‘How can I get in the music biz?’Written by Martini Rox | | firstname.lastname@example.org
That headline is the text message that came from my little cousin, who like many others, has dreams and aspirations of becoming a singer or rapper.
While many artists have this question, the answer is always more than they bargained for. First, I have a question; how bad do you want this? You cannot be a lazy person and think things will just happen for you.
Let’s crunch some numbers; think of all the famous rappers you know who are on the level of success of Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye West. You may only be able to name four or five. Now, divide that by the population of America, and there are your chances.
Discouraging? Only if you decide not to work as hard as those four or five rappers did to make it. A dream is a full-time job, so if you plan to work it parttime, you can expect to get part of your desired results.
The biggest mistake an artist can make is believing that getting a song played on the radio will guarantee success. Maybe it will fulfill your dreams of being a “Ghetto Superstar,” but if that is your only goal, stop wasting my time. Radio is a final step in long process.
First, an artist should know who they are or what type of artist they will be. Find a sound that is unique, a producer who “gets” you and work hard to build a professional relationship. Establish a goal that will benefit the both of you; no one wants to work hard for nothing, so have something to offer should the end result work in your favor.
Ladies, let’s be clear this should not be a physical return, because the casting couch doesn’t guarantee you’ll be a star. Recognition, credit and promises kept can get you a lot further than you think until you are able to honor those who helped you along the way monetarily or by throwing big business their way.
If you are a singer, invest in your voice! This is your instrument and you need lessons. There is nothing worse than receiving a demo with pitchy or flat notes. The sound is as disturbing as hearing a car crash you can’t see. Think about the listener and think about what you expect to hear from a professional singer and do that.
Rappers, be completely original because for some reason everyone thinks they can do exactly what you do. Work on a distinct flow and perfect it. Hate it or love it, every rapper you know has their own sound and if you are not from that coast or crew, you have no business sounding like you are.
Perform like crazy! Work on your stage presence because singing while standing in place with your eyes closed is cool in choir rehearsal, but we all know come Sunday, you better show out! Treat every performance like it’s in front of a full stadium whether there are three or 3,000; you win fans one at a time. The three who show up may each bring three more friends the next time you perform and so on.
Rappers, minimize the number of people on stage with you because if everyone is on stage dressed just like you and more than one is yelling into a microphone, where are you? This leaves the audience to wonder, is the artist him, him or him?
Merchandising is key! When you perform, have a demo with your best songs to sell for a reasonable price. Why? Because they came to see your show, so give them a break. Besides, if it’s playing in their cars, more people can be exposed to your music. Should you run into a DJ (street or radio), give them your music! Expecting them to buy music they are not sure of when they can get music from established artists for free may leave you walking away to that slow tune from the end of “The Incredible Hulk.”
More on this in future columns. I’ll see you at the top! As we continue on …
Listen to Martini on THE JUICE FM 107.3.
Tags: On the Rox