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POSTED ON 21ST OCTOBER 2019 BY nada el-hammoud for ERIC

Young creatives are dominating the UK urban scene. Dancers, musicians, artists, photographers, and designers are churning out new projects and movements day and night, weaving the brightly coloured tapestry of London’s streets. The creative industries are booming, and the demand for creatives is higher now than it has ever been before - so why are so many young creatives struggling to get exposure?

It’s a problem faced by many; so much talent, but nobody to pick up on it. In a digital age, young people are seen as technology Jedis who can supposedly generate thousands of clicks per second at the touch of a keypad. Its seemingly all too easy to promote yourself through social media and hope for the best, but anyone who has tried or is currently trying that approach knows that online growth is a slow and slippery slope…

Patience and perseverance are two of the most important personal skills you can develop as a young creative, knowing that life will not always go your way and that you need to stick with your passions despite setbacks. But when it comes to getting exposure and recognition for your work, it often seems like you’re just one in a sea of millions of others like you. That’s when doubts creep in. Why would someone care about my work when there’s so many others like me? What makes me more special than anyone else? It often feels like you’re stuck in a cycle, constantly putting your work out there but not getting the exposure you want - I mean, social media is a great platform for self-promotion but at a certain point it feels like you’re not getting anywhere.

Whilst you should keep posting your stuff, reaching out to people, and trying to build an online presence (it might seem futile, but it’s extremely useful in the long run), sometimes people need a push in the right direction. A way to reach wider audiences. A platform to help grow, and spotlight your talents.

That’s where GUAP came in.

GUAP (Great Understanding and Power) started off as the world’s first video magazine, but has now grown into a sprawling online platform that induces and nurtures creativity and young creatives. Co-founders Jide Adetunji and Ibrahim Kamara started off a video magazine as they knew it would resonate more with a young audience than written articles would - videos are immersive, direct, and personal, which is why GUAP was a hit with the exact audience it set out to inspire and shed a positive light on. Ibrahim has said that during his final year at uni, his work suffered as he chose to pursue GUAP with all his energy and give it all he had. That hard work paid off, and GUAP is now an innovative platform trailblazing the way in discovering new and emerging talents in the creative industry - the arts, fashion, music, business and all things in between.

The co-founders saw a need to highlight and credit young creatives who weren’t receiving enough recognition for their work, and came up with the idea for a platform that would showcase all this talent and creativity to shed a light on emerging artists and create role-models for other young creatives to aspire to and learn from. In a bid to put on a pedestal the upcoming generation of creatives, artists, and entrepreneurs, they set up GUAP. As well as the audio-visual content that was originally it’s basis and unique selling-point, GUAP now also hosts loads of events and immersive experiences to empower, inspire, and entertain it’s young audiences. Creating connections with young creatives through their platforms is at the heart of GUAP’s mission, and their events are the perfect place to meet other like-minded creatives and get a chance to profile yourself and your work.

An article up now on their website that you should defo check out is ‘13 Female Artists You Need to Know in 2019’. Doing what GUAP does best, it gives a banging list of 13 female artists who you might not have heard of - providing them with a platform and you with a new playlist. There’s also a chance on the website to get free tickets to the annual #GUAPPARTY, a showcase and party experience that brings together some of the best in the UK underground music scene, young creatives and music-lovers, and industry professionals for the ultimate collaborative, musical experience.

One thing that’s evident from all of GUAP’s features is the dedication they have to their audience and the people that they’re showcasing; they are inclusive and diverse, putting on a range of creatives across all sectors so that whatever your interest or passion, you’ll find someone to inspire and motivate you. GUAPs videos, articles, events and multi-platform reach all come together to create a place where young creatives can see people like themselves, and hope to see themselves sometime soon. It’s fresh, bold, and really inspiring for all those who have faced criticism and setbacks along their creative journey of following their passion.

But perhaps the best thing about GUAP is their belief in collaboration. They acknowledge the fact that by meeting and mixing and sharing ideas and initiatives, London’s creative scene will thrive and everyone will benefit. Not only do they help achieve this by spotlighting and promoting young creatives on their platforms, but they’re open to ideas. Ideas from you. Yes, GUAP want to hear what YOU have to say; if you’re brimming with ideas but have no way to execute those ideas, or you need a wider audience, head over to their ‘Become a GUAP Creative’ page and tell them all about your idea. Who knows, a collab could be just round the corner!

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