Not too long ago, I was having a discussion with SBMG CEO Mario "SUPA" Hines on the importance of networking in the Music Industry. It got me thinking, what advice would I give to someone who wants to break into the Industry? The one thing that kept pushing it's own way into my head was to network, simply network. As an artist starting out, it can sometime be difficult to get support. You're often faced with people not knowing if you are serious, whether or not they should give it a try, and getting your music to be pushed to the public. Though all of these can begin to tear you down, it's important to step back and look at what you can do to fix the situation.
By networking with other artists within your city or not, you are able to directly feed your music to fans without them being your fans. This in turn creates an opportunity for you to gain fans, indirectly. Someone once told me, one fan, quickly turns to two, and two to four. Every new person who hears your music is a possible 9-10 new fans, with the potential to grow to hundreds. So why network? Why reach out of your comfort zone? I have came up with five reasons I think explain it all.
1. It will be your best. As an artist, confidence is a huge part you must have. If you're like any artist I have ever met, a feature offers you a chance to deliver your best on someone else's song and (with a loss for words) show them up. If you don't have the mentality of "I will be better than you" this industry might not be the best place to be looking to strike gold.
2. Fan Growth, Fan Growth, Fan Growth.
3. The blog world. You need to be meeting people who are working for, running, and dealing with the blogs. In my experiences blogs can be difficult, but if they see a familiar name they will show love. It's an internet world we are living in so the blogs are a must.
4. The music industry is one in which most folks claim to know "everyone". If this is the case, why not meet the people they know. Broaden your audience, and expand your empire. I like to think that we are one-two people away from the majority of people we need to meet in life. Keep that in mind, how can you reach out to the radio DJ's is there someone who knows someone? Meet that someone!
5. It's as simple as this, NO ONE EVER GOT ANYWHERE BY THEMSELVES. You need help, it is just physically, mentally, and emotionally impossible to take on this career on your own. You need the support, so support others. Artists want to act like they don't need your help, well they do and you need theirs.
Needless to say, I am sick of the general answer of "He's Wack!" I've heard way too much of this by way too many artists from the same city, state, region, etc. I never understand why someone would want someone to fail? Especially when it benefits them. The more people out of your own area that makes it out, the better for everyone. About a month and a half ago I had the honor of going to the Nerve DJ Music Conference at St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit (Shoutout Essince, DJ Johnny O, and Big Heff) there was a woman there who said something that stuck in my head. "Every person who makes it out, opens a door for your city, state, region. The [label] Execs, haven't been coming to the midwest to look for talent anymore. We want them seeing so many artists coming out, they are forced to come back here to find their talent,". Think about it and as always Get Hip!