Building Beside Yourself and Giving Back: Intalekt and the importance of sharing your art with the next generation.
By Amira Hasan | 31st July 2020
CREDIT: INTALEKT MUSIC
“Sharing. It’s so key,” Producer, Radio Host and DJ, Intalekt, remarks when asked what drives his creativity. Meeting him screen to screen during the global COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, we chat about his achievements, what it means to be a creative and why it’s so important to encourage people pursuing a career in the arts.
Known for his electronic come soulful sound, the South London based musician has demonstrated that you don’t need to compromise your art - there’s a place for it no matter what. At the beginning of his career, he never thought his instrumental style would take off because of its niche nature. As a producer, radio host, DJ, one half of the duo Billy Dukes, Founder of School of Bop and being streamed over 1 million times on Spotify in the last year alone - it’s safe to say that Intalekt has established his place in the music industry.
Something I find incredibly noteworthy about him is not just his achievements, but his unique perspective on being humble. “You can find yourself trying to be so humble about what you have done, but in the process you’re actually limiting yourself” he explains, “own what you do, be proud of it and don’t hold back on sharing that.”
“Which three buzzwords would you use to describe what being seen in the industry means to you?”
“RECOGNISED, RESPECTED AND UNDERSTOOD”.
Intalekt practices what he preaches when he takes his own blessings and turns them into opportunities for others.
School of Bop is a prime example of this. The 3-day workshops were held in 2019 for those aged between 16-25. They took place in the 1948Ldn, Nike community space located in Shoreditch. It was in collaboration with Native Instruments, a leading developer of music software and hardware for music production and DJing. Their focus was to provide young people with the opportunity to create instrumental music and open them up to careers in the music industry. The workshops cemented a framework for them to share their stories as he does his own.
Intelekt’s view is a poignant one, “the most raw way you can communicate is through art and what you create. It’s a gift to artistically articulate what you want to say so other people can grasp at all the different layers.” Needless to say, this is a deeply resonant way for any creative to break down what it really means to create.
As our conversation continues, I ask him what achievements he is most proud of to date. With no hesitation, he answers that “the biggest thing [he is] proud of is School of Bop and being able to expand the tribe and give young people the instruments they need to work with.” This includes his hands on approach after the workshop, “they can go off afterwards and shout me for any advice they need.” For him, this is one reason why it was such a great success. When you take into consideration the ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ nature of workshops, you can see why; all too often when a workshop ends, without the access to help directly from the host(s). Intalekt is breaking the mould by giving the School of Bop attendees a sense of belonging and ongoing support for them to pursue their passion for music production.
We also get to chat about people of colour in the music industry to which he speaks with passion. “Minorities aren’t always encouraged to pursue careers in the arts. I was encouraged by my parents, who bought me my first keyboard, which is why I want to give to those who don’t get the same encouragement.”
He emphasised the need to not let people’s opinions shut down your own, including the barriers women face in the production industry. He explains “when we are approached by women, they get first dibs. Being able to change the rhetoric will allow women to do what is done in a male dominated industry. Giving minority girls a space is something I am really focussed on.”
Given his open and altruistic ethos, my last question for Intalekt was simple: what advice can he impart for those striving to get into the music industry? “Build around you. Build your tribe. Network sideways, who you need might not always be above you but around you. Don’t ever compromise your art and always listen to yourself.”
Insightful, enlightening and full of wisdom; Intalekt is without a doubt recognisable, respectable and understandable in his creative field.