Posts Tagged ‘Interviews’

YHP Interviews the founder of common cents

james trick

Hello how are you doing today?

Amazing, getting interviewed always makes my day

What influenced you to start common cents?

James and I have always been interested in fashion and art. We decided that we didn’t want to settle for ordinary life styles and to take a risk. We also knew that Comon Cents could make a difference in the art and fashion industries for the better.

Do you have any concerns regarding your target market; some consumers might feel it’s only meant for youth?

Our clothing was designed for the youth of this generation as well as anybody who wants to support our cause. Our designs were meant to be loud and filled with energy. We want to capture the essence of this lost generation. We couldn’t do that if our designs looked like they were only for the mature audience.

Well nowadays, it often seems like there is a lot of option for clothing, each offering different displays of personality, what would u say makes yours different from everything else?

skate is art

Aside from our designs, we pride ourselves for what we are trying to accomplish with this clothing line. Not only do we want to create a successful brand, but also support the art world along the way. We plan on aiding schools who don’t have the funding to support their art programs. Art is one of the only ways people can express themselves and get away from the many troubles of the world around them.

So the name, common cents, why common cents?

We originally wanted to have the name Common Sense to show that we didn’t appreciate the lack of rational thought the world has right now. We spelled the name wrong to be a little symbolic in a way. We wanted to show that even we are lacking a little common sense ourselves ha-ha.

I see your clothing displays a lot of personality through art, can you tell me a bit more about the art. Is it done by you, can consumers have their art printed?

The art work is done by me; I have been growing up my whole life in a household filled with artists. My father was a singer, my brother an architect and my grandma was a painter. As for having other people submit their designs, we really want to make our mark on the art world first to get people to know what we are about and what our style is. Down the line though we plan on doing many collaborations.

Money is usually seen as a big issue for any entrepreneur, how did you manage to raise money for your venture?

kris searle singing

Saved up from work, nothing too special. You just have to be able to watch every penny you spend. When you have your own company you are always on a budget.

Your website is still under some construction, what should we be expecting when it all ready to go?

Right now the only thing under construction is the portion where we have the locations of the stores that are carrying our product. We want http://www.comoncentsclothing.com to really be a place where artists can meet and discuss what inspires them as well as post their own work.

How would we be able to get hold of common cents clothing?

ali 2

aconover@comoncentsclothing.com or jschiff@comoncentsclothing.com,

Were there any challenges u feel you faced while starting your clothing, if so, how did manage to pull through?

We had many bumps along the road. The hardest part was actually to find a good screen printer. Another was finding the best target audience to sell our clothing to.

Would you say art or clothing was more your passion?

panda image 1

Art has always been a passion. Clothing really started to be part of my life as I grew up a little and realized that fashion was a form of art in its own.

So when you guys are not busy thinking up big ideas, what other things occupy your time?

Museums, music, and probably the beach.

So how are you finding the life as an entrepreneur?

It’s the most challenging thing either of us has ever done, but it’s certainly feels like you are living life to the fullest and on your own schedule which is amazing. You really have to be ready to be obsessive with what you are trying to do, if you breathe for a second you are already old news.

Where do you see common cents and your selves in the near future?

We hope that Comon Cents will be a name tied to the art culture itself and not just a clothing company. We want to make an impact, and make a difference for others.

Thanks for your time.

Interviewed by Michael Adeyemi.

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YHP Interviews Nick Ferguson, Founder OF Sustain Fitness

Nick Ferguson

Hey Nick, how is it going? Thanks for your time.

Thanks Joseph, busy as always! Thanks for the opportunity!

Can you give us some background information about yourself?

I have been an athlete in many different sports over my lifetime, from a runner to football, to martial arts to cycling! Cycling was my final sport, I loved the freedom of it and the huge amount of dedication you had to have, just to be competitive. I went on to win 2 Junior national titles in 2006 and started developing further from there. I always loved being competitive and following after things I enjoy doing. When I was ‘growing up’ I could never work out what I wanted to aspire to, which frustrated me greatly! I thought, ‘how am I meant to plan out my life if I don’t know what I want to do?’ School was a bit of a struggle, although I did well, I didn’t really want to be there, I would have much preferred to be out training or learning something more applicable knowledge instead.

When I’m doing work, study or cycling, I like to play guitar, mix up music and play with fire – Seriously!

Fire Photo(2)

So tell us how you got into the fitness business?

I sort of fell into the fitness business.. It all started out because of getting hospitalised with pnemonia. I was in my final year at school, and was literally 4 days away from the national championships and I came down incredibly sick. I ended up losing my sponshorship and scholarship with cycling and was left a bit high and dry. I still hadn’t worked out what I wanted to do regarding my future career, and figured I better make a decision quickly! I wanted to do something different from what other people did – or at least what I thought they did… i.e try as hard as you can at school, so you can get into the best possible university course, so that you might use it for your career and hope you work out what you want to do in the process. I wanted to be able to apply myself fully to whatever direction I chose, because I knew I would be successful and I knew I would enjoy it.

I wrote down all the things I enjoyed doing on a piece of paper and then wrote down jobs I was aware of that included those things. Some of the things I wrote down included: cycling, meeting new people, helping people, listening to music. Turns out there is a job where I could do all of this, and get paid!

I started out in the fitness industry as a Spin (cycling) instructor at Next Generation Gym in Adelaide. I just searched for a job that I thought would make me happy.

Why did you start your business? Why did you decide to start your business?

I didnt start my business straight away, it took me a while to decide to make the step. I began to get frustrated that I was only qualified to do one thing at the gym, teach spin classes, so I went and furthered my education and took on the personal trainer course full time. This allowed me to do nearly everything I could hope to do in the fitness industry and I figured I would start out by taking on more roles at the gym. As I studied and learned more about the fitness industry however, I found out more and more that the attitude, structure and function of gyms didn’t really fit in with my idea of health and fitness. It didn’t represent to me what it was all about.

The idea came to me to offer flexible fitness, what if I could bring the fitness to them? In their own environment? Take out the hassle of making the time to go to the gym, because I will come to them. I saw this as an opportunity to start something with relatively low capital to begin with and where I was able to help people in a way that a gym couldn’t always do. Come into their life and help them change it. I had created myself a job!


How is it like, being an entrepreneur?

That still seems such a strange term to be called. I always thought of entrepreneurs as people who turn nothing into something or something worthless into something huge and amazing! Being entrepreneurial has been one of the most liberating things for me though. I love the fact that any ideas, goals or aspirations I have, there is really nothing stopping me from trying to reach them. Often, there will be a lack of money, contacts, resources and time to make these ideas happen, but at least they aren’t being shut down by a boss that doesn’t share the same vision as I do!

The best part about it is the flexibility to follow whatever ideas you may come up with through to reality, the hard part is managing them all and choosing the best ones!

I think it is a diffifult thing to explain to others around you, particularly friends, exactly what it is you do. I’m still working that out myself…

At what age did you encounter your entrepreneurial experience?

I was 17 when I started Sustain Fitness, but looking back, I definately had some entrepreneurial flairs when I was younger, just lacked the confidence to follow anything through.

How did you raise money for your business?

Worked! I was working at the gym, earning $40 per week (one class). Lets say it was a tough few months start up… I had used my savings to pay for the personal training course, so I really relied on my new work coming through to put back into the business. I bought a basic array of exercise equipment for under $1000 and made use of that as best I could. This forced me to be very creative in my training methods and actually started out my fascination with bodyweight and minimal equipment training methods, which has been very successful.

Who are your main competitors?

Because of the relatively small amount of clients I work with and the specific nature of what I do, there aren’t too many other businesses I would consider a competitor. I say this because its not often I feel I have ‘lost’ a client to another business, its more I just haven’t found them yet! As Sustain Fitness has three main sections at the moment, I have different competitors for each.

The Fitness division has places like gyms, personal training studios and other personal trainers as competitors.
The Education division has places like Les Mills International and the Corporate division has other corporate fitness providers as competitors, but this isn’t yet a huge part of fitness in Australia. I’m watching this section quite keenly actually…

Is there anything you wish you had done differently?

I wish I had just taken the plunge and got some more funding straight up. Although its nice to be able to say I have done all this with no help, literally from scratch, I could definately be further down the track if I had some more financial support.

I would have spent more time on brand identity originally, to find out what it was I stood for (still working on this one) and I would have tried to remain more organized.

Basketball Winning Team 2009

What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?

Building relationships. People buy from people they like and trust. I think the more people you can interact with, show you are a genuine person, and that you are just out to help others, people will be drawn to you. I believe honesty, integrity and respect go a long way in any relationship, business or otherwise, and I strive to uphold these values with everyone I meet, potential customer or not.

I also think that my ability to adapt and offer what this industry wants has allowed me to grow. Starting out originally as a Personal Trainer only, I quickly realised there was only so far I could take this. It was a job, and there was no business when I wasn’t working.

I always look for feedback from my clients and people I meet about what they need, what they want, how they are finding what we are doing currently and what needs to change. I am always looking to find things I can offer that benefits the customer first, which in turn can benefit me.

What motivates you to remain focused on growing your business/website?

Sometimes, I’m not sure about this one.. I know on a basic level, I have bills to pay, and I can’t just tell them to stop for a few weeks, because I want a rest from it all… I think my drive to succeed, and be the best I can be is a big part of it. This probably comes from all my years of sports. I know that natural ability can only get you so far, but your tenacity, drive and creativity will get you the rest of the way.

Probably the biggest part of if would be that I want to enjoy my life. I want to travel, I want to be fit and healthy. I want to go out for lunches and dinners with friends, date amazing girls and do amazing things. The more control and freedom I have in my life, both in free time and financially, the more likely I will be able to do the things I want to do. I just don’t see how holding down a ‘good safe job’ will let me do this. This is what keeps me focused.

What has been your greatest challenge as a business leader, and how did you overcome it?

Probably one of the hardest times I have had was quite recently, when the financial crisis had reared its head, as well as the winter down turn also. I saw a 75% cut in my income, and was barely scraping by. Savings were dipped into – it didn’t feel good. So, I got a bit creative and dreamed up a few projects through gyms, build up a list of clients, invested in some new equipment, put HEAPS of work into it, to find out the gym wasn’t allowing the project to go ahead. When you get these sorts of dissapointments, you can do two things, give up, or find another way. Sometimes finding another way means shelving the idea for a little while and working on something new.

As it turns out, the gym h as come back to me for a meeting, after overwhelming member feedback asking for it to go ahead! We may have progress yet…

You are currently planning a 6 week challenge to find Adelaide’s fittest guy, who is that going so far?

Really well! It started this Monday, kind of amazing really. It all started out over a few beers with a friend, where we challenged ourselves to a 6 week fitness challenge to see how fit we could get. Just over a week ago, I got called up by a radio station who were asking for my advice on how to prepare for a running event, which turned into a promotional opportunity, we found sponsors, a charity, put up forms on the website and the competitors started rolling in! You can get so much work done in so little time if you set yourself to task. This has turned into a good opportunity for me to showcase my training methods also, because I can show people my results on myself over the 6 weeks. Time will tell! It will be good fun either way.

Do you have anyone you model yourself around?

I like to keep up to date on what Robert Kiyosaki, Richard Branson and Skip La Cour are up to.. Twitter makes this easier I guess! That is one thing I guess, I haven’t found anyone who I model myself on just yet. I observe the positive traits of people around me and try to model those aspects to make myself a better person, and learn to avoid the negative traits I see in people too! Sometimes I will see a movie that has a powerful character, such as Tyler Durden from Fight Club, or even James Bond in any of the more recent films… Not necessarily going to go and blow up some Aston Martins or pick fights with myself after watching them, but they are cool guys none the less!

Do you have any favourite young entrepreneur at the moment?

I met some great guys over in Sydney earlier this year for the news.com.au Australian top 10 under 20 Entrepreneurs actually.
Young Entrepreneurs 2009

Miek Jarocki from creditcardfinder.com.au and Ryan Djurovich from Antevo (Sydney and Melbourne) are doing really well at the moment! Also Shaun Stenning from Aus with his SEO and online Marketing Business.

What is your favourite quote?

I have a few, but I really like ‘The difference between a goal and a dream is the written word.’ ‘Follow your bliss’ also comes to mind.

What advices do you have for young entrepreneurs contemplating or those that have actually started their business?

Stay focused! Don’t let anyone or anything come in your way of achieving what you have set out to achieve. Aim high, set a very clear goal of what you want to achieve, write it down and have it visible to you every day. The ‘how’ will probably seem crazy, but don’t worry too much, it seems to have a way of working itself out.
Surround yourself with positive, influencial people. Their support and their success can help motivate you to achieve better than you thought originally possible! My mentor, Tim has been very helpful in this whole process. If you don’t have a mentor yet, what are you waiting for?

Finally, don’t be afraid to pay for expert help. Be that advice, services or products. The right investments can pay for themselves many times over.

What should we be expecting from you in the future?

Hopefully I’ll be getting myself more onto the public speaking circuit, I’ll be conducting some seminars at our FILEX fitness convention in Sydney next year if all goes well… I have a few decisions to make in the next two months regarding which direction I fully commit to, but if all goes well, you will be seeing a line of Sustain Fitness Workout DVDs, new certified courses for Spin instructors and Fitness Entrepreneurs, plus some exciting new content online – Videos, challenges and new content (www.sustainfitness.com.au). It’s going to be hard, its going to be fun. Can’t wait!


Thanks for the time nick

Follow and contact nick @

Twitter page
Facebook Group

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Interview with Award Winning Designer Samata Angel and founder of  Samatas’s Muse


I’m sure everyone wants to know a bit more about you, can you please give a bit of background information about yourself?

I grew up in Cambridge and moved to London to study my undergraduate degree in Economics, Finance and Management. I basically used my time in London to get more involved in the creative industries namely music and fashion. I got involved in fashion shows backstage, assisted other designers and went to lots of networking parties. Graduating I worked as Head of PR for a Chelsea boutique and then Head of Marketing for a Japanese clothing label and it was these experiences that encouraged me to set up Samata’s Muse.

When did you start your business and what inspired you?

I think I was inspired to start my label after working for a boutique in Chelsea, London. I was surrounded by beautiful clothing and definitely got more of an understanding of how a boutique operated, how designers sold their clothing and the details buyers looked at. The shop was so beautiful and the clothing was so inspirational I knew I wanted to do something of my own.

You are some fantastic support from the likes of Jennifer Lopez, dawn (Danity kane) and Gwen Stefani, How did that happen and how does it feel?

I think that I am very passionate and hard-working so that definitely helped me network in the industry and create opportunities. I also had some great business mentors who give me the time of day so these elements combined create opportunities. Once your name starts getting out there people start coming to you too. Dawn Richards got in touch with me after seeing my label profiled on a popular website, others I met contacts for at industry parties. To be honest it is more important for me to get my brand out there and in communication with my target audience than with celebrities.

I mean your spring/summer 2008 collection was unveiled in September at the nolcha fashion week in New York, which is fantastic, how did that feel and when should we be expecting your next collection?

That was a really great and also stressful time as there was just so much to get done but it was all worth it – it got me connected with a global audience. I think I learnt a great deal from that experience and what it takes to be a global brand, which is what I am building up towards.

How did you raise money for your business?

I worked and got individual sponsors. Organisations like Business Link assisted with advice and direction too.

How do you promote your brand? And how effective has it been?

I create a good online presence and do what most designers do such as taking part in shows and events and being as active as possible. It has been effective in landing me interviews with the likes of LOOK, Big Issue and Pride magazine.


Do you read any books that you would to recommend to all the entrepreneurs out there?

I read autobiographies to keep me motivated and inspired and just to remind me of what goes into reaching a level of success. Right now I am reading Ander Leon Talley’s. Terry Mansfield gave me this great book called Moving On Up edited by Sarah Brown who collated inspirational real life stories by extraordinary men and women such as Richard Branson, Ridley Scott and Trevor McDonald. It’s fantastic.

Have you ever encountered any setbacks? How did you overcome it?

I think everyone does, it is just important to be able to stay focused and remember that anything worth having is worth working hard for. Not everything I do works out but I do my best and keep trying.

You wrote a book series called Fashioning your life, A clothing designer’s guide Volumes 1 & 2 last year, what inspired you to write a book? How is it going so far?
It was really whilst working in the fashion industry as a designer and doing various spots as a guest speaker at different business and enterprise events I noticed a need for a certain type of assistance for fashion designers. I wanted to share my experiences and knowledge in areas such as Marketing, PR and Trade Show participation. It is going really well, they sold out on Amazon in Canada and their success has definitely been helped by the contributions from the likes of photographer Nigel Barker (America’s Next Top Model), celebrity stylist Nick Ede (Project Catwalk ) and Jenny Holloway (Fashion Capital founder) who share brilliant advice in their relevant sectors

Can you tell us about how and why you got into “make your mark”?

In 2007 I was recommended for ambassadorship by Prime Minister Gordon Brown for national campaign Girls! Make Your Mark, a role which includes mentoring students and actively encouraging young people into enterprise through public speaking engagements. It is so rewarding!

Out of all the people you’ve met so far? Who’s your favourite?

I would say Dawn Richards from Making the Band’s Danity Kane. She is such a professional who is graceful under pressure and a genuine talent.

Who is your role model/influence?

I have lots! Oprah Winfrey, Terry Mansfield (Chairman of Graduate Fashion Week), Charles Thompson, my family, the list goes on!


Do you have any favourite young entrepreneur/designer at the moment?

I have a number of favourites, I love watching to see what is coming up so I attend the Graduate Fashion Week shows and end of year shows. I can’t name one favourite!

What would you say to young entrepreneurs out there, trying to start up their own business?

I would say be yourself, be open minded and learn how to create learning opportunities for yourself – be at the right events, have your own unique style and make an effort to talk to people! Too often designers get intimidated by the flashy events but people are just people.

Do you think recession is a bad time to start up a business?

I am not a huge fan of scaremongerers and I feel that the ‘current economic climate’ is a phrase which is starting to grate on me due to the hugely negative connotations it is given. My feeling is that particularly for entrepreneurs, the ability to think of solutions is not that impossible – the recession means a tough environment but one in which we can flourish nonetheless for a number of reasons including reduced competition and lower costs.

What do you think is key in starting a fashion company, or qualities needed to succeed in the fashion industry?

Success involves having a number of qualities including exceptional creative talent and ability, a keen eye for detail and good communication skills.

So what should be expecting from you in the future?

More clothing ranges, maybe branching into accessories, more educational projects and more creativity!

Finally, before you go can you tell us why you’ve been this successful, what’s your secret?

All the so-called “secrets of success” will not work unless you do.

Thank you so much Samata for your time.

Contact and Follow Samata

Samata’s Muse

Blog with Samata: http://samatasmusings.blogspot.com
Twitter Samata Angel here: www.twitter.com/samataangel


Samata’s guide book series has now launched! Visit http://stores.lulu.com/samataangel to pick one up and support Britain’s Favourite Designer.

For further information about Samata’s Muse visit: www.samatamuse.com

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Interview with Clive Mensah, founder of Rametré


Rametré is a fresh and unique Clothing Brand coming to a store near you coming straight out da LDN. We take pride in making our customers feel different to everybody else in the way they feel and the way they look.

Hey Clive, how’re you doing today?

“I’m fine thanks the suns out so it’s all good.”

When was Rametré started, why the name?

“Well the Label was originally called R.A clothing which was the initials of my Grandmother who passed away in 2004. And are slogan was more than royalty. But R.A clothing didn’t have any ummmm… how should I put this It didn’t have that X factor. So I took the letters R A and used the abbreviation of the old slogan which is MTR so I was left with RAMTR so I just put two E’s in it to make sense and RAMETRE was born. It’s quite long I know but I feel it’s a name you won’t forget.
Since then the name has been getting around quite well I have been doing shows all around England and universities and grinding hard to get that exposure.

Can you give some background information on yourself?

Well im 20. Soon to be 21 next month God willing, I am also a Christian. I study Fashion Promotion at University of the creative arts, and was born and raised in South East London Peckham, with one older sister Yvette, we where both brought up with a Ghanaian upbringing. And anyone that is Ghanaian or from an African decent would know what that like. (Laughter)


What inspired you to start up a business, especially a clothing line?

When I first started out I didn’t intend to create a business or clothing line I started out painting stencils on t-shirts for local MC’S around the area and I used to do little alterations for family members. And making African outfits for events like Ghana Independence, Nigerian Independence and various other events. But I have always been a person to try and get my hands on something that was exclusive that no one had. but I had trouble achieving this .because no matter what I got my hands on I knew deep down there is someone out there wearing the exact same thing. So I got into the habit of customizing any garment that I bought whether it was ripping my jeans to painting my trainers blue I would customize it. So then the idea came to me when I was on holiday in Ghana I saw so many designers and colours in the motherland that I thought I need to get in on this action. So as soon as I came back to London I went straight to work creating my own thing.

What do you think it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?

I think to be a successful entrepreneur you have to know your business like the back of your hand; many entrepreneurs out there tend to think about the money so much that they forget the skills that they obtained before they got to the stage that they are in. So I think the best way to stay successful is to keep studying and learning your business and everything surrounding it.


Who are your competitors?

NO ONE I’m in a league of my own (laughter) nah I’m joking! I would say everyone in the street wear Industry or even fashion industry because you can never under estimate anyone. Everyone is always trying to come out with something fresh and exciting but my role is to take away that labels Buzz. And the only way to do that is to come out with something new that has never been done. You have to have a sense of uniqueness in this industry to survive.

Who are your target markets?

My target market would be anyone one that into street wear I don’t design clothes thinking “hmm I’m going to make this for someone aged between 14 to 30” my thing has always been if you like it buy it and if you don’t leave it for someone who does.


Do you have any role model/influence?

God is my Role models no one else because I try to live by his word each day. Umm in terms people in the fashion industry I couldn’t tell you. Don’t get me wrong there are some quality designers from Yohji Yamamoto (Y3) to Ingo (founder of bathing apes) but I wouldn’t call them my role models. May be its arrogance in me I don’t know (Laughter). But in terms of influences I would say my BIGGEST influence is London city, I love my city with a passion and I try to express this in my designs. I really need to touch Trafalgar square and by one of them I heart London t shirts (Laughter)…

What are your likes/dislikes in the industry?

Well I have soooooo many if I was to name them all we would be here till 2018 but I would say one of them would be these rappers or musicians or just any of these so called celebrities coming out all these clothing lines. I personally think its gone way passed ridiculous now. Especially these rappers coming on the television saying “I’ve got this clothing line coming out its different it’s something that never been done before it’s a new look view designed it all” when you know they have no knowledge of the fashion industry. All it is to them is a just a little project. When you’ve got so many talented and passionate designers trying to push themselves into the industry but are blocked by money hungry celebrities. And the thing that hurts the most is that the general public are more likely to embrace them then someone that is just as good or maybe even better. This is a shame!!

Do you feel the recession is the best time to start a business?


The recession is not an ideal time to open a business but nevertheless you never know when or how the recession is going to end. So I feel if you really want to start your own business I would suggest you do it when you feel you are ready personally.

How did you raise money for your business?

Well I used to sell t-shirts with my logo which was a Pitbull printed on it. And also do alterations for people so it was like the money I made of that I just started stacking and stacking. Until I was able to register myself as a company and actually put some money towards it.

What is the most important lesson that you’ve learnt from your road to success so far?

I would say the most important lesson is that in this industry you can’t wait for any handouts you have to get out there and grind on your own no-one is just going to come and say” hey you there I want to put you in a show” if you don’t put that hard work in you have to push yourself to the full extent and try and get yourself noticed.

What are your advices to any young entrepreneur out there trying to start up their own business?

As aspiring entrepreneurs your duty is to make money because at the end of the day it’s a business orientated field. But the most important thing is have a passion for whatever your doing if theres no passion it’s not worth doing trust me.

What should be expecting from you in the future?


Look out for the summer release. We are doing collaboration with a surprise company so that should be big. Which is due for release early July? Also look out for the 2010 collection it’s going to be pure fire.

Thanks for your time and we wish you the best in the future.

Contact Rametré @


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An Interview with the founder of urbantickets.co.uk


Urban Tickets is an online urban e-ticket website.

Urbantickets.co.uk is rapidly being established as the number 1 urban ticket outlet, Being the first ever ticket site to focus only on urban events which means that they can target a very specific market, selling tickets that reaches their target audience.
Urban Tickets reducing the bridge between event organiser and customer making it easier to sell tickets.

Don’t tell me I never told you that about this website get access to only the best events in the UK. Now you have no reason to chasing up customers who want to buy tickets or selling through lots of separate agents.

I’m so happy to be finally doing this interview with you, how are you?

I’m cool man, busy as always but busy is always good. I also feel honoured that you asked me to this interview!

Before we go any further, can you give us more information about yourself? What’s your name? How old are you? Where are you from?

No problem, my name is Adebiyi Desalu but people call me Biyi (B), I turned 24 in January, feel like I’m getting old (Laughter). I was born and raised in South London (Streatham) but my parents are from Nigeria, as you can probably tell from my name. I’ve been living in High Wycombe for the last few years, I went up there for university and I’ve stayed to concentrate on business.

When was urbantickets.co.uk born?

We officially launched and started selling tickets in October 2008 but I had the idea from about Dec 2007 and spent most of 2008 just developing it.

What made you go into the tickets business, more specifically an urban ticket business?

Do you know what i never really intended to go into the ticket business at all! What I always wanted to be was an entrepreneur from as I far back as I can remember, when I was in school I used to sell cds and different things so I’ve always had that in me. I never knew what business I would end up doing I just knew id end up working for myself.

So when I finished uni I was looking for something to do, the natural thing at the time was to do events which I had done relatively successfully in uni. But I found it hard to come up with something different because the market was overcrowded especially with urban events and I just didn’t have the money to build up a brand name. I did do a show when I finished uni but it ended up losing money, which happens to every promoter at some point but I just felt like I wanted to do something a bit different. I also thought that if I could come up with something that promoters would need I’d be on to a winner; if you look at a successful DJ they make money from events regardless of how well the promoter does.

I came up with a magazine called Brit- African, the idea was that it would be aimed at 18-30 British born Africans and it would be an outlet for African businesses and events to advertise. Also in the business plan for it I wanted to have a website that let people purchase etickets for African events. I actually managed to get princes trust backing for this. But with the cost of printing and many other things rising I didn’t think it was the best time to start a mag, so I looked more at the idea of an eticket website and I felt that it was the better idea anyway. But obviously the African event market would’ve been quite small so I expanded it to cover all urban events. It was natural for me to do urban events because that’s the type of events I did at uni so I know a little bit about the business, I also wanted to do something completely unique and there are other eticket sites out there but urbantickets.co.uk is the only one that focuses on urban events.

How does urbantickets.co.uk work?

Basically the eticket system means that as soon as a customer buys a ticket on our website they’re emailed the ticket confirmation which they then print off and take to the event as their ticket. It saves a lot of money because as a promoter you can print less tickets, you don’t have to manually deliver them and as a customer it gives you instant access to them. Also because we focus on urban events, customers get the best choice on urbantickets.co.uk.

So you’re telling me that I can get tickets for any urban events going on via your website?

(LAUGHTER), soon come, we haven’t got every single event but we’re working on it. At any given time they’ll be 20+ events to choose from.

What makes your ticketing service better than others? What benefits do urban tickets provide?


Well first of all we have the eticket system, which a lot of ticket outlets don’t offer. Using this system it just cuts out a lot of hassle with buying tickets. Also of course we’re the only ticket site that specialises in urban events so we have the best choice. We’re also one of the few ticket agencies to really utilise social networking sites and blogs which are good because you keep in constant contact with your customers.
There’s also a few updates that we’ll be making very soon, watch this space

Urban Tickets is involved in a lot, you have sponsorship deals with the voice newspaper, Mahogany Models, RWD Magazine? How did that happen?

What I wanted to do with urbantickets.co.uk is get the right partners for what we do, I always felt that the route we take advertising wise can really define the company.
With the Voice I think I sent out some emails to few companies and they got back to me straight away, I met them in their offices and we just took it from there. We now get weekly advertising in their newspaper and we’re looking at other things we could do.

With RWD I think it was similar to the Voice, but we get a similar deal anyway.
Then the Mahogany Models was I really weird one, my mum used to go to school in Nigeria with Sola, who runs the company. I told her about what I was doing and she said ‘oh I know this guy Sola who puts on shows’, I wasn’t really taking her seriously, next thing I know I’m the sole ticket outlet for all of Mahogany Models shows! It was my first real client as well so it was a big step; we actually just did a bridal show for them which went well.

So at the moment you’re just selling tickets in the u.k, Have you started to think maybe you can start stretching to different countries?

I have thought about that and it would be interesting to look into it in more detail but at the moment I don’t want to spread myself to thin, I’m really focussed on building the brand name and conquering the UK. We have made contact with some Americans in terms of getting into the market over there so we’ll see, watch this space.

How have you been spreading the word about your company around? How is it been so far?

I use the internet a lot, facebook etc Also when you work with good promoters they help push the brand as well by using our logo on their promo stuff. We’ve also got the magazine stuff, we’re in the Voice and RWD every issue and we’re also working on more deals at the moment.
I did actually print and design some flyers but I just haven’t had time to give them out, you’ll see me soon though (laughter).

How much influence do you think the internet has on businesses?

Crazy influence, I don’t think it would have been possible to do this without the internet, not just because it’s a website but also in terms of promotion and getting it off the ground. Without the internet it probably would’ve taken a lot longer.
So for businesses in general it’s a great tool but you have to use it wisely.

Have you been under any pressure to succeed?

Definitely, I think there’s always pressure for anyone to succeed, even if it’s a 9-5 job. With running your own business there is always more pressure because you may not always have money coming in, so in comparison to friends and peers it feels like you’ve got it harder because you feel like your working harder than them but then they’re more comfortable than you. But it’s a sacrifice you make to do what you want to do and the idea is that it will pay off in the end.

Have you encountered any setbacks or negative experience so far and how did you cope with it?

I mean doing this has been such roller coasters ride, its crazy. When I first started it was hard to get promoters onboard with the whole concept, when your new in a field you haven’t really got that reputation so you’re always having to sell the idea and convince people. The first month or so I sent out 100s of emails and talked to a lot of people and most of them weren’t on it but thanks to a few promoters who gave us a chance we were able to build up a reputation. It is tough but the main thing is just to be hungry and positive no matter what and I always knew I had a strong idea it’s just about getting other people to believe in it as well.

How do you cope? You must be really busy? When is your busiest time?

Sometimes its really busy, sometimes it’s not but there’s always things that can be done. I work part time as well so I’m pretty much always working. Right now going into summer its starting to quiet down because a lot of people go on wild holidays to Napa and all the promoters are out there. But busy times are basically the holidays, xmas, new year, valentines was really busy and Easter. I’m hoping carnival times will be busy this year.
Everyone loves an excuse to rave!

What would you say to young entrepreneurs out there trying to bring into different industries?

I’m still a young entrepreneur myself the only difference I suppose is that I’ve started something. But the advice I would give in terms of getting something going is to look for gaps in the market don’t just do things that everyone else is doing, I purposely try and do different things that I know other people are not doing. If you bring something new to a market you’ll always have an advantage over other people that try and get in.
The other thing is make sure you’re passionate about what your doing, you have to be willing to maybe not make money for a year or 3 but still have that passion and dedication to succeed.

Do you have any role model/influences in your life and career?

I wouldn’t say I really have any role models that I look up to but I’m definitely inspired by people like me who have come from little and through being business minded and determined have done very well. The UK music scene is incredible right now with people like Sway and Bashy who have been grinding for a minute and are now seeing awards.


Do you have any books or audios that you would like any young entrepreneurs out there to get their hands on?

Boy… to be honest I don’t really keep up with those books, I don’t think there’s any set plan for you to make money, its more about attitude. What I would say is find out about how other successful entrepreneurs came up and try and learn from others experience so you can avoid mistakes they’ve made and you know what you might be in for.
I had a look at Duncan Banantynes story (the guy from Dragons Den) and he went through so much to get where he is, I think he was an ice-cream man at one point.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learnt so far?

To always try new things and be open minded. You should never do anything business wise thinking that you know everything because then you can never improve.

What has been the best advices you been given so far?

Learn from your mistakes, if you fail see where you went wrong and make it better for net time.
Also my stepdad always says ‘don’t assume anything because it makes an ass out of u and me’ .
Which basically means plan everything and don’t it to chance or assumption.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

It’s hard to say because I don’t think I’m not even 10% of where I want the company to be but I would say getting investment and making the whole thing happen. It’s amazing to type ‘urban tickets’ into Google and my site comes at the top

So what’s next for you and urban tickets??

Big tings!! We’ve got updates coming in the next couple months which take the site to a whole new level, also there maybe some sister sites popping up.
You can keep up to date with us on everything- blog- http://blog.urbantickets.co.uk/
Facebook- http://tinyurl.com/m7msqt
Twitter- http://twitter.com/urbantickets
Definitely a lot of good stuff coming, also can a shout out the princes trust, my family, Tsion, Oskar and everyone else who’s backed me. Peace!!

Thank you for your time, I wish you the best in the future, you’ve got some really good thing going on here.

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YHP Interviews Makeda Wilson


How are you doing today?

I’m good thank you.

Can you give some background information about yourself? What do you do?

Well I like to describe myself as a writer at one moment and a music journalist at others, so I guess you can combine the two. I first started to make my mark on the Facebook networking site with notes and I’ve just evolved from there. Now I have a blog which documents developments within the UK Funky Movement named exactly that, as well as writing freelance and being co-owner/founder of an online magazine.

You recently started up an online magazine called It’s Alot Magazine, how did that come about? How has it been going so far?

Starting up It’s Alot Magazine really started from feeling restricted with the blog. It was getting traffic but couldn’t be expanded in content due to the title. I wanted somewhere I could combine that information with other elements of the House genre and also the other UK music scenes without having to maintain various different sites and therefore felt the best way to combine them into one place was to start a magazine, following the online concept of blogging.

It’s been going really well. Since we’ve launched, the feedback we get from readers as well as the people featured is always positive, which is a really good feeling. With it being something that we feel still needs a lot of nurturing for its development, it’s good encouragement for our enthusiasm to ensure that we remain innovative and progressive.

You call yourself a funky junkie, how did you get into music especially funky house?

Well I can’t really tell you when I got into music. I was definitely too young to remember though. My mother has tapes of me singing Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody before I could even pronounce the words properly. But Funky now was something I was defiant against when it first started to filter into the circuit. Being heavily into Garage, it was something many friends suggested to me, I even had a friend who was an upcoming DJ at the time make me a personalised CD strictly consisting of tracks that were my kind of flavour, but I’m hard headed and refused to be a follower because of its ‘in thing’ trend.

I weren’t really into Grime and had reverted heavily back into R&B in the Grime stages. It was only after taking a break from raving, following the birth of my son, I went out one night and I was intrigued by the way everyone was screwing up their faces and getting down. It reminded me of my first days on the circuit during adolescence. The following week I copied off a Pioneer CD that me and my boyfriend had been listening to while decorating his flat, but I still weren’t convinced. But the rave I went to following that, Pioneer was on the decks and he played one of my favourite tracks on the CD, there was no turning back. I never even left the dancefloor to relieve myself, I just about went to the bar for a drink and I’ve never been able to look back since.

What is your favourite funky house song/artist at the moment?

OK I need to clear up one thing…. It’s not Funky House. This was something I found out when first getting into the music. Funky House is something you’d find on a Hed Kandi or Pacha compilation and sounds nothing like what you’d get from Crazy Cousinz, Naughty, Geeneus, Fuzzi Logik or any of the other producers. But my favourite track at the moment would have to be Black Coffee – Turn Me On. The song has song magical powers I swear!

What inspires you to do what you do?

WOW!! What inspires me? I just wanted to do something new and innovative that wasn’t already being done. I knew straight away that I wanted to be a part of the movement but I wanted to do something original which I already found enjoyment from and was also beneficial to the scene. As long as what I do remains beneficial to the others within the movement, just doing me will inspire me to continue. When you have a real passion, its inspiration within itself.

What do you like the most about what you do?

Meeting new people mostly, and learning about other people’s experiences within the industry.

Why did you start the blog, what you think people wanted to hear what you had to say?


When I first started the blog last year October, there wasn’t a place people could reference to find out about the music. Nobody knew where they could purchase it either so everybody was reliant on who they knew to get their hands on the music. Tracks were usually identified by sound and anybody on the outside of the movement was left high with curiosity.

I had been writing before hand and had approached a large number of magazines and websites but there was a major stigma against emerging sub genres. This infuriated me because I knew that there was a market for this information, but it was only until I loaded one of my articles onto the Beatport music website that it was confirmed in fact how big the thirst was. Following this I approached the magazines again and searched for blogs, anywhere that provided some kind of information on the music. All I found was my same article, copied and pasted and credited to me. I didn’t really need any more thought about it. The blog site was started as soon as the penny dropped on October 4th 2008 after the hours of 11pm, when I should’ve been going to my bed.

What do you hate seeing in the funky scene?

Hmmm…. there are a few things. The main thing is the lack of quality control. It’s like the stem of most of the negative things, especially the politics. The issues in the scene are all related to quality control in some sense or another. There also seems to be a lack of unity too which I think has a negative effect on the movement. Everyone just wants to eat their cake and not share, which means there’s no sense of community, it’s more like a stock market.

How do you cope with the business and raising a kid?


I don’t! Coping I see as a word that defines a struggle, like a burden. It takes up a large amount of my time as I’m a mother before anything else and in reality, I would be able to dedicate that time on something else, but he was there before the business so with time management and a supportive unit, it all works out in the end. There are some opportunities I have missed out on, but I believe that if there is will, there is a way and having a child just increases my desire to succeed.

The funky scene, where do you see it going?

Boy…. Who knows? This is a frequent topic these days but none of us are able to see the future. The skank tracks have become tired very quickly but are still being produced. Many say they won’t last past Napa, but Napa might make them blow considering the ratio of ages that are flying over to the island this summer. But there’s also commercial interest now so we could be looking at some upcoming top 10 hits. They can also bleed it dry and force it back underground. So there’s a few options, the scenes really split right now so what happens on one side of the scene may not happen on the other. We shall see…..

Who is the king and queen of funky house?

Marcus Nasty is undoubtedly the King of the scene. He’s pushed the scene forward on another level. He’s like the Bob Marley of Reggae or the Bruce Lee of Kung Fu. Straight Ambassador. Pardon me, I do try to be modest, but if you want a Queen of the Funky scene it can only be me. There are many females out there that have pushed the scene forward though, I’m not taking anything away from any of them but if I had to pick one, it would be Angie B. She’s been here from the start but she doesn’t get the respect she deserves for some reason.

What do you see yourself in the next 10 years?


I don’t even know where I see myself in one year let alone 10! I can tell you that I’ll be 35 though so hopefully I will have achieved a lot. Don’t rush life, it can be cut short at any time.

Do you have any musical talent?

I’ve dabbled in a lot of things growing up. I was always in the school choirs and did a few live performances singing and dancing from 5 years old upwards. I’ve also fiddled around with a few instruments. I went from the recorder to the piano to the violin and then steel pans. I was quite good at the piano and violin. I may pick up the violin again one day, I’m a big fan of Vanessa Mae.

Have you got any advice you’d like to impart on Journalists, media personalities or music critics?

Just do you and have your own style. Remain individual and true to yourself.

What should we be expecting from you in the future?

I like to keep my cards close to my chest. This is a saturated market with many plagiarists, but those that need to know are aware and those that aren’t will know when all is revealed. But I can tell you to look out for a new Urban web based TV channel called Champagne Bubblee TV. I’ve been writing the celebrity news for them and will soon actually be presenting it…. So look out for that cause that is coming very soon.

its alot logo original

Thank you for your time.

Contact and follow her @
Itsalot Magazine
WordPress Funky Blog
Makeda’s Blogspot Blog

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Interview with Mobo Award winner- Victizzle


Hello victor, so glad you are able to do this interview with us today, how are you doing?

I’m great! Thanks so much for having me.

Can you give the readers some background information about yourself and what do you do?

Well I’m a Music Producer and Artist. I’m 19 and I’m in my 2nd year of University going into 3rd, studying Music and Media Management, And most importantly I’m a Christian and I’ve chosen to use music to help people living in struggle and pain but at the same time make people smile, laugh and have fun in life.

So how do you cope with university workload and being an artist?

NOT EASY mate…it’s very tough but i study what is related to what i do as a career so it really helps my music life. I’ve had to sacrifice so much but it’s always been worth it.

What does it mean to you to be a Christian artist?

It means Standing Out for what is right, Leading the way and not following the crowd, being different but unique in the way God made you. Representing Jesus! Having fun also (Laughter)

How is God reflected in your music?


I reflect God in my music through the stories of my life and what I’ve been through and how God got me through them. I choose not to hide anything from any one so that i can inspire people and show them that we must keep it real at all times. The more we keep it real the less we will be judged wrongly by others and the more people will listen to us when we speak. I use music to help people; God uses us as the solutions to people’s problems. So let’s be solutions, not problems.

Of all your own songs, do you have a favourite? Which song is it? Why is it your favourite?

My Favourite is ME MYSELF AND iPOD. I love it because it’s me in my most vulnerable and weakest form, but that’s when God’s power works more in me. The track is just so real and anyone can relate to it. The times when you’re on the road walking or on the bus/train alone and your with you iPod just in your own zone.

At what age did you realise music was your thing and when did you decide to go into it big time?

Music has always been my thing but i started making beats when i was 12 and started writing songs when i was 14, I’m now 19, so I’ve been into it for quite some time now.

You won a mobo award with your group then, g-force, how was the feeling? Why did you decide to go solo?

The whole MOBO thing hadn’t hit me till like a year later….
But it eventually made me realise that it doesn’t matter your age, you can fulfil dreams if you just believe and put the work in non-stop. I was always a solo artists, i was part of G-force as one of their main producers, but jumped on a few tracks as a Rapper and MC, but I’ve always been solo.

What inspires you to do music?

Anything inspires me, but it’s how you use that inspiration that matters. Do you use it for negativity or positivity? God and the Bible inspire me. The things we go through in life inspires me. My mum inspires me. My partner inspires me. I can find inspiration anywhere!

Do you have role model/influence?

My Mum and my Step Dad are my role models and my friends and some of the amazing people I’ve met in this life so far have become great role models for me.

You just released your album not too long ago called “In my world”, how has it been going so far?


Not bad so far. The response has been amazing from a lot of people, which is great… many people are saying that the can relate to many of the topics and issues that the album holds, which is fantastic and that was the aim of the album in the first place, for people to connect.

Every artist has a reason for a song title and an album name, why did you called it “in my world”?

My album is called IN MY WORLD because I’m the kind of person who likes to let my life do the talking rather than go around annoying people, preaching in their faces. I’m not the preachy type, that’s not me; God didn’t make me that way. I like to live by example, and be of help wherever and whenever I can. This album is for those that aren’t Christians mainly, so that they can understand that we too also struggle in life and go through pain and hurt but it s all worth it because we have Jesus.

Do you have any favourite young artist at the moment?

Look out for Franklyn! He features on my album and he’s only 15! Amazing lyricist!! Also look out for Presha J a hot MC and an amazing singer called Lola Godheld!

What are your songs about?

God, Life, real issues and topics, Solutions to problems. Just reality really.

Do you write your own songs?

Yeah I write my own songs, but i also let other people write some stuff for me as well. It’s fun and we work together in unity. There are always people out there that are better than you at what you do. Some times it’s good to ask for help.

Who are your musical influences?

Too many to name. One producer I love for his creativity is Timberland,. That guy is a creative genius; he inspires me to have no limits in what you do!

What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)


To build on my joint Company with my music partner TUNDAY. The company is called WRITE WAY MUSIC LTD. I aim to create a big music studio as well, but there are so many things I aim to accomplish but I’d rather keep it on the low until it happens.

Thanks for your time.

Contact Victizzle@

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