Brand Manager of Kreative Kollective, Cherrell Rene, stays busy. Since meeting her at A3C a few years ago, I’ve watched her move and shake all over the ever changing and always growing hip-hop culture. Through her social media accounts, I’ve been able to stay on top of national events, urban news, and all the artist and events she’s working with. She’s seen it all when it comes to working in this industry which is why I asked her to share her top 3 pieces of advice for up and coming artist.
1. Learn the business side of music, and give it as much effort as you give the creative side.
Most of the artist I meet are just an artist, and it is the main source of their frustration within the industry. I’d like to admonish artists to spend time reading about the different roles within the business side, and have a clear understanding of how to make money as a brand. It’s 2016, you don’t have to be a household name to generate revenue in this current climate, and music should not be your sole source of income as an artist. As an artist you are are the CEO of the brand, and your job is to develop the voice of the brand, and to oversee how the brand will grow financially.
2. Forget all of the fairytales, and accept that EVERYTHING costs money in this business.
Long gone are the days where people “do it for the culture.” Everyone has bills, children, and responsibilities. Today across the board, money moves things. It is the nature of the beast. As an artist you have two options:
A. You invest money in growing your brand and following
B. Pay to play.
Either way, be prepared to invest your money in this dream
3. Build real relationships with fans, your peers, media and DJs.
At the end of the day, you are only as strong as your network, so relationship building is key to growth. Relationship building does not happen when you need someone to do something for you, but during those times when it is not about you. It is those conversations you engage in with your fans on social media about life, it is when you show up to the club to support the DJ without asking him to play your record, it is when you identify a blogger and share their work with your friends on social media without being asked. These relationships are tied to your success. Be sincere and genuine, and understand it is part of your job as CEO.