“And that’s challenging because many people in the industry, as well as fans, support popularity over quality.”
Check out the interview with WORDZ The Poet Emcee exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
WORDZ: I started to create a name for myself as a Hip Hop Artist by frequenting local open mics in my hometown Philly. I was really young, so I would often sneak in. But I was so impressive that many club owners and promoters allowed me to stay instead of kicking me out. I started recording professionally at the age of 15 under the mentorship of local North Philly rap group Beautiful Black Children.
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
In the beginning of my career I promoted my music by selling it on street corners. If you didn’t or couldn’t support at that time, I’d offer you a flyer to my next performance or my business card. Many upcoming artists don’t know about street corner promo these days, but that’s how it all started.
Today, however, things are quite different with social media. By following and subscribing to my pages supporters get access to contests, press releases, exclusives, and new music first I also try to build as many positive relationships in the industry as I can to further my reach and audience.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
I’m not an artist who seeks to duplicate what’s popular. I never have been. I aim to create original content that is authentic and true. And that’s challenging because many people in the industry, as well as fans, support popularity over quality. I overcome these pressures by reminding myself that this gift and talent I have is divine and purposed. Those who are meant to receive the music shall and the doors that are meant to open will. I just got to keep grinding and pushing.
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
Philly has a rich musical history and culture. I’m thankful that those influences have contributed to my creativity and character as an artist. I know my history musically and that helps when trying to create a timeless sound. In Philly there are many spaces, clubs, and events catered to artists but unfortunately many no longer welcome local Hip Hop artists.
In my opinion, there’s this fear and misinformed opinion that Hip Hop music and showcases will destroy one’s business. Many venues are now only booking live bands because they feel they’re “safer.” A lot of clubs that did welcome local lyricists have unfortunately closed down, like Fluid Nightclub.
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 think independent artists nowadays have the power to become independently major rather than just underground. It’s all about your talent, growth, and a consistent grind. There are tons of resources out there that can help artists gain exposure, from blogs to online radio shows.
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Figure out what your goal in music is. For some its fame, for others its financial sustainability. Knowing what you’re working towards will help you create a plan for your vision. Learn to take criticism, whether it’s constructive or not. Every day, you should do something that puts you closer to your goal. And be authentic.
What inspires you to write your next song?
Mostly a combination of life experiences and a hot beat on deck. I’m also inspired by other music artists who can move me with their music. Dope art in general inspires my music, from poetry to photography to film.
What are the steps you take to make a song?
Writing a song is like painting a picture to me. Although many are writing their lyrics on their cellphones today, I still utilize a notebook when writing; it’s my canvas. The beat are the colors. My pen is the brush. After that, I just dig inside and let it flow.
What do you think makes a great song?
Topics that are relatable. Dope production. Hooks that are unforgettable. Stories that need to be told. An artist must also consistently dedicate time to practice their craft.
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
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