Express & Star

Walsall-born artist and record label owner gives advice to students and aspiring musicians

Pupils at a Walsall school got a real taste of the music business when an international music producer popped in to see them and give them an interactive master class on careers day.

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Caldmore born and bred Mark Anthony Duffus aka Blak Prophetz visited Bentley West Primary School to talk about his path in the music industry, and he wasn't the only one.

Pupils at Bentley West Primary School enjoyed a careers day with some local music stars

Global celebrity rapper, hip hop artist and MC Dee Shy also visited – as she works closely with Mark and is managed by his Digital Jukebox Records company which he set up 22 years ago as well as being signed to Sony Music.

Blak Prophetz alias Mark Anthony Duffus visit Bentley West Primary school, Walsall as part of careers day.

Marc has worked with the likes of Joyce Sims, Glen Goldsmith,and Afrika Bambaataa and has produced music for films including Bend it Like Beckham and has had hits in Japan.

He has been working with the BBC for a number of years, rapped the music for the Mentos gum advert in 2011 and is also the voice over for an advert for the Hasbro kids game Monopoly Crazy Cash Machine.

Both gave inside stories on the music industry, explaining the history of rap and hip hop through videos and songs, and gave advice to students on which careers they can follow and how to get started.

Mark said: "It is always great to do these workshops visiting schools and hearing the questions the kids ask.

"And it's really important now more than ever because the recording industry has changed so much with artists now mainly confined to social media whereas back in the day we had vinyl, CD and live performances.

"That's not to say a career in the industry is not attainable because if you are determined enough it will happen but any helping hand you can get by inside knowledge is probably useful which is why these visits are so valuable.

"Dee Shy is a great artist who has a new album and has released five singles with the latest 'Mama Raise' consisting of reggae, hip hop and the story of her upbringing which contributed and forged her into becoming an iconic black female MC she is today."

Muisc mogul Mark Anthony Duffus and Rapper BlakProphetz alias Dee Shy visited Bentley West Primary school, Walsall as part of careers day.