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Dre London talks the power of trusting your instincts

Dev T. Smith

 // Dec 6, 2017

Rob Hansen // REVOLT

Dre London is what you call a cultural catalyst, someone who thrives in a position of connecting dots to create iconic moments in music. A native of London, Dre moved to the United States chasing the dream of being a mogul in the music industry. His career has seen an incredible climb since meeting Post Malone and managing him to success in a relatively short amount of time.

London recently made a stop at New York University's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at the Tisch School of the Arts to give a talk about what it takes to excel as a mastermind behind the scenes for one the biggest artists in the game. He understood the importance of combining three key intuitive habits, to win big and win consistently. And when successful movers and shakers drop gems for the consumption of anyone prepared to peep game, it's necessary to break those gems down into lifestyle mantras.


RECOGNIZING THE MOMENT | London's success stems from his ability to recognize rare, life altering moments. The minute he met Post Malone he knew he was a star. They were both staying at the same house in Los Angeles, and Dre noticed Post's knack for controlling the environment around him. Every night, Post would make party juice for the house, and sing for everyone while he played guitar. Those jam sessions became a nightly tradition. At Dre's suggestion, Post began recording songs with him singing instead of rapping his lyrics. Dre then noticed the housemates randomly singing Post's lyrics throughout the day. It was in these moments that Dre recognized Post's star power and how pivotal it was to help him harness it. A few platinum plaques later, we can see the results.

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BE PSYCHOLOGICAL IN CREATING LEVERAGE AND OPPORTUNITY | Luck is at the intersection of preparation and opportunity, and perception is reality. Part of building Post into an international superstar required a special type of intuition in today's age of social influence. London understood that by placing his client next to established and rising cultural gatekeepers, the public would begin to associate the then-up-and-comer with this class of influential people. London took every chance to photograph Post next to whoever held significant social influence. Additionally, he didn't look to spam sites to feature Post's "White Iverson." Instead, he put the song in the hands of tastemakers who were looked to by bigwigs for a jump on what's hot. By association with reputable names, and cosigns from respected voices, Post made his transition into a star. His next chapter would be defined by how much pressure he kept putting on.

KEEP YOUR FOOT ON THE GAS | The first taste of success always tastes the best. It's a high like none other, but all highs come down. That's where consistency comes in. But it still has to be authentic. Hits like "Too Young" and "Rockstar" served as two incredibly genuine records that gave Post staying power, and No.1 status. However, nothing but dedicating time to building a fanbase would propel him into one of the top rising acts. During his talk, London spoke on this time in their careers. It was full of the ingredients that make every rags-to-riches story. You can't skip doing the footwork it takes to build a brand and take it national, then international. You've got to go state to state, interacting with new fans and building a genuine community around your product. In this case, the product was Post Malone.

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During a make-or-break time, Post wrote his next hit, "Too Young," which was true to his spirit. Who wants to die before reaching their potential? Anyone who sees their dreams beginning to turn into reality, wants to live long enough to see it all unfold. Post's record came from a true concern any young adult feels, and his authenticity scored him another platinum record. However, the smash single "Rockstar" is what pushed Post over the cliff. In a studio session at Quad, a young producer by the name of Tank God struck up a conversation with Post and played him the track's beat. Post began recording to the song immediately, and London knew it was a hit, but it was missing something.

21 Savage and Post both came up in the music business around the same time, and both of them were heating up the charts. London knew that the juxtaposition between 21's raw and unfiltered energy from the streets, coupled with Post's take-over of suburbia would make for sonic art. Dre believed in this gut feeling so much that he waited months before he got the verse from 21 Savage. London's success is a recurring theme of trusting your gut, and with "Rockstar," Dre helped take his and Post's career to new heights. The song hit number 1 in over 10 countries, received platinum status, and catapulted Post into worldwide stardom.

The big takeaway from London's talk at NYU is that there is no recipe for a winning formula. As a newcomer from the U.K., he had nothing but his own intuition to help him navigate through uncharted territory. He is no different from anyone who was in the audience that night. Sometimes, you just know when there's a certain move to be made. Sometimes you just know when you've met a person that will impact your life. Sometimes you just know, and it's imperative to trust yourself. Imagine if London hadn't, he sure as hell wouldn't be living like a "Rockstar."

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