Big Music Meets: Dose Of Society

We caught up with Dose of Society Founder, Ahmed Faid and Co-Founder, Nii Lartey!

Big Music Meets: Dose Of Society:

Founder, Ahmed Faid, created Dose of Society as a platform for people to offer their views on social issues, some of which have gone viral. We had the opportunity to speak with Ahmed and Nii.

Thanks for joining us Ahmed and Nii.

Thank you for having us.

Just to give our readers a brief insight, let us know what Dose of Society is and how it was formed?

AHMED: It started when I was around 18 or 19, I had an idea to go out and speak to the public about relevant issues within society. I think our generation has become more socially aware, so I wanted to get people’s thoughts. I didn’t initially pursue it, but after attending university to study economics, I decided to go back to this project, so with my sister’s camera and no filming or editing experience, I went out to ask the public, ‘if you could change one thing within society, what would it be?’ After that question, it slowly started to grow.

That’s a great journey. Would you say that ‘Dose of Society’ is very open with the questions they ask the public?

AHMED: 100%. Considering the day and age we live in, we ask questions based on immigration and terrorism to other topics like whether white privilege still exists. We shouldn’t be afraid to answer these questions.

Okay, so how do you deal with opinions which may affect you personally?

AHMED: It can be difficult at times, but I believe it increases the awareness of taboo social issues. We’ve encountered various opinions on topics like immigration and terrorism, but we ultimately try to focus on treating people equally, regardless of their opinion.

I think that is crucial in being successful within your field. How do you allocate the roles within Dose of Society?

AHMED: To be honest, we both cover various areas. Initially, I taught myself how to film and edit, but now we literally work off each other’s strengths.

That is probably the best method to effectively running a solid team.

AHMED: 100%

You guys share most of your content on social media and some of it has gained millions of views. How have you been able to achieve this?

AHMED: I think a lot of our controversial content gains the most views because of their ‘shock-factor’.

NII: I think our videos also go viral because they are based purely off emotion. That’s why our videos on the slave trade in Libya and Grenfell Tower received so much attention.

So leading on from that, which of your videos have had the biggest impact on the both of you?

NII: For me personally, I would say knife crime because it’s such a touching subject.

That’s an interesting choice. Do you think knife crime will eventually be tackled?

NII: I’m personally not too sure about that, there are a lot of factors you have to take into consideration. I believe the situation could definitely be improved though.

That is a fair point. What about you Ahmed?

AHMED: One video where I learnt a lot was ‘your message to the world’. It was a video with a bunch of people literally spreading positive messages – I learnt a lot from that.

It’s interesting how contrasting both topics are. Is video quality an important factor when it comes to your content?

NII: I’m originally a video journalist, so quality is key for me. On the other hand, I think this is dependent on the content we are capturing. For footage of the public, quality is not as big a factor as something like a documentary, which we intend on doing soon. As long as you can hear the voice and understanding the message, that has more of an impact and has managed to work for us so far.

AHMED: I taught myself how to do everything, but I personally don’t think quality is as crucial as the content itself.

Again, both fair but contrasting points, haha. Do you guys have any competitors at all?

AHMED: Looking around, I don’t see anybody doing exactly what we do. People use certain elements, but I think what makes us stand out is the type of questions we ask the public.

NII: We come with hard-hitting questions! The public aren’t expecting us to ask the kind of questions we do.

To keep your competitors at bay, do you have a particular strategy or template you follow for every piece of content?

AHMED: At the moment we have 4 formats we follow. ‘On-Road’ is where members of the public provide us with their opinions on specific topics. We also have ‘DOS Meets’ which is where we get the opinions of social influences. We plan to launch ‘Speaks’, based around spoken word and a format for documentaries too.

NII: The thing with social influencers is that they influence society, so we want to understand what they’re thinking and how they can positively cause social change. So far, we’ve interviewed people like Poet, Rants N Bants and Ashley Walters to get their stance on society and how it can be developed in the near future.

It is really positive to know that you are both continually looking to develop Dose of Society as a brand.

AHMED: Growth and development is what it’s all about.

Great to hear. Where did the name Dose of Society come from?

AHMED: It was actually quite interesting because it was a long and difficult process – we thought of a few strange names at first! I don’t think the name matters too much though, if your content is interesting, that’s what counts.

Don’t you think there must be some importance placed on the name of a company or organisation though?

AHMED: Where did names like Google, Instagram, Facebook, Vice or Noisey come from? What do they even mean? When I formed Dose of Society, it wasn’t popular, but as soon as we started releasing interesting content, Dose’s popularity grew.

That is a good point. One thing we would like to know is if you could interview two people, one deceased and the other alive, who would they be and why?

NII: I’m really interested in Nelson Mandela’s thought process during his time in jail – that must have been some of the toughest years he had to face. He would have been a great person to interview.

NII: I’d love to interview Will Smith too. He’s been my idol since I was a kid and was one of the influences who sparked my interest in television. His attitude and aura is powerful.

AHMED: My top three deceased interviewees would be between Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X or Muhammad Ali, but overall I’d say Martin Luther King Jr. because of his ability to get so many people to fight for a cause without the promotional tools we have access to today. That is crazy!

You could argue that everybody was fighting for one specific cause then, which did make the desired outcome in recruitment easier without the use of social media and other promotional tools.

AHMED: Yeah, I guess so. It would be interesting to get his thoughts and opinions on society nowadays. He would have been a great interviewee for Dose of Society.

AHMED: My other interviewee would be J. Cole. I think he’s one of the most interesting and socially-aware artist out right now.

It is interesting you mention J. Cole. We wouldn’t even consider him as just a rapper either.

AHMED: I agree. He’s a private person and has changed certain aspects of his life for the better. I feel his story is a bit different from other rappers as well.

That is very true. What advice would you give to young people looking to break into the creative media industry?

NII: I’d say just do what you want to do because nobody is stopping you. A lot of people are processed to think there is only one limited and direct route to success, I even followed that idea myself, but when I saw the potential with Dose of Society, my mindset changed.

AHMED: We only live once, so to know that you’re letting others dictate your life is crazy to me! Do what you love and even though there are setbacks with everything we do, I face them by knowing there is always a positive with a negative. I refuse to look back on my life with regrets. As long as I try and give 100% in everything I do, that is what counts.

That is really fantastic advice from the both of you. What are your plans for the future?

AHMED: I would say to grow as individuals, continue to develop Dose of Society and just try to do as many things as we can, obviously being smart and calculating our risks.

NII: One other thing is to make Dose of Society’s content more tangible by holding events and allowing people to actually engage in debates and tackle these issues.

It sounds like you guys have a lot planned for the future which is exciting! We wish you all the best.

Thanks Big Music.

Be sure to check out Dose of Society’s YouTube channel, as well as their Facebook and Instagram.