Growing up, Christian Wade knew that he wanted both music and sports to be a part of his life. Since the age of two, Christian has been playing the drums alongside his brother. As he grew older, his talents in rugby turned into a passion for football. Christian moved from London to join the Buffalo Bills in 2019, and he recently finished his third season in the NFL.
As his career in professional football continues to develop, Christian doesn’t have any plans to stop being involved in the NFL and the Buffalo community. In fact, Christian’s talents in both music and sports, as well as his interest in the City of Buffalo, have stirred a new dream.
Over the years, Christian has noticed a disconnect between the new and old music industries. With the development of new technology like streaming services and the use of drum machines instead of live bands, the music industry today is much different than in the past. Artists are having a difficult time demonstrating their talents. They’re even being noticed by the wrong people.
That’s when Christian had a vision for the City of Buffalo and all of the talented people within it. Buffalo has a rich history of producing musical talents such as Rick James, Grover Washington Jr., Brian McKnight, and the Goo Goo Dolls. However, Christian noticed that there weren’t many opportunities or resources for creatives, artists, and musicians in Buffalo to learn, practice, rehearse, and record their craft. As a musician himself, Christian understands just how hard it can be to find opportunities to be recognized.
This opportunity gap inspired Christian, with the help of his brother and friends, to form the Next Gen Collective. The Next Gen Collective provides a headquarters in Buffalo where artists can come together, share their talents, and perform in front of big names in both the music and sports industries. With the right people in attendance, more talented Buffalo natives can be discovered and make professional careers out of their musical talent and creative hobbies!
Music and Sport Contacts
The Next Gen Collective provides a platform for musicians, artists, and creators – whether one likes to draw graphics, take photographs, create videos, sing, dance, or something else – to showcase their gifts and talents in front of an audience that wants to see them succeed.
With Christian’s background in the NFL and his brother’s professional music career, the Wade brothers have developed a long list of contacts in both industries. In fact, Christian’s brother Adam ‘Smiley’ Wade (IG: @adamsmileywade) works with English musical stars like Jessie J and Liam Payne! These contacts help propel talented creatives into careers that will allow them to earn a living while doing what they love.
The Next Gen Collective doesn’t only offer opportunities for talented individuals in Buffalo to showcase their talents and become discovered. It’s also a successful business that provides jobs. Everyone involved is paid for their hard work, from the hosts to the waiters and waitresses, to the bartenders and the photographers! Christian notes that it is called a Collective for a reason. The space was developed so everyone can enjoy the shared experience together. The atmosphere of music, food, drink, people, and community keeps everyone motivated and excited throughout the entirety of each event.
Performers can be noticed by key people in both the music and sports industries. When famous individuals are present – whether it be a football star or a musician – there’s a sense of important eyes on you, which opens up more opportunities for everyone involved.
Ever since Christian moved to join the NFL in 2019, he’s loved living in Buffalo. With numerous food and drink options, shopping, bar life, Woodlawn Beach, and beautiful views, Christian only hopes to add to the Buffalo experience.
Events & What’s Next
The Next Gen Collective officially started in September 2021, and their first event was at Vice. Since then, they have held several events, one in October, one in November for a Thanksgiving special, and one in December at Sahlen Field for a Christmas special. After taking a short break, an event was held in March to celebrate heroes, which recognized some of the world-renowned musicians, artists, and the people of Buffalo in a tribute night! Now, the Collective is taking a break as they prepare for a relaunch of new events starting in August and September 2022.
Christian hopes to plan a talent show to highlight all of the talent that Buffalo has to offer in a healthy competition among musical creatives and bring in guest artists and judges for this event! And there is much more to come in the near future.
To learn more about the Next Gen Collective, follow them on Instagram & Twitter @thenextgenco