I’ve been watching Jermaine Durpi’s, The Rap Game, recently and for those not familiar with the show, it’s about Jermaine taking a group of kids through a series of challenges to see who comes out on top. He will eventually choose one to be signed to So So Def.
This show is actually a great look into the different facets of the industry. I’m not the authority on it, because I haven’t been signed, but I’m looking at this show through a marketing eye since I’m in product marketing.
Based on some of the challenges, I decided to take a good hard look at myself, who I am as an artist, how I want to be perceived, and what my goals are.
Here is my list.
Describe your brand
From an artist perspective, I believe my brand is centered on pop/rock.
I like to focus on melodies/hooks that are catchy and since I’m a songwriter, I like to utilize a broad range of topics. For instance, Nothing is Impossible is all about dreaming big and never letting your circumstances, lack of ability, or what people think determine where you want to get to. We only have one life and we need to live it to the fullest. Then you have songs like, Sacrifice, which is all about loving your mate through the good and tough times. Love and relationships require you to be committed and not run when it’s tough.
From a songwriter perspective, I believe my brand is a little broader. I’ve always loved R&B, and I’ve grown up in the church so I have a heavy Contemporary Christian/Praise & Worship/Gospel influence. I think it really shows in my writing. I would say my melodies are still a little more connected to the singer who is really singing on records vs someone like a Bryson Tiller. However, I think that is my uniqueness as well.
From a piano player perspective – I like to keep singing and playing the piano separate, because I feel like you usually end up great at one thing and mediocre at the other. I strive to be great at singing AND playing the piano. I’m creative, so recently I’ve dabbled in doing some tracks that only have piano in them. I need to work on my solo’ing and this was a way to help me focus and really come across with my point of view as an artist as well. You can really hear me in the songs.
Describe your fashion style
I think my style is trendy, but relatable. I’m in product marketing so I always have my eye on the different trends and fashion going on. My wife has really got me into putting outfits together so I want to look on trend, and wear pieces that maybe the normal person wouldn’t wear, but not over the top so I look like I have a costume on. I don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard.
My short terms goals
My short term goal is to finish my EP. I have one last song to finish, and I want drive this product to different outlets. If I look at metrics, I would say that I want to reach a minimum average of 100 free downloads a song, before I consider trying to charge money for my music. If I can’t get people to download it for free, why would they want to buy it? This EP will be for sale, simply because I’m very proud of it, I spent a lot of money on it, and I believe that it’s quality. The new material I continue to put out will be free at least for now.
I also want to have an effective online presence so this will be my focus!
My long term goals
Based on my age and opportunity, I believe that God has called me to the church. Ultimately, I see a career as a music pastor in a church, but being multi-faceted. I still want to own my own studio, collaborate and write for other artists, do gigs, etc. I also want to utilize what I’ve learned in business and bring that to the church. I think it would be great to have a constant push for innovation when it comes to rehearsals, the service, how we interact. I can see myself putting together video tutorials of the different alto, tenor, and soprano parts for the worship team to go home and study. They will no longer have to bring their little recorders to try and get the parts. That is just one way I think I can bring value.
I also want to start learning the guitar. It is such a great songwriting tool. I’ve always loved it.
I think I need to focus on charting and learning how to read charts, continue to focus on being great at playing in all 12 keys, and focus on the different aspects of the church service.