Skepta offers proof that artists can sidestep major labels and still go on to achieve success, says the MC’s manager, Grace Ladoja.
Speaking to Music Week before winning the Rising Star award at the 2017 Music Week Women In Music Awards, Ladoja said: “Skepta has set an example to his contemporaries, peers and the new generation, he’s created a blueprint others can build on.
“He’s proven that you don’t need to sign a record deal to be an important and successful artist, and that you can build your team from people you know and like, creating many jobs for others!”
Brand consultant and filmmaker Ladoja started working with Skepta in 2014, after the pair met at a Danny Brown show in London. Since then, she’s helped mastermind the campaign for the rapper’s Mercury Prize-winning Konnichiwa album, which has sold more than 150,000 copies.
The record reached No.2 last year, while milestones in the campaign include a set on The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury and a sold out show at Alexandra Palace. Skepta’s Vicious EP was released earlier this month.
Reflecting on her work with Skepta, Ladoja – who founded Metallic Inc, through which she also manages rising R&B singer Mabel, and is involved with several music-based community initiatives in London – said the aim was to create new parameters for British independent music.
“Skepta and I spoke for endless hours about life, what he wants and his core values: authenticity, DIY, independence and support for the culture of grime,” she explained. “Our aim was clear, to set a new blueprint for independent UK music based on these values, and to spread UK street culture worldwide. I helped carve out a plan that centred around building a cultural home for Skepta and the genre in all major cities, connecting with like-minded people and cultures and embracing everything we already had, so it went from just the music to a lifestyle.”
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