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Interview with UKF Founder Luke Hood

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What does it take to get 1 Billion YouTube views? That’s a million dollar question that only one person I have ever interviewed can answer. Luke Hood the Founder of UKF is a 19-year-old from Frome, Somerset who turned his YouTube channel into a full fledge music conglomerate in less than three years. What started off as a hobby has made Lucas one of Top 20 Young Entrepreneurs to watch in 2012 according to Your Hidden Potential and has helped UKF become the most powerful brand in Bass Music.

How did you get started in the music industry?
I fell into it to be perfectly honest! UKF started out as a pirate radio based on YouTube, tracks that my friends really liked would get up loaded onto the channel. Through that, after the brand picking up traction and legitimizing how UKF operated it all went from there. I’d never had music as a possible career choice for me – I was at UWE (Bristol) studying Forensic Computing 2 years ago.

When you originally launched UKF in 2009, were you aiming to create something this big?
Never – as I said, it was just a way for friends to listen to music, if other people shared those tracks with their friends then I was doing my job, which was to spread music to people who otherwise may not have listened to Dubstep/Drum & Bass before.

How would you explain the UKF experience?
UKF features established and up and coming producers from around the world, featuring artists from Flux Pavilion / Knife Party to Friction / Hybrid Minds. We’re sent a huge amount of music so it’s our job to pick the best to upload on the channel for our audience to listen to.

In just over 3 years our channels now have more than 2m subscribers and 4 channels – UKF Dubstep,Drum&Bass, Music and Mixes. The audience is getting more and more International and younger.

Going forward on the UKF channels we will be aiming to showcase more video as the scene moves forward. We have a number of events, tours and growing the UKF family of channels as we continue to champion Bass Culture.

What are some of the key factors that have helped UKF become such a large movement so fast?
Facebook would have to have played the largest part in spreading the brand around, we never paid for advertising to spread the word of the channel so we relied on people sharing the music we uploaded with their friends.

As these young fans become older, do you think the music will have to mature in order for Generation Bass to continue its growth?
I’d say there already are mature areas of the music we promote, a lot of which we try to upload and book those acts for our shows. Labels such as Shogun Audio, Critical, Chestplate, Get Darker all release records that are generally loved more by a more mature audience.

What was the overall brand impact of the UKF Spring Tour in North America?
We’ve always had a huge reaction from our fans in the US, and it was great to finally be able to showcase some of the talent we’ve helped push and continue to grow the UKF awareness in the US.