Luke is an event organiser based in Newcastle. At the age of seventeen he set up ‘ARC Collective’ – originally this was to boost music in the area, trying to be a musical enterprise. This would be from building a studio to arranging gigs.
Deciding on a full rebrand in February this year he began to focus on events and gigs of all genres.
Luke also has a side of his enterprise that is more producing based, aimed more towards the grime/hip-hop scene. His idea is to produce an album that features rappers and MC’s – If anyone feels that they could be useful either with the events side of things or the album Luke is planning to produce then please feel free to get in touch with him.
What initially got you into the Grime and Hip Hop scene?
Probably listening to Hip Hop music, I was totally inspired by how a story could be convoyed through music: Something like Immortal Techniques “Dance With the Devil”, explaining how a small time drug dealer went through hell and eventually committed suicide trying to make it bigger in the drug scene. Eventually I started to listen more closely to the music and listen to more of an alternate version of Hip Hop and Grime stuff like Mick Jenkins “Jazz” – with a really cold slow Marimba in the background and such dark lyrics over the top. So I guess thats what got me into the scene the way the lyrics can inspire or tell a story or just make you feel such a strong Remotion and the overall musicality of it despite what most critics will say of rap in general.
What gave you the push to set up your business, what was the ambition and how much of it have you managed to achieve?
The ambition is to one day turn the Collective into a full musical enterprise like it used to be but with much bigger backers than my own bank account and to eventually start funding venues with it and promoting more music. I have managed to secure venues all across the UK and scout bands to play at them. This July we are taking over the live music scene in Newcastle and we go on tour in August to Manchester and London helping bands tour and taking part in community festivals. Admitantly I have a long way to go but so far the events and gigs have been fuelled of nothing but hopes and dreams meaning nothing is impossible.
How would you rate your success and what advise would you give to anyone tackling the industry?
So far I would rate my overall success as quite low simply because where I am now is no where near where I want to be. I feel I’ve worked hard and done so much however I know more is required to take over the musical world the way I want to. I only really have two pieces of advice to people in the events industry. Firstly always be polite and always be communal. The moment that you believe your the big dog is when your venues and backers become hostile and demand things you don’t have. If your always polite and work with as many people as possible everyone will be supportive and help out. Secondly is that people who say you need to put loads of money into a business to make it work are people who earn too much for their own good and people who say you can create a business with no money at all may have the heart but not the brains. The trick with money and funding is this: How much can I get out of the little I put in? Before every transaction follow that philosophy and touch wood you should be able to stay afloat.
Do you find people to be helpful and supportive in the industry or would you say you have to look after yourself?
I find certain people supportive and certain people extremely difficult for example; I find that students are usually very supportive and if your ambitions can involve and help theirs they often help out where ever they can. My friends have been extremely supportive always volunteering for even the most boring of tasks like holding lights for model shoots. Family have been a real difficulty as none of them believe there is any business to be made in the arts and they all believe that it can only be a hobby. The music industry is undoubtedly crowded and hard to get involved in yes, but every once in a while and with a little bit of luck something amazing can slip through the cracks. I also find that most venues are not supportive. They do not like Co-ordinators like myself trying to run events and I have sent emails, letters, messaged, rang and even approached venues in person and I’d say 75% have had no interest in me or what I’m trying to achieve.
Talking about how supportive people are in the industry – saying that people aren’t really when it comes to venues. What do you think can be done to tackle this?
There’s nothing much event directors like myself can do about it, apart from using every power of persuasion and a lot of money. If more funding is put into young entrepreneurs do we actually have something to offer venues of all sizes. Instead of using our own funds to try and get events started.
How hard is it to create events? What kind of steps have you got to go through?
Creating events starts by co-ordinating acts and the venue to be available and ready to go. After that you start actually creating the event, posters, the name of the event, using a budget spending it where it is needed. Then start coordinating photographers and event staff, organise acts, equipment and security. Theres overall a lot of things that could go wrong and always one of them does go wrong. Its how you deal with it when it does go wrong which can make or break an event.
I understand you’re planning on creating an album, whats the vision?
To tell a story and to show people the truth behind certain elements of my life. The album I’m creating has been a year in the process and I’m hoping to release it later this year. It explores small stories like a friends battle with illness all the way to explaining my battle with my families oppression and my own depression. It however is by no means a totally depressing album there are tracks with fast and heavy beats to them and lyrics to match (without giving away to much).
Who are you looking to collab with? How should they reach out?
The tracks I’ve created are great and I believe this is some of my best music ever. However I cant sing or rap no matter how much I try so I am looking to collar with anyone who is into this type of music (hip/hop and grime) to help me create the album, all money gained from the album can be split evenly etc. The important thing with the album is that the message gets out. To reach out by all means message me on Facebook or the ARC Collective or you can get to me via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Would you be happy to collab with anyone else on their projects?
I would be more than happy to collaborate with other artists, I love music and even if I cant make money of it I get such a buzz from being on stage or creating something that sounds really good.
What have you worked on and who have you worked with in the grime/ hip-hop scene?
My work in music goes far back however I have only really focused on Hip Hop/Grime music for a little while from releasing backing tracks on Spotify to creating full tracks for artists such as Buddahmann and Michael Mayo on Spotify and Apple Music. Although they were now over a year ago and I feel so much more confident and more advanced with my own style of music that I am considering taking them down and replacing them with the album.