“I would tell any artist trying to be successful in the industry to make themselves as easy to access as possible. That means not only should they have multiple social media platforms, but also an official website, and possibly even an app. Any original works of art they have should go to either Soundcloud, iTunes, YouTube, or any streaming service. Make sure to research how you can license your original work as well, because companies pay money to use your songs if you know how to do it…”
Check out the interview with Way exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
Way: It all started when I was 13, when I started writing lyrics in a composition book, talking about life and my experiences. I then started producing music on Fruity Loops at age 14, to give my self some beats to rap on. I sucked at producing at first, but after trial and error, and some equipment upgrades over the last 8 years, my production is reviewed highly among my peers, acquaintances, and fans. My rapping is even better, or at least that is what I’ve been told.
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
I use social media to promote my music mainly, especially SoundCloud. I also use my website as a platform for people to access my music. Another thing that I do that I never realized worked, is working with other artists; from producing for them, featuring them on a track or two, and even recording, mixing, and mastering their music. Word of mouth is one of the best forms of promotion, not to mention it opens more doors to work with someone who could extremely benefit you. I also perform at shows here and there to build awareness to people who have never heard of me. But, I want to eventually start touring. That way I reach out to people beyond my local reach.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
The greatest challenge I face today, is trying to stand out in this over-saturated industry, especially in my hometown of Phoenix. There are so many artists who make music out here. The majority of them that don’t take it seriously or lack what it takes to become noticeable. You have to work 10 times harder to get a person to want to hear your music, because they are going to automatically assume that you’re gonna be terrible like the last 20 artists that shoved their music down that person’s throat. I overcome that by making music that is not only infectious and catchy, but something that has substance. I have a distinct voice and a vast knowledge of music nowadays, which I use to my advantage; as well as a charismatic stage presence, and the ability to get the crowd involved.
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
Besides the over-saturation of rappers in Phoenix, I think the lack of unity makes it hard to prosper. Everybody is trying to be the one to say they put Phoenix on the map, but nobody realizes that unity makes us an unstoppable force. It’s also a pay to play type of market out here, making it hard for the artistry to be authentic. I am working towards putting on shows and letting artists perform because they are passionate to interact with the crowd. They make good music rather than artists who perform only because they were able to pay the fee. There is a great rock and spoken word scene out here, but we have to work on our hip-hop scene.
Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
I honestly don’t know what the future of music is going to be. I wasn’t even ready for the constant evolution that has been going on over the last five years. I know that as long as I make timeless music, that people in the present and future can relate to, then I will stay relevant for generations to come. I feel that if artists just focus on their passion of music, and keep pushing the boundaries on originality and style, that they will prosper.
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
I would tell any artist trying to be successful in the industry to themselves as easy to access as possible. That means not only should they have multiple social media platforms, but also an official website, and possibly even an app. Any original works of art they have should go to either Soundcloud, iTunes, YouTube, or any streaming service. Make sure to research how you can license your original work as well, because companies pay money to use your songs if you know how to do it.
Also, visuals are important, because you wouldn’t read a book before you look at the cover, right? And lastly, be as humble as possible, and appreciate your fans, because there was once a time when people weren’t your fan, and you wouldn’t be successful without them.
What inspires you to write your next song?
I’m not the type of person to just write and make a song because I have to, or to pull like 40 songs out of my ass. I only write when I either have a conversation that sparks an idea or topic to write about, or if I have an epiphany that leads me to write what I’m feeling at the time.
What do you think makes a great song?
I think someone’s passion makes a great song. I don’t know how, but I can tell whether a person put their heart and soul into a song. Sometimes there are people who do care about a song, but just aren’t talented enough to catch a person’s attention, which is really sad to me, but that’s very rare. I also look at how the ambiance is, and if that artist fully expressed what that actually meant to express. It doesn’t even matter if it’s not my favorite artist or genre, when they make a song that I know that put their heart into, I respect that and give them recognition.
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
You can connect with me through my official website, my email, my personal number, and all of my social media platforms. I always reply back, but if you get a hold of me via my email or personal number, make sure you don’t contact me about something that will waste both of our time. There’s no set guidelines to that, and there is not a lot I won’t reply too, but use your discretion.
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