No one ever simply hops on stage and kills it. You have to practice in order to see what will need improvement, how you’ll control the stage and to make sure your sets flow together. You’ll also need to get on point with your DJ and most importantly, make sure you know all your own lyrics! To help visually see your set try practicing in a room with wall mirrors or even recording it.
2. HAVE A DOPE DJ
A good DJ is someone I feel every artist needs to invest in. Take the time to find someone you can connect and have chemistry with because they’re truly going to be responsible for 50% of your performance.
3. OPEN THE SET WITH A TRACK THAT FULLY SHOWCASES YOUR TALENT
You want to set the tone for your set. Lock in the attention of anyone who doesn’t know who you are, and especially any spectators. This track is going to be your first impression to many, so make sure you chose wisely.
4. DON’T RAP OVER YOUR TRACKS
This is beyond the most annoying thing an artist can do when performing. It’s unprofessional and makes you look and sound whack as hell. Make sure to use SHOW VERSIONS! (and refer back to #1)
5. DON’T HAVE AN ENTOURAGE ON STAGE WITH YOU
Another thing I find annoying and also very tacky. You don’t need all your people up on stage with you to make an impact. Instead, have them show support by being in the audience.
6. GIVE THE AUDIENCE A SHOW
Don’t just hit the stage and rap. Give the audience an experience. Tell a story with your set by adding elements that emphasize your set. Add dance moves (I’m not talking Boy Band/Chris Brown moves), or props, or even some type of choreography with your set cameo’s.
7. ALWAYS GIVE IT YOUR ALL
Whether if it’s 5 people or 500 in the room, you have to give it your all. Show the audience why you deserve to be there and better yet, why you deserve they’re attention. Your energy is everything during your set. Think of it as a lifeline for the audience, if you have none, they’ll be dead.
8. DON’T PERFORM FOREVER
One thing you want to avoid is having people thinking your set is dragging or too long. This is something you can determine during practice. My advice is if your set is 25 minutes, shorten it to 20. Your goal is to leave everyone wanting more.
9. THANK THE AUDIENCE
Make sure to always thank the audience for rockin’ with you. You can also utilize this time to quickly plug yourself by sharing where they can find more information and music from you.
I hope these tips help you perform better & kill your next set. Now enjoy this short film by Seattle director Ryan Zemke on the Art of Performance.