When I was working on my first project back in 2007 with Mr. Notes, he was always stressing to me, “know your strengths…” I’m a performer, and had a hard time recreating the energy I had on stage when I was staring at a mic in a vocal booth. Now, of course I’ve become more accustomed to working in a studio and getting the sound I want for any particular song. The trade off: I haven’t performed since 2009. I’ve grown significantly and developed as an artist since my first project and I’m sad I don’t get to showcase it.
I’m reminded of a story by Berry Gordy, he always wanted to perform but knew he wasn’t the best singer or performer — but dude could write his ass off. He could definitely hang in a session as a musician and he’s jammed with the best of them. He knew better than to try to take on the added demands of being an artist when he had a business to run. But one night, he showed up to a random blues bar and did an open mic set — and just rocked out with the house musicians. No one knew who he was because at the time people only knew the name and not the face — so he used a stage name.
I am very much in the same boat. I love performing, recording and making music and would ultimately love to be an artist. First and foremost, I’m not gonna put out work that isn’t dope. Secondly, with any corporate ladder that you climb…you have to start somewhere — many times in music you start off as a songwriter/producer or an artist. From there you work your way up to the AR, executive producer, or even label exec, etc.
I’m definitely not trying to look like Diddy and have people think the only reason I am able to put out my own music is because I have the money to do it — on numerous occasions I’ve heard people say, “Diddy wants to be an artist so bad..but it just doesn’t work for him.” From his ghost written verses on tracks with Big and Mase to what ever it is he’s attempting to do with Diddy Dirty Money. . .I’m not saying his ventures aren’t lucrative, its just not the direction I’m trying to go.
After a lot of thought, I think the a happy medium would be for me to write and record a couple songs a year, and perform for benefits and charity events — who doesn’t need a tax write off?
Its a seemingly win-win situation:
- My personal music library will grow
- I’ll get to perform
- I’ll get to create
- I’ll still be able to run my business