Rapper S.O. is hot off the release of Augustine’s Legacy and recently spoke to Rapzilla about the project and his life. He also spit some game about streaming and his strategies for releasing music. That’s what we’ll be focusing on in this article.
When S.O. was asked about some of the biggest challenges facing artists now, the rapper brought upstreaming. He didn’t bring it up as a negative, but rather a tool to try and grow a fanbase.
“Streaming is it. My streaming numbers are good. I never saw streaming as an issue. There was a time when artists refused/didn’t put their stuff on there,” he shared with Rapzilla. “They would only put their stuff on iTunes. We can’t fight it now, it’s there, man. I remember in 2008, My friend, Dan, was making me a playlist on Spotify.”
He continued, “We didn’t know what we were doing. We were just like, ‘Here’s a bunch of songs that I really want you to check out and share this playlist’. So from 2008, I thought there’s something here. There’s something different here. As we started to head forward into the digital age, I realized this is it. People don’t even ask you how many have you sold. They’re asking you how much do you stream.”
S.O. then proceeded to say that a much bigger problem is to “run your race” and stay consistent without worrying about competition.
“Forget about what the next man is doing, forget about what the next lady is doing. Run your course. Build your audience. Build your fan base, and serve them. Don’t worry about, ‘I want to be this, I want to be that’. If you’re consistent, they’ll come. If you’re consistent, and your audience messed with you, yo, that’s it, man.”
According to S.O., once he started doing this, he began to see growth. And from the growth sprouted further goals.
“I’m in a space where I’m running my race. I come running my race. I’m doing my own thing. And as I’ve done that, thankfully, the numbers have gone up. God is just blessing it,” he revealed. “I said I was going to do one thing, and I do it, and it happens, so I set myself another goal. There was a time when the goal was 100,000 streams on Spotify.”
The new goal is one million, then two million, and on and on.
“Thankfully, we’re able to exceed and achieve what you set out to do and push our music forward. I think that any artist, just focus on your thing. And build your catalog. Release bodies of work. Right now, we’re in this streaming, singles, loosies, cool, but you can’t name an artist that has staying power for five, 10 years, that only stays based on singles. That doesn’t exist. All the artists that we know and love, all the legacy acts, all the acts that are still touring to this day, are doing so because they have bodies of work.”
S.O. doesn’t feel that even having a full-length album is important to building. He says anything goes in terms of building a catalog.
“I’m just saying that any artist that wants to have a lasting legacy, build-up, release bodies of work. Short EPs, mixtapes, albums. Release bodies of work. If you’re worried about playlisting, so on and so forth, those become your playlists. The album is the playlist. The EP is the playlist. So people can just put it on, and they drive, and they listen to it. Sometimes there are a million people who listen to one song, two songs. But generally, people want to play the whole thing through, and keep it moving.”
So the takeaway for artists is: Build bodies of work, build your catalog, and then own your stuff.
“Own your music. Because when you own your music, you can then pass on your publishing, pass on your masters to your children, and so on and so forth…” he concluded.