As an entertainment journalist, I regularly encounter two types of people:
The first is the PR manager who does nothing more than tell me their client has a new song out/will be on a new show and has 20,000 Instagram followers and the second is the artist begging for a feature all because they put out something new.
In both cases, I feel very disrespected because these suggestions are made on the assumption that we’ll write about anyone simply because they exist.
The internet is inundated with new content literally every second of everyday and to get a piece of the audience attention pie, one HAS to do more than put out a simple article. It has be entertaining, interesting, informative and useful. Even though we’re great at our jobs, we’d have to be magicians to make some of the people you suggested interesting enough for readers to care.
People on the internet jokingly refer to the Hlaudi-ism “that thing” but that is exactly what some of these artists lack.
In the event that some of the artists who fall into the aforementioned categories get written about, I can guarantee you that it is because a journalist owes a publicist a favour or because said journalist is in a creative slump and they need to pass something off as work.
As irritating as it is for publicists to make artists use falsehoods to promote their work, at least they’re trying something different. There is nothing worse than being told to write about someone because they have Instagram followers and a song.
Very few people want to accept the fact that it sometimes takes YEARS to get the recognition you deserve as a performer, even if you’re the next big thing.
Take artists like Melo B Jones (pictured above), Priddy Ugly, KLY, Nakhane Toure and Shekinah as an example. They went the Frank Ocean route.
They’ve been making music and chasing the dream for years but their efforts have only recently started to bear fruition. Instead of chasing journalists around, they made music and moves worth writing about.
For years before Frank Ocean came into the spotlight, he produced and distributed his music via Tumblr, often publishing notes and other creative content to accompany his projects. Chance the Rapper put out multiple mixtapes on SoundCloud before he became the global sensation he is today.
In addition to all that, in the same way “it takes a village” raise a child, it also takes a village to catapult an artist into stardom.
We also live in a very collaborative age where we no longer need crazy amounts of money to put out creative content so I advise finding people with the following strengths in order to come up with the things you need as an artist.
First and foremost, you need a good manager and publicist to develop your brand identity, a unique platform to publish your work and communicate with your fanbase (such as Tumblr ot Twitter), a photographer/videographer to capture outfits, performances etc, a producer (for beats, if you’re a musician) and a stylist.
The better you are and the more focused you seem about your work, the easier it will be for us to write about you.
Main image credit: instagram.com by @ramsypictures