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Top 50 influential independent and underground hip hop artists/rappers 2012 and Beyond

underground hip hopIt doesn’t matter where you hang out on the web, when it comes to news about your favorite artist, somebody has got it covered. Whether it is a new album release, new tattoo, haircut, fashion miss, who is dating who or an artist embroiled in controversy; the web is really good at getting it in your face – all the time!

But if you part of the growing segment of the population looking for alternatives other than mainstream entertainment, you have to do a little digging.

The best underground hip hop artists?

Well, finding them is not as easy as going to your neighborhood iTunes and picking them out from a ready made list. One must seek out the experts/gurus/enthusiasts in the niche music blogosphere, forums, boards and popular social media channels. The journey doesn’t end there. Why? Because each expert has a different opinion or opposing view on who is who on the web. Lists vary from one site expert to the next.

Tips to using and posting on Craigslist and the Musicians section

craigslist-musicians tipsI’ve been on Craigslist to sell my stuff, to buy some more stuff, to hire people, to get odd jobs, etc. I’ve also been on Craigslist to network with musicians and get hired as a pianist. Is the ratio of time spent browsing ads to money made through gigs on Craigslist worth it? That’s highly debatable. We all know what Craigslist is all about and we also know that anybody can post an ad or reply to an ad, which makes it a less than desirable marketplace more often than not. Is the “Musicians” section really worth your time as an indie musician? Should you really browse through it or post in it or should you just concentrate your efforts somewhere else? It depends on your perspective of things.

From my original point of view, I thought Craigslist was a complete waste of time for serious musicians. I had the firm belief that everyone that was on there was your friend’s cousin’s little brother who wanted to start a garage band. Needless to say, I stayed away from anything music related on Craigslist for the longest time. I have a degree, after all! As time went by, I started finding a few more opportunities; I got hired as a musical director, accompanist and restaurant pianist through ads placed on Craigslist. However, these opportunities never really came from the so-called “Musicians” section, but more from anything in gigs and jobs. So what about the “Musicians” section? What’s on there?

Why Artists and Musicians should hire a Music Public Relations Professional or Agent

Music Public RelationsAs an independent artist, you thrive at doing it all yourself; you write your own music, created your own blog or website and love working on all aspects of your ‘business’. However, it can sometimes be more than beneficial to work with experts in their field. When it comes to Public Relations, working with a professional can certainly serve you well. Why? Because while you may think that public relations is merely serving a marketing purpose, something you try to do on your own, it is so much more than that. Read below to find out more about what PR really is and how you can use it to your advantage by hiring an expert.

An Overview of Public Relations

By definition, PR is used to enhance the reputation of a company or individual and better make the connection between the company or individual and the public. For example in the music industry, PR experts are often asked to organize events, such as a CD release party, showcases or any other event that could lead to more visibility for an artist or band. So, in short, PR does look like a marketing machine at first. But have you ever heard of a PR professional’s Rolodex? The Rolodex is a prized possession (or at least it used to be before everything switched to digital!) for any PR professional and includes the contact info for all their connections in various industries. This means that while PR seems to be only a boost in marketing, your PR firm or expert can get in touch with reputable individuals or companies that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to approach on your own.

New Jersey Indie Pop Artist Sarah Miles’ Career on the Rise with Upcoming Full-Length Album

Sarah Miles Music

A common misconception some of us have when discovering so-called ‘new’ artists is assuming that they’ve suddenly appeared out of nowhere, like unseasoned rookies making their first attempt at musical. In general, this couldn’t be further from the truth. And when you think about, it’s somewhat condescending on our part to ignore all work an artist has done prior to the moment we first hear of them. About one month ago, Bon Iver won ‘Best New Artist’ at the Grammys. While many of us were very well aware of the music Justin Vernon was writing for several years now, he was however new to the Grammy world. By the same token, many artists live the independent grind daily, and when comes the first light of recognition; we callously define them as ‘new’. The fact that we’ve just discovered them doesn’t make them new.

Tips to Surviving as an Independent or Private Music Teacher

Guitar Music teacherThe reality of choosing a career in music is not for the faint of hearts; unlike traditional career path starting with a 4-year undergraduate degree and resulting in a cozy 9 to 5 office job, being a musician offers a different reality. While there certainly are many work opportunities for skilled musicians, it can sometimes become puzzling to find gigs or contracts that will keep a roof over your head for more than a month at a time. Let’s face it; being a musician is incredibly rewarding but most of us end up turning to teaching lessons in order to supplement our income. Some of us may choose a safer path and apply for teaching jobs through music schools and extra-curricular elementary school programs, but a big majority of musicians go down the independent route, teaching out of their own studio or home – some teachers even opt to drive around to their students’ home.

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Freelance Photographers with a Passion for Live Event, Band and Concert Music Photography

live music concert photographerJust think, a good photograph can make or break whether people will like you, follow you, hire you, feature your music in a magazine, or even just stay on your website long enough to check out your music or read your bio.

Does your image tell a story? Does it portray your artist brand and music accurately? Is it compelling? Does it speak to your music?

Artists will always need photos for general use on the web, press articles, profiles, websites, album arts, promotional shots etc;

Finding just the right music photographer who understands this… and can also bring that conceptual mind image to life while feeding life into your brand should be a top of your to do list as an artist.

To get you started I scoured the web in search of music photographers who are passionate about what they do and specialize in this field. It is a work in progress, but I will continue to add to the list as I go along. If you know of someone who belongs on this list and has their own website, feel free to contact me  music_admin (at) gighive dot com

Silex – The Dutch Rapper MC Discusses His New Hip Hop Album EP and Growing Up in Rotterdam

Silex Music MCSurviving as an independent recording artist in this day and age isn’t an easy thing by any means. It’s often a never-ending grind to get your songs recorded, played, and heard; and at the end of the day, unless you’re doing it primarily out of love for what it is that you do, the odds are very much against you. Hailing out of the Netherlands, independent rapper emcee Silex has been living this grind for years and has established his mark on Rotterdam’s hip-hop scene. With a new single out and an EP on the way, Silex now turns to the rest of the world.

His new single “Just You and Me” offers a hard-hitting lyrical delivery that reminds us what it’s supposed to be like to strive towards a dream despite the hardships and surrounding negativity that can sometimes hold us back, with Silex rapping about ‘staying hungry’ through some of the more difficult moments. “I’ve literally been hungry just pouring what little money I had into this dream,” he says about these times. “I didn’t think about food. If I wasn’t getting new equipment, I was buying beats or paying for studio time, photo shoots, videos, you name it.“ Through it all, it’s that same hunger to succeed that still keeps him going today. “I just feel that this is all I’m good at. You know how many times I’ve been told to give it up? To just let it go, and that it will never happen? But for some reason I just cant.”

A New Music Cultivator and New Indie Artist Launchpad – Grow Music Project

Grow Music Project microphoneThe GROW MUSIC PROJECT was conceived by Hollywood songwriter/composer/producer CHRISTOPHER TYNG [“Futurama”, “Suits,” “The OC”] to be a new music “cultivator” and artist “launchpad” for uniquely talented independent artists and bands. Our mission is to recognize and support emerging, career-focused artists by giving them the opportunity to have their most promising song professionally produced, recorded, and mixed in our world-class studio, entirely for free and with no strings attached. These artists will also be showcased on the Grow Music Project website, a hub established to foster artists’ musical connections, opportunities for exposure and career growth.

WHY?

Independent artists and bands need help now more than ever. Few places are left in the music industry that are still able to support and foster the talent of budding artists. The Grow Music Project endeavors to fill that void, to open the doors of our studio to up and coming artists and bands and give them a place to learn, develop and hone their craft. The GMP community will support their creative process, and strive to give their music the wider audience that it deserves.

WHO?