top of page

Farah Nanji  0:02  

AY, welcome to Mission Makers. How're you doing today?


AY Young  0:07  

Yo, I'm doing great. I'm here. I'm on the battery tour about Project 17. And I'm in Kansas right now at the Faraday studios just with my implementation partner and you know, meeting different partners that are changing the world.


Farah Nanji  0:34  

Yes, quite interestingly, we're joking offline as a bit of a coincidence, we both make music or hang out in a place where Michael Faraday once invented a few things in which is kind of serendipitous. So I was really happy to kind of learn more about what you're doing in Davos. Super interesting. So do you want to tell our audience a little bit more about the whole project and your background? 


AY Young 1:11  

Yeah, totally. Oh, my gosh, we should open this podcast with like, my video, like, it's just, it just gives you everything that I do. But like, I mean, dude, essentially, I just do music for like, impact, you know, like, I just use music, to fund impact. So I, I started something called the battery tour. And I do, you know, all my concerts, kind of, like, you'd probably do a bunch of concerts or shows, but all powered by clean energy in, that built like a solar box. And I started using the concerts to raise money to send like one person, or one like village access to energy around the world, you know. So that's the battery tour. And then now, I'm a young leader, and I've launched this thing called product 17. It's so much more than I'm doing but started out just basically music, the powerful impact.


Farah Nanji  2:01  

Interesting, and we'll definitely talk about some of the other stuff, but talking about the battery stuff. So what are the logistics like around that? How scalable is that? How does it work? And can other artists adopt the same similar thing?


AY Young  2:15  

Yeah, well, you know, so I powered over like 900 concerts, or close to 1000. Now, and the last thing, maybe four or five years around the world, so yeah, I mean, I'm not like, you know, you know, Coldplay level big or Billy Eilish big, but it's possible. And I'm hoping to not only be an example, but show the way of how other artists can be more sustainable or regenerative. I like the word regeneration, because that's like bringing life, you know, so how we could be more regenerative artists in general by doing it, and then obviously, providing the technology but essentially, what am I doing? I'm storing energy in batteries, right. Like, when I remember I got off the TV show called X Factor. The, you know, X Factor.


Farah Nanji  2:59  

Yeah, of course.


AY Young  3:00  

Yeah. You know, say he would think he would he's not that mean, you know, say? So, yeah, like Simon Cowell, Britney Spears, le ri, like, those are my judges, you know, I'm saying, like, in 2012, I learned a lot during mentors, you know. And so I was trying to, like, open up for major artists, and you probably go to this right, like, you try to open up for some big name Maurice know, like, How many followers do you have? You know? Or at least that's what they're hitting me with? Or how many tickets has your last tours sold out? It's like, no, have you ever been on tour yet? I don't have an agent. I'm just I just want to do what I love to do. And I obsessed over well, you know, we'll screw this. I, you know, I think we can we should be doing what we love to do every day, we should be doing what we're passionate about. Right? I think I don't think life is here for us not to do what we love to do, you know? So I was like, Well, how can I power a concert anywhere? You knows it, and I obsessed over like energy. And that kind of oh my gosh, energy is the base resource. Like it's in our food. It's in our water. It's in that right? You gotta have energy. And if you store enough energy, you can power anything. Right? And so I started doing energy and batteries in 2012. And I started doing the battery tour.


Farah Nanji  4:15  

And so can you just walk up to any venue? And they would be using your energy source? Or like, how do you work with the venue?


AY Young  4:21  

Yeah, well, that that's what's getting complicated. You're like, well, you know, see, it's in your mind, like, oh, well, he's going to venues and he's just, you know, no venues are actually ran by fossil fuels. They're actually tied to the grid. You know, this is why you're probably just not hearing about me 10 years after I started the battery tour versus 10 years ago, because, you know, people would even say stuff like, well, a real artist doesn't play on the street corner. Like what? I guess because I'm your man. So you know, I didn't you know, so yeah, I mean, parks, you know, the places shopping plant, whatever outdoor, you know, First thing it was technically the battery two was always the festival, I just did it anywhere I could there are there are a lot of times where I did, you know, do a venue or do a stage performance and bring some of my, you know, batteries and inverters and things like that and powered everything on stage or, you know, even brought my own equipment, similar to what DJs do when they do parties or whatever, into a venue on this stage, and then plug that into my, you know, sustainable stuff. But ultimately, you know, I've been bringing a paradigm shift to the industry since 2012. It's not built for what I'm doing. It's not built for this, you know, so one reason why it's been so hard, and the paths taken so long, you know, you know, of course, I'm an artist, I'm an entertainer, I love to be on the stage in general. And I want to you know, but you know, my goal has always been to reimagine how we do entertainment, and to make a difference for music.


Farah Nanji  5:56  

So beautiful. And so talking about kind of, you know, life's purpose and all of these, you know, very important things that were hopefully all on us quest to what has been the whole design thinking and the journey around like the the the album and using the 17 SDGs as a kind of vehicle for a message through music.


AY Young   6:20  

Yeah, do you want do you most your users know what the SDGs are? Or something? So we already?


Farah Nanji  6:25  

Yeah, yeah. Churcher SDG, sustainable development goals set set up by the UN. So definitely look them out. I mean, I'll hand over to you because your representative now I guess, say, Well, dude, yeah,


AY Young 6:37  

well, anyone who's listening like these 17 goals, I didn't know what they were two years ago, I had no idea like the secretary. So So imagine me, I did the battery tour, powered over 800 concerts at the time, I actually brought energy to 17 countries. So I was coming back from my Honduras. I was doing like concerts and villages that didn't even have electricity. You know, it was mad, crazy. And then I got a call from like, the Secretary General, and they were telling me about these goals, see the goals? And I'll have all a while you're achieving goals? Seven, because you're, you know, you're getting people clean energy. And I was like, yeah, exactly. Goal seven. They're like, Oh, you're achieving goal? 13 Because you're doing a concert. But you know, you're not hurting the work. Climate Action is gold. 30. So, you know, they were, so they designated me as one of the 17 United Nations young leaders, right? We all represent the in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. And we're all supposed to have like a project or whatever projects that the UN supports. And so I tell people, it took me 30 seconds to figure out probably 17, but it's really a lifetime of doing what I've been doing my whole life, which is music for impact, right? When I would do a concert, someone got energy out of it, right. So I looked at the goals and I remember telling the Secretary General like, bro, because like, bro, more people know, Johnny Depp's relationship, you know, more people knowing Kim Kardashian pose, bro, then if you just like if you're like, hey, what's goal five? You know what I'm saying? Like, this is crazy. So I was like, We gotta fix this man. So one song for each goal, you know, but each song with a major artists like plugged into the you know, the goal they care about right to sing or rap about whatever they care about cardi B's into, you know, gender equality and she raps on there. Paul McCartney cares about bringing the world the editor, he sings on goal 17, right. And then I was like, Okay, well, I need to be Robin Hood of the music industry, right? I got to be able to own the music, so I can give it away to make impact. Right. So I need 17 sponsors, I need brands to line up with a goal that they care about, right, like we care about being well, you know, BNP Paribas is one of the brands that just came on, they're one of the biggest things in France, you know, General Motors has came on board as one of the 17 sponsors, right. So they all have a god they care about. And that way I can give 75% of the music away to what I call implementation partners that do the work, right, they get people food, water, or in this case, where I'm at education. It's through science, which is like, you know, their day studios here and the midnight science stuff. So yeah, that's what price 17 is, it's 17 songs, 17 brands, sponsors, 17 implementation partners, 17, major Sustainable Development Goal impacts around the world.


Farah Nanji  9:31  

That's incredible. And it also really interesting to hear that you know, you didn't go with the label, in order to then kind of maximise the amount of impact that you can have, you know, with with, hopefully not giving away as many rights how, how easy or how difficult was it to put this all together and get buy in from sponsors and stuff. And as well, you're collaborating?


AY Young   9:53  

Definitely not easy. What you've done is a lifetime girl you know, I'm saying short answer is this is a lifetime. You know, you know, like I said, I told people it did took me 30 seconds to think of Project 17. And it was a vision and I was still two years ago. So it's still taken two years for the vision to fully really begin to materialise. Like it. And I don't have seven team yet. I said, BNP Paribas, which is I have General Motors, obviously, people see the support from Samsung and others. But that's not 17. Right. Like we have tech nine and number one independent artists in the world. We you know, I was that cop, that was great that people see it on my Instagram. Ellie Goulding came up to me, and like literally said, hey, I want to be on the project. She cares about goal 14, but she's not on the record yet. And there's not another 17 hours, right? There's only like three major artists. So for one, we're not there yet. We got like, 1415 more steps ago. And so that's the beautiful thing about this project is 1717. I will say that overall, it's been tin, you know, 11 years of work, though, to get here. Right? Like, yeah, you know, so I start, you know, eight to 10 hour shows every day, Monday through Saturday, for like, 10 years, you know, It's craziness, right? In doing concerts on the street corner parking lots places where, you know, sometimes it was five people, sometimes it was 50, sometimes it was 500, you know, lugging the batteries for two miles down roads in Honduras and Haiti, because I'm taking the, you know, I'm trying to do a concert in the village that doesn't even have water that's clean. You know, like, how hard is it been? Pretty hard, you know, but I'm happy to be here now.


Farah Nanji  11:40  

Well, there are no such thing as overnight successes. And if they are, they're very far and few in between. And, you know, a lot of you know, sometimes the easiest part is, you know, having the vision, the most difficult part is the execution and the the craftsmanship required to build up to that point,


AY Young 11:57  

the drive and the sacrifice, you know, right, like, how much time Sacrifice away from, say, family, or I call human normal thing, like, well, you like working or doing a podcast, or you're doing your music or you're travelling, like there's a sacrifice.


Farah Nanji  12:15  

And there's always something to do, like, you know, you can never be bored if you're if you're working at this level of output. So, why DevOps? You know, what, when did you start coming there? And what was the kind of primary objective and primary goals?


AY Young   12:32  

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, it was funny, my, my primary goals, they've always been the same, at least the last two years, but in general, it's always been to get the world plugged in, it's always been to power, new power impact with music. And right now, I'm only doing one thing, and that's probably 17 Right? So until we get 17, sponsors and 17 You know, it, you know, and we do the 17 concerts that I want to do next year, and we complete the 17 episode Docu series that's documenting each goal and what you know, people are doing and the goal and the effect, right, I'm not done. So you know, Davos, of course, it's the place to go, right? I mean, talk about the World Economic Forum, a place where all the richest people in the world gather, you know, essentially right, you know, all these leaders and stakeholders in different countries are all their corporate brands, artists, that's where I met Well, I am I met him at the World Economic Forum shook his hand we talking he put his number in the phone, you know, so I went there to go get you know, more brands, more sponsors, more implementation partners that do the work, you know, NGOs more you know, to plug in and I so I was blessed you know, it there came and sponsored my trip there, their major corporation was able to pitch and launch project 17 all over Davos did a tonne of performances, were our was able to perform some of the 17 songs, I have all 17 done, just not all 17 artists, but they're done. So you know, performing around Davos, and you know, getting this project connected to outlets that could potentially power it for change.


Farah Nanji  14:09  

And that's exactly where our paths crossed. And so what have been some of the impacts you know, of being of being there and what would you say were your key takeaways from this year?


AY Young 14:20  

Yeah, do Davos Davos is awesome the impacts amazing you know, this would be it would be my second Davos, I went to the last one that was the summertime one. I don't know did you go to that one? Were you there was there


Farah Nanji  14:30  

Yeah, I was there in May. Yeah. Big time. I've been I've been living there for three years actually an on off. And May was amazing. It was very different, of course, much easier to get around.


AY Young   14:42  

For Davos is like, holy crap. Like, they were totally different.


Farah Nanji  14:46  

So different. Yeah, yeah.


AY  14:49  

Yeah, no, totally. And I wonder for you like how, you know, why do you keep going and how is it fitting? I guess we met each other right?


Farah Nanji  15:00  

it. Yeah, the I reckon, you know, people I'm sure you know, people who haven't been there or just like your community or network, like probably have quite a lot of questions and curiosity assumptions. And actually, that's why I started this kind of debrief series from Davos, just to kind of add these conversations that maybe people aren't all exposed to, and stuff to really dispel myths. But I, you know, there is, of course, the official web and what happens, you know, behind closed doors over there. And then there's, of course, you know, so many amazing brands are all kind of attending WEF and have events going on, right? And that for me, the fact is, is you have some of the world's most brilliant minds gathering in a place for seven days, five days, whatever it is, and you just wouldn't meet that kind of amount of people in in one place that are just so like, insane in what they're doing. Some good and some bad, obviously.


AY Young  15:58  

And force like, boom. Right?


Farah Nanji  16:05  

Like, literally, you know, one morning, you could be having breakfast with an astronaut. And in the afternoon, you're walking to where was it? Hadera house ca why performing? Like, it's crazy, right. And so for me, it's the opportunity, I think, first of all, if you have something to say, then this is the place to say it, because there are like, obviously, so many of the right minds there who can help amplify your projects, you can help collaborate your collaborators, your friends. So yeah, that's why I'm going there. And it's super interesting. And this podcast was actually born in Davos in 2020, this whole podcast series, so we have a little something to say with that. And the the house that I'm really sort of representing is how to balance I don't know if you had a chance to pass by there. But our whole kind of ethos is around connecting the global community that comes into the local village and kind of creating this Burning Man type of experience where there are nothing can be traded financially, everything is based on value driven sort of currency. And, you know, as you'll you'll probably know, like doing an event in Dallas is just is beyond six figures. So to be able to, like take away, you know, the money from that equation is is really incredible like to just see that happen for seven days. And your thinking is like totally shaken up. And money cannot be the primary driver for for designing systems. So it's


AY Young   17:40  

beautiful place and I'm glad that's a part of Davos and yeah, just like she's saying, hey, listeners listening Yep, there's two different Davos is really, but they intersect two in a way because like a lot of people will leave that the main web and they'll go to the promenade and all those different areas and they go to houses and of course at nighttime you can be just, you know, heading into what almost a turn is to clubs, right? You and almost a dance parties. You're bumping into like the CEO or the, you know, billionaire or the, you know, some major artist or major political figure, I remember my first time at Davos in the summer series heading into Davos hopping on the train or whatever it was bus, and it was the prime minister of Finland, being the you know, right. And we would jam into my music and and thing, so that's Davos, right. And there's only one place for that is if I mean, there's a lot of world events, there's COPD, there's, you know, things like Ken Lyons, etc, all these different you know, there's there's events, but they're managed, not like Davos, right?


Farah Nanji  18:45  

The debrief definitely happens on the dance floor. And so what, what do you think are like some of the biggest misconceptions around this particular place in time? Um,


AY Young  18:58  

well, I think there's a reality with the misconception. Oh, so I'm used, right. I'm one of the youth leaders. And so I think that the youth voice needs to be heard at COP at West at Davos at all these events, right, because the youth is the future. And so I guess the way to answer that is, is because you see, you asked me for misconceptions. So I'm not really answering your question. I'm saying like, I think Davos could use I guess I'm turning it into like, what I think should be more of is more youth involved in it, or at least having a seat at the table. You know, I did the sweetest lunch this year. I did you know, the performance on the top of the hill thing with Molly McAdams and introducing leaders and it was great but still, you know, when they get more culture and I m use their misconceptions, maybe like people probably think it's I don't know if people think because there's so many wealthy people. It's just up to the event or I don't Know what false perceptions are out there probably. But people are people and humans are humans is what the way I see it. I mean, whether, you know, now it sucks if you meet someone who treats you differently because they are wealthy or a well known, and I don't think you should do that, in general, maybe that's not the best human. But you know, overall, whether you have money or not, you know, we're all the same, we bleed red, we put our genes on one leg at a time. And so, you know, this is definitely a place where you can connect that idea, dream goal, passion business to other humans that are like minded, or you can bring value if you have value to present, and magic happen. For sure. So, so maybe there's a thought that, you know, you have to know someone you don't you know, I don't really, I didn't really know many people when I first came, but now I do. And I know people that come every year now, because I came with an open mind open heart, and with what I thought was a good value proposition. Right?


Farah Nanji  21:08  

Yeah, exactly. And, you know, many of us are passionate about changing the world. And in order to do that, you need to be in a place where some of those conversations are happening, whether they're positive or negative. But, you know, it's, you got to be out there on the on the field to really make that action play. And it's obviously, you know, a place where the elements are in full force. What have been some and because of what you obviously, you know, sort of described everything and like, who you just end up having most crazy, like, thought provoking conversations with what have been, maybe some of your life lessons that you've experienced, going through the last couple of years,


AY Young  21:50  

varies, I experienced life lessons all the time trying to take on, you know?


Farah Nanji  21:58  

Did you have ever done that you'd be in a place like this, like, few years ago?


AY Young  22:03  

Yeah. Did I ever imagine I would be no, you know, what you really imagine is like, this vision that you have, whatever the vision is, hey, I want to be a basketball player, I want to have a impactful business on youth I want whatever, whatever you as a listener, you have that vision, and you take steps every day, when I you know, wanted to do what I love to do every day, when I found out my why and what drives me and start using music is that vehicle right? When I you know, even large price seven teams, like one chunk for each call, I didn't say well, I'll be in Switzerland, for sure. You know, say ever it's so there's a lot of byproduct, right of you being hyper focused, and moving towards your goal every day and taking that step forward. And, and, and being remaining humble, you know, and grounded and rooted in truth and who you are, then as byproducts are like, wow, now I'm in Switzerland, and I'm gonna go skiing with some awesome people from Davos, then some random event that that also gets business done. Because now you're skiing, you're talking about, like, how do we reach the youth and this is the prime minister of Finland. And now you're rolling out something right. So you know, you never really like I don't think you see it like that clear. But I think if I think if you stay true, you know, you'll you'll get surprised a lot. And so I get surprised all the time. And I'm shocked. I'm like, wow, this is amazing. But they really, you know, to me, almost so many eureka moments, you learn a lot, you know, you you iterate is a word that intrapreneurs use a lot, you know, you iterate, I wouldn't say pivot as much you don't always want to pivot a lot. But you know, sometimes you do that, but you iterate you refine, you know, and and you grow. Right? You grow.


Farah Nanji  23:58  

Absolutely. And so you mentioned like, knowing when you had this kind of calling to music, so how old How old were you and like, how did that sort of manifest itself?


AY Young  24:11  

Yeah, man, my story is crazy. It's it feels long now. But you know, it's crazy wasn't wasn't like I was like for something and like was like I'm doing music for like Staples. You know, I'm saying that they think that you know, a lot of things like what it was still you know, really what it was I was an athlete. I played division one basketball, I was homeschooled. I was a boy scout, Eagle Boy Scout. Those are the things like Bill Me, my parents, my family, watching my mom and dad, like change my neighbourhood block by block, like kicking out drug houses, organising and rally block captains block by block. And then like literally bringing the city together, block by block. You know, I watched them do that and change my city. And I really I'm just doing the same thing that they were doing. They were you know, I play block city by city and I'm kind of doing like country by country, you know, whatever, right? Like bringing the world together. So I think that's like the origin. And then you go, okay when I was in high school is when I was like playing ball. And in the high school, college and I just, I really start diving into myself and figuring out my why and what drives me. And I knew it was music, because music was a way to reach people was the universal language, the vehicle that connects to everyone. And I thought I could do more with music than basketball, sorry, making a change. So I made the switch and like 24 hours, and went right into music, and I took the concepts of basketball, which is like 10,000 hours, if you ever heard Have you heard it? 10,000 hours?


Farah Nanji  25:40  

Yeah, I got my 70,000


AY Young  25:43  

You know, anybody who's listening, right? You want to explain the concept of 10,000 hours? Like, what do you think it'd be like, tell me what you should be


Farah Nanji  25:53  

sure. I mean, there's this this old saying that, you know, to truly master a craft, you need to put in 10,000 hours of your time. So yeah, that's that's kind of in a short and sweet nutshell. Yes.


AY Young  26:07  

Right recipes, or Kobe Bryant, I would chase like great players like Kobe Bryant, things like that, right? Like in the gym. You know, even when I play basketball, I wake up, you know, shoot 500 to 1000 shots in the morning. And then at night, I practice another 500,000 shots, right? So you buy that you go, okay, you know, people, that's why people go, Oh, my God, you're doing eight hours shows that's crazy. Well, you know, in America, at least where I live, you work in McDonald's, or Wendy's or some and you do a ship is four hours, minimum, right? full time jobs, eight hours, you definitely can't show up and be like, Hey, I just worked 30 minutes, that's my set. So when I was like, Okay, I want to do music. I was like, you know, full time, eight hours, let's go like all day, you know. And then, of course, I was always trying to catch up with, you know, when I play ball, I'll leave it at this, you know, you know, I even thought 10,000 hours was like you can dribble was your right hand and cross over to your left and shoot. And that's a 10,000 hour move. Then you dribble across into your right, you gotta get another 10,000 hours in that. Right. You know, you know, that it's a lot of work, you got to put in, you know, and so, you know, when I would go for the music piece, you know, I used to do, you know, yeah, I tried to put the time in so yeah, I started late, like, you know, 19 I feel like it was like, 1920 gone aside two really quick. And then we've been putting in the work and ever since, you know,


Farah Nanji  27:35  

wow, wow. And do you still play ball? Or like, did you have to totally.


AY Young   27:40  

I mean, I mean, I don't, I don't, I don't play for like division one or like a team anymore. Like, I literally knew that I had to put mastery hours in whatever I wanted to do, and whatever I love to do to make it be something. And so I chose between the two, you know, I could you know, but I still play ball for sure. Yes, I think just dancing from you know.


Farah Nanji  28:01  

Yeah, not nice. And the style, though. So it was super interesting, because on the show, like we were about motorsports, music and business and motorsports, because that's, that's kind of like the sport that I grew up kind of really competing in and obsessing and like, also wanted to be an athlete and all this. And then and then I got diagnosed with a motor coordination delay, and my my journey changed, but it was amazing, because because in order to do what, like, obviously, music is like so much about coordination. And motorsport is very much about coordination as well. But because like innately, I was like getting podiums, and like, you know, playing the guitar, and like, all these things, I just knew when I got my diagnosis, like, it doesn't mean that, you know, I'm not gonna go to where I want to go, maybe just the goalpost has to change but it's still the same arena. And I need to find you know, my calling or my my happiness in something related to this and for me to spoil it was really around kind of what you mentioned there, which is like these, the decoding of human performance, like through the mind of an athlete and like, just like that mindset is so is so empowering. And yeah, it's incredible. And so, since you're a musician, I would love to ask like, what we have a lot of musicians obviously you listen to this show. What what is like the like, number one habit that you think is super essential for music producers, artists, whatever to adopt.


AY Young  29:33  

Yeah, I mean, the first thing that came to mind was one words called Google best as the number one I mean, I don't whether you're you know, trying to play ball whether you trying to you know, be artists, whether you're trying to ice with anything entrepreneur like us, mu like, so many people are like, it's like they're looking for a handout or like a cheat code to achieve their goal. You know, In a lot of times, you can, you know, figure it out, right? Like, you know, you can figure out how your favourite artist is doing X or Y this is they're like, Okay, I can do, I can give 1000 cases in scenarios, but I'll give you one, right? Some people will look it up, this also will help. Like, if you start, you know, doing the process, right, you actually will be less hard on yourself, and can also, you know, be able to move faster or move forward correctly or make the right decision. So here's the thing, people were looking at big artists, like, look at chance to rapper and go, you know, why isn't my music sound like chance? Or why am I not like chance? Or, or, you know, why am I not where Macklemore is right? But when you start Googling and figuring out well, what made Macklemore Macklemore 18, then you'll find out like Macklemore is independent, yes, but look what he did. As an artist right now I hear he got like a million dollar loan. Now. Now a million dollar loan, not everyone can get that. Right. You know, he didn't just blow up from thrift shop, he got a loan somehow, from some invention, I gave him a million dollars that enabled him to then make the songs that you heard thrift shop can't hold us whatever. He also partnered with a guy named Ryan Lewis. And now one of the awesome things that he did to remain independent, was he went and spent $300,000 of that money, and marketed his album, essentially hiring out, I think it was like Def Jam, or one of the labels to distribute DRM. And he had a $300,000 marketing budget right? For his out, which is why Charlie did because he technically had a record label facilitating the distribution of the album. So if I'm a independent artist, without a budget of a million dollars, we're having $300,000 to put into the marketing of my album, why would I compare myself to Macklemore? Or even the sound quality that he's producing at a million dollars? Right doesn't make sense, there's gonna, I would have to probably have, you know, an equal shot at having all those pieces. I mean, look at chance to rapper and go another guy who spent hundreds of 1000s dollars on marketing his album, we're not even talking about the cost of producing it. So So you know, when you start figuring out and Googling things, and finding out how the business of music business is done, you know, then you can start taking the appropriate steps. A lot of people aren't even googling things. But they're expecting, right, like, when artists hit me up all the time. And one of the questions I asked them is, do you know what a booking agent is? Right? If you don't know what a booking agent is, that we have nothing to talk about? Because you?


AY Young   33:09  

no, like, I stopped talking to artists, when they asked for advice or all this crap? Well, you know, and I say, What do you know what a booking agent is? And if you don't know, that we have nothing to talk about. And what I was basically saying is like, How can you say I want to be an artist, right? Which if you want to be an artist, you have to know what the revenue streams are, right? You sell merchandise that you don't know what a touring agent is, and really the primary way of how you do tour to make money, which is how you make money as an artist, then what are you doing, and you can Google that you don't need help to find that. So I was basically using an example of like, that's like a construct guy. He's like, I want to be I want to have a construction company, or roofing business or whatever. And I say, Hey, do you know have you heard of Home Depot? Or Lowe's? You know, Ken, he goes, Oh, I have no idea what DeWald is or Home Depot? I've never heard of that. So how you gonna be a construction worker if you don't know what the wall is? Or what Home Depot is or right where you get the materials to then do construction. That makes no sense. So you know, Google right like you can think some of these things that artists need to know you can just find the information you're just too you know, either lazy or busy or whatever it is that you're not figuring out the very basic things to even be that thing that you say you want to be


Farah Nanji  34:27  

no Absolutely agree I mean you know I


Farah Nanji  35:20  

So, no, yeah, it's super true. I mean, you know, I've been in this game for 13 plus years. And, you know, when I started out, there was no such kind of googling YouTube, and the amount of information is out there. Now. It's true. Like, if you're not bothered to do the quality research, like, obviously, Googling doesn't just mean taking, you know, the first page, like, it means like doing quality research and like, and in uncovering things, it means, like reading industry reports, you get, you know, so many associations you like, literally give out a report of like, you know, they spend the whole year they have like a whole team analysing all the key drivers growth for like a particular genre of music. And, and yeah, so there really isn't any excuse. And I often find that those types of people are like, they believe that their talent will be the only thing that matters. And unfortunately, it's not it is understanding the game, the design doesn't


AY Young  36:15  

fall out the sky and make their business work, or their artistry work like artists, the brand and brand is a promise, like an artist is a business to at the end of the day, at least know the fundamentals. And that's what I'm saying. I'm not saying learn everything, but learn the fundamentals, if you want to be a construction worker, right? Like, if you want to do roofing for a living, you may need to know where to buy the roofing materials, like just simple things, you may you may want to know the names and the brands of the drills that you need to use, or the nail machines, I just very basic stuff. So if you want to be an artist, that does music for a living, you may want to know a few very basic things about that, right? Like what a booking agent is how you make money, where their revenue streams, you know, where are the platforms, like those are things that you can learn by Googling, researching, and actually doing work and not expecting something or someone to fall the sky to give you imaginary money that you think you deserve. Because you can sing well, or I can dance decently, or whatever, that can put you into a category of people that dance decently. But then there's a category of people that dance decently that have $100,000, behind them, and a team, then there's another category that has right just keeps you there's just different levels of all of it. So you're not we're not a specialist, we think.


Farah Nanji  37:36  

Definitely. And to get to some of these levels, you also need to be able to network and speak that language. And if you can't speak the language of the game, well, the business then you're not really on the same court really, or you end mills of all the court. So final question is, what would you want to see change in the music industry? This year? And then like 10 years from now, or five years from now?


AY Young   38:00  

Yeah, I mean, I guess the only way that I can answer that right now is it's through me, it's like, Dude, my goal is to be the number one. The number one or the world's biggest? Or have you want to put sustainable artists in the world? Right? You know, and I think through me achieving this, this goal that I set out to do is be this, like the world's biggest sustainable artists, it's going to open up doors for other artists to reimagine how it can be done. You know, I've been doing it powered 100% by clean energy. So that means it's possible, right? Like, it's possible to do a concert, but 510 20,000 people, and it all be powered by clean energy. Why? Because I've done it. Right. And I've done it a lot of times, I did it without a lot of support behind me. So you know, there's that, right, it's possible to make an album, you know, with clean energy, because I've done that when project 17 Right. And, you know, so, you know, hopefully, like, you know, an example like what I'm trying to bring the world can start getting in continue to grow on the visibility of what's possible. And I think things can be reimagined. And it could be done differently. Just in how we do music, how we, how we distribute it, how we connect it to people and audiences, and to be super honest, like, that's what I'm doing. So, you know, you know, I think the industry as a whole because you're asking me an industry question. And I actually, I guess by talking about what I'm doing, but like the industry as a whole is still recovering from like COVID, touring and all of these things. And so I think they're in need of something new, something fresh, something that connects the US together and I think something like that. That's about more love and like togetherness and music. I feel like music right now in the industry is really dark, to be very honest, there that even the frequency of the music, you know, a lot of substitute is a lot of depressing material and stuff that I wouldn't necessarily say is positive for you. So yeah, I hope At the music industry, I start seeing new talent emerge that are like, positive, more positive, you know,


Farah Nanji  40:08  

definitely, there needs to be more positive messaging, messaging in some of the some of the things that we see especially on a commercial scale because that's reaching the most people and also sometimes the youngest is a Why thank you so much for joining us on mission makers. It was such a pleasure having you on the show, and I look forward to seeing you hopefully in London sometime soon or around the world.


AY Young   40:30  

Yeah, let's see. Let's get let's get along. I'll be there soon with the wizard.


Farah Nanji  40:34  

Amazing. Amazing. Well, have a great day and speak to you soon. Please.

bottom of page