Today we are excited to bring you an interview with London-based artist/music producer AFuturo, who tells us about his musical background and shares his experience applying for funding from Help Musicians UK.
Hi, AFuturo, it’s good to meet you. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your music.
I am an artist/music producer and DJ from London with musical passions that are really varied.
My background is English-Spanish-Jamaican and has been influenced by all type of music. In my own music I like to break up and fuse different genres – Bashment, Hip-Hop with Middle-Eastern music, as well as House with country music and eighties synths.
Being on the spectrum opens my mind in different ways, creativity-wise. I use my imagination to build a story within my music.
My first proper taste of music was when I was at Secondary School. My teacher saw me playing piano every day during breaks, or trying to play drums, and she told me I have a keen ear for music. I started creating music on Cubase at school, it was because of her I took up music.
My early years in music were confusing – I knew I wanted a career in music, but I was confused with which path to take. I took up dance and attended battles. I found I could express my passion through music by dancing and later started to teach street dance and bashment dance privately, as well putting on theatre production plays.
I took a break from the creative arts industry, feeling burned out. I then went back to studies and took a DJ course at an Adult Education Centre on the Edgware Road. I played some of my stuff to the class and the teacher really liked my music. He asked if he could play the track at Glastonbury Festival in his DJ set. Following on the positive feedback I then auditioned at CM Sounds and managed to get one of the ten spaces available on the degree course in partnership with University of Westminster.
Since I left University I played in a couple of bars and centres – 229, Destiny in Watford, Brady Arts Centre – and have worked with a variety of DIY/Unsigned artists.
In my own time, due to my disability, I completed my introduction to being a Music Therapist at Nordoff-Robbins, which I do wish to go back to at some point later on in my career.
I am still in the early stages of my career. I have taken time to perfect my own sound. It has also taken a lot of time to find my own identity and branding behind my disability. I wish to project this into stories of empowerment, as well as taking people on a journey through my music.
What can you tell us about why you applied to the Transmission Fund from Help Musicians?
I am now using the Transmission funding to do a course with Pointblank Music School on Mixing and Mastering, even though at University I learned mixing and mastering. Due to being on the spectrum there are certain sounds I hear within my music. I want use this course to make me a better all round Producer and learn from experienced Tutors who have worked with people who I like, La Roux, Gorillaz, Bob Marley and more.
What you are hoping to do next, musically speaking?
Currently I am working on 2 songs which I will be putting out for Summer release. One is a dance track – Take It – which is about empowerment and being yourself, no matter what barriers you face in life. Basically being your Alpha self.
Track Two – Sonic – is another Dance Track with a House/Eighties feel, and is about the subconscious mind.
I shall be taking the course at Pointblank in July and that will help with my Summer releases.
You mentioned that you want to encourage more Disabled musicians to apply, can you tell us more about that?
Yes! The reason why I wish to encourage more artists from disability/disadvantaged backgrounds to apply for this grant is because there are artists right now who will probably be reading this and thinking such barriers in life stop them from progressing on their musical journey.
Help Musicians is a brilliant organisation for artists who are just starting out, or need help with funding to take them on to the next level of their journey. They provide support via telephone application, which takes 15 mins, or via a Zoom call.
Be it a course, or using it to get mentor advice, or simply to hone skills, this type of support can provide up to £1,500 to help you take advantage of opportunities that will enhance your skills and it is available whenever you need it.
People who can apply for this are instrumentalists, composers, producers, conductors, vocalists or singer-songwriters etc. You can even be part of a band.
What I am trying to say here, is there are brilliant opportunities out there. So please go ahead and apply. If I can do it, so can others.
Drake Music supported me on this journey and as the tight community that we are, I know Drake Music will support and encourage other up and coming artists.
Thank you so much to AFuturo for taking the time do this interview and for his encouragement to other artists to get out there and have a go at applying for funding. We know that lots of Disabled artists don’t feel confident to do that, so this encouragement is really valuable.
Keep your eyes peeled for the 2 releases he will be putting out this summer – Take It and Sonic. We’ll make sure to share the links on our socials and you can find AFuturo on Instagram here.