REAL Diamond Records was founded by Elliot Bamful in Cologne. His passion has always been music, sports, video production, fashion, lifestyle, and clothing. After moving to Germany in 2016, he quickly made a wish to establish himself among other things in the music business.
REAL Diamond Records now wants to offer a platform for the many undiscovered music artists and talents in and around Cologne, as well as all over Germany.
We had a chance to talk with a founder Elliot Bamful:
QUESTION: Where did you grow up?
ANS: I grew up in Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa
QUESTION: How did you decide that you wanted to go into the music business?
ANS: I grew up playing percussions for the church and local bands, and at some point, I was working in a recording studio as a backup vocalist. This inspired me to attend a music school, where I majored in Guitar and Piano and voice was my minor course. I dropped out of school due to financial difficulties. In South Africa, I started a clothing company called EMB ( Empyrealbrands.inc ) and during media campaigns, I encountered some issues with music videos on youtube, Challenge set me out on a new part of finding a studio to produce my beats and sounds for me to avoid copyright claims on my videos. I emigrated to Germany in 2016 from Johannesburg and after living with my Daughter and long-term partner in a small countryside near the city of Dresden, I decided to move to Cologne to continue running my clothing brand, but first, the mission to find a producer. After a few months in Cologne, I find a producer first through the recommendation of my Friend and brother Walid Khalid (@walidthefirst) but the producer doesn’t have a perfect working environment. We decided to set something up with the help of Ines Thiele, Walid Khalid, Denise Meisner, Johannes Olk, and Walter Rennert The studio was founded but at first in the producers’ room lol “EMPYREAL STUDIOS CGN”… The following month we set up a record label to be able to distribute and collect royalties for the artist that we considered good to manage. A few months later we got a new place where we moved to and started scouting talents, After founding a guy that was really ready by Magin Mafa, The boy came asking me if I could manage him in a case he blows up in the industry. So I brought him under the label and we released a first Track called JACKY COLA By Mero859 with close to 100k streams in 3 months. We want to make sure we don’t release a video if the streams don’t hit the 100k mark, after this successful release, I decided to go in fully and sign more acts to the label.
QUESTION: Did you have clue as to what aspect of the business you might want to be involved in at that time?
ANS: Yes. I am very interested in the creative and managerial process. I like to create or direct more of the visuals in conjunction with Artist, I think being out of the studio on location shooting is one of the best feelings in the world for me. Especially when you see you are actually making someone else happy and making a dream come through….. this is really a crazy feeling. In this time I don’t care about the critics of the work done, as long as my Artist is happy, I am happy.
QUESTION: When you sign a band/artist, do you often get involved in the choice of producer, or do you tend to find bands that have a producer in mind whose work they admire and you just help facilitate it?
ANS: I am very open-minded, I don’t like to take freedom away at any level, I am involved in every process the from writing, to finding beats, or producing the beats till it is ready to be distributed. So am still involved whether they have someone in mind or we have someone they will good to work with.
QUESTION: A good number of artists believe that major labels are the evil empire. Make a case for signing with a major as opposed to an independent label.
ANS: This is just a personal opinion which might change as I get more awareness in the music business, Nothing is pure evil and nobody is pure evil, Major label as its advantage just like independent label as its own. It all depends on who you are, what your expectations are, how maybe not good you are but how consistent can you be, there is an absolutely thin line between those two in this digital age. If I am an artist I will surely shoot for a Major.
QUESTION: What is a typical day for you like in the world of A&R?
ANS: This is a very exhausting part of a record label, because I am involved in every step of everything, the artist development process can easily get personal and emotional to a certain degree, remember these Artists are people with humane problems, and since the process involve team action you will need a high level of leadership capacities to pull it off and this can easily weigh on you when misunderstandings begin to happen due to all different type of difference that surfaces when emotion prevails in a Work/ business relationship. The problem is knowing the lines and how not to cross it. My solution is to not draw the line in the first place and let everyone understand that we are humans and mistakes are part of the process, own your faults and forgive one another. If your teammate got a problem today, well we don’t know what tomorrow brings, maybe it is your turn then.
QUESTION: How many artists a year do you typically sign personally?
ANS: It’s a new label and right now we have four Artists that are ready to be released. The focus is on Mertcan Sahin ( Mero859) now, After the release of the Jacky Cola video, his next single will be released feat his mate, Nova.
QUESTION: What do you think the next five years in the music industry might look like overall?
ANS: I run my label from Germany and major focus is on the German Hip-hop and RNB genre. This genre is really not popular nor the market as big as in the USA, so I can only have faith that the future will look brighter for Artist in this genre of Music in Germany. I have had people call me out based on the fact that I am doing such music. This is a very hard place to promote the hip-hop culture because most people still live in the era of ” The Beatles, Metallica, I mean you know the whole Rock, Metal thing… But I respect these choices from the people as long as they are not condemning a genre over another or a style over the other. If you don’t like the music just simply don’t add it to your playlist