What is a Hit Record? (...and other questions that kill the indie spirit)

record store RHU photo.jpg

I hear this question a lot. I hate it. It’s sad actually. The idea that one song is better than another, or one voice is more special. The idea that one person overshadows another or one talent is more important. 

The truth is, there is a thing called popular. While popularity does require much talent and discipline, it requires a social life that most people couldn’t have if they owned an airline, all of the worlds clubs and VIP access to every award show on the planet. 

The truth is, many different kinds of talents rise to the height of mass media in due season. The trick is, staying social enough for your particular talent to be seen at the right time. 

Many complain about the sound of slurred lyrics and concepts of sex, drugs and partying. This sound, isn’t new. It was perfected in the seventies with sweaty sex symbols, crack, glitter and words that were never quite found in the dictionary. 

Take a moment to look back to the Jazz, be-bop era, when instead of words, creative combinations of jibberish were combined and called “scat”.  Someone thought that was ridiculous.  Now people refer to is as classic. We judge what is popular, when we aren’t what is. A hit record is simply what is popular at the time. Music is cyclical. What you love most will come back around. 

My advice? Continue to sharpen your gift. Continue to prune and cultivate it. Learn the ins and outs of the music industry. Pay close attention to the times but don’t give the times too much heart. Everything changes, and everything has a season. 

What you have inside of you is a hit. Perfect it. Master it. Make it the absolute best it can be. When it's time for you to share your offering with the audience divinely chosen for you, you’ll be well groomed and well prepared. What rises to the top, are those who were prepared at the bottom. Be your authentic best where you are. When your’re ready, reveal yourself again and again. Your truth will resonate, maybe just one person at a time will understand, but you’ll discover your niche in due time if you stay true.

Authenticity is the key to true discovery. Once you’ve truly tapped into who you are and what your life experience offers your art, you’ll communicate it and create around it. 

Keep looking within. Keep refining your gift. When YOU believe in YOU and are brave enough to bet on yourself with reckless abandon, you’ll hit exactly where you’re supposed to. How many artist came out and you looked at them sideways while they performed with such conviction and confidence. It’s never about being better than the rest, it’s about being your best authentic self. 

Be so well gifted ones, 

Chrisette Michele

P.S. - Join the Online Authentic Writers Course. Class begins May 21st. Enrollment is happening now.  Click the link below to learn more and surround yourself with a group of writers who are all living from that authentic place.

Get Hot In Your City!

Hey Chris! I’ve got a question!

I love answering your questions. It’s one of my favorite things to do! Yesterday, I went live on the RHU instagram page and answered a question. This is one of the most typical questions my team and I receive. I believe whole-heartedly that if you can take the answers below to heart, you will reach your dreams of success much faster. Take the time to fully read and study out the answer. Create a plan around it and get ready to see more success than you ever have. 

So, here’s the Q: Where Do I Start?

I know this question sounds multi-faceted at first, but to be honest, I completely understand the feeling of wondering which way to turn as you look for a place to share your talent. You see amazing talent on TV, hear it on the radio and you wonder, “When will it be my turn?”.

Here’s the deal, as easy and glamorous as it looks on the big screen, there is one awesome universal factor that can help ANY up and coming artist find their way. 

The Answer: GET HOT IN YOUR CITY

In the New RHU Indie Artist Coaching Program the first module is called “Be Your City’s Finest”. I believe that it is paramount to get your city excited about you before you expect the world to get excited about you. You’ll never hear a rapper on the radio, and not know where he’s from by the end of his interview or a few of his songs. Artists get their city to rally around them BEFORE they ask the world to support them. 

You want a chorus of supporters around you. When labels and recording executives look for talent to invest in, they look for cities that are proud of their talent. You will attract serious attention to your brand if you take pride in being your cities finest. Here are five ways to get your city excited about you.

  1. Open Mics - Open mics are a local way to share your talent with your community and work on your performance craft. Here you can get a gauge of what works for you on stage with out spending loads of money. The most important part of performing at open mic nights, is what happens off the stage. Be sure to meet people after you perform. Connect with the folks who enjoyed you. Follow them on social media and make sure they follow you. If you have a mailing list, make sure to enter their email into it. I love MailChimps app. You can enter people into your list right from your phone. STAY IN CONTACT WITH THE PEOPLE YOU MEET!
  2. Collaborations - Does anyone in your city sing? Any one at your local church, highschool or youth program? Getting together to sing happy birthday to a friend in town and recording it on social media. Coming together to record a duet and selling it for a local charity. Come together with your community, see how you can help each other and collaborate. You will introduce them to your audience and they will introduce you to theirs all from collaboration. Get creative. Collaboration is fun. Sing and write with pals and create a wider reach! Learn more about writing here. 
  3. Create Events Around Your Talent - Maybe the recreation center needs help creating a fun basket ball tournament. Perhaps your school wants to put together a panel discussion for parents. Maybe your church wants to have a womens empowerment luncheon. Come up with awesome community events and then BOOK YOURSELF AS THE LIVE ENTERTAINMENT! Sing the anthem at the game! Sing the school song at the parents event. Don’t be shy! Host local events! Set up a mailing list sign up sheet at the door. People love fun gatherings! Create them, be the special guest and make new friends! 
  4. Mentor & Teach at Home - Are you awesome at the guitar? Do you have a special understanding for stage presence? How about choreography? Share your gift with others by teaching them how to perfect theirs. Establishing yourself as an expert in your field will show people you’re serious about your offering and you do it well. Plus, you’ll make a little extra cash to support your dreams!
  5. Do Events In Your City - Weddings, Birthdays, Club Hosting, Event Hosting! There’s so much going on all the time and if you’re brave enough to ask, people are always looking for talented singers and hosts to perform and entertain. Post up in your church bulletin that you’re available. Post on your local coffee shop wall. Get it out there that you’re excited to share, don’t get stuck on price and have some fun in your community!

These are five ways to get your city excited about you! I’ve done each of these things. I hope this blog post helps you feel a little less intimidated about building a buzz in your city. Remember to stay consistent in your endeavors. Small things add up to big things but they happen one thing at a time. 

Remember in following the steps:

  • Consistency is key
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Have fun

These pointers may seem simple, but as you follow the above steps to success, you’ll soon realize how much motivation you’ll need to have in order to stay focused. If you have a terrible time staying motivated all by yourself, consider joining the 2018 Indie Artist Coaching program that begins this fall!

If you're looking for more ways to push your music career to the next level, take a look at our newest course "Authentic Songwriting". It begins May 21st and we are sure it will fill up quickly!

Fun Facts about how I’ve used these same five techniques to share with my community:

  • I wouldn’t be where I am today without open mics. Performing weekly at the local open mics. Watching other artists perform was life a free college course. It’s also how I found many people to create with. I made lifelong musical friends and even booked my very first big show date thru connecting with another another artist. 
  • I taught dance lessons thru high school and college. 
  • I’ve collaborated with friends in college and then again after finally becoming a major recording artist. Those same college friends became my catalyst to becoming a signed act to begin the trajectory of my career.
  • As a New Yorker, my team and I would book big time talent to perform at big clubs in the city. As a lesser known artist, we would insert my name on the bill as an opening act. That’s how I positioned myself as a New Yorker and a person who belonged in the hip hop space. Later I was invited on stages with everyone from Jay Z to Rick Ross.
  • One of my most favorite things I’ve ever done (and still do) is mentorship. It’s rewarding and it keeps me learning from my students as I hear their concerns and share in showing them what I know. 
  • I still perform as a host for fun local events. Sports games in my city, school gatherings nearby, panel discussions in town. I’m always happy to entertain a local crowd and share my more personable side. It’s awesome to be an artist, but it’s more important for people to be happy about your presence in a room. Love people and be loved.

I hope this blog helped! Which of the five ideas resonated the deepest with you? Comment Below!

Happy Learning, 

Chrisette Michele