Niyah Smith Drops By To Talk About The Journey From Prison To Music Executive
(Q) How has it been for you making the massive transformation from going to prison to now becoming a well respected young music executive?
(A) It has been such a difficult but great journey, I learn something new every single day in the music industry, even from people who are not a experienced as myself, the scene is always changing so it is vitally important that you try your best to really keep up. Whilst in prison I used my time to research and learn as much as I can by reading books and articles to give me a little insight into the music industry. In 2019 I went to study as a music school called Nottinghill Academy of Music, which was founded by, COO of relentless records Ewan Grant. Alumnis from the academy now have roles at 0207 def jam, island records and dream life records.
(Q) What exactly do you do in the music industry?
(A) I engineer and vocal produce, i manage a female artist that goes by the name of Shauna Shadae & im a A&R manager at 54 London records which is home to UK superstar Stefflondon. My role at the record label is scout, develop and look after the acts that we sign to the label. We have a very exciting female artist who we hope will be the next big act from the UK.
As for management my roles is to manage Shauna’s emails, plan her calendar, book her studio sessions, plan her video shoots, distribute her music, marketing her video, plan photo shoots, arrange features and much more.
(Q) With all of these different roles how do you manage?
(A) I have two assistants, one that helps with my admin, emails and one who helps me with my calendar and my communication with clients. Without my two assistants I really wouldn’t cope, Haha. Assistants really take weight off your shoulders for you to focus on bigger things that needs much more attention. The key is not to overdo yourself to where your tasks then become unfinished.
(Q) What else have you got coming up?
(A) I am working on launching a digital marketing & PR agency with my business partner Patrick “Hot Money’’ Osei, this will cover ads & PR campaigns for musicians. I will be adding artist consultancy to the same brand to assist with social media management and brand direction. Once again, without our marketing assistants on the ground these things wouldn’t be possible, it is always a team effort.
(Q) How have you dealt with COVID over the past year?
(A) it has been tough at times because you cant do all the things you want to do. Especially with the music business, you normally have a large amount of people when it comes to video shoots, studio or live shows. Hopefully by June things can return back to normal. My advice would be to just use this time to plan for when the world does open again, that way you are prepared. I run an event called richouse parties, which is a club night that has big artist performances, some of the previous names are Stefflondon, Unknown T, Alicai Harley and many more. We hope to resume this in the summer.