Sunday, April 11, 2010

What I've Learned

I read an article yesterday equating Hip-Hop in 2010 to indie rock in the 80's. To summarize, rappers have, essentially, had to find other avenues to be heard, seen, and to cultivate their fan bases. I found it really interesting and, though I'm not a rapper (even though people often seem to think so), I think that the struggle for exposure defies genre, generation, and medium.

I published my own chapbook at the beginning of 2009, and I decided to do so to give myself the opportunity to put my work out there. I didn't want to wait around for chapbook contests in order to have a product out. A little more than a year after that, I've learned some things that I think apply to anyone considering going the indie route in whatever medium you so choose. Here's what I've got:

1. Doing anything independently (and artistic, for the most part) is a slow grind. That's just the nature of the design. However, the trek can be very fulfilling and rewarding. By wearing many hats, you have the opportunity to control your product, your appearances, etc.

2. Consistency is vital. Any kind of exposure (open-mics, showcases, reading panels, what have you) helps because it gives you the chance to be the you you want to present to an audience. It also gives you the chance to network and get new opportunities. By consistently being out there, you're working your craft.

3. Audiences are open to different things. I'm sure I've said it on here before, but I've had the honor over the past year to perform on the same stages as rock bands, rappers, etc. Regardless of the medium, audiences have been open to what I've done, and I think that says a lot about the eclectic tastes that people have.

Hopefully, this will help someone out there if they're entertaining the thought of putting out a project themselves. I'd like to compare notes with someone who already has taken the indie route as well. With that said though, enjoy the rest of the your Sundays and the new week ahead!

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