D’Silva keeps the BEAT

BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer Writer

Sunday, October 05, 2014

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ALTHOUGH he was born in the United Kingdom, music industry executive Shaurav D'Silva maintains ties to his Caribbean roots.

D'Silva is manager of A&R (Artiste & Repertoire) at 3 Beat Records, a company headquartered in London. He has worked with several big names in the UK.

"While I was brought up in the UK, I have family across the Caribbean: Guyana, Jamaica and Barbados. I grew up listening to a lot of reggae and soca as well as hip hop and rhythm and blues. I have always stayed close to things Caribbean," D'Silva said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

'D'Silva worked as a club selector before moving into club promotion and event management. Two years ago he joined 3 Beat Records, a dance label which promotes British acts like Skepta and Sway.

D'Silva, who is also managing director of 2-Tone Entertainment, is responsible for promoting 3 Beat's dancehall artiste Stylo G, drum-and-bass team Sigma, Fuse ODG, a British rapper of Ghanaian descent and Keshav Lazabeam, a Trinidadian-born soca producer.

D'Silva agrees that in recent years it has become difficult to break Caribbean and black music in the UK despite their commercial success.

"It's mainly to do with media and their perception of black music. They see it as 'specialist'. Maybe that's to do with the population of the country (less than five per cent is non-white)," he stated. "Whatever the reasons, black acts have to work very hard to gain commercial success. Media outlets are limited until the record is super-successful."

D'Silva hails hip radio stations such as 1xtra, Kiss Fresh & Capital Xtra for playing the music of dancehall and drum and bass performers.

"They are a good platform for new urban and dance music. It gives our music a starting point," he said.

D'Silva is quick to point out that being black with Caribbean heritage is not a qualification for 3 Beat.

"I just try and sign what I'm passionate about and what I think has the potential to be the best in its lane. I try not to target a certain genre or type of artiste," he stressed. "If another great Caribbean artiste comes my way I'll be over the moon to sign them!"

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