This past week, The Great Escape took over Brighton, UK, and for the first time ever, we partnered with the three-day festival to create the AWAL Lounge — the Official Home for Independent Artists. And on Thursday night, we presented The AWAL Showcase at the Beach, TGE's newest venue.
On the lineup for the evening was London native Mina Rose, whose unique blend of hip-hop, dub, and house crafts a sound that's one of a kind. Although we just released our TGE recap, we wanted to get a personal perspective on what it was like to perform at the festival. Fresh off the AWAL Showcase, Mina Rose told us all about her experience at the fest, how she got her start in music, and what advice she has for artists following in her footsteps.
How did your journey first begin as an artist?
My journey began before I was aware. A lot of things were paving the way. My childhood was filled with inspiration and influences that led to where I am now. There’s still a long way to go and a lot more influences to discover.
Some of my early influences came from going to festivals from a very young age and experiencing live music and sound systems. Some later influences came after leaving college when I met many focused and likeminded, creative people.
What are some of the hardest obstacles you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
The hardest obstacles have probably been trusting my own ideas and opinions when hearing a lot more opinions from other people. Staying true to myself is one of the easiest and hardest things.
Believing in the journey through the anxiety is an ongoing battle, but it feels so worth it after every hurdle!
What’s been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
The whole process has been rewarding. Learning new things about myself, pushing through my comfort zone and reflecting on and realizing how much I’ve grown.
That is the most rewarding part of the journey: Knowing that I’ve got so much more growing to come and so many more opportunities to feel proud of myself is a huge motivator.
What was your favorite moment at TGE 2018?
Performing alongside amazing artists and being in such a positive atmosphere where everyone there is open to discovering new acts. Performing was amazing — some of the best energy from the crowd I’ve ever had. One girl came up to me crying from high emotion after my show, which was surreal!
Any performances you really loved?
I really loved seeing Octavian and Slowthai one after the other at Patterns on Friday night. The energy was insane. They are two artists that I really look up to for doing their own thing and authentically being themselves.
How did it feel to play at the AWAL Showcase, representing the independent artist community?
I feel really blessed to have been given the chance to perform, especially as I feel my music reaches a whole new level when live on a big sound system. It gave a bunch of people the chance to experience that, which I’m so grateful for.
What would be your piece of advice for next year’s TGE performing artists?
Enjoy yourself, and perform as if it’s your headline show, as you never know who’s watching! The crowd is always up for seeing new things. Also, being among lots of other artists in a similar place in their journey is so energizing. The energy really was so powerful.
What’s up next that you’re most excited for?
While at The Great Escape festival, it was announced that I am one of the winners of the PRS Foundation Flash Fund for my next EP to be pressed onto vinyl. I am beyond overwhelmed and cannot wait to see my upcoming EP, London Burning, in physical form. Especially as I had artwork commissioned by the most amazing female artist from Tel Aviv.
I am over the moon that this beautiful piece of art will be appreciated to its full extent! I’m also excited for creating more visuals and when I reach the stage where I can have a headline show.
What are your ultimate goals as an artist?
To create music and art that I am proud of and feel fully represents me, reach different sides of the world with my music, and meet likeminded people and create with them! It’s all about enjoying every part of the journey for me.
AWAL Insights™ Into Mina Rose's Journey
- Since partnering with AWAL in August 2017, Mina Rose has earned nearly 500,000 streams across Spotify and Apple Music.
- 44% of all streams come directly from Mina Rose's native UK.
- Just over half (53%) of all streaming listeners are female.
How has your experience at AWAL been so far?
The support has really been amazing. Having the opportunity to release my music and get it out to the wider world is beautiful. It’s so amazing and important that there are opportunities and support for artists who are still early on in their musical careers.
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