The North East’s hip-hop/grime scene is thriving at the moment, every region seems to have an abundance of hungry rappers trying to take over the world whilst repping their city. What the North East doesn’t have is an abundance of organisations looking to help these rappers on their journey – Teesside’s Kush Promotions is looking to fill that gap.
Kush made a statement with their Jaykae show in June at the O2 Academy Newcastle, after putting on 8 support acts from across the North East. We spoke to owner and founder of Kush Promotions Nick Baker to find out more about what the organisation is all about.
What is Kush Promotions?
Kush Promotions is many things, we started off as a live music event after successful hip-hop nights called ‘Underground’ back when we were Studio26T. Studio26T started because of my love and passion for recording and producing music, and quickly became a home for various up and coming local artists such as Teesside Connection, Reece Dutson and BYG, to name a few.
We are now a hub for artists to record their music, promote their talents and of course we’re trying to put on the biggest and baddest live hip-hop and grime events in the North East of England.
Who’s currently a part of Kush, in terms of artists and other staff?
We don’t have a team here at Kush, we have a family.
Myself (Nick Baker) –
I’m the founder and owner of Kush promotions. I work daily with artists recording, mixing and mastering and promoting their music. I also work tirelessly to put together top live shows.
Dale Mathie –
Dale is my right-hand man. He organises live events with me and also plays the agent role very well. Dale helps daily with the organising of gigs, whether they be Kush gigs or other gigs.
Mark Stacey –
Mark is our resident graphic designer and photographer. He runs our photography team, puts together the best event flyers you will see and also works very closely with our artists on a regular basis to ensure the proper branding is put in place, he’s also in charge of KushTV. Also part of the photography team are Will Gorman & Lorenc Bellani.
Daniel Wren –
Dan currently lives in Bradford but is our resident beat producer and sound guy. Dan has always had a passion for rap and used to be a major influencer in the Teesside Connection days when he was known as Stylistic Flow. Dan is an extremely good producer and has a lot more coming soon.
fungiFerg – fungiFerg burst onto the scene with Teesside Connection. Known as the ‘Hook King’, Fungi has more to his game than your average MC. Producing hard hitting real lyrics and mixing them up in any genre, from hip-hop and grime to reggae or dub, fungiFerg is undoubtedly one of the most naturally gifted and underrated artist in the UK!
Shakk – Shakk is another of the North East hip-hop legends. Shakk has a crazy consistent flow and those insane tell it as it is lyrics. Shakk is also very highly thought of in the Kush team and is looked up to by a lot of us, myself included. He’s great at handing out advice and giving his honest opinion on anything. His ‘I AM YOU’ EP is available on all platforms now.
Jay R Dream Chaser #Sauce – Jay is a phenomenon when it comes to writing, the guy just doesn’t stop! Again, not your everyday MC. Jay has a real ear for music, writing and recording. This guy is built for the industry and is very likeable. Combining clever lyrics with his catchy flows and voice, Jay is undoubtedly ready to take the game by storm. #TheSauce
Levi Lee, Levi Watson & Artly – Our newest members of Kush came to my attention after smashing the Jaykae competition we held in May. These guys are some of the most genuine and humble guys I have ever met anywhere! Along with great talent when it comes to writing and spitting, these guys are very eager to learn and listen and have rightly gained a lot of respect from a lot of people in a short space of time. They are still very new and inexperienced in the music industry but it’s not gonna be long before these guys make a serious statement!
DJ Minimal – Anyone who’s been to a Kush gig lately will agree that this guy is one of the most enthusiastic and hardworking DJs out there, despite being relatively new to the scene. Constantly connecting with people, mixing and now producing, Minimal is a serious force. He’s very versatile and will take on any genre, giving it his all.
DJ Turtle – Turtle is the youngest member of the group at the young age of just 16! He has recently just sat his GCSE exams and is predicted to achieve top results. He had a choice between studying law or music technology in September and chose the latter. This guy is one of the quietest guys you will ever meet but his talent is real and by the time this guy is 18 a lot of people are going to be wanting him at gigs and using his crazy but professional instrumentals. Turtle has a passion for grime and garage and the sky really is the limit for this guy.
You’ve recently launched KushTV with a cypher video, what else can we expect on the channel?
KushTV isn’t going to be your everyday freestyle platform. We like to be different here at Kush and like to promote anyone who is doing bits and working hard to achieve success. We will be uploading freestyles, music videos, documentaries and interviews on this channel – not just from MCs, we want everyone to get involved, from producers and DJs to promoters and journalists.
You’re currently putting a lot of effort into bringing big name hip-hop/grime artists, like Jaykae and P Money, to the North East with your events, how do you choose who to book?
It’s pretty simple really, we try to get the most active acts about at the time without breaking the bank! I also pick artists I’m a fan of and relate to because I have always believed you can’t promote anything or anyone if you don’t have 100% passion for that product, person or service.
Finally, what else can we expect from KUSH in 2018?
The Kush team are going on a mini UK tour starting the end of July in Liverpool. We also have other gigs penned in a cross the UK such as North Wales, Sheffield, plus more to be announced. Expect bigger and better gigs as well, we already have P Money announced on August 17th and also have 22nd November booked in with the O2 Academy Newcastle which we are aiming to make a serious statement with.
We also have a lot of new music waiting to be released, with projects coming from Shakk, Jay R and Fungi. Things are moving quicker everyday with Kush, I can’t really tell you what else is to come but trust me the Kush train is moving and we have already made some serious connects and links in the UK grime and hip-hop scene! So, don’t put anything past us this year, although this year is about registering our names and planning for 2019!
I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported us so far and for everyone to make sure you keep following and keep working hard. The door is open here at Kush and we would love everyone to get involved and finally put our great region firmly on the map!