For the last decade, DJ, radio host and all-round tastemaker, Bradley Zero, has preached the good word of a global music community. These haven’t been token statements and empty promises, however. The Londoner has put his money where his mouth is, performing across four continents, including performing in the Middle East. Spurred by the challenges posed by the Corona pandemic, particularly to his largely events-led collective, Rhythm Section, Zero and his team have joined membership platform, Patreon, to extend its mentorship programs and make a more solid connection with the global ecosystem.
“Beyond staying afloat in a climate where events are cancelled for the foreseeable future, we’d also like to continue to evolve, open doors for others and connect with people in new ways,” read a statement from Rhythm Section. “The lifeline thrown by Bandcamp Fridays has shown us how strong our international community is and we’d really love to further our collaboration and connection with you all.”
So, what does it all entail? Well, through a monthly membership subscription, labels, DJs, producers and others looking to make their way through the music industry can get a range of different perks. The memberships are tiered, with basic ones offering exclusive merchandise, discounts and mixes. The higher-tiered ones, however, open a whole host of opportunities. The statement goes on to mention production workshops among other perks, and even one-on-one mentoring with Zero himself. Feedback on mixes and demos, as well as crash courses on starting their own labels have also been touted and Rhythm Section are even planning to offer an option for artists who might not be able to afford a membership to still collaborate and benefit on some level.
Some might scoff and dismiss Rhythm Section’s lofty ambitions. They might even question how effective taking these intrinsically intimate and dialogical concepts of mentorship online can be. For Zero, however, this is not just a reaction to the pandemic and the restrictions it has placed, as he reveals in a blog post on Patreon.
“When you've got nothing to look forward to in terms of an event or a gathering, you think in a different way. We find ourselves realising what we had around us and the things that we perhaps took for granted. Whether it was the space that we had, the equipment that we had, the knowledge that we gathered, and the fan base essentially, who not only cared about what we say and what we add to the conversation in terms of contemporary music, but also have a lot to say as well.”
Check out the Rhythm Section’s page on Patreon here.