UD Has Transformed Its Flagship Industry Takeover Into A Seven-Day Festival For 2023

UD Has Transformed Its Flagship Industry Takeover Into A Seven-Day Festival For 2023

March 23, 2023

UD's Industry Takeover is back, but instead of the All-Dayer of previous years, this year it's expanded into a seven-day festival. Taking place from March 27 to April 2 at UD's Talent House in Stratford, the Industry Takeover comprises 20 different events with over 30 companies taking part, including contributions from 0207 Def Jam, Music Against Racism, Rio Ferdinand Foundation, PPL, Warner Music UK, UD's first ambassador, Ray BLK, and many more.

As part of their flagship industry takeover, UD has partnered with TRENCH for The Knowledge Exchange—In Conversation with Ray BLK, hosted by Jacqueline Springer, curator of Africa & Diaspora: Performance at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Their discussion will explore the artistry of music, creation, sustainability, and endurance. When becoming relevant how do we stay relevant? How do we embrace creative diversification—business evolution, the side hustle—without losing the legacy of artistry?

There will also be an In Conversation session steered by BBC Correspondent Chi Chi Izundu with 0207 Def Jam founders, Alex and Alec Boateng. The final of the three will feature Michelle Kambasha from The Guardian, and Athian Akec, a member of the UK Youth Parliament and an active campaigner on knife crime, Brexit, and climate change.

There's a lot to catch on the live music front as well; The Spit Game team will be there, filming one of their live cyphers at the Talent House, Complex UK will be powering the Open Mic night (where the best performers will be featured online post-event), GUAP will be hosting their own live showcase of new and emerging talent, and live music collective Orii Jam will close the week with a massive live jazz session.

Most crucial of all, the Industry Takeover will of course be focusing heavily on community development and supporting Black music culture. Music Against Racism are curating a panel involving the Rio Ferdinand Foundation and Warner Music UK. Discussing how best to fight racism and prejudice in the music industry, they've called on Heather Small (Rio Ferdinand Foundation Ambassador), Jermain Jackman (singer, songwriter, author, and activist), Lord Victor Adebowale (UD Chair), Joe Kentish (President, Warner Records), Paul Samuels (VP A&R, Atlantic Records), Paul Hill (Education Co-ordinator, Show Racism The Red Card), with KISS FM's Esi in the moderator chair.

On top of all of that, UD have also drafted in some of the most successful and knowledgeable figures at the very top of the industry, Preye Crooks (Strawberries & Creem co-founder and A&R at Sony Music's Robot + Humans), Theolonious Oliver (Artist Manager / A&R at PIAS), Davina Merchant (Artist Manager / Senior Publishing A&R), Dani Sawyerr (A&R Universal Music Publishing UK), and Benson Udia (Senior Marketing Manager at EMI UK) with The Spit Game's Benjamin Tuner on host duties. On Tuesday, April 4, Finessa Foreva co-founder TK and producer JB MadeIt will be taking part in a Q&A hosted by Eric Hunter of the Music Managers Forum (MMF). Then, the following afternoon, platinum-selling producer TSB will be dropping by UD House to share his award-winning knowledge in a production masterclass with The Flight Club.

UD founder and CEO Pamela McCormick shares: "UD's role is to develop, educate and connect young Black talent to the business, and I'm excited that, throughout this week of events, we will be providing a platform to elevate the voices of underrepresented communities and drive positive change to create a more diverse industry."

Tickets are running out fast, but you can reserve a free ticket to #IT2023 at udtickets.com.


Words: Dwayne Wilks
Photography: Romany Francesca