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Position - Company: Audience Manager - Graduation Records / CEO - DUKE Records

Ethnicity: Indian
Location: London, UK

Instagram: @SaifromDuke / @DukeRecrds

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT - completed April 2023

Describe your role:
Creative, Calculated, Calm

If it has, describe how your heritage has affected your experience within the industry?
My experience has been really good, I have worked really hard for a long time, and people are beginning to recognise this. I would love to see a few more faces around the spot that look like mine, but I think it will come with time, I feel like I am seeing waaaaay more of us embrace our talents more and building careers out of it, and that is really and truly special to see.

What has been your favourite project you have been a part of to date?
That's difficult, recently we put on our (some friends & I) first event, it was a sell out, so that was really cool for our debut in the events sector, were going to defo do it again. 

I have loved every minute of working with this pop artist called Laura Gomes too, super super cool, she's super talented. 

But one of my favourite campaigns I am running is with this rapper from Nottingham, MK Tential, for me its like a blank canvas, we have been helping him develop his sound, his aesthetic, his brand and now his marketing, I have a lot of high hopes for him, and he's allowed me a lot of executive decisions when it comes to his sound. I am so ready to see his work come to fruition.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced in the industry?
My number one challenge is more of a myself kinda thing. To explain further, since I put my head down and decided music was the career for me, I basically worked with so much obsession and direction, more than I have for anything else in my life. But being patient has been a difficult for me. In life we have so many external pressures as well as internal, fighting off rejection, seeing plans fail and a whole bunch of other stuff. 

I usually consider myself quite self-aware, once I knew I wanted a career in music, I was set on it (add stubborn to my list of qualities). Being patient was probably one of my hardest challenges, I knew I belonged there regardless of what anyone else would've told me. 

I just had to wait for the right opportunity and before the right opportunity came, I had to start Duke to mark the right opportunity for myself.

Your advice for someone entering the industry/to new artists:
Believe in yourself first and foremost. 
Be kind to everyone. 
Do your research into the work sections/genres you're most passionate about. 

And as a non-general piece of advice, I strongly hate bad marketing, don't listen to any super generic advice for marketing please, if someone tells you you need to post x amounts of time per day, simply ignore them, take advice No. 3, and do your research, tiktok doesn't tell you to post x amounts of times per day.

Music selects:
  • Cathy Jain is SOOOO cold - someone tell her to release desires. 
  • Rithvik Andugula from London is super cool 
  • Elzon from London has a maaaaaad amount of potential 
  • Griff - 'One Night', holds a special place in my heart 
  • Beabadoobee - 'The Perfect Pair', is a perfect song, the outro makes me feel like im in a spy movie.