Today’s Motivational Monday’s guest is Aqib Khan from Elysian Records. The last few episodes have been getting a lot of positive feedback, so we will be sure to keep this up every Monday with new guests.
Who are you and what is your background?
My name is Aqib and I am the founder and CEO of Elysian Records. I have no background in music – I never studied music or business, nor did I ever play any instruments, I just had a passion for discovering new & upcoming artists. I dropped out of school at 18 and began making several YouTube channels. It started from gaming, dance and then eventually music back in 2012. Since 2012, I’ve been working in the music industry full time and launched Elysian Records in 2014.
What does your job consist of on a day to day basis?
My job consists of a lot of things as I do almost everything myself to run my label efficiently. I carefully handpick all of the songs that we put out on Elysian Records. I search for new artists and build a good rapport with them and their manager/team, as well as communicating constantly with all the artists that I already work with. I handle all of the admin tasks – organising the release schedule, artwork, metadata, contracts, distribution etc. I also handle the PR with the help of my publicist, which consists of pitching our songs to blogs, YouTube curators, Spotify curators, social media influencers and more, as well as finding new talent online and allowing them to use our music in their content so we can branch out and target as many new audiences as possible. What is your biggest achievement to date?
I’ve honestly had a lot of achievements that sit close to my heart but the main ones would definitely be Elysian’s first live showcase, which was at Avalon Hollywood in 2016, as well as our first ever single “Right Now” surpassing over 10 million streams on Spotify.
Are there any tips and tricks that you wish you knew when you started?
Honestly, no. The best way to learn, is to make mistakes. Starting this journey with no knowledge in the field is one of the reasons for why I have been able to come this far. I made a lot of mistakes at the beginning of my career in music and I have no regrets. I learnt from those mistakes which enabled me to improve myself and my brand. You don’t need to have any skills to succeed, you need self belief, determination and the will to hustle.
For readers looking to pursue a career in your field, do you have any advice for them?
Believe in yourself and if you don’t already, develop the skill to take advice. Yes, it is a skill. There will always be people in your field that have more knowledge than you, don’t be arrogant and think you know it all. Be humble and take advice from mentor’s and those that know more than you. Create a vision, believe in that vision and put in the hours needed to make that vision become a reality. Nothing is impossible, the only thing stopping you from achieving anything is yourself.
How do you overcome days where you have no motivation?
I will force myself to switch on my laptop and I will listen to my favourite music. Everytime I listen to music, it reminds me that my passion is my job and that is something that should never be taken for granted. After that, everything slowly begins to flow and the motivation eventually returns. There are different ways to deal with motivation issues for everyone, it’s quite a unique thing. My only advice is, don’t be lazy and avoid work because you’re not motivated. That is the path to destroying everything you have worked for. Find ways to stay creative and keep the ideas and motivation flowing. Is there anything upcoming you would like to announce to our readers?
Elysian has partnered with a company in China, which means soon Elysian’s entire catalogue will be available to download/stream in the whole of China. I’m also planning an Elysian live showcase at Amsterdam Dance Event this year. There are a few more things I would love to reveal, but those will have to wait!
You can follow Elysian Records below: