Saturday, July 3, 2010

How to Produce a successful mixtape? [Basic Edition] PART 1

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Musicians, at one time most of us inspired to be one. Reasons to why vary greatly, though some reasons as to why are more common then others and often narrow down to a said deadly emotion commonly known as, desire. Desire to attract a comfortable social climate(the opposite sex), draw crowds, travel while being appreciated wherever you go, but most of all -- to matter. Many musicians & musical minds have attempted to reach goals, typically success, in the music industry with an estimated 95% failing to "get signed" without being dropped a few years later by the label of which molded the tragic musician into his failed image. Without a spark of hope to ignite a vision, these musicians become failures for a few reasons. I will name one obvious reason because no one has published an article like this one before.

Now, I should reveal to you, the reader, a confession from the heart. Musician is being used in this article as blanket terminology for rapper, commonly known as a Hip Hop artist. A position in the music industry that has warped into a narrow corridor of fast-pace lifestyle, shady record executives, abstract jargon of both legal and entertainment proportions. Those of whom are getting it(making the money) might say, "That's just a part of life". Well, I tell you to ask them, "If it's a part of life, why are you trying to bend it's element in the attempt to gain more profitability socially and economically. With that notation expressed, continue to read on with it stuck in the demist depths of your subconscious.

A multitude of digital cable channels under the umbrella of corporate management by mega labels broadcast a one dimensional way into the industry. Way in which consist of: hard work for 9 to 5 pay, rags to riches stories, glamor, etc. I advise not to blame what these channels display. In a later article I may tell you why. But for now let's begin to get down to the real spectrum.

Step 1: Generate a "buzz" & gain recognition!

The generation of a buzz is essential to the success of many marketing, advertising, or promotional campaign. Without buzz the product that is being marketed by the said entity, will drown in a pool of competition. As much as buzz is required for the success of a cleaning product, it also requires attention in the murky depths of underground hip-hop. Generating buzz be easy or difficult, all depends on your lifestyle & pass relationships with the public. Let's say you are a hip-hop recording artist starting on a good social reputation, but no one will listen to your material because everyone else in your area is on the same grind as you are. There are always ways to change this type of seemly harsh situation into a profitable venture:

a. Bring attention to the elephant!
- Be a problem solver. If an issue arises that concerns a decent number individuals, especially if they are your target audience. Make a song about it & make sure its followed by an HD music video. Solve the problem of inattentive behavior by those that have the ability to assist in finding a solution to the issue.

b. Establish a presence on forum!
- Forums are your gateway to potential fans. Joining an online forum populated by people that are open to new music, while also aren't expressing genre-bias community traits, a great way to generate online buzz. Simply by posting your web pages & contact information into your signature of your forum, in addition to a decent quality avatar photo should do the trick. Just remember to be frequent on the forum and engage in conversation. Be sure to select a forum with a centralized strong foreign and domestic presence.

c. Gain recognition!
- You can gain considerable recognition by creating thought provoking music of which others can related to on a human, as well as personal level. You want your potential audience to say, "Oh, shit. Her subject matter is crazy." Or think something like, "This video is the truth, it's so real". Try speaking on topic that you feel strongly about, like a hip hop group you used to enjoy that was plagued by a tragic split up etc. All & all, touch the hearts and souls of the audience as if you were speaking to an intimate person in your life.

Step 2: Know Your Audience!

a. - Getting to know your audience. Learn what type of demographic is listening to your music and cater to them as much as possible. Never listen to word of mouth unless is constructive criticism or you don't have the demographic statics to draw your own conclusion. This doesn't mean don't talk to your fans and ignore them. Train yourself to understand statics provided by YouTube™ Insight feature. It has all kinds of analytic statics for you to work with to see what is working and what is not.

b. - Know what type of audience you will be dealing with once you get those demographic statics from YouTube™ insight. Or you can simply identify them by the paying very close attention to the people message you with positive comments about your music. There are many types of audiences, but I will talk about two: The Fads and The Trends. The Fads are the only group of people only searching for a new hype, they are often given the blanket term hypebeast. Now, let me weigh the pros & cons of The Fads. They are good to cater to if you are looking to provide your music as a service to the listen(which is referred to as service income), in addition looking for fast money. Fast money can been large summons if you market your product efficiently. The cons are that this type of audience could lose interest really fast and are so silly brainwashed they will turn on to next artist that MTV, BET, or any other syndicated music television network says is the best alive( i.e. Lil Wayne v. Na; Eminem v. 50 cent).

c. - The Trends are my personal favorite, however they have their pros and cons as well. Pros of catering to The Trends are longevity, stability, loyalty, ect. With The Trends you are able to be yourself, and keep a strong loyal fan base. People that enjoy your music not because of the beat, but because of the words that bring emotion to the beat. With The Trends, you are promised long lasting love from them as long as you are consistent. The cons of them are going to challenge your loyalty to your fan base greatly & possibly you public image.

The Trends, have a very common syndrome I like to refer to as, "Real Hip-Hop Syndrome", RHHS for short. While trying to be loyal to The Trends you might run into a catch-22 since you might have to market yourself differently while market of different trends in the hip hop community begin to shift. In the event of you marketing yourself in a different light (i.e. conscious hip-hop to alternative hip-hop) you will find that your once "loyal" audience might criticize you for changing you style in order to create a bigger audience and put money in your pocket.

It happens all the time, especially when most of the people complaining never really liked your music in the first place. Just always remember, 'Real Hip-Hop' is a relative term of which is relative to perspective. You naturally have to watch which people are using it. It is usually people that are on the same grind as you, but not even selling material.


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