Producer, DJ, Educator & Director (Balraj) Samrai is one of the founding members of Manchester’s Swing Ting party and imprint – profiled by Resident Advisor, FACT magazine & Bandcamp Daily.
He’s guested on BBC Asian Network (Manara/Yasser’s shows), Radio 1 (Toddla T’s show) & 1Xtra (Tash LC’s show), co-hosting a monthly show on NTS Live with fellow Swing Ting crew members Joey B & Platt. He’s released on labels UTTU, DBA, Keysound, Niche N Bump & Fat City, performing in Europe, North America, Asia and the Caribbean. Samrai currently lectures at BIMM music college in Manchester.
We’re excited to be working with Balraj on our latest hip-hop residency DISRUPT. From 7-11 July he’ll lead a group of young artists to create new music combining hip hop, electronics, spoken word and live instrumentation to represent themes of protest.
Book your free (but limited!) tickets to the final performance on Thu 11 July here.
Balraj has shared with us some top tips for aspiring artists…
If you’re not getting booked or getting the shine you feel you deserve, it’s time to try and come up with an innovative way to present what you do. Whether it’s a fresh project, hiring a venue yourself or creating your own mix or freestyle series. Innovate don’t stagnate!
2. Get immersed
If you’re interested in a sound or certain type of music go out and attend gigs, clubs and parties to meet and socialise with like-minded people. You may even meet future business partners or collaborators. It’s easy to get stuck online and inside. Some of the best music comes out of community scenes so put some energy in the pot and it’ll come back around.
3. Perfection doesn’t exist
Don’t agonise over and over every last detail until you’re sick of the work. Strive for excellence and have a list of steps to achieve this. Whether this is checking a track on a certain sound system, seeking feedback from a mix engineer or setting yourself a personal deadline. Great work can take time so it’s important to not cut corners but if you want to live from your craft you’ll need to know when it’s time to give it the green light.
4. Manage your tasks
It’s a dry one but an important one. Try using a project management tool such as Trello, AirTable, Slack or keep a Bullet Journal (if you want to keep it analogue). Remember that emails are just a task to be scheduled in. Not your priority each and every day of the year. Keep a good calendar and ask about deadlines so you can plan and manage tasks effectively. It also helps to get that much needed work/life balance so you can rejuvenate and stay creative.
Read more of our Top Tips from artists here.