Written by: Lauren Demir
Photos: David Franco
Collages: Annie Mcgill
Cover Art: Tsvete Lina
When people think about the roles within music it's the more visible roles that come to mind first; artists, managers or A&R. But to be successful within the industry there is a lot more than just being creative. Somebody in the team needs to understand the business side. From contracts, using samples to even uploading your music to a streaming service, the last thing anybody wants is to work so hard on something they love just to get exploited.
Young Music Boss is also a "resource hub and network building tool for young music creatives". After completing law school, she found it hard trying to get entry into the music industry, "I found there was a lack of resources and lack of support. I didn’t know how to build the networks I needed in order to excel in this industry". So she thought she'd be proactive and be the change she wishes to see, "I just decided to start Young Music Boss and fill that gap". We caught up with her to learn more about Young Music Boss and what advice she has to those new to the scene.
Growing up, listening to the likes of Tupac, Lauryn Hill, Kano and Ms Dynamite, who she describes as an "absolute g", Jusnah's passion for music has led her on a mission to even out the playing field in the music industry. "This woman (Ms. Dynamite) has won a Brits, Mercury, and Mobo award. She's opened doors we didn't even realise we were ready to walk through". Combining her love of music with her law degree, Jusnah created a platform to help prevent the exploitation of creatives and newer artists. Young Music Boss is there to help people better understand the business side of the industry. "We do consultancy on legal and business affairs and events. We’re pushing the entrepreneurial aspect, encouraging people to create their own lanes".
I’ve always been in interested in music. I went to law school so my background and my training is legal. I wanted to find a way I could combine my academic training with my passion. Be the change that I felt was needed and create that support system or that eco system that I feel young people wanted to gain access to, which is how Young Music Boss was founded.
YOUNG MUSIC BOSS AIMS
To bridge that gap between the artist that is starting off that doesn’t have the big lawyer budget. A lot of young artists and music entrepreneurs are not that familiar with all the legal components which govern a huge part of their careers. They often end up in situations where they get exploited, or they don’t own the rights to their creativity. We’re here to give them a general understanding of what a management contract should look like? What should a record contract look like? What’s publishing? What are royalties? How are royalties calculated? What is sync? Collection societies, and lot of people don’t know exactly what they do and that’s why we exist.
The Young Music Boss awards is in September. There are so many people that contribute to the music industry who work relentlessly behind the scenes. Who cultivate and elevate this energy around the music. Some of the categories are best fashion brand, brand partnership, people who contribute to the aesthetic of what we see. We see Skepta wearing a tracksuit and there is a stylist behind that, there is a brand behind that. So we really want to create visibility for those people.
We do the Meritocracy dinner series in partnership with UK music supported by the MMF. We invite 15 of the most influential young music professionals and entrepreneurs that are coming up in the business to create a forum for discussion. Each dinner we host a different topic and it's a way to get the young people energized and to get them involved in conversations in the industry.
The music intelligence seminar is about democratizing information and reaching out to a demographic that may not typically have access to that information. I feel people from a certain socio-economic or ethnic background may want to work in music but they don’t necessary see music as a viable career prospect. There are so many different roles, people creating their own lanes, own platforms. Our panelists are quite young because I want people attending to know that its in reach. Its about building the right networks and gaining the right knowledge.
AdvicE FOR ARtSITS
Build more networks, develop more platforms, create more opportunities. We’ve got the award show coming up in September so a lot of time is being dedicated to that, a lot of resources are being dedicated to that and we’re hoping to make that something really special.
Make sure that you are very knowledgable about the different legal elements of your career and what those terms and those clauses mean. Try and contribute and lead those discussions and the only way to do that is through seeking knowledge. Study and understand as much as possible about the industry, you’re an artist but you’re also a product and there is going to be a lot of people that are going to exploit you.
Seek knowledge and the resources are out there. Young Music Boss is there, you can go on the UK music website, Music Times, the PRS website. You can find so many resources to gain an understanding of how your publishing is going to work and how you’re going to make money of your music. And it’s really important to be in control of that at an early stage.