Supporting musicians…

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Does it make sense to support a musician if they have a single that’s close to reaching number 1 in the charts? Let’s say a musician makes a song that you think is (really) fucking shit but the artist responsible is likeable and has never had a number 1 single, the song also contributes to a subsection of music that you feel heavily invested in, would it make sense to support the person?

No artist is entitled to support from anybody but sometimes, a win for the artist can also be a win for the culture, since it helps the artist become an advert for success within the culture. An artist going no. 1 can have a lot of effects outside of the increased money, there’s a chance the artist can give back to the community that helped them so much and make it seem possible for people within the culture to push for chart success, there’s also the great feeling that comes from inspiring those around you and showing the progress that the subsection of music has made. It means spending money, or wasting time (if that’s how you view it) but it also comes across as you serving the greater good when you really think about it.

One thing I’ve seen musicians say is getting a no. 1 single in the charts is a lot of hype, even without going to the top you can make a great living off being in the charts and I think you can make a powerful statement. The thing is, would the statement be as strong if the song didn’t reach no. 1? Even if it’s just for one week, it’s a serious achievement as a musician to look back and know that you had a single get to the top of the charts. If a certain type of song enters the charts and it’s from a culture of music that isn’t expected to achieve much then I think it’s a win for everybody involved and it’s a real win for the people that it could open the culture up to (as long as they’re not looking to benefit and give nothing back).

Personally, I can’t be convinced to buy a shit song, even if I know that it could have a great effect on a certain group of people that hear it. I only buy music that sounds great to my ears. For me, supporting artists is an important part of their career but like I said earlier, they aren’t entitled to support even if the song means more than the music in the grand scheme of things. Artists put whatever they want into their music but it’s up to the audience to decide if they like it and that should be the main basis of a song getting to number 1. I can see why people might support causes like getting an artist to number 1 because they’re likeable or relatable but once they get to number, you’re left with a song that you don’t like in your playlist and if you delete it then that’s money gone down the drain (even if singles are cheap).

There’s nothing wrong with buying into an artist and what you feel they might represent but at the end of the day, they’re selling something to you and what’s important to them is that you buy their product. I personally think that artists will be fine if their songs don’t reach the top of the chart, I’ve seen enough that shows artists don’t need to chart to gain money, it’s just that charting is a nice touch for a song when it does well. The fact that I’m buying the song and not the artist is what forms my opinion but for some, it makes sense to help the artist so that subsections of music can eventually make their way to the forefront of the charts and I don’t think that’s bad at all.

Brands…

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This face is me all the time

What does it take to make a brand? This is something I’ve wondered for a long time now. I look at things like Harry Potter, WWE, and others and they are all hugely successful. There are brands out there which are less successful but still have a lot to their name but making a brand isn’t easy. I’ve never made a brand out of anything, if I’m lucky (I think this is important) then I might be able to make a one in my lifetime that will see me living good for the rest of my life. There are so many videos and pieces of advice that you can find to make a brand but at the same time, you could find countless people who have followed these steps and still failed.

In this conversation, one thing that comes up more often than not is marketing. Marketing is the way to get your name out but marketing is very vague. By making a cold call to someone you’re marketing, by spreading the name of a brand to your friends you’re marketing. I don’t know much about branding but it looks like anyone who wants to get involved has to know that they’re selling something to someone. Marketing might be easier for some than others because of factors like money and connections but with that being said what type of marketing is the best? I assume it’s hard to find the answer because the type of business and the audience most likely influence the kind of marketing. The thing is, just because two businesses are going after the same audience, it doesn’t mean that the same kind of marketing will work for both of them. From what I know, you’re supposed to be relentless in spreading your brand’s name, whatever it is you’re trying to sell, you have to find a way to make people associate it with you. There are so many things to say when it comes to marketing, so many methods and principles but the result is the most important part and the result that you’re after is never guaranteed.

Networking is another important thing. Making connections, letting people know about your brand and building that rapport so it’s easier to sell your product. It makes a lot of sense, you can’t have a brand and sell a product without having anybody to sell to. It’s also hard to do things by yourself, the larger a project becomes, the more people it’s going to need to help it take off. Just like marketing, I wonder how you get it to work. It’s easy to say that a give and take rule works, you meet someone and help them spread what they have to offer and in return they do the same for you but how do you know you’ll get that favour back? The crazy thing is that the results of networking aren’t in your control, no matter how much you try to influence it. It’s not possible to get around this one, it’s not like buying fake followers online. There has to be a genuine connection between the brand and the audience but forging it is so tricky because the way I see it, unless you have a lot of people you know that can help you network, it relies on a random person taking a chance on you and hopefully liking what you’ve offered. I can’t imagine how many situations there have been with people selling something to someone, doing everything right (or everything they read they should do) and it not working out for some reason.

I could talk about more of the things I’ve seen that are involved with building a brand but the main thing that I’d get across is how much of it you control. I feel like most of it is down to luck which is why I wonder if there’s a guaranteed way to build a brand. I said earlier in the post that if I was lucky, I’d be able to build a brand to live off forever but that’s how I feel with everybody. There are steps that can get you closer to your goal but luck plays such a huge role and there’s no way to influence luck. For me it feels like regardless of what you do, it will either happen or it won’t and whatever comes of your effort, you have to accept because that’s how life is. There are so many stories out there and the people telling them might do so with such confidence that it makes you believe they had everything under control but chances are that they weren’t sure at some points and just freestyled until things started working.

It’s not an easy question to answer. Building a brand isn’t something that’s so straightforward, I feel like there will be a way to list the right steps without dispute in the sense that a lot of future successes will have journeys that are similar. That being said, luck will still be a big factor.

Quick question time

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Quick question time

I always hear about the racial/cultural differences on how people get raised. As a black person, I bond with other black people when we speak about growing up and how we received beatings when we behaved badly. It sounds like a bad experience but honestly, it’s given me stories to reminisce on with other people, jokes that I can tell and other it’s character building (I can eat a punch too). It’s like that when I speak with Hispanic people as well and there’s a little joke that we all seem to know where White people can’t relate to growing up that way because of how they interact with their parents.

When it comes to white people, we hear about how they can say whatever they want to their parents and get away with it. I’d be lying if I said that I’ve never seen it before and you know what? I wondered what it’d be like to have that kind of power at one point because if I say anything bad, even at my age, I have to say it under my breath just make sure that I don’t get put in my place righteously. I know that it’s not true amongst all White people and there are a number of them who wouldn’t even dare to talk shit to their parents. That being said, I have a question to ask.

If you were trying to discipline your child and they told you to ‘Fuck Off!’ or something along those lines, how would you react? One thing I see a lot of people around my age say is that they won’t ever hit their children, which I respect because that doesn’t always work, in fact it can really fuck a child up down the line. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a slap if a child is being a little shit but unnecessarily hitting a child doesn’t achieve anything. I find it hard to imagine what to do because giving my child an angry look or a stern telling off just wouldn’t do the trick in my eyes but there needs to be a way to get the message across.

I’ve never thought to say that kind of thing to my parents because it doesn’t make any sense to me. Unless your parents do something unforgivable, they’ve always got to be shown respect which includes holding your tongue when they’re telling you off. (It took a while for me to get to the question but a little context is always good).

Why let sports fuck your feelings?

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How fans act when their team loses

Every time I think about sports, there’s one thing I can’t let go and it’s the emotional attachment. One thing all sports I know about have in common are the fans who take them very seriously. I don’t know how many times I’ll blog about this, I’ll probably never stop because I can’t see myself ever understanding it. Sometimes, when I watch football and I see a team (Arsenal) lose, I watch the fan interviews that follow online and the fans don’t even try to hide how upset they are. It’s ok to be upset when a team you support loses a game but the kind of fan I’m talking about takes it to another level.

When I watch football and I see the team I support lose, I accept the loss and tell myself “next time, we go again!” but with other fans, seeing a team lose actually brings them to tears. Why? The negative emotions range so much, there’s anger, sadness, disgust and whatever else you can think of. No matter how many ways I look at it, it doesn’t make sense. The value these people place on a game is enough to send them into depression but I can’t see why it matters that much. I’ll never be able to see things from somebody else’s point of view (which might be for the best) but even if I could, I’d still be aware that the team doesn’t represent me, it doesn’t do anything for my life if they win or not (unless I bet/own a share) and it will most likely live on after I die without acknowledging my existence.

Getting wrapped up in a football match, basketball game or any other sports game is understandable, it happens to me. I get that it’s emotional, especially when your team loses, the banter starts rolling in and you don’t have the energy to brave it like a champion. The thing is that it’s up to each individual how much they allow it to affect them. It’s like people forget that they made a choice to follow a sport at a certain point in their lives and they can also make a choice to stop following it as well.

Like I said before, I can’t see life from another person’s point of view but I know that there are a lot of things in life that can really fuck you over, so much so that it makes sports irrelevant. I know that a lot of sports fans go through things like pressure to pay bills, dealing with family situations and other things that can really get you feeling down which makes it even more confusing to me as to why there is so much investment in sports.

I’ll probably keep asking about the love that people have for sports, even if I get an answer I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied. I’m someone that likes to ask a lot of questions and let people enjoy what they enjoy but this is something that’s always going to get to me.

Gimme money?! (Please)

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Me looking at Paypal Requests

Every time I look on the internet and the interactions people have on it, questions come to mind. People are so brave with the things they ask and I don’t get it. It’s great to have confidence but there are a lot of weird people online and in a lot of cases, I feel that most people don’t know what these strange people are capable of. I’ve heard of people tracking down IP addresses, finding social media pages with no links and learning details that they shouldn’t have access to just to speak to someone. That being said, I want to know why people are so comfortable asking for money online.

I see a lot of people (mostly women) go online asking for random people to paypal, cashapp or send them money through some other service and the craziest part is that they get the money they ask for. Hoever somebody wants to gain money is their business, I don’t approve of all the ways but that’s another conversation all together. What I’m saying here is that it’s very sketchy to receive money from a stranger online just because. There needs to be a reason uniting people, like a tragedy or something, I don’t know how people can trust money from random strangers and not even think about the possibility of strings being attached. There’s a chance that people who send others money online are just extremely generous but there’s also a chance that they could be socially vulnerable and think that’s how to start a genuine interaction. How can someone be so sure that they’re not receiving money from the type of person who likes to powerfully sniff socks that have just been used for jogging? (If this counts as fetish shaming then it is what it is)

I’ve always seen this kind of thing as dangerous, maybe because I feel to take things from people who don’t represent organisations requires some trust. It’s easy to consider taking money from strangers online as harmless but the internet isn’t a straightforward place. People are unaware of the information they put out there, they’re also unaware of how the information gets used. One day you make a few keystrokes and the next day, you’ve got an email telling you that you’re part of a marketing plan that you didn’t sign up for.

It’s possible I could be thinking of the most extreme cases which is why it doesn’t sit well with me when I see people getting money from strangers online. Until proven otherwise, I don’t think any sane person would give a stranger money online, just because the stranger said that they want it. It doesn’t make any sense, no matter how I look at it. Money is usually hard earned or exchanged for time, so for someone to come online and say ‘hey give me money! I don’t really need it for anything but I want it and don’t want to work for it’ and expect that they’d get it from someone who’s definitely sane is stupid. I’m not trying to talk down on anyone who asks random strangers for money online for no reason other than they don’t want to work for it (although I feel I can be forgiven for calling these guys bums) and I’m not trying to talk shit on anyone who gives these strangers money (even though they probably have a few screws lose), I’m just saying that it’s something that people should really take more seriously.

Work thoughts: Doing enough

When it comes to life, there’s this weird sense of never doing enough or at least that’s how I feel about it. After school, time passed by very quickly for me and I honestly have no idea what I spent it doing. Life feels like a blur outside of education, one day you’re 16, the next you’re 21 and then it’s a crazy age which makes you ask ‘what am I doing?’ way too often.

I don’t mind the whole thing of keeping track of life and being aware of where you are at all times but it can be so scary because life does a lot to take you by surprise. There’s a pressure to achieve something good out of your life but the way it’s been presented to me makes me question how possible it is when I reach a certain age. There are lots of sayings out there which will tell you some stuff about how age doesn’t matter and when you start something is just that because only the finish matters but I can’t help but feel some kind of way about it. There are so many people out there who are known and successful and when I look at the ages that they first came to prominence it always seems to be around the mid 20’s and that leads me to believe the late 20’s are the beginning of the end and the 30’s are the end.

There seems like there’s a lot to do in 24 hours but let’s be real, it’s not straightforward at all. Everybody has their responsibilities and what not, it’s also hard to be disciplined, not to mention the amount of times you have to fight your internal thoughts just to feel like you have the confidence to start something. I think it’s great to be productive and have something to aim at but the negative things that come with it are more overwhelming than they should be.

We never know how life is going to go. Putting hours into something doesn’t necessarily mean success and there are a lot of things that could be classed as unnecessary stress that we’re aware of but it doesn’t mean that we can just stop it. I like the aspirational mindset, it’s important to have goals because as far as I know, we get this one chance to make something of life but I wonder how we can avoid the trap of pressure from not doing enough that will always end badly.