The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, ignited the passion for music inside Ngqabutho Mpofu from a young age and was one of the reasons he is now working towards being one of London’s premier producers with a little more to offer: artist development.
The London-based producer is hoping to recognise their love of music in other artists and help them make money, manage their brand and image and find their own unique sound.
Ngqabutho, also known as Kyū, The Producer, grew up in Zimbabwe before moving to London with his family in 2001 at 11-years-old. Family and friends often told the young boy that he was an image of his grandfather, whose incredible vocal ability had been so great that he was able to go places people of colour were usually banned during culturally testing times.
He was enrolled in a Summer School for gifted kids where he honed his musical skills. Kyū’s love of music was fostered and he developed an appreciation for piano, learning how to play and being given opportunities to learn about how to ‘make it’ which sparked his interest in the industry.
His hard work paid off in the years to come, later graduating from university with a degree in Music Technology and performing alongside some of the UK’s biggest stars.
“As a young aspiring producer and artist, I got to experience a lot of what the music industry had to offer,” Kyū said
“Music was always a passion of mine, from dancing to Michael Jackson tapes my parents recorded, to winning talent shows and dance competitions. I eventually went on to open for some of the UK’s biggest stars at the time like Tinie Tempah, N-Dubz and Kid British.”
Kyū, The Producer started to write his own music, collaborating with a group of friends he affectionately calls ‘the brotherhood’. They went on to write, produce and perform together, going so far as to pitch to major artists such as Chris Brown and Mario. Despite two of his songs being picked up by major artists, Kyū began to grow frustrated with the red-tape one can face in the industry when they don’t know enough about the business side, like how to secure your royalty payments.
“I was so eager to work in the music industry and saw my attempts go unseen or unconsidered. I began looking for alternative ways I could get the recognition needed to be considered as someone worth working with,” said the artist developer.
Aspiring to help creatives navigate the industry and become savvier, Kyū, The Producer is one to watch as he forges ahead, never forgetting his humble beginnings.
He began his company LNTC Group to help artists facing similar issues. Working primarily with modern Pop and R&B creators, the business provides music production and artist development services so artists can create music that generates a full-time income, sustainably.
“I was tired of seeing talented artists giving up because they didn’t have the tools to navigate the space, so I created LNTC Group to develop artists with high aspirations.”
“I wanted to develop artists; coach them in understanding how to leverage their independence through releasing radio-ready hit songs, building a fanbase and becoming an affluent creative who is knowledgeable enough to navigate building a career with, or without a record label.”
The business name, LNTC Group, is an acronym for “Life Narrated Through Creativity”, the mission statement that underpins his work. It proves that anyone who is humble, focused and coachable can successfully build a life in music.
Kyū is no stranger to success. From receiving the Prince’s Trust Young Person’s Award to recognition as one of the UK’s best producers – coming runner up in the prestigious DrakeYolanda British Songwriter and Producer of the year award in 2019; Kyū has put to work his wealth of experience. “I learned the hard way. No one else has to.” He said.
Kyū’s development style has created success for many aspiring artists. He has achieved number 1’s and top 10 singles in some independent charts. In 2020 one of Kyū’s artists earned over 1 million streams on their first release on Spotify alone, 100k views within 7 days on another release and has grown his social media following and engagement by 67%. This artist now has over 100k listeners in 90 countries across the world, totalling 18.6k monthly listeners with over 850k streams and counting.
Aspiring to help creatives navigate the industry and become savvier, Kyū is one to watch as he forges ahead, never forgetting his humble beginnings.