“I strut, I flow, my style I’m all mine / I shine my truth / I chop, mash up time / you work, you grind, you climb with no interlude / your push, your pull, you rise high, it’s all you…”
…the first words heard from my first collaboration with Aju and DJ Icewater. It was a big shift in style and presentation from the more gritty Up Before the Sunrise album.
“This that indie fly sang, we don’t wait, no label / if suit pick it up ain’t a damn thing change / Fuck big money I’m a do my thang / don’t need corporate to legitimate me…”
As a young independent artist, you make up the rules as you go. There’s no playbook. Everything is grassroots. You are often your own hype machine and your own fundraiser. You gotta hustle as your own manager, booking agent, accountant, executive producer, publicist, etc.
If you’re really down for the arts and the community, you have to find time in the midst of all this to support other artists, to support the activist scene, to volunteer your time and give back.
Last week, Aju and I made a decision 25th-hour to push the SOULAJU album back after organizing a month-long series of events in Denver to promote the album. Analyzing it from every angle, it simply wasn’t time… So we had to trust our instincts and be confident in our decision.
Bottom line: you gotta do you and you gotta trust yourself. Be independent in your thoughts and don’t fall in line with the sheep.