Meet Underdog Music Group co-founders Big Papa Harvey and King Wizard.
UNDERDOG MUSIC is a versatile producer management company, with credits including many of the biggest artists in the game, both in the US and the UK. (Polo G, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Ty Dolla Sign, Wiz Khalifa, Swae Lee, Money Man, Yung Miami (City Girls), Nafe Smallz, YFN Lucci, Unknown T, D Smoke, Brandz, Kali, Desiigner, Benny The Butcher etc.)
Run by maverick duo Oliver ‘Big Papa’ Harvey, and King Wizard, Underdog Music bring a trail-blazing and expansive attitude to their work, both musically and in terms of business.
HARVEY can often be found with a phone in each hand and an array of spreadsheets in front of him, negotiating deals and juggling dozens of opportunities sourced through a network that is the envy of the industry. His trademark big hat contains a vast amount of knowledge, experience and determination. When you’re in an important room thrashing out a big deal, this is the man you need sitting on your side of the table.
WIZARD splits his time between management and production. When he’s not on the phone offering advice, analysis and inspiration, and sourcing an endless stream of opportunities, he can be found in the studio. Often you’ll find him surrounded by open-mouthed and wide-eyed artists and fellow producers as he creates productions in seconds in almost any style, using his many instrumental and imaginative abilities. The word genius is frequently used by both press and colleagues.
Q: What was the first record you placed as an A&R/Manager?
A: The first and most important record that you need to place is the record that you play on repeat in your mind every day. That record says I’m gonna win no matter what. We’re gonna figure this
out, and we’re gonna make it work. And that’s the only record you keep playing in your mind. Once you get this record placed, the other placements are all inevitable. This is the real law of attraction. What you focus on becomes who you are, and who you are shapes and bends reality around you to your will.
Q: What is the biggest lesson you learned while working in the music industry?
A: Learn from people who are already successful in your area. They already made all the mistakes and figured out what works. If you model success, you can cut out years of trial and error approaching the game in the wrong way. Keep learning, both from your own experience and from the experience of others, keep taking massive action, don’t be afraid to make errors, that’s part of your learning, and don’t be afraid to take risks. Don’t delude yourself – get among the people who are really doing it and you’ll soon find out whether your material is up to the standard and whether you are doing business in the right way. Make sure you keep in touch with reality rather than being up in your head. Just keep pushing and learning and moving forward and there’s nothing you can’t do and no room you can’t eventually access. And when you do land big offers and big records, make sure you get a good lawyer.
Q: What is your favorite record you placed and why?
A: The favorite record is always the next one. If we already landed our favorite record then it would be time to quit. There’s always room for more magic, more music, more money, more life. Maximum gratitude for all of the records we have already, and then straight on to the next one and then on to the next.
Q: Where are you from, and how did it mold you into the person you are today?
A: Where you are from is a part of your environment that helps to mold you, but it’s not the key factor. You can change your location, you can change your surroundings, you can change who you associate with, you can change your perspective, you can change your focus. Life is within our locus of control. Drive 10 miles and everything you see is different. Drive a thousand and it's even more different. Turn your head up a few inches and you can see the stars. Close your eyes and you can see infinity. Open your imagination and you can see the future before you have even created it.
Oliver is from a small town in the north of England, and Wizard is from the edge of East
London, but all of our initial success was created without barely leaving the house and working with people all over the world via the internet. The possibilities are endless. Where you are from is a start point in your journey, but it is not the destination. That’s up to you. As long as you have a phone and internet you have infinite business opportunities in your pocket 24/7. We’re too blessed to be alive right now. On the come up at certain times we’d go down to our last few pounds in the bank, knowing that at any time we can be creative and put work in and still survive and grow and achieve. It’s dope to look back and know your roots and where you come from and your surroundings, but it’s even more dope to look forward and realize that your creativity can shape not only your destination but the very nature of reality and the world around us. We can build and create things beyond our ancestor's wildest dreams, and the best is still to come.
Q: What made you create Underdog Music Group?
A: We are here to back the Underdogs. People with real talent and drive who are due to beat the odds. Everyone wants to be successful, there is a massive amount of competition, and unfortunately, most people don’t make it. The first step to success is to realize that you are an Underdog, and the automatic result will be failure unless you exercise your personal control, firstly over yourself, and then over those around you, your business, your network, your music, and reality itself. If you can conquer your personal barriers, circumstances, and demons, whatever they may be, you can achieve your wildest dreams and more. We are here for the Underdogs who know they have not been put on this earth to stay on the porch and wear a leash and collar and stare at their empty bowl. We are here for the Underdogs who are not gonna accept failure. We are here for the Underdogs who are beating the odds to create a better future for themselves, for the culture, for art, for their families, for society, the ones who are building and contributing and changing the world brick by brick. The odds against us are trillions and trillions to one of even existing in the first place. We are beating the odds from the very moment we open our eyes and take our first breath. The meek shall inherit the earth – the underdogs shall inherit earth, and we are here to speed up that process.