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Entrepreneur James Ayo hits right note with young rappers in Northern Ireland

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James Ayo owner of HotBox Entertainment in Belfast

James Ayo owner of HotBox Entertainment in Belfast

James Ayo owner of HotBox Entertainment in Belfast

Entrepreneur James Ayo is giving NI rappers a platform for their music through his HotBox studio.

The east Londoner, our April young entrepreneur of the month says a lack of exposure for the emerging music scene here is acting as a barrier for many aspiring rapping stars — an issue he wants to put right.

The 27-year-old said: “When I look at London and how far that has come, some of the rappers there are now top of the charts and many other musicians are at the top of their game and that’s because support from their community, radio stations or local gigs.

“Radio stations here rarely play local artists’ music. Nor do they recognise it. Gigs can be the same. We’ve had some major events here where local artists could’ve been supporting top artists like Stormzy, but it hasn’t happened.”

HotBox Entertainment offers studio sessions, career development and more for rap and R&B artists at its site in east Belfast.


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