Thursday, 5 January 2012

#FindOutFriday with Ms. Rea & Unsigned Hype UK!


Did you know the name 'Robyn' literally means 'Bright Fame'?

...I didn't either, until I sat down to interview the lovely Ms. Rea, aka Robyn Adams, a few days ago. What I can tell you, is hearing that further cemented my belief in living up to your namesake. Charming, funny, sweet and determined, this is a young Lady who's cause not only strikes close to my female entrepreneurial heart, but is the living embodiment of her title. 

Along with partner Ricardo Reid, Robyn is a Joint CEO of Unsigned Hype UK, the fastest growing support brand for Worldwide talent, without the big money backing. After watching the ever-growing team operate since their Winter 2011 launch; they were my only choice for 2012's first #FindOutFriday feature. She took some time out with me to explain how she does it....

1. You just celebrated a birthday. What differences did 365 days make in the 'Life of You?'

I had No Knowledge! I was just starting out properly as a Solo Artist, after leaving the group I was in. They told me I was the weakest member so I thought "Ok then; why don't I just go ahead and do me?" I didn't really have any connections, didn't know who was who, which Companies were the right ones to contact. I didn't know how to deal with situations, or go about things. I had no clue of how to put music out...I thought you just bung your mixtape on Facebook and that was it! I've learned a lot along the way, from so many people.

2. How did Hip Hop find a home in Buckinghamshire?
I fully blame my Mum! She LOVES Reggae and brought us up on that, Soul, RnB like Boyz II Men and loads more. I was a 2-3 year old that didn't want bedtime stories; my Mum had to sing a good 7 or 8 songs in a row until I fell asleep, she used to get fed up!

When I was about 14, everybody in Aylesbury wanted to rap - everyone was claiming it, but there were NO girls! My Cousin dared me to try, so I got on my little home Mic and gave it a go...The next thing I knew, I had all these boys asking me to write their lyrics! My first time on stage was totally by force though, I was so scared! I had to freestyle some bars at an Under 18's event for the artist, Aggro. the funny thing about that was that someone from Versus Records was there, who remembered me when I saw him again years later!

3. The 'Ms. Rea' I met back in May of 2011, is very different to the 'Robyn' I have the pleasure of knowing now. For those who are unfamiliar, explain each personality and the difference between them:

Well 'Rea' came from a Rapper I know in Aylesbury. One day he just said "You should call yourself REA, they're your initials anyway" (Robyn Elizabeth Adams)...

I quite liked it and so it stuck! I feel a bit "hood" as 'Rea'. She's my darker side. In 'Rea' the truth comes out...

Robyn is Aylesbury's 'Little Posh Girl', who doesn't use slang and teaches Gymnastics. I'm a typical Capricorn though! I like to know what's in  my bank account to the last penny, I have my one 'Depression Day' a month that I bounce right back from in 24 hours and generally, it doesn't take long for me to get quite a good sense of people and what they're about.

4. Ok, so tell me of a career highlight for Ms. Rea so far?
Oh wow...I think it has to be when I did the 'Pass Out' cover. It got over 8000 YouTube views without any promotion. And I'll never forget hearing it playing in someone's car either! It was when I first realised that I love to sing on a track, and I love to rap on a track. The funny thing about it is that I don't even like it any more. I just feel I've improved SO much since then.

And how about Robyn?
I think that has to be Gymnastics. In 12 months, for my teaching partner and I, as the youngest coaches on staff to have a child place on the GB Team...I actually cried. At 20 year's old, parents looked at me like I was too young to be in charge of a class. They often don't realise that I've trained and competed the World over. One year, we won every single competition we entered. As the 3rd generation, to bring that legacy to a family business is a feeling I can't compare to anything else.

5. And what is it that you enjoy about teaching, even more so than competing?
The only way I can think of to describe it, is to imagine showing a child how to write a song that's suddenly complete. The reward is amazing when I see them master that move. We've had our current class for 2 months now. Their first competition is in July and they've already learned so much. The best feeling is when one of your pupils walk away with a medal. It makes me smile every time.

6. You established quite a dedicated fanbase for yourself in quite a short period of time. If you were able to do it so quickly, why did you feel the need to create Unsigned Hype from an Artist's Point of View?
Honestly? Resources. It really isn't even about Supporters, it's about knowing who to contact and making those lasting  connections. In a year, I built up 3000 (twitter) followers and realised, "Ok, so actually, I'm kinda good at this Promotions, thing...Why don't I just create a team?" I sacrificed my music so that in time, maybe I can benefit too. If I decide it's time for a video, instead of being held back by £5-600 video quotes, I can turn to the network Ricardo and I have created. It started out with just us; but I love that most of the people that were supporting me before, are the ones who are working on Unsigned Hype with me now!

7. 'Unsigned Hype Volume 4 - New Year's Special' dropped this week, to triple-figure downloads in under 2 hours; you're now pre-booked past Spring. Did you expect the series to develop such a huge following so quickly?

Unsigned Hype Vol. 4 - New Year's Special
Y'know, I really didn't! When we were getting ready to put out the first one I told Ricardo, "If it doesn't take off, I'll leave it"...Before I knew it we had artist's reaching out to us from everywhere! Everyone seems to see what we are doing. We got 800  followers within the first week of release. I wouldn't be able to manage it without a team because we've gotten all of this attention without giving out one single business card! Even though we're already planning it, we haven't actually had our first event yet and we've released no real visuals in support. The next one is going to be mixed as well as hosted, by UH's in-house DJ Ess; so now all the tracks will flow into each other, which will be great for the Valentine's theme. We've had a great start to 2012 with the addition of Mixtape Madness as one of our Partners. More info will be coming about that soon, but the list is growing! 

Unsigned Hype - Vol.1
Unsigned Hype - Vol. 2

Unsigned Hype - Vol.3 - Xmas Special

8. The Unsigned Hype brand have showcased Music, Videos and much more, from some of the UK and US's most talented Unsigned artists (I do believe I'm familiar with one or two...). Your launch event is coming up soon, the fashion label is also in the works...What else are you planning to add to the Empire?
I have SO many ideas! The launch event is probably the main goal at the moment, but in addition to that, yes there's the clothing line. We have a brilliant online team, but we also really want to get out there in the physical sense; so a Street Team in our branded tees will be great...the visuals are also still to come. I'd love to have an online magazine, with live interviews and performances...I also want to venture into Artist Management and Film. I'd like to create documentaries that people listen to and learn from. There is so much written down, and our name hasn't said we can't!

9. It seems as though everywhere you turn nowadays, new brands are popping up, offering mixtapes and arguably similar services. How does Unsigned Hype differ?
Literally from our name. Everyone feels that they have to work with a name - what happened to the UNSIGNED? (AMEN - ES)  They're the ones who are the hungriest, they want it more than ever and they'll do anything to get it. You can't put a number on that. That's what makes us different; I'm not interested in promoting Signed artists, they don't need my help. Unsigned artists do. I don't hunt for the 'big names'. I would rather they come to us and offer help! I'd rather hold a competition and have studio time, or training of some kind with the 'celeb' as the prize! Or something like that, anyway.

10. If 'Rea' and 'Robyn' were musical genres which describes them best and why?
Well I think 'Rea' would be Hip Hop, Reggae and a bit of Grime. Yeah...I've got a little bit of Grime in me!

'Robyn' is...a bit of Poppy RnB. It's the things that happen to 'Robyn' in life, that come out in 'Rea's' music.

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Rea for a lovely, inspiring interview. I've had the pleasure of getting to know her over the past 3 or so months and she truly is a lovely, warm, honest and down-to-Earth person. Even if you're not looking out for the Unsigned Hype brand I promise you, with all the things they have planned - most of which, I couldn't even mention here - they'll find YOU, soon enough!

Keep up-to-date with all things Rea:

And Unsigned Hype UK: