I said one of the things I’m going to try to do this year is to be a little bit more transparent and open. Social media is generally about always posting hotness and everything (good) you got going on, that’s smooth, but I’d rather give you the real stuff as it really happens.
I want to talk about the importance of failing and how important it is to fail to learn how to build and get to the next step, and count that as a lesson learned,.
A couple years ago we used to do this twice a month show called This Is Hip Hop Thursdays. And the purpose behind that show was to build awareness to the Hookdiggy brand and all of the Second Half Entertainment fam. It was kind of like a live performance by me, and I would try to get other artists that would come in that share the same genre to perform as well. We used to have a DJ play some music; it was just for us to be a little small network and intimate kind of audience or place for people to come enjoy good music, good fun, good time, all that kind of stuff.
We had tried to build awareness to the brand and build a fan base by doing other shows, performing at other places, as well. You’d do your open mics, you’d do your showcases, but this was our attempt at trying to bring our fans together, people that were interested in what we were doing. And we ran it for about six, seven months and it was cool, we had a good time. We learned a lot, but it never really took off the way that I wanted it to. And we would sit down and we would talk about what could we have done better, because I’m one of those people that don’t sit and be like, “oh man, well you know, it’s somebody else fault, B.” I’m more focused on what could we have done better, what do we need to do to progress. That’s how you should be, especially when you’re an independent artist, you should always be looking at what you need to do to get better, it’s never someone else’s fault.
And we talked about maybe we should’ve picked a different venue, maybe get some help with the marketing, but it was a couple of other things that we thought about that we could have done better to really have a good time and to really make it successful because neither one of us in our crew, and there was a small group of us, were great at promoting and marketing. I’m an artist so I can make music and write, and I run my own production company during the day so of course I can do videos and stuff like that. And my partner Kari, he’s a choreographer, he’s great at talent management, things like that. So we would take our skills and kind of throw them together to be like what can we do to be the best that we could be while we’re trying to find people to help us market in the mean time.
The experience was great. I had a good time just performing, keeping the skills fresh, talking with people, working with people. We shot and premiered the video for Make It Work, but ultimately stopped doing the show because it just wasn’t cost effective. We weren’t breaking even. We weren’t building a fan base and awareness like we wanted.
It was a great learning experience because I would love to once again start up a show to be able to perform on a consistent basis. But what we learned is that if we do it again or basically with anything we approach, try to put the proper amount of time into it, preparation, right team, right focus, and hopefully have a better outcome next time.
Maybe I’m just supposed to be touring and be in someone else’s show instead of my own but it’s cool. I didn’t look at this as a failure, I looked at it as a lesson, what could we do better for next time… who did we meet and who did we network with. Matter of fact, I met some people that I ended up working with on some film projects during that time too so it was great experience. But we learned to focus in on is it working, is it not working, do we need to be spending more time doing this, more time doing that?
I think as independent artists, a lot of times we do get locked in on something. We keep trying to make it work when our focus should be on something else if we’re not measuring the level of success that that thing is having at the time. That’s why they call it the music business. You have to operate in those ROI parameters and be looking at the big picture.
So this twice-a-month show was one recent thing that I can think of that we used to do that we don’t do anymore that I wanted to talk about in terms of being a failure, but a lesson that we learned from. In that sense of the word then it’s not a failure, but I wanted to specifically speak on something that we tried and it didn’t work out the way that we wanted it to.
Social media will have you believing that everyone always has it going on, but I want to keep it real. The importance of failure for me, an independent artist, is to have something you can learn from, grow from, be able to learn from it, and hopefully do it better next time.