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How to Make It as An Independent Music Artist with Jammz

By Hanaa Yousof

It’s no secret that the music industry is difficult to break into; and in today’s world, with platforms like TikTok propelling artists to international success with just one viral song, the door to being discovered seems narrower and narrower. And with artists talking about the personal and monetary losses they’ve suffered under record labels — whether that’s the minuscule royalties songwriters earn, or fighting to own their masters and catalogue — is it even worth it to try?

For self-proclaimed “multi-platform storyteller” Jammz, a grime MC, music producer, and entrepreneur, carving his path to success in the industry meant going all-in, where consistency met opportunity to produce results. From designing his own billboard for his EP, to MCing a boiler room set, he’s found that the most unlikely skills are often the most valuable, and the most important, if you want to commercialise your passions.

From Blocks2Bags, we sat down with Jammz to find out how he made it — and how you can too.


  1. Leverage your skills to your advantage – focusing on the definition of what makes you a musician can be to your detriment; building a catalogue of abilities can be the difference that pushes you forward.

  2. Income can come from multiple places – diversifying your career trajectory can lead to income in unexpected places – so take a chance on something new.

  3. Stay in touch with your audience – commercialising a career in music isn’t just about the money you make, but building connections with your audience means not just streams, but learning more about yourself in the process.

  4. The power of networking – without even knowing it, building a wide network can connect you to people who will be invaluable to you on your journey forward.

  5. Consistency creates seminal work – a magnum opus doesn’t just appear overnight; to bridge the gap between trial-and-error and a solid foundation, you need to repeatedly hone your craft.


Stretching back to 2001, Jammz’ journey as a music creator and storyteller kickstarted when, at the age of 12, he started writing music. 14 years of experimentation came to fruition when he began to generate income from music in 2015. But of the commercial aspects of music taking shape as he got deeper into his career, that was never the primary intention. “To be honest, that was never my primary aim — to make it a business”, he said. “My actual plan, so to speak, was to get a degree”. A commitment to cultivating his graphic design skills as well as pivoting into marketing and advertising-based spaces honed his knowledge of what it meant to make campaigns that stuck, an invaluable insight that formed part of the building blocks to success as a musician.

Realising that his music was connecting with people started with an unexpectedly successful gig doing pirate radio. “The golden age of pirate radio had finished like six or seven years before”, he said, reflecting on what he believed was relatively unassuming work. But when MCing a Boiler Room set years later turned into audience members singing lyrics back to him, the need to take things seriously was proven to him more than ever.

Getting noticed in the future meant putting in the work. For his ‘Hit & Run’ EP, a self-designed billboard near Bethnal Green station left an impact, with more and more people listening to the track and attending its headline show. But beyond this, he found that connecting with audiences meant turning that impact from one moment of virality to long-term connections. Through knowledge from past experiences as a web designer, he created a landing page and offered free music through Mail Chimp, where building a substantial mailing list was the real goal behind the marketing strategy. Unconventional? Maybe. But to start out, taking any avenues possible to expand your horizons and speak to new audiences is key.


On the surface, it might seem like the only thing you need to have a viable music career is talent. But for Jammz, musical ability was only one small part of it. “Majority of the things — if not all of the things I’ve learned — came from necessity”, he said on taking unconventional steps to build revenue streams as a musician. Referencing the 1000 True Fan theory, which predicted that all you needed to make a viable income was 1000 fans dedicated to you and your craft to make a living, being multi-faceted and using the resources he had available to him in every way possible was key in his growth.

Learning this meant being able to take his independence as an artist to a new level. With entrepreneurial experience from setting up the widely-successful fashion venture Trendsetter UK, he was able to leverage this network in the future, as well as push a merch campaign from the ground-up. Building a mailing list and selling music through bandcamp also meant having direct access to sales, and getting projects off the ground. Admitting that things didn’t immediately make sense, he reflected on how although collaborating with others is still important, learning to market himself independently meant not needing to rely on others’ skillsets when these weren’t necessarily available.


Seminal work — legacy, longevity, and marking yourself as a permanent part of any industry. Something that surpasses traditional marketing avenues to thrive through word-of-mouth and a level of obsession from the wider community that is rare to see. But for Jammz, creating seminal work and achieving these levels of virality isn’t necessarily the only goal to aspire to. “Not all of us are going to make a seminal piece of work the first time around, or the second time, or the third time”, he admitted. So what’s the solution? Consistency.

Going beyond the buzzword, consistency is widening your view. The easy way out is to assume that talent is enough. But discussing the multiple different pathways to commercialising your business, Jammz commented on how success is about creating your own luck, and you can’t create your own luck if you don’t show up.” This could be anything from consistency on an internal level, meaning posting about your craft every single day, and making the daily in any way possible. And you can see this in the careers of industry giants; our B2B host referenced industry giants like Nipsey Hussle and Stormzy as people whose work didn’t immediately catch on, but who garnered massive levels of acclaim when they were already deep into their careers.

Consistency also means taking your ability beyond just performance; for Jammz, this was to multiple degrees, with being a multi-platform (and hyphenate) storyteller lending itself incredibly well into music. His soundtrack work for podcasts, storytelling through production work, getting paid for his music back catalogue, and even getting involved in scriptwriting for theatre with charity, The Big House (something he says he didn’t even intend to get into), were all steps to cementing music as permanent. Making it might be the end-pathway, but here at B2B, we think that this is only one part of the process.


Earning money in creative industries is no easy feat — and having a consistent stream of income from this is even more difficult. For his insights on making money and gaining stable ground as a musician, Jammz had several pieces of advice for aspiring musicians and entrepreneurs:

  1. Get your finances in order — this includes anything from learning the way tax operates, the ideas of cash flow and profit and loss and speaking to an accountant. Starting out without resources can seem like an immediate setback. But equipped with the tools to understand the financial world can prove incredibly valuable.

  2. Not everything valuable to you will be financial — networking may be daunting, but for Jammz, immersing yourself in spaces that lend opportunities for it is a necessary step to gaining the trust and reputation that can lead you to situations where you walk out with Monet. And here at B2B, we want to make things easier for you; our networking group chat with 300+ entrepreneurs from various industries is a space we’ve built specifically to encourage collaboration, discussion, and sharing gems from all walks of life.

  3. Launching on social media — on posting content on socials, Jammz said “you have to get over yourself”. Posting regularly and giving a massive amount of energy to this self-promotion doesn’t just mean being noticed by others, but also allowing you to build a virtual legacy, where you can take your audience along with you on the journey.

Even a small budget can turn into big results — with experience from his graphic design endeavours, Jammz emphasised the value of visual language. For example, paying for a better font on a poster design can indicate quality, speaking to a wider audience about your place in the music world.


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