As we prepare to launch the next phase of Meet a Mentor, Melissa Wills, a Creativity Works participant, looks back at her summer of fun and hard work, working behind the scenes with the Disrupt Media crew for the Rated Awards.
I first met Founder & Disruptor Phil Kemish at a Meet a Mentor session — a programme that pairs young aspiring creatives with a dedicated professionals in the field they want to enter to mentor them over a four month period.
He gave an inspirational talk about how young people should approach work and their passions. He also spoke about his background and how he used his industry knowledge — Phil formerly worked in music industry — to make Disrupt what it is today, a leading youth marketing and brand agency. Phil also spoke about how passionate he is about empowering urban culture, music and brands. I was intrigued and inspired — especially as I’d just taken part in a six week course — Creativity Works Festivals — all about working in Events Production and had got the bug. So, after a few sips of wine and Alize I asked him for some work experience.
After sending him my CV and a quick phone call, the rest is as they say history. Phil took me on in the lead up to their now legendary Rated Awards (more about that later). I quickly got into the routine of going into the office and got the chance to work alongside some amazing people, honestly the nicest people you’ll ever meet. The industry knowledge — music & brands, creative design and business strategy, plus unbelievable networking skills that the niche team share is something truly unique.
I was thrown straight into the deep end and learnt about event logistics, product seeding and people management. The first project I worked on was the House of Marley stage area at Boardmasters Festival. Phil pulled some strings so I was able to travel to Cornwall with the team where we stayed for a few days.
Road-trip. Camping. Drinking. Music. Hip-hop karaoke. Competition. Prizes. I couldn’t have asked for much more.
The next huge event was held at the iconic Camden Roundhouse for Disrupt’s very own second ever Rated Awards (first ever Award Ceremony for Grime music). Last year’s event was a much smaller affair in a church in Islington. After the huge success of the inaugural awards, this year’s event was a much bigger deal, in collaboration with not only the Roundhouse but also with BBC Radio 1Xtra, GRM Daily and iluvlive, sponsored by KA drinks.
It was a surreal night. I was given the role of Artist Liaison for the evening, which gave me the chance to meet some of the best and most legendary artists in the UK Grime scene. It was a busy day which we had spent many weeks and late nights preparing for with the GRM Daily team. I got there early in the morning and organised the riders and backstage area.
By the time the award show kicked off, there was a constant stream of people in and out of the area, everyone from Craig David to Giggs, Skepta, Ghetts, Kano and Mikill Pane. Artists and their entourages stayed and chilled throughout the night and overall had high energy and good spirits, making my night hassle free!
I would highly recommend working for a company like Disrupt for a hands-on, practical experience of event management and liaison work. It definitely gave me the opportunity to grow and learn more professional skills. I am now working full time in a Lettings agency but plan to launch my own event management service in partnership with the PLM social enterprise. More information is available here.
Special thanks to: Fran Plowright for all her advice, guidance and support, meeting you was truly a blessing! and of course to all at Disrupt Ltd, Phil Kemish, Matt Thorne, Reju Sharma, Faron McKenzie, Kelvyn Ajala and Tom Molyneux.