Follow What’s Not!
Have ever heard someone into making music say, “just do what everyone else is doing and people will follow you, you gotta follow whats hot”?
Follow whats hot?
Here’s a tip for the artist who doesn’t know any better.
Follow what’s not!
That is how a trend begans, people notice things or people when they are new.
Real life situation: You meet someone that reminds you of your annoying best friend. They tell you there name and you get to know them a bit. In the back of your mind your constantly saying he reminds me of my best friend. You go your seperate way and you see him again the next day. You forgot his name but you remember that this is the guy who reminds you of your best friend. Your real best friend is annoying, but you tolerate it because you learned to know and trust him over time, and you’re comfortable with his annoying ways! You dont want two of the same kind of annoying friends, so the new guy you meet gets treated like an outsider, or someone you like but dont really care too much about, or like a stranger.
Why? Because people like new things and other new people.
Now lets use this example to show you how this relates to your music.
I grew up listening to Lil Wayne and throughout the years he has made some good music and at times (when you can tell he was annoyed by music) he has made some annoying music (in my opinion). Even though he was annoying at those stages in his career, he’s still my friend to this day. (even though I have never met him.) So, to put it in context; I tolerated Lil Wayne because I knew him, I was comfortable with that part of his life because I was already a fan!
Now with that being the case, personally I dont want to listen to an artist who reminds me of my best friend. Because I already have one of those kind of friends, I want a new friend that even my old friend would like.
As an artist you should be trying to seperate yourself by just being yourself and not like your friends. Most of my new artist friends I love them like family but they all follow each other. I try to be the big brother there to tell them the truth but most often they dont listen. They all use what they call mixtape beats, (industry beats) but what they dont realize is that the major artists using those beats get a clearance to use those beats so they dont have to worry about getting sued. So if Lil Wayne records a song on a beat jayz used in the 90s lil wayne gets paid the beat producer gets paid and the artist who bought the beat gets paid. Its a win win win. If a local artist uses that beat the producer might still make money from its use but if the artist using it does not get the licensing clearance he needs, he could actually owe money to the original producer and artist.
This article is about standing out by doing what is not hot.
I remember going to a local rap show and two different artists got on stage at different times and performed songs to the same beats. How embarrasing for those performers. The fans was really feeling it until they heard the same beats and realized these dudes aint getting no money if they cant even afford to buy a beat. Those same artists were on stage rapping about all this money they were getting in the streets. It was wild!
The lesson I took from it and that im here to share is that even if you have to buy some cheap beats so you dont sound like someone else, buy a beat because it’s something most local artists aren’t doing.
You may say, “why would I spend money on a beat when there are tons of free beats out there.”
- For one: You cant sell free beats for money. You can, but you may be sued. Producers have beat websites with rules for there beats. Just because you dont see or read the rules (terms and conditions doesnt mean they dont apply to you.
- The second reason is originality. As an artist I know you value your image, its sacred to some artists. You dont want to be seen as a copy cat after you make your music. Spending on beats will seperate you immediately because the fans know its for real they can tell that you invested in yourself so if they like your music they want to invest in you to! Also, its new and remember people love new!
- Number three is the networking opportunity that comes along with it. Im sure any producer you come in contact with can use more beat clients thus they want promotion. If you go through the trouble of connecting with a beat maker and buying one of his beats when you finally have your music for sale, he will help you promote your music because its the beat he/she has made that they really wants to promote. He/she wants to get more exposure to his/her beat shop! Not to mention its free promotion for you and for the producer. If your a dope artist, promoting your music would be a fun project to any producer.
If you cant afford to buy exclusive beats thats fine because there are all kind of beat deals on the web for up and coming artist.
You might live in Baltimore and buy a beat that some one in spain bought, still a little bit of a challenge but your chances of being original in your local region is much greater. Thats only if you buy cheap beats, but just like anything else, spending a nice fee that you know most artist would not dare pay for a beat is going to ensure not many artist will copy from you.
So in my advice I want you to understand one thing, dont do whats hot do whats not and make it the new fad!