We always talk about relationship building, but I want to break it down for a second. We have 3 main kinds of relationships we need to create, develop and maintain.
- Companies, labels, celebrities (gatekeepers)
- General population ie. The masses
In conversation I’ve determined that most of our focus goes into category 1. We feel like we have to focus heavily on these people because they will make or break our careers. Artists and producers beg and plead with people in category 1 over email and via text to a point where they risk getting blocked and burning a bridge with a well-known entity.
It’s crazy how many times someone has contacted me just to get the number of a well-known artist I once worked with. The thinking is that if someone put on by people in category 1 then their career is set. There is some truth to this. Gatekeepers still exist, but in 2017 there are WAY more gatekeepers and the masses have a much stronger voice than they used to. Use this knowledge to your advantage.
Catagory 2 is laughable to some artists/producers. Why would anyone spend large amounts of time talking to other artists and producers? The reason why these peers are so important is that they form part of your community. Think of your network of peers as a source of encouragement, information, connections and opportunities. If you work hard at developing many strong relationships with your peers you’re more likely to be great friends with someone who will eventually be in a high position one day. That random engineer you overlooked during that session might end up being the manager of a record label or publishing company one day. You never know what may happen.
Catagory 3 is probably the most important of the bunch. Recently we’ve seen what a solid connection with fans can achieve from looking at people like Cassper, Nasty C and Youngsta. They’re interactive on and off stage, they humanize themselves at every turn and they don’t subscribe to the god complex that other celebrities take on. This oneness with the people is what makes them easy to like.
As an artist/producer you should always be looking for moments to humanize yourself. Interact with people who interact with you because that’s when you’re given an opportunity to develop a solid connection with them. Too often I see people trying to distance themselves from their fans until they need votes in some “back the artist” or metroFM award situation.
Take time to focus EQUALLY on all three categories and be CONSISTENT. It pays to be GENUINE.