MANCHESTER — City school board members took time during a meeting last night at City Hall to honor Manchester Manchester High School West graduate Brian Soko, class of 2009, for winning a Grammy award in February for Best R&B songwriter for Beyonce’s hit, “Drunk in Love.”
Soko, 23, who also attended Parkside Middle School, flew in from Los Angeles this week to attend the meeting, Grammy award in hand.
“It’s great to get back to New Hampshire and see my friends and family,” said Soko. “The last year or so has been crazy, but it’s cool.”
Soko moved to Manchester from Zimbabwe in January of 2004.
“It was a pretty big adjustment, but everyone was very welcoming,” said Soko. “The biggest adjustment was to the cold. Winter was ridiculous.
“I have always been moved by music and I started rapping at an early age, but I got into music production as a result of not having much to rap about as a teenager,” said Soko.
While at West, Soko took music classes and began writing his own songs and rapping, selling beats on a website he started called www.hotbeatsnow.com
“Everyone knew if they needed a mix for the talent show, or wanted to record something they would come to my house,” said Soko. “I made about $100 a week selling beats, which was about the same as an afterschool job would pay.”
After graduating West high school, Soko attended International Academy of Design and Technology (IADT) in Tampa to study recording arts, graduating in 2012.
While at IADT, Soko met his eventual songwriting and producing partners, Rasool Diaz and Andre Proctor, and the trio went on to form a music production crew, The Order. The Order produced over 20 hit singles, which include Birdman’s “Tap Out” and Lil Wayne’s “No Worries”. They have also done production work for other acts including Drake, Ashanti, BOB and Teyana Tayler.
Soko is also the co-founder of Anashe Media Group, a management, marketing and production company focusing on South African music acts.
In 2013, The Order signed a publishing deal with Warner Music.
Anashe Media Group and Soko won two awards at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards held last February in Los Angeles for his work on Beyonce’s double platinum record “Drunk in Love” featuring JayZ, taking home Best R&B Song “Drunk In Love” and Best R&B Perfor mance “Drunk in Love.”
“We were blown away by it,” said Soko. “The song dropped out of nowhere, and the album did about a million in sales in four or five days. That was surreal.”
Soko said he and his partners have opened a new music studio in North Hollywood, Calif.
“We’re looking forward to working on new songs,” said Soko.