Indie rapper J-Phish recently shared an amazing testimony on Twitter – “MUSIC PAID MY MORTGAGE THIS MONTH. Let that be some motivation to all indie artists.” We asked the “39” rapper if he could take his Twitter notes on what he did and turn it into an article.
Below are his tips:
Support others and make authentic relationships in your genre. Stop reaching out to people solely for personal gain, it won’t get you anywhere. This will involve a drastic mindset change for some of you. Once you make REAL relationships, you will reap the benefits of the talents in your circles and find mutual music partnerships
Know Your Worth (and others)
There are two parts to this…
One is that nobody is going to pay for work that you aren’t worth. Stop overcharging for features, mixing, production, etc. Honestly evaluate what you are worth. Don’t low ball yourself but definitely don’t oversell yourself.
I charge $60 for features and have been told over and over I should charge more, but because my price doesn’t scare serious people away, I do a good number of features. If I overcharged, it scares people away. If I undercharge, I get overloaded. I know of numerous artists who have had much less success than me, who for whatever reason charge more than I do. It may be exciting when you fool that one person into paying a price you aren’t worth, but most aren’t going to do it. Not to mention, I would hope that if you consider yourself a CHH artist, money isn’t a top priority.
Could I get people to pay more for a J-Phish feature, sure, but my priority is to build the community and love people, not make money. Find the range where you can make good, consistent money, while also blessing other independent brothers and sisters. If you’re new, DONT CHARGE. Build a base.
Two is to STOP paying an arm and a leg for high profile features that aren’t going to blow you up the way you think. Carefully evaluate how much you spend on features, production, mixing, etc. If you drop hundreds on the above, you are not only going to not be profitable, you’re going to consistently lose money. If you want to strategically get a big name feature, budget appropriately or don’t do it. Many “big” artists feast on your naivety; it’s just the truth. Part of the success in this area involves networking well (part 1).
It took me a couple of years of doing 1 & 2 to start making money. And, it took stewarding and investing that money well just to make a single mortgage payment, but the small wins eventually add up if you wait well. Most of us aren’t going to blow up, that’s ok. Count your wins, big and small, and be actively patient while you wait for them.
Here’s something some of you may need to hear – even if your music only ever buys your daughter an ice cream cone, that’s an ice cream cone she didn’t have before. Success is subjective, don’t compare yourself to others, instead be happy with what YOU achieve.
Blessings to the CHH family,
Listen to J-Phish Below:
Are you an indie artist with a tip or some info to share with your peers? Hit us up at submit@NewH2O.com with your idea!