Day 26 of writing on my blog, nice. It’s also my fifteenth or sixteenth day of posting daily beats on Beatstars, and now that I have a decent catalogue of beats I have to start looking into marketing strategies to try to generate sales. One strategy is simply messaging artists and letting them know that I sell beats, probably including a few free beats they can use, obviously with a link to my beat store. I have to start searching for artists who are up and coming and whose beats match the ones I make in order to build solid business relationships so they keep on buying beats on the regular. In a way I’m happy because it feels like I’m finally starting my own business based around something I actually enjoy doing, making beats and just music in general. I’m tired of putting work in for already established companies that have nothing to do with my interests just to survive, so I know I have to put in the necessary work if I want to put and end to it for good and actually enjoy what I do for a living someday. For that reason I’m super excited to make this work. On the other hand, although I love hip-hop, from the hard beats to inspirational and thought provoking rhymes, I can’t say that I’m cool with a lot of the low effort noise that passes for rap these days, commercialized garbage promoting materialism. Unfortunately in order to promote your beats these days you have to pass them off as beats you can see some famous rapper spitting over, because if you just post it as a chill beat of happy or emotional or hard rap beat, you simply won’t get many views. This is why YouTube is super saturated with so many ‘type beat’ channels, where the title includes the name of rapper who would rap on this type of beat, along with a picture of the rapper. This is basically what I’ve been doing daily for the past two weeks, posting a beat in this format on both YouTube and Beatstars, and now I have to start marketing. The problem is that, although I do like my beats, I really would rather not post them in this way, but if I think about it for too long it feels like I’m just going back to my problem from years ago. See, I have a huge folder in my hard drive full of beats from as far back as 2011 when I first started making beats, and even thought they’re old now a lot of them are really dope, but I never released these beats in any way because my idea was to rap on them myself, not to get random rappers to rap what they want on them. See, I’ve always approached music, even my own music, as art, and I don’t like the idea of art being sold off, I’ve always wanted to release my music on my own. Unfortunately I never wrote enough rhymes to keep up with the insane amount of beats I made, and I almost always used other producers’ beats for my own tracks instead of my own, not because I didn’t like my own beats, but because the beats that fit my rapping style and content best are chill, jazzy sampled rap beats, like the ones I rapped over on my Running Rebel mixtape, whereas the beats that I produced for most of my life making music sound modern and electronic. I’ve always enjoyed making melodies from scratch, selecting the instruments and drums, and it’s only recently that I’m getting seriously into sampling instead. So my beats just sat there on my hard drive for so many years. I just got to thinking this year, I guess because I’ve grown increasingly annoyed and depressed with 9-to-5 life, that it really is time to start making a living from my music somehow, and I figured selling beats would be the most realistic way, since my rapping is not what’s most popular these days, I try to make it philosophical and inspiring, and I’m not willing to compromise that. I’ve come to peace that I might not make it as a huge success in the rap industry, and that’s okay because I enjoy doing it and I’ll keep at it no matter what. If I make it then great, if not then at least I shared my raps with whoever was willing to listen. Rap is based off of images these days, and I feel like I have too many complex ideas in my mind to just dumb myself down to be an image. The beats, on the other hand, can be made by anyone, it’s usually not a big deal since the producer is more of a behind-the-scenes person. It’s less likely that I need to sell out in order to make money on the beats side, and I’ll still be doing something I enjoy, so if I can make money making beats and that gives me the necessary time to really focus on my rapping without the need to compromise the truth, then that would be more than good enough for me. In a small way, this is why I feel shitty about putting my beats up with these random rappers’ pictures. I don’t even listen to them or like their music, so the beats are probably not even actually type beats for the artist names I post, it’s just kind of random names I choose based on what’s popular these days. Yeah, it feels wack, but no views means no sales. Hopefully as I start gaining traction I won’t need to be uploading my beats with these ridiculous names. In the meantime, I continue improving. I’ve got my new Arturia Keylab 61 mapped perfectly to FL Studio, I’ve mastered my MPC One at this point, and I’m making dope beats every day. I’m also doing daily guitar lessons so that I can eventually record myself playing and incorporate the live guitar sounds into my beats. Shout out to Justin Guitar for the super informative and easy to follow online courses, not to mention free. I really love the sound of the acoustic guitar, and that’s a big reason why I decided to learn to play it. Some of my favorite albums are Nick Drake’s albums, especially Pink Moon, and Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me”, really acoustic albums, and I can’t wait to be able to create my own chill melodies in the guitar. It’s all about consistency and never quitting. If I keep up my daily practice and put the effort in I know I can’t fail, and I’m applying the same to my beat business and every new project I take on from now on.
~ rebel eye