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And he used to be such a nice, quiet boy

The Power of the Platinum Minds

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There is a real buzz in the air at the London-based Platinum Mind productions.  They are entering 2009 with a sense of giddy excitement and anticipation more akin to a small child on Christmas eve, than the rest of us in the current economic gloom.

The brainchild of Derek Owusu, Platinum has built up a portfolio of artistic talent including music, film, design and dance. The main players of the team are Sarah Butler (Graphics and art) and Earl Williamson (Film and web design).


To meet Derek, or Del, is to come face to face with an enigma.  On one hand a polite mannered, well spoken Londoner, on the other hand a force of nature whose energetic and passionate enthusiasm is as contagious as bird flu in a branch of Nando’s.  Platinum Minds are not his only project, he also works with East End Gospel choir, Charisma Fire.

He had reasonable success with the band London Calling in the Orange Unsigned try-outs.  This in turn led to a recording with RAK studios.

What did you aim to achieve when you created Platinum Minds?

Well, the idea was to be able to put together a self sufficient team. Music production, film, video, photography the full Monty. And to be able to have at least one major project a year, whether it be for internal and external purposes. Since its creation in 2002, I think we’ve managed that, everything from producing a hit underground music video in “Bibles, Bibles” (Earl Williamson was director of photography for this), corporate projects for Orange PCS (I have personally taken part in two major events performing for Orange), and Sarah has undertaken some impressive photography gigs). Our aim was to make services, and facilities that were previously unobtainable in the right hands and it looks like we have.

What are your plans for 2009?
Writing more material! And finding more talent to work with. It’s only the 2nd week in January and I’m still buzzing from meeting up with some talent at auditions last week, it’s a very exciting time, and I just want to get back to basics of writing a song, you know?
What were your musical influences when growing up?

Well, the Beatles first and foremost. Especially the “Abbey Road” and “Let It Be” albums as well as their very early stuff. That was from my Dad, my mum gave me Elvis and Lionel Ritchie, and my Uncle and Aunt gave me Bob Marley. In between all of that, mix in African rhythms and you have what you hear today… My musical taste has varied over the years, it’s hard to pin point what I really like more what doesn’t influence me!

Are you/did you have a party for Obama’s inaugeration?

No, I didn’t but I called my Uncle in America to sing “Here Comes The Sun”…. Very moving experience. When you’ve grown up hearing people say what’s not possible – the end of Apartheid, the Berlin Wall coming down, a black president in the US, it’s quite humbling to know that some things are possible. I’m very proud of what’s happened just because it’s happened in my generation. I’ll have a celebratory coke for him!

This man knows how to party.

To see more of Platinum Minds follow this link:


Written by Nick Gilmartin

January 15, 2009 at 2:07 am

Posted in The one to watch

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