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#indieID – “Are We There Yet?”

The goal is not to arrive, but to BECOME! We “become” through experiences, encounters and evolution which are ongoing occurrences. We exhaust our efforts and cheapen the value of life experiences by moving hastily to arrive at a place instead of being fully engaged in each experience that creates the journey to our destination.

Simply put, I don’t believe that we ever ARRIVE, but we constantly show up as we evolved and transform into who we already are. As emerging talent, new artist, indie artist and a national brand you never stop becoming no matter how much you accomplish. The hard work, dedication, investment, strategic movement and humility that pushed your movement must be used to maintain and advance your status. No matter who knows you, there is someone what has never heard of you and/or doesn’t know your work. PRIDE will lead you to STRONG DELUSION in thinking that you have “arrived” and the arrival status grants you privilege and luxury.

Surely, your hard work, accomplishments and accolades deserve a pause for salute, but while you’re “paused” someone else is working to become what you’ve paused to BECOME. Artist Development is ongoing throughout the life of your career. A smart and artist is always editing, fine tuning, reshaping and expanding to remain relevant to their audience.

We arrive once we’ve reached the END of the journey. KEEP PUSHING!!

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2014 in indieID

 

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#indieID Talk Back!

Most times I offer scripted advice for your reference and ongoing artist development, but today I want to “talk back” about a few observations that I make daily regarding artist engagement on social media.

It’s critical that you make a positive impression “off stage” because in most cases the gate keepers and those who have the influence to help you have already decided NOT to pay attention to your “on stage” performance. For instance, be practical, precise and positive when you write an online bio/description. List key points, relevant and accurate information. There is no need to list all 12 of your hobbies, 7 titles, 9 occupations and 3 nicknames!!! If this information is relevant to your CAREER as an artists, over time, when needed, as needed it will come to light and help enhance and define your artist profile. Don’t ‘hashtag’ “Jesus Freak” but post profanity, nude or suggestive images.  THIS behavior not only reflects your faith and beliefs, but it reveals your character, maturity and integrity. Be consistent in your message, image and presentation.  Don’t blame the public for judging, commenting or evaluating what they see – YOU turnt up! (LOL).

Appraoch people of influence as PEOPLE. It’s okay to say “hello”… “good afternoon”… be considerate. Don’t just be greedy for attention, validation or acceptance by ignore the PERSON (behind the opportunity), who could potentially help you. Just because somesone does music for a living doesn’t mean that they want to hear YOUR music! Stop pushing up on music professionals and then taking offense when then don’t respond or APPROACH you in the same manner. Learn to respect people MORE THAN YOU NEED WHAT THEY CAN DO FOR YOU.  For example an artist started following me a few days ago, and like clock work sent me a random tweet about her music… without ever making a formal introduction. If she had, she woulda found out that  I don’t accept unsolicited materials. Little things like that can make a difference in how you are remembered. And just because it’s christian/gospel music doesn’t mean I want it! It’s called SPAM – unsolicited content. Take the time to present yourself properly.  Find out HOW to approach other artists, producers, radio, press, managers and other professionals in the music marketplace.  Each outlet has a specific use/need for your contents as well a preferred way to accept and consume your work. Just make the effort before you blow your opportunity.  AND another thing, I advised an artist on how to approach me or any of my colleagues to get us to listen, but he still decided to be cocky a year later by recklessly making random post on my #twitter and #instagram timelines about his music. When I rejected him, then he decided to “dismiss me” by calling me a “good christian.” None of that matters to me – EVER!!!!!!! This dude could win 15 Grammys, but I won’t play or feature any of his music at my events. Why? Because I don’t have too! Selecting music is very subjective… GIVE ME A REASON!

I’m open to your questions, comments and feedback.  Post here on the blog or email me directly at events@holla365.com.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2014 in indieID

 

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#indieID “On Stage Performance Techniques”

As a performer your goal is NOT to sing or play perfectly… YOUR GOAL IS TO COMMUNICATE!

Tell a story – take them on a journey – give them something to FEEL, REMEMBER and DO.

ARTIST RELATIONSHIP – You Are Always Communicating From The Stage
People don’t come to see an “artist”, but they come to see people. PEOPLE who have the gift of music and feel compelled to share with the world.
There are 4 key elements in your ability to communicate affectively: Mental/Emotional/Physical/Spiritual
How you feel about YOURSELF will reflect and affect your ability to deliver a confident and believable presentation.

You must love your audience – want to give them anything you can. (Don’t beat them up for not responding or throw off, but find ways to remain upbeat, positive and stay connected.)

SONG MOMENTS – How To Choose The Right Song/How To Create Moments That Audiences Will Remember
WHO you are is more important than WHAT you do.
Your audience is ignorant! Not fully aware of the technical elements, but they will understand and react to human behavior.
PLAN in advance where to sing, talk, sit and move.
Be unique and make it interesting.
(Don’t leave everything to ‘inspiration’)

MOVEMENT/TOOLS – How To Move/Where To Move/When You Should Move and Why
There are 4 essential tools to use during your performance: Mic Stand, Mic, Stool and Instruments/Headset/Props
Use the entire stage to enhance the visual presentation.
Key Movement Positions: Center Stage, Far Right/Left, Mid Range Right/Left.
Your songs should LOOK and SOUND different.
(Performance and Techniques are key, but a “connection” will make an IMMEDIATE IMPACT)

CONNECTING WITH AN AUDIENCE – Be A Communicator, NOT JUST A SINGER/MUSICIAN
The song is the script to your story – TELL THE STORY!
Keep your attention on God, The People, Group/Band Members and/or Instruments.
Love your audience from the stage – meet their needs – feed the people.
Audience Impact:
15% CONTENT
30% TONE/EMOTION
55% BODY LANGUAGE

There are so many practical things you can do the enhance your live performance presentation without sounding and looking like someone else – DEVELOP and be the best you! My #indieID advice blog is available weekly to help emerging talent/indie artists prepare musically and in business for the music marketplace. I am also available for events and 1-on-1 consultation, email consult@holla365.com. SHARE THIS POST! Like me. Follow me. Book me.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2014 in indieID

 

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#indieID Audition Tips

These tips may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people ignore the obvious.

Be sure to FOLLOW DIRECTIONS! Read all the information, requirements, deadlines and follow them to the letter. If you can not, you are not ready for the audition.  The excuse of “not knowing” is not acceptable.

Sing ONLY songs on the preset list! Don’t deviate to prove your originality… this is NOT the time! In one audition, a contestant came and asked what we WANTED  him to sing. I was like what?! Get of the stage!  Only to find out he was a terrible singer. Later he said, that he was an R&B singer… *blinded by a blank stare*

Learn the words to the entire song.  Nothing is more annoying and disrespectful to the judges and fellow contestants, when you decide to “wing it” by not knowing the song lyrics. It also sends a message that you don’t care enough about this moment, so why should anybody who can help you.

Don’t argue or curse the judges. If you would like to address a comment you don’t agree with, ask politely and be definitive, but respectful. Avoid being emotional and offering excuses. Selecting music is very subjective and a skilled judge should also weigh in on the objective elements of your music. Ask for construction criticism, accept and apply it to become a better singer.

If you RAP, don’t audition for singing competition…If you sing, don’t audition for a RAP competition… If you sing R&B, don’t audition for a gospel competition. You get the message… If you can’t sing, do something you’re good at!

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in indieID

 

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#indieID 5 Tips for BET Sunday Best Auditions – DC

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As a performer your goal is NOT to sing or play perfectly… YOUR GOAL IS TO COMMUNICATE!

1/SEEK ADVICE & TRAINING

Taking singing lessons will definitely help you be ahead of the game. Having natural talent is great but if you rely on natural talents (alone) you make find your overall performance lacking.

2/GO IN WITH YOUR BEST

Sing the best part of the song. Show exactly how amazing your voice is. Select the song that best shows that off.

3/KNOW THE SHOW

It is essential that you know something about the show. Do your research and look at the songs people are singing. Do any of these songs fit into your range? Could you rock that song better than someone on the show? What are they wearing? Use the show as a resource to prepare you for the audition.

4/COME WITH YOUR “A GAME”

Though you may have to wait in line for a while, you need to ready to go at any second. Drink lots of water, do some humming and keep your voice warm, especially if you will be waiting in line outside. Do everything you can to be well-rested before the audition. This is your opportunity to shine!

5/SUNDAY BEST is literally looking for “SUNDAY BEST”

It may be obvious, but there is something particular that they are listening for. While they don’t tell you what that exact type of voice is, you get some insight into the fact that you may be phenomenal but still not the “right” voice for the show.

DISCLAIMER: The content in this post does not reflect the views of BET Networks/Sunday Best or any of its agents and representatives.  I offer advice based only my professional experience as a former Casting Judge of BET Sunday Best Season 2 (Washington, DC) and my ongoing work and experience in the Gospel Music Industry.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in indieID

 

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