This week's Rising Star is Supernature's Rukaiyah Qazi. Here, she tells her industry story so far...
Why did you want to work in music?
“Divine calling? Everything I’ve ever done has led me to music – I couldn’t get through a day without working on music in some way alongside school/uni/whatever else I was supposed to be doing full time. The plan was always to be an artist but I needed to pay rent and bills and soon realised I couldn’t commit to a job working in anything other than what I’m truly passionate about. You’ll never guess what that was? Right, music...”
How do you approach campaigns at Supernature?
“Artists first. Creative instincts first. But it’s my responsibility to have an eye on long term development too, where an artist may not be looking that far ahead. We have such an outstandingly creative and varied roster here at Supernature and most of our artists have a clear idea of what they want to communicate. I begin a campaign by hearing this, drawing out their greatest ambitions, and working backwards, scaling mountains and crossing the seas to make it all happen.”
How does the biz need to change?
“It needs to be led by people other than a small group of cis-, het-, white men. I honestly think the necessary changes will come when the people at the top are a true representation of the artists and listeners we serve.”
There’s no such thing as a single ambition!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?
“Don’t listen to your elders.”
What’s your ultimate ambition?
“Ultimate ambition? I’m a Gemini sun, Virgo rising! There’s no such thing as a single ambition! I want to be a multi-pointed star. I’d like to foster an industry where, in true polymathic spirit, it’s OK to not stick to your lane and not want to do just one job, or one thing, for the rest of your life. I want to build a more intersectional, fair and accessible industry. I’m working to be part of a business that allows for people without financial stability or generational wealth to build sustainable and prosperous careers in music. From artists to the business side, we need fairer contracts and financial equity. No more big corporations screwing people over financially because they need that ‘foot in the door’ or a ‘big break’. I want to make sure there are genuine opportunities for people with disabilities to enjoy, experience and prosper in the music industry. A viewing platform at a gig is not enough! The fight for racial equality in the music industry is ongoing and I will always be committed to dedicating my platform, skills and time to the cause too.”
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