Each week, Music Week interviews one of the brightest new talents in the music industry. This week, we meet GRM Daily A&R and DJ Michael Olaniyan.
How did you break into the industry?
I started DJing when I was 12. I’ve always had a love of music. My first booking was my Year Nine prom and it just took off from there. This summer, I’ll be headlining The GRM VIP Stage at Wireless Festival, along with a few other great DJs. I met Kojo Funds in 2017 at a booking in Sweden and started DJing for him officially at the start of this year. As a DJ, I believe I have a good ear for music and I’ve always had an interest in GRM Daily. I applied for an A&R role there and they also gave me a position as video production manager. So I handle the music videos that people want to shoot, too.
What are the biggest issues facing the music world in 2018?
I would say funding for new upcoming artists. Costs for productions – whether music productions or video productions – are rising as people are now opening their eyes to the fact that there is a lot of money in the music industry. I do honestly feel like people are tapping into the music industry more than ever. One thing affecting the music world, especially in UK rap scene, right now is the bad outlook on drill music. Society is blaming drill for the rise in gang related crimes. I believe drill shouldn’t be to blame.
What changes would you like to see implemented?
More panels about the music industry could help upcoming artists or managers. Information such as useful ways to break into the business, or information about streaming. A lot of people don’t really know the marketing skills that could be used for their new releases, so more information on that could be useful.
Why is the UK scene producing so much new talent?
I’m trying to find the answer to that question myself. There has actually been a crazy rise in the UK scene, even the start of the new Afroswing sound. The younger generation is looking up to artists as pioneers thinking, ‘If they can do it, I can do it’. There is a lot of talent in the UK.
What can we do to make sure this continues?
Support each other. As long as everyone has their head screwed on and artists are producing great bodies of work, I’m sure everyone will go far. If the quality of the work is good then there’s no doubt as to whether you’ll make it far in the industry.
What is your biggest ambition?
To take everything I’m doing and go worldwide with it. Just really reaching new heights.
MICHAEL'S RECOMMENDED TRACK: