- Jo Selman-Smith
Influential artist manager Dre London announced as official patron for UK youth initiative
Dre London, the Brixton-born Founder of London Entertainment and manager to some of the industry’s hottest talent, including global sensation Post Malone, Tyga and Tyla Yaweh, has just been announced as an official patron of London youth initiative Shadow To Shine.
Shadow To Shine is dedicated to helping inner-city youth realise their full potential and reach their career goals. Something Dre London only knows too well. Beginning his journey from a humble background in South London, Dre worked his way into the music scene producing records with fresh and emerging talent, before moving to the states to take things to the next level. Now he is Founder of London Entertainment, growing some of the world’s most successful artists from inception to superstar, as well as launching his own luxury women’s shoe line, Kruel London.
In a conversation with Shadow To Shine, Dre spoke of his journey to success and his reasons for aligning himself with the organisation’s mission: “I was always into music, it was always a part of my soul. If you have this dream inside of you that really wants to bring something to the rest of the world, go and do it. Don’t listen to anyone else that doesn’t believe in your dreams.” Whilst that dream for Dre involved him leaving England behind to realise his full potential in Hollywood, he hasn’t forgotten where he came from. “I want the kids at home to know, the kids in London, that your dream can be as big as you want it to be. Nothing can stop you. Even in this time right now, you can use it as an opportunity. I’m here to tell the kids that they can do it. I’m proof of that.”
One of Shadow To Shine’s ways of opening gateways for young people is through mentoring programmes which connect them with experienced professionals in their desired industries. Whilst Dre didn’t have official mentors as such, he recognises the value of looking up to people as role models: “I looked at Jay Z and admired his hustle. I looked at P Diddy. I looked at a lot of people who I’m now close with and can chat to. I wouldn’t have thought it ten years ago that I’d be where I am today.”
As part of his patronage, Dre will enrol as a professional mentor through Shadow To Shine. He will undertake a mentoring partnership with a young person from his former estate that is looking to enter the music scene. At the height of his success, Dre realises how your early experiences can determine your outcome “Everything that you grew up with actually comes back full circle. You start looking at your childhood and realising how it shapes your future. Which is why I want to be a positive influence in someone’s life from early on.”
Becky Fatemi, Co-Director of Shadow To Shine, said, “What makes you such an incredible patron is that you’re not just thinking, ‘I’m doing management and that’s it’. You’re not stopping there. You have made yourself a brand and you are continuing to grow.”
“Yeah and that’s why I say there’s nothing that you can’t do.” Dre responded, “I want to be able to give back and show them that there’s no one that can stop you. I want to connect with them. I want to help those kids to shine.”