The love and passion for crafting exceptional music started the journey for Daniel Stephenson, Founder and President of Straight Forward Music Group, Dani traversed songwriting and production with the sole vision of making timeless music that listeners will remember.
For 15 years, Stephenson endured extreme competition in the local and international music scene. With tremendous rolls of artists, labels, and producers in and out of the country, many find it arduous to continue a career in music-making and producing. However, for Dani, exhibiting flexibility in the ever-changing landscape of music, and the inclination towards doing things differently, allowed him to hover over occupational hurdles in the field.
Guided by an exemplary leader and team player, the entertainment group and it’s roster went on to produce internationally-acclaimed music, eventually gaining them a Brit Award and two Grammys nominations. Possessing such strong character, Stephenson sealed deals with some of the most admired names in the music scene. Under Straight Forward Music Group, Dani has worked across albums by Drake, Anne-Marie, Celina Sharma, Lucky Dancer, Diddy, Don Diablo, Ella Mai, Dave, J Hus, Big Sean, MANN and many more.
Dani spearheads the global operations of four arms that make up the Straight Forward Music Group. Straight Forward Publishing takes charge of creative and global publishing services while A&R consultancy, music distribution, and marketing fall under Straight Forward Recordings. Straight Forward Music focuses on talent management and artist development.
Stephenson also makes sure that the music they produce goes beyond the fundamental purpose of being heard but also to create meaningful change in society. Straight Forward Giving Foundation raises funds and helps charities like the Princes Trust, NHS Charities Together, Young Lives Matter and Youth Music. The arm offers education to impoverished sectors across the globe. Recently, they worked with NHS Charities Together to raise funds for COVID-19 stricken communities.
Straight Forward Music Group serves as a testament to music with a purpose.
Looking back, Stephenson started his career in music as a producer-songwriter under alias Pyramids In Paris. He showed promising aptitude in the field and was a key contributor in the hit single The Mack featuring Mark Morrison & Fetty Wap which landed Top 20 in multiple countries on Billboard and climbed the global charts. The single sold more than 2 million copies and garnered over 300 million streams worldwide. His career would then progress to a wider horizon.
Firmly holding his vision of timeless music, he proceeded to partner with an equally notable personality, Nana Rogues. Rogues is another formidable icon in music. He collaborated with Drake twice, in 2017 and 2018, pitching two songs, Skepta Interlude and Passionfruit, for the album More Life, and Don’t Matter To Me featuring Michael Jackson in the album Scorpion. The collaboration allowed Drake to banner record-breaking streams on Apple Music and Spotify.
With Rogues on board, Straight Forward Music became part of the legacies of Drake, Wiz Kid, Zara Larsson, Skepta, Michael Jackson, Ella Mai and a whole other memorable voices in the industry. The synergy of Stephenson and Rogues is powerful. They would go on to earn another Grammy nomination together only two years.
Dani’s new strategy is to expand operations into India and Southeast Asia, as he launches his new venture Mugal Group and opens the first office in Mumbai with co-founder Vishal Patel. Dani says the ethos of Mugal Group is to discover and develop the next generation of global stars who come from an Indian or Asian heritage, whilst keeping cultural ethics in tact. The goal is to bridge the gap between Asia and the global markets whilst creating a new wave of fusion sounds to freshen the musical palette. Mugal’s roster consists of teen songstress Celina Sharma, internet superstar Lucky Dancer who has over, and UK Top 20 multi-platinum producer COOLIE.
Dani and his Group lay the groundwork to carry out and continue the promise of preserving and reinventing music. Straight Forward Music Group wants to create a productive environment for the new generation - to make music that moves and inspires.
“It’s about creating heritage, legacies, escapism and positive frequencies in the world, that stand the test of time and contribute towards moulding modern-day culture in a positive light,” concluded Stephenson.
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