Surfin

I don’t know how I missed this song.

“Surfin” came out in 2016 but despite the attention that centered around the Kid Cudi release, I never heard it.   Truth is, the buzz about the record had more to do with Cudi’s mental health than the actual music.  He had checked himself into rehab for depression.

Alot of Cudi’s music is dark.  Not depressing, but in a psychedelic way.

But sometimes he taps into something else, and he certainly does when he connects with Pharrell on this song Surfin.

“I ain’t ridin’ no waves
Too busy makin’ my own waves, baby”

Cudi repeats on the chorus.  It’s great.  He’s not chasing trends, he is creating his own.

Then he hits with the perfect closing line on the hook:
“Surfin’ on my own wave, baby”

He’s made his own trends and now he is just staying in his own lane.

Surfin.

The ultimate control of being in charge of oneself and direction.

 

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Write Something Interesting

Ironically, I saw this as I was just posting a link on Facebook to a new blog post I had written.

Just before I typed my post I saw the words write something interesting

Did it always say that?  I don’t remember seeing that before.

But this is from my artist fan page.  Did it say that on my regular page?

So I clicked over and ahhh something different.

“What’s on your mind?”

Your friends want to hear whats on your mind.

Your fans want to hear something interesting.

Or could it be, your fans just don’t want to be treated as if they are strictly consumers that are force fed your product as you compel them to click to your latest video, song or product.

Maybe what is interesting is what is on your mind.

 

Write It Down

I’m a freestyler.  I like to think on my feet.

Just as quick as I say a rap, I’m thinking about the next one.

The same thing used to happen to ideas- some for business, some for songs, some were just cool lines that I could fit into a song.

I’d come up with them and swear that I’d remember, only to forget.

That doesn’t happen to me much anymore.

I’ve learned the importance of writing things down.

I used to carry a small notebook around to do this.  But then sometimes I would forget a pen.

Now I just use my phone.  I use an app called Evernote so that I can write down ideas, songs, anything of note.

It’s great because it also is synched with my Macbook so that I can check my ideas later on.

Don’t miss out on your next big idea!

Write it down.

 

Help Me Help You

jerrymaguirehelpmehelpyou

I like to think of myself as a helpful guy.

I have a passion for helping artists and I try my best to offer guidance and advice.

But sometimes I get frustrated.

I often spend more time than I think I would… or should.  Sometimes it feels like its a waste of time.

This can happen a few different ways…

I can send an email to an artist saying that I need to get some information from them, for instance their bio and three Youtube links.  I won’t get a response.

Or an artist can say, “Can we jump on the phone and talk about this some more?”

It’s good to touch base with someone on the phone, but in many cases these phone calls turn into: “So you you need like what you said in the email?” Me: “Yep.”  “Okay and this other thing is like in the email?”  Me: “Yep.”

Or it can be something that could have simply been solved by sending an email.

In either case, my initial desire to help turns counterproductive.

As a result, it can turn me off from wanting to help other artists.

If you are looking for someone to help you, the best thing is to value that persons time.

Don’t make it difficult for them to help you.

Make it easy.

Then they will look forward to helping you, instead of looking the other way.

 

I Used To Hate Puff

I used to hate Puff… Diddy… Daddy… Sean Combs.

It wasn’t so much Puff, but moreso Mase.  Or should I say Ma$e.

I didn’t like his voice, his flow, his rhymes, and maybe most of all – what they rapped about – money.

I felt there was more to music than that.

Diddy and Mase were flashy, symbolized by their shiny suits.

One thing I couldn’t deny is how catchy the beats were.

Twenty years later and I’m a fan.

I look back at how Bad Boy was a soundtrack to my teenage years.

Biggie will always be my favorite from the label, but now I have a newfound appreciation to Diddy and co music.

Using his own words, I now realize he “just wanted to make you dance.”

To have fun…

Which was especially important at a time of Gangsta music and East Coast / West Coast beef.

Puff was ahead of his time.

And as an artist sometimes you’re going to deal with resistance…. resistance that rappers call hate.  But its all part of the game.

 

Acquired Taste

I remember the first time I listening to Wu-Tang Clan.  I didn’t like them.  I didn’t get it.  Their sound was different from everything else out there.  But after seeing the video a few times on Rap City one day it clicked.  I was hooked.  I became a fan and for the next several years I devoured all of their releases.

I could say the same thing for several other artists.

It took me awhile before it clicked.

acquired

I love the definition for acquired taste because of how it includes the word “experience.”

You have to try it to get it.

As an artist you can tell people about your art but it is really about getting someone to immerse themselves in it.  I say “immerse” because we want someone to experience our art without distractions.  Not to simply browse over it and check it out while multitasking.

Some people are good at sales.  They can convince you to check out their art.

But even then, you aren’t guaranteed to get the person to command their undivided attention.

Most good art, or good ideas, are things that are different.  They will be met with resistance.  The key is to keep pushing the ideas so that the audience acquires taste… and gives you the attention your art deserves.

 

 

 

Getting the grant is only the first step

It’s exciting to tell an artist that they have received a grant.

Especially their first one.

There is nothing like that feeling.

The Government is giving you money to record your music!  The way YOU want to do it.

However, one thing I’ve seen many artists fail to realize is that getting the grant is only the first step.

The music? That’s the easy part.  At least it should be because that’s the fun part.

The challenge often comes with completing the grant.

I’ve seen artists struggle with this step time and time again.

I’ve even seen artists have to send a cheque back to the grant organization because they failed to complete the grant properly.

Oftentimes this will be an artist that has just received one of their first grants.
Its usually not a big grant – not the 10,000 album grant or the 15,000 marketing grant.

It’s often a demo or showcasing grant – roughly 1500.

These artists want to move on to the bigger grants.

But one thing that I think is –  How do you think you can handle 15,000 when you can’t handle 1500?

The cold reality is – they can’t.  At least not yet.  They aren’t ready.

I’ve received over 200 grants and one of the key reasons is my track record.

How do you get more grants?

Take it step by step.  Complete it on time or ask for an extension – and then complete it.

Become a success story by maximizing your grant.

Then you’ll be on your way to receiving more..

 

 

If Beyonce Can Do It…

Picked up this from listening to Charlamagne the God’s audiobook.  He recalls the story of when Beyonce walked into the room.  According to Charlamagne there was several people in the room and when Beyonce came in she made it a point to walk up to each person and introduce herself.

Introducing yourself isn’t out of the ordinary, but it is when you are Beyonce – one of the most famous people on the planet.

She didn’t need to introduce herself.  Everyone would have known who she is.  But instead of assuming that they knew her, she was humble.  She was polite when she didn’t have to be.  As a result, I can only imagine how it made each person’s day – and more than that.  It made a lifetime memory that they would share with countless people.  The day that Beyonce took time to talk to them.

For Charlamagne, a famous radio personality, it also impacted him.  If Beyonce can do it, why shouldn’t I?

That’s the thing about role models, they show you that doing the small things makes a big impact.