If a tree falls in the woods...
We're back! Another week, another post. This time though, I'm going to try to organize the thoughts into 3 sections:
1. Things I learned from season 1 of Atlanta.
2. Why I'm releasing an ep and why is it called Polaris.
3. How we know we're on the right track with this indie label thing...
HERE WE GO!
This show is amazing. If you haven't checked it out yet, its a brilliantly written narrative about young black men in America who are trying to figure it all out. One of them just happens to rap . Plus it makes you want to visit Atlanta for no reason at all. Anyways, just watch it. Here's what I learned:
Nobody really knows what they're doing- Earn had a scholarship to Princeton. He was like a family hero, but he's out here scrubbing for minimum wage. His girl/ baby mama Van is a teacher, but even that doesn't feel like enough. ( avoiding spoilers here!) Paperboi is a drug dealer ( cliche right), but even he realizes that he's in over his head . I don't pretend that my team and I know every move we're going to make. BUT... we know what we stand for and what we want to represent. That's more than enough.
Your hometown shapes your world view- If you've ever listened to Childish Gambino, he reps his state of Georgia harder than Ray Charles sitting at a piano. While he isn't from Atlanta proper, its obvious that he knows his city. I read an article that says that the city itself is a character in this series. DJ Khaled voice: "I like that." When I was 6, my family moved from a 1 bedroom apartment in Brooklyn to a 4 floor house in the most Long Island suburban town of Bellmore. I hated everything about it. I learned to find the good, I came to understand how to make it thru the bad, but its clear that every opportunity I' ve had in life comes from Bellmore and Brooklyn. Its funny, even with show opportunities and otherwise, saying I'm from one or another opens some doors for me. Wherever you're from, embrace that. it may suck, but its still your experience. Nobody can take that away from you, and no one can tell it like you can .
The Music Industry ain’t NEVER really been about the music- I couldn't help but notice, about halfway thru the season, that Paperboi had not gone to the studio AT ALL. Actually the season ended with him getting a tour opportunity off the strength of his buzz and his mixtape . The whole time though, he never created new content. He did radio, tv interview ( transracial for the win) and even a charity celebrity ball event, but never hit the stu. I love that though. People think its just rap, release, repeat. There's soooo much more that goes into it that nobody WANTS to actually do. I'm living this right now. Every verse and hook for my EP had been written since the end of September . but negotiating with producers, contacting venues to perform , building relationships with press outlets, and even just copyrighting your music is a tedious process. Don't even get me started on marketing! I get why so many artists just sign a contract and say "just tells me where to go."
So yeah! Watch Atlanta . Tell me what you got from it.
Ladies and gentlemen , lets talk Polaris!!
Okay, so a friend of mine ( thats you Ian) hit me up last week immediately after reading the blog post and asked the all important question: Why Polaris?
Well, for those that don't know , Ursa Major is a constellation. One of the most well known actually, because it has the Big Dipper. Anyone who passed the s.s. regents or watched a slave movie, knows that this has something to do with the North Star. Well, quick astronomy lesson : Ursa Major points to Polaris ( that north star). Anyone in the northern hemisphere can look up, see the constellation, find Polaris, then navigate. Without getting to into it, I want this project to have the same effect for me and for anyone who listens. A constant reminder of where we're at, and a compass back " home" to everything that really matters. There' s more to it, but that's enough to chew on for tonight . Especially if you're getting ready to binge watch Atlanta after reading the first part.
Oh and its coming out in December. So stay tuned for that.
The Label Noir!
How we know we're on the right track:
The other day, I was invited out to a phenomenal event in Amityville. It was called The Groove. A wonderful intimidate crowd of urban artsy soulful types aka "home sweet home" for a guy like me. So I went out in the rain with a basket full of T- shirts, business cards and bracelets. Of course I had my trusty clipboard with the mailing list. besides to perform a spoken word piece, I was able to add 30 new people to our mailing list, but what happened as I left really almost made me drop a " glory" tear a la Denzel.
I'm walking out the door ( Nobody had purchased a shirt, not that I had really pushed it too hard either). As I'm leaving, a man who had already thanked me for my performance, noticed me leaving with the basket. He stopped me, and said "You're performing, giving out cards AND selling shirts? I gotta support this." (To be fair, I paraphrased the convo a bit, but what happens next is an accurate depiction.)
He offers to buy a shirt, so I go to give him one in his size. He says " nah you keep that to sell to the next person. That way you can make double profit." He took a business card, told me to keep pushing, and went back inside.
It says a lot when people can see the vision . My friends and I are in a business where its dependent on support from others. When someone is willing to spend money, press share, or come out to events, it really means a lot to us. We' re just young men with a few dreams and too many bills who are trying to figure this thing out (a lot like Atlanta).
Thanks for being part of the journey. And until next week, like the fb page, follow us on IG and twitter, and most importantly, tell a friend. Help REAL MUSIC RISE.