On the 7th of December, 2018, Manchester Academy felt a dynamic thrill of energy, as an overpowering stage presence took over the crowd. Skengdo x Am: Greener On The Other Side, 5 city tour had began at their sold out show in Manchester, powerfully. Skengdo x Am along-side upcoming artists such as SGSeason and KayDrico provided an enlightening performance that screamed diligence, keeping the crowd constantly high-powered and tireless.
The night consisted of entertainment and vibrancy with a continuous need to move and sing a long. Every artist delivered an astonishing need to mindlessly vibe along with every song, including the infamous, controversial ‘Attempted 1.0’ by AM.
Shockingly, the crowd ranged in diversity, with Caucasian being the majority evidently breaking the stereotypes of the genre of drill itself: that it attracts gang violence and culturally deprived working class ethnic boys. Skengdo x AM are prime examples of drawing in an audience regardless of background, age and gender.
One thing that definitely could not be excused is the work ethic and drive behind the growth and success of Skendo x AM. Constantly, delivering enticing work, with millions of views to reward them as well as collabs with only the best for example, Chief Keef Sosa. Their hard work and consistency has also allowed for their sound to be diverse which is portrayed in their remix of Amelia Monet’s ‘The Baddest’, in which we see a smooth pop flow, instead of a hard core drill beat, and some singing from the masked AM.
This, however, doesn’t detract from the fact that their behind the scenes (management team) work at astonishing pace and work rate in order to aid in making their artists dreams come true.
Tk and Skillz, the co-owners (and managers) of the independent label company: Finesse Foreva, which began running two years ago by putting all they had into it.
When asked: “What was the initial motivation and vision behind Finesse Foreva when first setting up your brand?” We were delighted to find out that ‘a passion for music, media and business’ is what motivated their need to start their own label. Before the rise of Finesse, TK had already been doing music for 7 years and had ample experience in music engineering and rap. This aided him to own his own label (although his first attempts seemed to falter due to being surrounded by the wrong team). Nevertheless, fate brought TK and Skillz back together, along with JB (a producer) creating the perfect team which continues to expand.
Finesse Foreva, has contributed to their environment by “inspiring young people to dream” and think beyond the mundane everyday life of just a 9-5 or the harsh reality or local gang crime. After all, if you have potential maximise it. It is prevalent within Finesse Foreva’s ethos that ‘young people are the future’ in which we see a great amount of work with young people from the team. They are constantly working in helping people get to where they want to be – even if it’s just by allowing them to perform at a show. This is further reinforced by their sense of responsibility over their (6) artists. In an interview with LDNRBS (watch video) Skillz stated “one thing about management, you think it’s just business, it’s never just business. It’s personal and business.” According to TK, its their duty to make sure that their artists are in line and so they care about every aspect of their lives.
Finesse Foreva are is a self-funded, black owned business who are striving to adapt (no matter the challenges) to get to the top. Although they don’t believe that being a black owned business puts a strain on their growth, they do admit that being black and having to learn everything on their own. “Not a lot of people are doing what they’re doing and old labels aren’t necessarily willing to recognise them. Nevertheless, they see the flaws in older labels because it’s the same problems that were around when they were younger.” This is something they are aiming to rectify.
With a more than bright future ahead of them, Finesse Foreva aim to become global and grow from “some young, small town boys from Surrey, Croydon to a world renowned representative of music.” As well as music and management, TK would love to be able to open a Business School to help in creating independence for youths. With a motivated and work driven mindset, as well as passion and determination, these “Diligent Twins” are on a great road to success.