Viral Careers: Elijah
13 March 2019
In this series of interviews we’re talking to people about how they got to where they are. Find out about the key moments, and people, in the lives and careers of some of the creative people we most admire.
Job/occupation: Artist/record label owner
Tell us about the work you do.
I run a small record label called Butterz. We are in our 9th year of releasing music. We also do events and I work on separate projects with the artists on the label. I DJ as well, so spend most of my time involved in the making, presenting or the performing of music.
What did you want to do when you were 16?
I wanted to do some sort of version of what I am doing now, but I couldn’t put that into words. It was a mixture of working for myself, travelling, not being at a desk constantly and not being tied down to routines.
But what I was working towards was a job in marketing, as that what I was interested in subject wise via a business studies class. We didn’t have any creative subjects in my school that I wanted to do.
Was there a moment that opened up new possibilities and brought you to where you are today?
The first major turning point was joining the (then pirate) radio station Rinse FM in 2008 at a time where there was a lot less music content. I had a show that helped me grow a profile as a DJ and build what became my label.
The second is joining Lighthouse as Associate Artistic Director in 2017, and exploring work and projects in the arts sector alongside my music, which tested my time management skills and work ethic.
Who has influenced your career?
JME, an MC who’s stayed independent and never signed a record deal but stayed interesting and lives a cool non-flashy lifestyle. Akala for the same reasons, also for broadening his talents away from just music by writing books and hosting History TV shows, which isn’t a common trajectory for a rapper. I wanted my career to have all these different parts to it rather than just focus on DJing.
What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Do your ideas.
Opportunities in the creative industries can be difficult to identify and aren’t always accessible, or visible, to young people from all backgrounds – something that our Viral project aims to change.
Viral is a collaborative learning programme that provides production training, business development, mentoring, showcasing opportunities and peer-to-peer support for a diverse group of 16-25 year olds from Brighton and the surrounding areas.
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