When considering the rapid growth of UWIDO over the past two years, it quickly becomes evident what can arise when a community takes action that is guided by vision, informed by need, and supported by big dreams.
UWIDO’s owner and founder Francis Arevalo firmly believes that “…not everyone needs a record label or management, but everyone deserves support. To be independent doesn’t mean that you have to do it alone.”
This simple concept underscores all that UWIDO offers to BIPOC artists within the BC music industry.
As a BC-based management and artist services company prioritizing BIPOC artists, UWIDO has received support via Amplify BC’s Music Company program, which supports the sustainability, growth, and capacity of B.C.’s music companies through business development activities. With expertise in operations, strategy, marketing, grant writing, career planning and artist development, and many other facets of the business, UWIDO strives to specifically increase capacity, access, networks, and opportunities for BIPOC artists working in the industry.
Arevalo continues, “Whether [it’s] budgeting, grant writing, creative direction, marketing plans, consultation, career management, or anything outside or in-between, UWIDO provides services that prioritize tailored support for, with, and by BIPOC artists.”
The foundation of what Arevalo and his colleagues, and the artists and their teams have forged in the two years since UWIDO took flight is rooted deeply in values of community. UWIDO seeks to create a space and pace that is radically and fundamentally different than the current industry status quo. Its intention is also to create something innately familiar, welcoming, and accessible to its target audience.
Arevalo offers, “We want this to feel like a casual conversation in a friend’s living room; the warmest jam session; a meal with your people, and a sense of community in your neighbourhood. UWIDO feels like that, because it is that.”
The Tagalog meaning for the word ‘Uwido’ corresponds to, ‘ear for music’, or, ‘playing by ear’. To this end, Arevalo clarifies, “We chose this as our company name as we [continue to] actively move through the music industry, leading with intuition, lived experience, [an] innate sense of rhythm, and collaboration. There was no blueprint in the music industry for how to build our company, and how to sing our songs precisely the way we wanted to. So, we are playing by ear, listening to ourselves and each other, [and] following what feels the best for us.”
The results experienced by Arevalo and his team to date confirms that this concept and creative vision hits the mark wholeheartedly. As but one example, in UWIDO’s inaugural year of managing and co-producing for acclaimed BC singer-songwriter Desirée Dawson on her Meet You At The Light EP, the group was delighted to see the album receive a JUNO nomination. This turn of events facilitated significant additional exposure and international acclaim for this fast-rising artist.
After two years of building capacity, measured planning, and careful strategizing, up next for UWIDO is their inaugural public event, held in partnership with the Community Arts Council of Vancouver. Music as Medicine is slated for February 18, 2023, at the ANNEX, in downtown Vancouver. Admission is free.
The occasion will feature Arevalo as host, brought together with a slate of other influential BIPOC music industry leaders (including Mikey Jose, Bukola, and Dakota Bear). Beyond delivering a powerful musical performance, the group will facilitate a candid and inclusive community discussion on music’s uniquely healing and restorative properties in community, interpersonal, and individual settings.
You can learn more and sign up at no cost here.
You can learn more about UWIDO here.
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Photos and artwork courtesy of Francis Arevalo, UWIDO, and Music BC.