Rising Star 201jah on Surviving and Thriving in the Ruthless Modern Music Industry
The music industry is always changing. Stars come and go, whole genres rise and fall, and new opportunities emerge and disappear every day. Aspiring artists looking to build a strong career with longevity need to be firing on all fronts if they hope to maintain consistent success; otherwise, they’ll quickly fade into obscurity. Rapper 201jah explains that “In the music business, if you’re not hungry for success, you’ll be left behind in the dust faster than you think.”
The Pressure is On for Aspiring Artists
Though streaming platforms such as Soundcloud, Youtube, and Spotify have undeniably made it easier to get a musical career started, 201jah has some bad news for industry newcomers hoping for a quick and easy ride to the top. “If you want to do this for a living, you have to love it, and you have to love it every second of the day,” he says. “The pressure is on. There are people who want their music to do so well that they are willing to dedicate the majority of their time to writing and producing music, coming up with music videos and promotional strategies, networking, planning shows, improving their style, and boosting their following. You can feel the competition in the air. For every second you’re lounging at home, people are out there working hard to take your place.”
Jah stresses the vital importance of persistence and originality. “If you don’t work hard and innovate, you probably don’t belong in the music business.” Working in the business is no walk in the park, but if you dedicate yourself to improving and promoting your art, it can be incredibly rewarding.
The Survivor’s Guide to Conquering the Music Scene
Fortunately, 201jah has a bit of survival advice for artists taking on the tough contemporary market. These ideas can be broken down into three pillars that support a successful career: strategy, productivity, confidence.
The first pillar, strategy, is critical to one’s continued success in the industry. “You need to think strategically if you want to survive in this game,” Jah advises. “Trust numbers to guide your decisions.” He recommends that artists (especially those trying to build up their brand) plan their releases carefully in order to maximize audience engagement and maintain a consistent rate of growth.
The next, productivity, is about always pushing ahead, even when the going gets tough. “Never stop creating,” he says. “Always be thinking about the next single, the next album, the next collab, the next music video. Be prolific in your output, then share your best with the world.” This goes hand-in-hand with the first point; carefully scheduling the releases of your new material can help aspiring artists to grow their brands. If you release too much or too often, audiences may get tired or bored of the same style; if you wait too long, interest wains.
The final pillar, confidence, is more important than many people realize. As Jah explains, “Confidence is key in this industry. You need to believe that you can succeed if you want to make it happen. If you don’t consistently envision your success and affirm your abilities, how can you ever expect to get where you want to go?”
Learning to Love the Struggle
Though making it big in the modern music scene is hard work, 201jah wouldn’t trade his career for anything. Even facing the most challenging aspects of the job, 201jah never doubts for a moment that the struggle is worth it in the end. “It’s hard out here, but even still, you really couldn’t choose a better time to get in on the game. If you’re a hard worker and a creative thinker, the opportunities are endless.”
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/201jah/1443933745