Hosted by Sylvia Kay, The Legacy Achievement Awards will be an eventful experience which aims to recognize and celebrate up-and-coming creatives within the music, business, fashion and entertainment industries. We sat down with Legacy Nation Entertainment CEO Eritié, to talk life as a founder, the upcoming award show and more.
For those who don’t know, tell us a little more about yourself and what you do?
Ahh I this question, I never know how to answer it. Well I do a range of different things. Of course I am the CEO of Legacy Nation Entertainment and I run a number of events. So under Legacy Nation there are events that focus on several areas including business, music and fashion. I also have a clothing line and occasionally do a bit of motivational speaking.
Oh okay, a clothing line, we’ll definitely get into that, but first Why did you start Legacy Nation Entertainment?
There was a gap in the market for it. Living in London you come across so many talented individuals in a variety of different fields. For whatever reason they just aren’t getting mainstream recognition. The purpose of Legacy Nation Entertainment then became to nurture these people and help to showcase their talent.
On the topic of nurturing talent, How does Legacy Nation aim to give back to the youth?
By giving knowledge. It’s all about building the community and empowering people with knowledge is the best way to do so. I think one of the most important things we can teach the youth is that you don’t need to wait until you have big brand backing to follow your dreams; especially in the digital age.
Yes having a Uni degree is important, and trust me I am all for education, but having the right mindset will take you so much further.
What are the three most important lessons you’ve learned since starting Legacy Nation Entrainment?
Well number one…we live in a DIY society. Secondly that you will lose associates a long the way and that’s okay. I say associates and not friends because I believe that friends will ride with you during the rough times. Associates come and go with the wind, they’re happy to be there while you’re up but not so much when things are not going according to plan. Finally the importance of taking care of your mental health.
Mental health has remained a trending topic of conversation, what aspect of it specifically are you referring to?
Well there are two aspects it. Dealing with disappoint and also the reactions of those closest to you, to what you do. This is especially true when you are trying to do something different from the norm. When you are chasing a dream outside of the classroom it can be mentally taxing.
In the home the principles that are instilled are for you to go to school, and then Uni and then your 9-5.
When you do something that deviates from that and breaks the mould people often don’t know how to react which can be hard to deal with.
Especially in Afro-Caribbean culture, there’s this tendency to only celebrate someone after they have hit a pinnacle of success.
With that being said its important to remember that whatever you are doing, you are doing for yourself first and foremost. It wont be easy but it will be worth it.
Speaking of the way others respond to your work, there’s been a lot of talk surrounding the fact that people don’t support their friends in business, what does support look like to you?
To me support is more than just coming to my events, I mean keep doing that it’s ’s greatly appreciated, but you don’t always have to do a lot.
Sometimes just being there to listen or to reassure someone goes a long way. I think what many people fail to realise is that not everyone shares your passion and with your vision not everyone can see it.
Do you think people are obligated to support their friends hustles?
Nobody owes you anything, so I don’t think that anyone is obligated to support you.
Only support someone if you want to. I think that often people don’t support because they cant see your vision or don’t see the value in what you are doing. They just don’t believe in you and that’s okay.
Why do you think it’s so much easier to get support from strangers than it is from friends?
When you don’t know what someone has experienced you are step removed from them so its easier to be objective. Speaking from personal experience I know for a fact that there are a number of people who probably tried to do what I am doing now, but gave up somewhere along the way.
When they see me doing my thing it’s almost like they want me to win for the both of us. They see and understand the vision so it’s easy for them to support.
With friends and family, they are used to seeing you in a particular light or a certain side of you. I distinctly remember someone putting me forward for a project on stop and search with the BBC. The casting director knew me as someone who was a bit a of a joker and was initially quite reluctant to cast me because she didn’t think I could be serious.
After inviting me down and actually listening to me speak her perception changed.
With strangers you’re a blank canvas and there’s no bias so people just take things at face value.
Tell us a little more about your clothing line.
The line is called Heritiér. It’s funny because while I have always been passionate about fashion, when it first started the clothes were just meant to be for the team.
We used to have these jumpers that we would wear at events. People kept asking where they could get one and eventually since there was a demand for it, I started making clothes.
The clothes we make now are based on things I would actually wear or like to see my woman in, hopefully that connects.
Moving on to the reason we are here, the award show, what gave you the idea for the Legacy Achievement Awards?
It has been a long time coming. The initial idea has been brewing since 2015.
During university I was the ACS president and I wanted to do an award show for all the ACS’ in the North. In the course of that process I remember thinking “What do I need to do in order to make this the full package?”.
I essentially wanted to do something that combined all of my passions into one and the award show was the best way to do so.
How did you pick the categories?
The categories were more or less based around the previous events we have held before such as open mics, networking events and fashion shows. You will notice that many of the categories therefore relate to music, business, fashion and the community as a whole.
When it came down to choosing the nominees, we began by asking people to tag the names of those doing amazing things within the creative industry. The nominees were then made up of the list of names that came up most frequently.
For those wanting to host their own award shows in the future can you tell us a bit more about what goes into the behind the scenes preparations?
How long do you have? (laughs) There is a lot I could say on that. The most important place to start is by doing research. I mean really researching. I wasn’t able to attend many award shows, but I watched a lot of them on YouTube.
Look into getting sponsorship if you can and make sure you find a reasonable venue within your budget.
Finally have a solid team. One thing I realised throughout this experience is that I am not superman and cannot do everything by myself, so having a group of people who are willing to work with you is definitely important.
Were there any extra costs that came up the those wanting to host a show like this should keep in mind?
Oh yes, especially when it comes to venues. Not every venue will give you a full price breakdown when you get your initial quote. Then you have to factor in things like security, box office sales and drinks. I remember one venue even wanted a percentage of the profits.
When choosing a venue there is definitely a lot of pros and cons to consider.
What can we expect from this year’s show?
I won’t say too much as I want people to come and view the show for themselves.
What I will say, is that it will something new and different to what’s been done before.
How do you see the award show continuing to grow as time goes on?
I want this award to be something artists can use on their CV so that they can say “before my career kicked off, I won this award”. I just want it to provide a platform for upcoming creatives the same way that Lord of The Mics was for MCs.
What’s next for Legacy Nation Entertainment?
There is a whole calendar worth of things to come. There are at least 2 or 3 events coming up this year. We have our annual fashion show “The walk of Legacy” in October.
Over last 2 years we have thrown 9 events with the award the show being our 10th, so that’s a major milestone. We look forward to everything that’s coming.