybe a 50-50 split between brand tracks and tracks that we have licensed in because we just signed a few artists so we’ve got a lot of new tunes on the label right now.

Did you know that Nightlife 5 was the fastest selling album ever on ?

I did hear that, yeah. It’s crazy. It’s gone really well. Everybody seems to like it and a lot of hard work goes into it.

Did you feel under a lot of pressure from the public with this release?

The pressure that I feel is usually because everything is down to the wire and I want to get everything to a standard I am happy with. There are a lot of people are working and contributing towards the project to get it done.

Genre Purists don’t like the idea of DnB hitting the mainstream, what are your thoughts on the topic?

RAM has been running for 18 years and you don’t get that from 5 friends running it in a bedroom. For me its not about trying to not be mainstream, for me, you can’t hold back a great genre of music. If it happens to be popular what are you going to do?

Have you signed any new artists to Ram that we need to look out for?
The likes of Wilkinson, Hamilton, Culture Shock have got some great tunes on the album and Lonestar as well.

When is your next mix coming out?

Let’s not talk about the next mix, I’ve got a lot of stuff going on lots of live gigs.

You are obviously very busy touring around is there a particular event or place you are excited to play at this month?

Well I just played at The Warehouse Project in Manchester and for 3000 people in Barcelona yesterday. I am actually speaking at The Oxford  University - Students Union this Friday. Its a massive honour to be asked to do it some pretty amazing people have spoken there so its unbelievable. So I am going to do it and play a gig in Oxford after and then Fabric again.

It’s all going amazing right now.
So you’re a happy bunny?
Oh yes I am.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


How often do you see an O.A.P at a club? I think its quite a rare sight in anyone’s book, but how many people can say that they have seen an O.A.P spinning Reggae/Dancehall records at some of the best festivals of today? Well those that saw DJ Derek performing at Bestival or The Big Chill this year can say that they have!

DJ Derek seems like the kind of guy you could write a comedy sketch about. He is a white, 68 year old man who has a deep rooted passion for Reggae and Dancehall music, which has transcended from the records he plays to his talking voice! When performing on stage DJ Derek transforms from the grouchy old man who enjoys a good pint in his local, to an amazing DJ who talks in Patois whilst spinning the latest records from Jamaica!   

DJ Derek has a cult following especially in Bristol - his hometown. He even had a short documentary made about him by Jamie Foord who sadly passed away last year; aged 19. DJ Derek has earned his fast growing reputation and despite his novelty factor he is an amazing DJ who knows how to get people on their feet.  

At the moment DJ Derek is doing a few gigs around the country including a Halloween gig in London on the 30th of this month! You can catch him at Cable for the Chew the Fat Halloween Special for a measly £6! See you there?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


So it may almost be winter but festival tickets for the summer are already selling out. We got news that Glastonbury sold out in a record breaking 4 hours this year! Could that have had anything to do with the fact rumours have been circulating that the coolest farmer we know aka Michael Eavis (the guy who has hosted the festival for the past 40 years) was considering having a break from letting wild youths trample his fields for a mad weekend in the summer? Maybe... but don’t worry Eavis has confirmed that the festival will continue to be around for at least another ten years. Last year everyone was shocked as the event was fully booked in one day but on the 3rd of October 2010 all tickets had been sold by 1:15pm! Now everyone is just waiting with bated breath for our favourite farmer to disclose the top three headlining acts! After all he did promise he’d tell us once all the tickets had been sold!


June 2010 saw for what was meant to be the first and last Parklife Festival in Manchester -created to celebrate 100 years of Plattfield’s Park. The festival, however, turned out to be a hit with the student population which was not surprising given a line-up featuring Magnetic Man, Fake Blood, Andy C, Friendly Fires and Calvin Harris to name a few. The event sold out quickly as most students from The University of Manchester and those in and around the North went to the festival to celebrate graduating - myself included! With a variety of acts from various genres this festival was always going to do well which is why MCC have given Parklife 2011 the go ahead! If this years line up was anything to go by... next year will be amazing!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fred Perry and Reformed Amy Winehouse Do Business!

Looking a lot better than she has in previous months, Amy Winehouse took her place on stage in Camden Town’s ‘Hawley Arms’ yesterday, for a secret charity gig. Things seem to be looking up for the talented musician who is also designing a limited edition collection for Fred Perry (the clothing designer.) It seems as though Winehouse’s break from her ex-husband has helped her put her life into perspective and get herself back on the straight and narrow, with a renewed passion for the creative arts. If her performance, grace and style last night is anything to go by then we can all wait in anticipation for some amazing new material from the reformed genius.


Scott Rosenbaum has taken social networking to a whole new level with his new website The site is being used worldwide by people who are too busy to go out and make friends. For a small price you can have a friend who will talk, dance, wine and dine with you and if you are lucky they may not ask you to pay them after a while - oh! who are we kidding! Its a great venture but are people really willing to lend themselves as a friend to someone they do not know? Well, we checked out the site and found loads of people who have already signed up so maybe this will work after all!

Politics - Oh What A Circus!

We often call politicians clowns so Brazil has got the right idea by electing one! Francisco Oliveira Silva aka. Tiririca The Clown has received a record number of votes based on his humorous campaign rallies that have drawn in the Brazillian public. Tiririca’s campaign featured slogans such as: “What does a federal deputy do? Truly, I don't know. But vote for me and I will find out for you." If you wanted honesty from a politician I guess that is as honest as it gets. It’s this humbling humour that seems to have captured Latin America but, despite being a joker it is evident that Tiririca is just an average man who will do his best to truly represent the people of Brazil.