Peer to Peer with Rio Lewis
Rio Lewis is a 24-year-old marketing professional from London. Proud of her Jamaican heritage and passionate about dancehall music led to the creation of an online platform spotlighting the genre.
Aside from work, Rio enjoys creating content (and scrolling) on TikTok and connecting with other music lovers / professionals and creatives.
VP: Tell us a little about your work at Ditto/ the music industry?
RL: I have been working in the music industry for over four years in various roles. My career started at Sony Music in Communications / PR under Simon Cowell’s former label SYCO. Currently, I am a Marketing and Promotions professional at Ditto on the Label Services Team, where I am responsible for executing digital marketing campaigns across various social media platforms for music releases in the UK, USA, and LATAM. Additionally, I facilitate promotional opportunities for our UK roster through online platforms such as podcasts and content creator shows.
VP: What’s been your biggest career highlight to date?
RL: My biggest career highlight to date has been leading the Marketing and Promotion for Sneakbo’s ‘Made In Brixton’ album campaign which achieved #18 in the Top 20 Independent Album Charts – my first ever campaign to achieve chart success.
VP: Which Dancehall artists are on your radar and why?
RL: There are quite a few artists that I’m currently listening to! At the moment, my top picks would be Pablo YG, Armanii, and Sossa. I was particularly impressed with Pablo YG’s performance on the BBC 1xtra freestyle with Seani B; despite being the youngest artist there, he held his own and stood out as the best. Armanii is incredibly versatile and has the whole package, reminding me of a young Alkaline. As for Sossa, I’ve had my eye on him since the snippet of his song ‘Back Seat’ went viral on TikTok last summer; he has a unique flair and I’m excited to see him grow as an artist. I would also like to give an honorable mention to Ugly Andz. Although he has songs outside the genre, I believe that UK Dancehall is his bag and we need more artists like him to push the UK Dancehall scene forward.
VP: What’s your vision for the future of Dancehall?
RL: My vision for the future of Dancehall is for it to break into the mainstream like it has done before, while maintaining its momentum. I envision Dancehall becoming more cemented in the UK music industry through the support of major and independent labels, online platforms for emerging talent, more curated playlists, and the establishment of more Dancehall festivals and tours. All these are just a few things I believe could help push the genre forward if we have the right people in these positions who fully understand and engage in the culture. I believe now is the time for Dancehall to receive the necessary infrastructure, investment, development, and growth it needs and deserves. Ultimately, I want Dancehall to keep thriving and for the new faces of the genre to achieve chart success and international recognition beyond the diaspora.
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