Diary of a Hip Hop, Rap, and R&B Fan/Relentless Hustler…continuation…
Trials and Tribulations of Unsigned/Independent Artists Vol. 3
By Steve Clenor, BA, MSMS
Unsigned and independent artists deal with a lot in their chase of success and stardom. Some of what they go through are generally recognized as just part of the game and just necessary evils. The more accessible the music industry has become for new comers, the more it is affecting the actual craft itself of making music. The social media age has changed music for the better in countless ways, access to entry being one of them. It opened the floodgates and allowed for millions of struggling artists to enter the picture, all with the same dream of making that next song that goes viral. Realistically, this seems to be more of a possibility, rather than probability. Nevertheless, because of that being the mindset of today's upcoming artists, they tend to ignore a lot of the facets of being an artist, and when their video does not go viral, that's when the struggle becomes real to them. This leaves them very susceptible to all kinds of scams going on in the music industry. From fake marketing companies, to unreputable labels taking advantage of them, to everyone calling themselves promoters and taking artist's hard earned cash with nothing to show for it. It is not like the old days when artists would launch their music careers by practicing and working to perfect their craft, build up their catalog, perform at live venues, and hope for someone to come running with a deal to sign them. However, in today's music culture, the struggle is more real than people think. It is now full of scam artists selling dreams to a lot of unsuspecting and gullible music industry hopefuls looking for overnight success.
As I am serious and have a decided to make this a career path for me, I have adopted more of the hands on approach. I am not an artist, but I do own a label (Relentless Hustler Entertainment, Inc.) and manage an artist (WydeFrame). I stay very active in everything related to music. Not going to lie, I love music and it what keeps me sane, but I admit, I look at it like a business. The point of it all is to do something you love while being profitable at it, without that, you can'st sustain or continue to do what you love. On that note, even I come across somethings that I consider ridiculous and a turn-off. I recently saw a post on instagram stating that a very popular radio station is looking for artists to submit their music for spin consideration and interview. As I am always scouting for opportunities for my artists and label, I immediately prepared a very eloquent email with music and other information pertinent to the opportunity presented. About three-hours later, I received an email saying the music and email was received and that attached to this email is a bio of a dj whom the music would be reviewed by. A bit confused, however, I immediately responded with a thank you for responding to my submission so quickly and that I was awaiting their review and hope that they like that they hear. About twenty-minutes later, I received another email stating "Please pay submit a payment of $25 to the following paypal email in-order for your music to get reviewed." Within seconds of reading the email, I quickly responded, "Thank you for responding to my email, goodbye."
Needless to say, that was a very disappointing experience and what I have learned about the current state of music is that these kinds of scams exist because most people do not put in the time or effort to do the proper research on those they deal with before giving away their money. This type of scam is happening as we speak, and this will continue to happen as long as artists continue to look at the music industry as a get-rich-quick-scheme. I don't claim to be an expert as I am learning and making mistakes like eveyone else, but, I'll continue to build my network, do my reasearch, stay consistent and provide my artists the best opportunity to make good music.
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Grind hard, hustle relentessly!!!