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WPGM Commentary: Emerging ‘Urban’ UK Talent Will Succeed Only If We Let It


“If you knew how physically and mentally draining it is to create a piece of work and for it to get over looked is a heartbreaking thing” – Nick Asiama, Certified UK

I’m a believer in one quote, ‘Dream Big, work hard and work smart’. Certified UK is a talent platform, essentially. Created by me, Certified UK has become a ‘go-to’ media platform to showcase emerging UK talent, with a lot of focus on the ‘Urban’ genre, but not solely. Creating and heading up Certified UK gave me a whole new insight into the true hidden talent in this city [London]. For the last year, I have had the privilege to platform that talent, but there are a few major issues within this sector of music that once I found myself submerged in the media & music industry irked me, so here I am… Let me explain.

One of the main things noticed has been the lack of support given to the ‘risers’; we are so quick to listen to the newest Rae Sremmurds, Bobby Shmurda or whatever American ignorance is being spouted through our commercially filtered websites, and radio stations (and don’t get it twisted, I enjoy a Shmoney dance as much as the next guy), but when even retweeting something in support of a new UK talent is by-passed because it won’t make you look cool for a quick vine of a shmoney dance, the lack of support is evident and if I’m honest, probably one of the biggest factors holding UK talent back.

Let me be very clear, I’m not forcing anything on anyone, I’m just saying my piece, laying down what I’ve observed, you know… making a point of conversation. But I will put it like this; shouldn’t you worry about what’s happening on your own door step before stepping out anywhere and jumping on bandwagons? Why is there no worry about what is representing the place where you’re from? Until it is a hype? We have a lot to be proud of in terms of entertainment in our city. I can honestly say it is a very passionate and focused scene at its best. In my eyes, all that hard work should be supported.

Firstly, and always, a high level of quality should never be compromised. When it comes to supporting talents, you know quality when you hear it or see it (if you don’t, you could always look at www.certified-uk.com, we’ve got the best emerging UK talents there #Plug), so at least support it. Recently I’ve seen the lack of support turn solo artists to form collectives and I think that is good of your scene, togetherness, however there can always be downfalls – but that is for another post!

Unfortunately, I feel we are in a hater generation; instead of giving ratings, the first thing we do is criticize with ‘why wasn’t it done this way’ or ‘is that it?’, instead of giving props for doing in the first place! If you knew how physically and mentally draining it is to create a piece of work and for it to get over looked is a heartbreaking thing. I can say that our generation is the most creative and relevant, simply because of the opportunities given to us. In the last 20 years, most people never wanted to be in music or a footballer or have a t-shirt line, now there is a huge network of young, talented, passionate creatives in the UK that are doing those things off of their own back and that needs to be shown to the WORLD.

I’m blessed I have provided a platform for these acts to be seen and in my own way, support them and hope that you find your way to support. Whether it’s through a retweet or a view or even word of mouth, you don’t know how powerful it is until you’ve done it. It’s not all bad, there definitely have been times recently where a lot of people have gotten behind an artist, most recently as an example Stormzy.

Collectively there has been proper support not only for him as a great talent but to add to that, he is a humble, hungry and passionate individual, people support THAT. If we took a page from the support he has received, there will be a lot of talent in huge positions. The scene needs a good economic support system that helps everyone and once we have that the scene as a whole will grow, because we will let it.

Words by Nick Asiama (Certified UK)

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