Concluding an incredible Industry Week at Confetti, Professor Green took students through his music industry career, offering insights into his success and passing on the advice learned through his years as a musician.
Stephen Paul Manderson, better known by his stage name Professor Green, is an English rapper and singer-songwriter. He rose to success upon winning the inaugural JumpOff MySpace £50,000 battle rap tournament in July 2008. In the year that followed he worked with Lily Allen on her 2009 concert tour.
After touring with Lily Allen, Green was signed to Virgin Records and released I Need You Tonight featuring Ed Drewett. He also joined up with Allen on his second single Just Be Good to Green.
Professor Green’s debut album, Alive Till I’m Dead, which features guest vocals from Lily Allen, Emeli Sandé, Fink, Labrinth and Example, as well as The Streets, was released in July 2010. He followed this with the album At Your Inconvenience in October 2011.
Pro Green started off by explaining how he got into music through rap battles, playing a clip of one of his early bouts. “It would have gone so much better if I didn’t fall off the stage,” he joked. “Although it was while taking part in battles and finding my own style in 2006 that I was signed to The Beats.”
Pro Green’s battle with depression is well documented and following his father’s suicide in 2008, he admits that he struggled. His account was refreshingly honest, explaining that ‘the music industry can have its ups and downs’ and that ‘sometimes it can just be about sitting down and unloading’. “I see a therapist and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about”, he says. “It’s good to talk and get things out.”
While discussing the various sponsorships he’s been involved with (such as energy drink – ‘Relentless’) Green explained that there’s not always a lot of money coming in through the record label and that, ‘you have to be creative’.
This theme of creativity continued as he spoke about the importance of social media. “YouTube is a great platform to launch your career and sometimes all it takes is a tweet.”
In fact, this is exactly how 2010 collaboration Just be good to Green with Lily Allen came about. “It was literally a twitter message”, he admits.
As the talk concluded, Green gave some good advice to the crowd’s aspiring musicians, explaining that it’s vital to ‘always keep contacts’ and also to ‘be ready for some rejection’.
The key to Professor Green’s success? “Work hard at something you love and to continue to enjoy the journey. All it ever takes is one song.”