|Birth name||Kwame Amankwa Kwaten|
|Born||13 May 1967|
|Origin||London, England, United Kingdom|
|Genres||Soul, acid jazz|
Kwame Amankwa Kwaten (born 13 May 1967) is a British manager, music consultant, musician and record producer. He owns an artist management and consultancy company called Ferocious Talent and is a co-founder of Cr8ing Vision, a non-profit company that offers young people a range of educational programmes, seminars, workshops and opportunities in both the music and sport industries. Past and present artists managed by Kwaten include Laura Mvula, The Night VI, Steve Brown, Shannon Saunders and Kerry Leatham.
Aside from running Ferocious Talent, Kwaten is involved in A&R in Believe Records and is part of the new wave jazz movement in Europe and London.
In July 2018, Kwaten took over from Diane Wagg as Vice-Chair of MMF UK (Music Managers Forum).
Kwaten started his artistic career in the middle of the eighties at the Warminster Athenaeum as part of the school band Outcry. He spent the next few years learning his trade in many different bands. One of these bands called Rebekkah was formed with his old school friend Andrew Ross from Outcry in 1984. Rebekkah led Kwaten and Andrew to a production deal at Courtyard Studios in Oxford, where they settled for a year learning the ins and outs of the studio.
Steve Marston was a session saxophone player. Rebekkah used Steve for a session and it was then that Kwaten's friendship with Steve Marston started. Kwaten had started working at the Borderline Club in London as a compère employed by Neil Conti of Prefab Sprout and Raye Cosbert when he and Steve formed the band D-Influence with Ed Baden Powell, Sarah Anne Webb and Ned Bigham (who was to leave the band after the release of the first album). D–Influence had taken their demos to record labels without any luck and so they decided to release their own music independently. The first of these recordings was I'm the One which they sold straight to record stores themselves out of the back of a van. Kwaten gave one of these records to London DJ Tim Westwood and it was he who played D–Influence first on Capital Radio. A record deal with Acid Jazz Records followed.
D–Influence then signed to Atlantic Records and began recording their album Good 4 We. Their early support had mostly been through new London pirate station Kiss FM. There was no national radio airplay for music from the Acid Jazz scene at the time. This meant that the only way D–Influence could reach a fan base was through live music. So D–Influence toured for some time getting their break being offered the support slot on the Michael Jackson Dangerous Tour. This change in fortune led to many American acts requesting them as a support act. Michael Jackson, En Vogue, Prince, Naughty By Nature, James Brown all had D–Influence as an opening act. The band also played for Björk on her Debut album performance on Later ... With Jools Holland.
With no huge hit but a large live following D–Influence own productions started to gain notoriety amongst other musicians and labels. After the release of their self-produced album Good 4 We, they started productions and remixes for artists such as Mick Jagger from The Rolling Stones, Seal, Jay-Z, Tom Jones, Beverley Knight, Lighthouse Family, Changing Faces or Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates.
Shola Ama (1995–2002)
Shola Ama was the discovery that broke D–Influence as mainstream producers. Kwaten was refused a cab at Hammersmith Station so he turned and walked in to catch a train. There he heard Shola Ama humming as she walked. He auditioned her on the platform and gave her his business card. She soon became a regular at D–Influence Studios where her first album Much Love was recorded. Shola was signed to D–Influence Productions own label, Freakstreet and licensed to Warner Bros in 1995–1996. Her first album, Much Love (1997), went on to sell more than a million copies worldwide. Although not as popular in the UK, her second album In Return, also produced by D–Influence, went on to break airplay records in France.
Urban music seminar (1997–2004)
Kwaten was the founder of the biggest European Urban Music Seminar. The seminar was set up to pass on much of what he and many others had learnt about the music business as they saw it. It was, as Kwaten describes it, a "harsh no frills edutainment spectacle" whose numbers swelled from 500 people in 1998 to 15 000 over two days at the Royal Festival Hall in 2004. Many stars from the music world spoke and gave free advice at these events such as Kanye West, Jazzie B, Tim Westwood, Kanya King, Trevor Nelson, Damon Dash, Mathew Knowles, Norman Jay.
Mentoring and lecturing (2002–present)
Kwaten was a carer for The Adolescent and Children's Trust and also does charity workshops for YESS, a London charity that dispenses educational advice for inner-city children. He also uses his music industry experience to teach music students as a lecturer at various institutions around London including the University of Westminster. One of his earlier mentees, Spitfire Audio CEO, Will Evans, has credited Kwaten as an enormous help in the early stages of his career development.
Artist management (2006–present)
In 2010, Kwaten established Cre8ing Vision together with Andrea Euell and Nicola Charles. Since its conception, Kwaten and his team have been running an annual music business seminar, The Ultimate Seminar, that calls on both rising and established musicians and influential industry professionals to talk about the local music business and their individual journeys and struggles. It enables students to network with like-minded people and has called upon acts such as Kanye West, Stormzy and Darcus Beese from Island Records among others.
In 2014, Kwaten started his own management company called Ferocious Talent, where he works with new acts like Sarah Walk, Blue Lab Beats and Caitlyn Scarlett. He also acts as an international consultant and manages and advises international acts, brands, actors and actresses on the music business in Europe.
In 1995, Kwaten won the UK Black Music Best New Live Act with his band. He was also the 2006 winner of Ghanaian Entrepreneur of the Year, and in 2013, Kwame won Artiste Manager of the Year at the Live UK Music Business Awards.
- D-Influence – Good 4 We (1992): Writer; Musician; Producer
- D-Influence – Prayer 4 Unity (1995): Writer; Musician; Producer
- D-Influence – London (1997): Writer; Musician; Producer
- D-Influence – D – Influence Presents D – Vas (2002): Producer
- Shola Ama – Much Love (1997): Writer; Producer
- Shola Ama – In Return (1999): Writer; Producer
- Shola Ama – Supersonic (2002): Writer; Producer; Publisher
- Heather Headley – This Is Who I Am (2002): Musician
- Louise Setara – Still Waters (2006): Executive Producer
- Louise Setara – Gypsy Flame (2009): Executive Producer
- Master Shortie – A D H D (2009): Executive Producer
- Mick Jagger – Out of Focus (1992): Remixer; Recreater
- Björk – Aeroplane (1993): Live Musician on Later ... With Jools Holland
- Seal – Bring It On (1994): Musician; Programmer
- Seal – Prayer for the Dying (1994): Musician; Programmer
- Mark Morrison – Let's Get Down (1995): Remixer
- Mark Morrison – Horny (1996): Remixer
- Mark Morrison – Return of the Mack (1996): Remixer
- Changing Faces – I Got Somebody Else (1996): Remixer
- Mark Morrison – Crazy (1997): Remixer
- Lighthouse Family – Rain Cloud (1997): Remixer
- Daryl Hall – Flashbacks (1998): Cowriter; Producer
- Dru Hill – Tell Me (1998): Remixer; Musician
- Jay-Z – Wishing on a Star (1998): Remixer
- M People – Testify (1998): Remixer
- Mo Bo All Starz – Ain't No Stopping Us Now (1998): Producer
- Ultra Nate – Tracks on Critical (1998): Musician
- Diana Ross – Not Over You Yet (1999): Remixer
- Eric Benet – Why You Follow Me (1999): Remixer
- Tom Jones – Looking Out My Window (1999): Musician; Producer
- Ultra Nate – Tracks on Stranger Than Fiction (2001): Writer; Musician; Producer
- Beverley Knight – Shape of You (2002): Musician; Producer
- "MMF Elects New Chair & Vice Chair". Recordoftheday.com.
- "Athenaeum Home Page". Theath.org.uk.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 January 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Shola Ama music, videos, stats, and photos". Last.fm.
- "SHOLA AMA | Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". Myspace.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Spitfire Audio CEO - Will Evans". Attack Magazine. 1 July 2019.
- "Winners 2013 | Live Music Awards". Livemusicawards.co.uk.
- "D-Influence* - Good 4 We". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "D*Influence* - Prayer 4 Unity". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "D'Influence - London". Discogs.
- "D'Influence - D'Influence Presents D-Vas". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Shola Ama - Much Love". Discogs.
- "Shola Ama - In Return". Discogs.
- "Shola Ama - Supersonic". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Louise Setara - Still Waters". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Mick Jagger - Out Of Focus". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Seal - Seal (II)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Mark Morrison - Let's Get Down". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Mark Morrison - Horny". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 November 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Changing Faces - I Got Somebody Else". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Mark Morrison - Crazy". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Lighthouse Family - Raincloud". Discogs.
- "Dru Hill - Tell Me (Remixes)". Discogs.
- "Jay-Z Featuring Gwen Dickey - Wishing On A Star". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "M People - Testify". Discogs.
- "Ultra Naté - Situation:Critical". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Diana Ross - Not Over You Yet". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Eric Benét - Why You Follow Me". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Tom Jones - Reload". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Ultra Naté - Stranger Than Fiction". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- "Beverley Knight - Who I Am". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2020.