By Creeative Liberty & Damario Major
In today’s musical age, personality is everything, okurr? So how do you ensure your authentic self is on display from the first track? Today we will explore ways to find your voice before you ever hit “record”.
Know Yourself: How do you determine your voice as an artist? Start with being authentically you. Based on the success of artists like Drake and Cardi B, audiences appreciate authenticity. Take a few minutes each day to focus on the story you want to share and decide how vulnerable you are willing to be. Drawing on real life experiences and referencing them in your lyrics gives a genuine edge to your music and helps your audience feel immediately connected. Cardi B took full advantage of this and built an entire career of putting her business front and center. People who previously may have barely recognized her as a recurring face on LAHH now know and love her for her animated and unapologetic persona. Her outlandish come-up has made her a household name; her ad libs and quips have quickly become a staple in daily conversation. She continues to book appearances and rocket to the top of the Billboard charts because the public can’t wait to hear what Cardi is going to say next. By being true to yourself, you will invite your audience in to know you and love you, and you’ll make them feel as if they are included in your personal story.
Know Your Music: Patterns helps us to understand the world around us. When we recognize a pattern, it allows us to draw conclusions about our surroundings. For instance, the pattern of thunder and elevated humidity typically means a storm is coming through ATL. We look at the signs and know what’s coming. How does this relate to music? When a Drake track comes on, we immediately recognize the 6 God by his distinct sound, and that is intentional. Artists use patterns to establish familiarity with their listeners. Over the last decade, Drake has crafted a specific persona, dubbing himself a ‘singing rapper” and hand picking beats that are tailored to his unique pattern. When we hear the smooth island rhythms of hits like “Controlla”, and “Hotline Bling” we can expect Sensitive Drake: he’s been hurt before but is willing to explore and maybe give it another shot. Heavy hitters with a strong bass line let us know we are in for Greatest Ever Drake: confident, boisterous and taking full advantage of powerful instrumentality. Once you’ve decided what story you want to tell, you can work with a producer who will craft a beat to fit this particular chapter.
Know Your Capabilities: Are you a rapper or a singer? How about a rapper who dabbles in singing or a singer who also raps? These are not the same nor are they mutually exclusive. Before your first studio session, take some time to figure out your strengths. If rapping is your strong point but you can also carry a note, focus on your bars first and then consider singing your own hook for an unexpected twist. To take your instrument to the next level, consider getting a voice coach. If your strength is singing, be confident in your voice and let your spirit shine through- and think about adding an unexpected rap break in the song to show off your other skills. Listen to rap artists that inspire you and use the styles you connect with most as a guide for your own writing. Artists such as Drake, Frank Ocean and the legendary Lauryn Hill have all made careers out of mixing their own skills together and serving them up to us on a hot fire platter. If you’ve got the tools in your arsenal, use them.
At the end of the day, the most important thing you do as an artist is believe your story is worth listening to and tell it.
Be authentically you, know your abilities and make the beats work for you.