Festivals like A3C, CMJ and SXSW provide a bevy of great Hip-Hop performances for fans who come out. Not only that, these engagements also offer a fertile area for aspiring artists to get their music out to potential listeners as well as bloggers and other tastemakers who can help them take the next step in their careers. Unfortunately, due to the sheer amount of madness going on, most artists don’t receive any feedback on what they can do to improve or increase their chances of getting noticed.
If you make music and are looking to set yourself apart from those recording songs simply to spite their microphone, listen in as TSS Crew’s BEWARE and MZ spill the specifics on handling yourself in front of the people that matter.
1. Make Sure Your Music Is Mixed Properly
This is number one for a reason. Whether it’s a CD or some other form of free, there’s nothing worse than playing an album that’s not mixed properly. More specifically, it’s a sure way for your tunes to be quickly glossed over. Don’t invest so much into cover art and packaging that you forget to make sure your vocals sound crisp and aren’t drowned out by the instrumental.
2. Put Your Best Song First
Sure it’s cliché but you really don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Grab the listener’s attention early and get them on your side. Don’t make or expect them to suffer through the intro and couple of freestyles before they find something that resonates. Because truthfully, they may not make it to track five.
3. Carry Yourself With Class
One thing we’ve found very humbling while submitting ourselves to events like this is that you never know who you’ll bump in to. Since half our livelihood is consumed online, many times putting faces on Internet acquaintances, artists or personalities is easier said than done. So, before you give someone you don’t know the cold shoulder, keep in mind they might have the skeleton key to your success. Treat everyone like he or she is the most important person in the room.
4. Stand Out With Stage Presence
When there are 101 rappers on the bill, your live performance has to include more than you standing on stage mean-mugging. Let’s face it, you’re probably far from a hometown crowd and not everyone knows your songs. So figuring out a way to stick out is key. If it helps, go watch Tyler The Creator or MGK perform on YouTube and remember where their stage shows took them.