By: Lauren Royer
Some of y’all need a tune up in the interview department. If you do not think that interviews are necessary to help you move forward in this industry, that’s actually totes fair. Honestly, there are ways you can get your name/brand out there without doing interviews. It will take you much longer though, and it will likely be much more difficult to get to the same level but hey, what do I know?
I know that social media is KING for your image. I know that many artists actually lack the people skills needed to charm their way into the earlobes of ya sister. I know that interviews (if carefully chosen) will allow someone who writes for a living shine you in a golden light. I know that golden light interview will look damn spiffy to your fanbase alongside your shirtless mirror selfies you were relying on to grow your following in the first place.
Maybe this whole thing is just new to you. You’ve got emails coming through from people just wanting to pick your sweet innocent brain and it’s your first time jiving with someone on a level like this. The thought has to be intimidating because you’re talking about who the hell KNOWS what and you have no way to really prepare. If you think about it though, for most jobs, you do interviews. As an artist, you actually get to do a FUN kind of interview and just talk about yourself. Come on now, it’s just part of the lifestyle. If you’re walking around thinking you’re above this then what’s below this is def for you to skim hard.
Know your audience– Take a look at the publication that’s interviewing you- what do they stand for, what’s their vibe? It’ll help you understand better who you’re talking to.
Don’t pass on interview offers– The only time you should pass on interviews are if you just really don’t vibe or support the publication trying to work with you. Be careful how you judge your own image compared to that of the site, zine, or whatever. Most of the time, if someone has reached out to you, it’s because they f*ck with you and will make you look princely. Even more important- don’t agree to do the interview just to get them off you and not follow through. That is some absolute bull and you’ve just lost a fan with that.
Show up, roll up, call up, link up: on time– If you agreed on a time, show the one interviewing you that their time is as valuable as yours. If they’re waiting up for your ass… that’s time they’re now spending building an impression of you that will end up reflecting in their article. Don’t forget to thank them for blessing up either.
Boi, you’ve got some nerves!– Try and calm your nerves by taking deep breaths, keeping your head clear, and remembering why you’re doing this. Passion can also be calming if channeled well. It’s not lame to write some of your major happenings down so you can remember to slip them in at any point. This is just being prepared. If you’re doing an interview over email, the homie Miss Casey Carter wrote this article a few months back on not being annoying in how you handle those too. Word!
Elaborate but don’t give away too much– This isn’t a memoir, it’s a convo. Plus people like a little mystery too. Unless you’re in a bigger publication or have blown up, not everyone is going to want to read all that. I’ve interviewed some artists where I couldn’t help but roll my eyes as they talked because I was so done listening to them go on, for real.
Be authentic– A mantra of mine on TheBlowUp and what a surprise, it applies to this shit too. Be yourself and be honest about your experiences. That’s what people really want to know (even if you sound like a jackass, some fools dig that). Being the real you is just always better.