By: Lauren Royer
Movers, shakers, and producers- you rub elbows with them to get further in the industry right? Like it’s not a secret that in the entertainment industry; it’s all about who you know. The people you connect with will directly affect the way you experience your career. Think of it this way: if you’re hanging with some dudes that don’t do anything for others, sit around talking shit (but never doing it), pretty soon your outlook on things will match. If your mentor is someone who is always unhappy, stressed, and has been working that same gig for too long- you need to change it up.
The people we surround ourselves with become a true reflection of where we are and where we are headed. When your career really starts taking off, you will find yourself looking around wondering who your inner and outer circle consists of. Here are some of the industry folks you’ll want as the true homies as you go along. These are the people in the music industry who can offer a lot as your ally but could also really mess shit up as an enemy. Either way, you’ll want to be kind.
First and foremost you’ll need a squad ass clique to ride around with. Why not be a group of individual artists that like to hang? There’s nothing wrong coming up with a crew and going all B later when you’re ready. It’s actually f*cking smart because it gives you more ways to get into venues, ideas, and exposure. It’s not unheard of anymore for people to be part of collectives or independent labels while working solo projects on the side. If you’re still riding solo, having other artists around will give you support. People who are grinding the same way, and if they’re not, y’all can compare notes.
Where to meet them: At any live show, there’s likely to be some artists in the crowd. If the venue is small enough, maybe catch them after they perform and introduce yourself. Social media is another good route- stick to Instagram and Twitter.
This one is a little more difficult but it pays off in places you wouldn’t normally get access to such as backstage. Generally they can hook you up with free shows or let you into VIP. They can tell you what artists have been killing it and which ones bombed. They have their ears deep into the venue and can introduce you to talent buyers or venue owners and you can learn about demographics for artists. If they’re a true pal they’ll tell you how you looked on stage. Being authentic and showing you can have a good time also helps here. They spend their whole night scoping for assholes, so when they see a chill person or chat with you, it’s refreshing.
Where to meet them: Bars and restaurants near venues (shaking the night off after a show). I’ve had good luck just striking conversations about random things with security and continuing to chat every time I was around.
Not throwing this one in just to play- the writers influence those that read. It’s as simple as that. If you can get a writer to f*ck with your music, you have their attention. Let them interview you if they ask and thank them after. If you don’t think you need promo, or exposure, or anything like that to move your career along, you’ve got a long wait to glow up. Even artists that work under the radar create buzz somehow don’t they? It’s the bloggers/writers that capture the culture, the sound, and the way art moves. So which direction are they mapping out for you with their words?
Where to meet them: Poetry readings, blog events, connect on their socials (Instagram, twitter, I don’t know… Tumblr?), or find them at coffee shops with their laptops out being cliche.
If your fella is quick with a camera or always framing things up, he’s golden. Visual media is so, so, so damn important today that even your bank app wants your sweet mug on the profile. You want to represent yourself in a good light? Having a friendly photographer is the ultimate. I’m not saying befriend photographers just to get free images. You should pay your photographers for all their work. If they offer to give you the images in exchange for credit, whatever, that’s cool. But, photographers know what they are doing with angles. If they don’t love you, like you, or think your attractive on the inside… they’ll make it known in the photo. Speaking from my days behind the lense, I can tell you a lot of my own process involves looking for the best angle of a person. If you’re showing me a bad angle I’m gonna stop looking for a good one and just hit click. The rest is on you. If they’re a friend, they’ll be around you during some shot-worthy moments and you’ll always be looking keen that way. A lot of dope footage can be captured by your photographer friends too. Plus they always got the hookup with techy stuff like phone chargers.
Where to meet them: Movie theaters, Instagram, scenic parks, and festivals.