We first encountered BRM last year and we knew pretty quickly that God was using this cat, and that he had some great things ahead of him. Since then BRM has signed to Rapture Ready Productions and has quickly found himself on many peoples "you have to listen to this" list. BRM is raw, and has no problem sharing his faith in Jesus and the journey God has him on. Recently BRM entered into the Get It Done Records rap contest and he took 1st place (you can listen to his entry below, it's fire!).
You may be asking yourself "why is Tentmaker covering this?", you may not be asking that, but either way, we are covering it because it is important. We believe that we should celebrate the success of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We should be encouraging each other and building each other up. The way we see things here at Tentmaker is that we are in this together and we know how hard it can be. We know what it's like to sometimes feel like you are on an island or when things go well it is nice to rejoice with others and know that they are truly on your team.
BRM isn't just about BRM, that is clear in the way he handles himself, he supports us just as much as we support him, and in our opinion, that is how it should be. The mission, share the gospel, set the stage so that others will hear the word of God and come to know Him. "So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ." Romans 10:17.
We just wanted to give a shout out to the homie BRM and congratulate him on his victory!!
Listen to the entry, check him out on YouTube and be sure to hmu via social media!
We see it all the time, an underground artists is looking to make it in the industry so they save up a bunch of money and buy a feature that they think is going to provide the break they need to make it. Sadly, this is very rarely how it plays out.
There is no shortage of big named artists that are more than willing to do a feature for you it you can meet their price point. You are banking on their name carrying you into the next level so you pay the fee. Now please note, I am speaking in generalities, there are always exceptions, some people aren't chasing fame and think that having a song with their favorite artist would be dope so they invest in that. Mainly though, the artists that is paying for a big name, is hoping that the big name will get peoples attention and pave the way or at least create a large gap for them to gain more fans and traction.
There is a lot to unpack here but there is one thing in particular that is the focus of this article and that is the idea that the big name will carry you. The reality is, it won't. You might gain a few more fans in the short term (and you may keep some for the long hall depending on your skill, and your consistency) but there is something that is keeping you from maximizing the benefit of the purchased feature and that is the big name themselves. See the things is, you only have a certain amount of reach, the only people that are likely to hear your song are the people in your sphere that are engaged in what you are doing. Now, social media sharing does open up a larger window and people may listen to your song if they like the particular featured artist but this doesn't generally create the wave you are hoping for (it can, it just usually doesn't).
There are 2 key factors that need to be considered when looking at paying for big name features.
First, the timing must be right.
John Maxwell states "The right decision at the wrong time, is the wrong decision." I believe this statement to be very true. The awesome thing is that when it comes to timing we can be wise, well planned out, calculated. So when might be the right time to pull the trigger and move on a big name feature? I suggest it is after you have put in the work to generate a medium to large sized following of engaged and devoted fans. This is really the hard part on the end of the artists, especially when the mindset is that the big name is going to help you here or catapult you into a situation where you have more fans (bigger numbers). The thing is, if you can put in the work and generate a solid fan base that is engaged with what you are doing, your are 1000 times more likely to have a larger impact if you do a song with a big name. First, if they are engaged in what you are doing they are more likely to share the song and encourage their friends to listen. That is good news for you as an artist because the window opens larger, and their friends have probably already heard your name and so they may be shocked to here you have a song with (insert artist) and start to take their friends request seriously. Secondly, labels are looking for engagement, not numbers. Large numbers don't always translate to engagement or devoted fans. Someone might like your page on a whim and never give you a second thought, others like your page because they are behind you and want to support you. People who are engaged, share more, start conversations, buy more (remember it is a business) and are involved in the artists work. This is what labels and (believe it or not) other people (listeners) are looking for.
Second, the big name artist needs to be behind you and also sharing/promoting the song.
This point is actually where the rubber meets the road. It's one thing to have a song with a big name, it's another thing if that artist is showing their support of you and getting behind the song. Sadly, the reality is, the big name you are featuring doesn't generally get involved after they have recorded their part. It's very seldom does that artist talk about, share, or help promote the song. If the big named artist isn't promoting the song then don't expect that tidal wave you were hoping for. Again, you only have so much reach and so much pull in terms of getting your song in front of people and having them become true fans. However, if the big name artist is behind you and the song, then your credibility and legitimacy jumps up 100 fold. When the big name artist promotes you or the song people are 100 times more likely to listen to it and they are more likely to check out the rest of your music. This is the real win and without it, you are simply paying for a feature that will gain you limited attention and in the end not be a wise investment.
The second point is the most tricky and less likely to occur, and this is why point number one is so crucial because it is the element that is the most likely to help you gain traction and help your investment pay off. Take the time to develop your fan base, put in the long hours, learn legit strategies that will help you gain engaging and devote fans. Be a student of your craft and don't simply seek a "get rich" quick approach. There is no way around it, the odds aren't in your favor but if you are willing to put in the work they for sure increase.
I will be writing a follow up blog that will center around "the calling" from God to be a Christian musician for His sake and how that applies to the grind that must take place.
I would love to hear your thoughts, do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment and let us know!
Till next time, God Bless!
We were blessed to have some time to catch up with the one and only J-Notez. At Tentmaker we have lots of interactions with beat makers and J-Notez is one that for sure stands out. His production and beat making skills are on point, there is no denying that, but it was his depth of character that really makes him stand out to us. J-Notez loves Jesus and it is evident in how he conducts himself. There is seemingly no separation between his life as a beat maker and his life as a follower of Christ, and we believe that is how it should be. "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31
When did you come to know Jesus and start following Him? Can you share a brief bit of your testimony?
"I’ve been following Jesus since the summer of 2010. After graduating high school (literally by the grace of God) I was invited to Church by my best friend and decided I needed to go. Previous to that God was already removing me from a life of selling marijuana along with other things and little did I know he was about to change my whole life from the ground up. The Church I went to was the same Church where I felt God calling me at 14-15 years old but decided to fight at that time to pursues life I thought I wanted. During the service I lost interest extremely quick and decided to step out to smoke a cigarette (something God delivered me from almost 8 years ago, praise Jesus!) then returned after to be unphased by the word. As the weeks went by I was continually invited back to church by my best friend and though I wasn’t interested I kept going back until one day God made it clear and I knew that it was time to trust Jesus with everything! I’ve been walking this faith walk going on 9 years and though it’s been hard I wouldn’t trade it for the world!!"
Wow, praise God! That's awesome! Thanks for sharing!
How long have you been making beats and why is that something you started doing?
"I’ve been making beats for 9 years on and off but 4 years consistently. I got into making beats because I’ve always loved music. I was always that kid in school who would knock on tables to make beats before I was introduced to how the beats on the radio where actually made. Though I never made beats before God saved me, after coming to know Him as Savior God began to stir that desire back up in me. One night while praying, I was asking God what I was to do with my life, and He made it clear that I needed to go to the garage in my moms house, that's where I found a cord I had never seen before that ended up powering my midi keyboard which came with no power source (Thanks a lot eBay )!! After that I knew exactly what I needed to do but it wouldn’t be easy!
What are some of your short term and long term goals as a beat maker or just in general?
"My short term goal is to be a part of the CHH (Christian Hip-Hop) industry as an independent artist and to be able to go full time in my music career using my beats and musical abilities to point people to Jesus. My slogan is Deeper Than Music so that’s what I live out. Also I hope to be home with my family doing music instead of being away due to a 9 to 5!
My long term goal is to use my income from my music to create a ministry to feed the homeless or something of the sort. Not sure of what the details are just yet but I’m trusting God will lead me in this when that time comes. I also hope to be the best father to my kids, husband to my wife, and be continuously leading them to Christ. I long to be the Father I wish I had growing up and Husband I never saw lived out in my parents marriage."
What is something about you that you think people might find to be odd?
"I couldn’t think of anything weird that I do so I asked my wife, probably not the best idea lol. She had to think about it but then eventually she starts roasting me saying I pace back and forth when I’m having a serious conversation on the phone and that I open and close doors, grab things to mess around with and walk in and out of rooms."
That's not to bad, I mean if that's the oddest thing she could think of than you're doing all right! Though we did find it hilarious that your wife started roasting you! Marriage is fantastic!
Who is your favorite musician (artist or band) of all time?
"It’s hard to say a certain musician, artist or band is my favorite. Different artist speak to my life in different seasons. To name a few all time favorites: Lecrae, Trip Lee, Andy Mineo, Scott Storch, Linkin Park, Hans Zimmer, 2pac, Hillsong, NF, KB and so many more."
That's a pretty eclectic list, dope!
If you were to name a Spotify playlist after your life, what would you call it, and what would be 3 songs you would include on that playlist?
"My Spotify playlist name for my life would be called Hills and Valleys and 3 songs on it would be
1. Andy Mineo “Tug Of War”
2. Aaron Cole “Patient With Me”
3. Elevation Worship “Do It Again”"
What would you say is your life verse, and do you have a favorite book in the Bible?
"My life verse is Philippians 4:8 and my favorite book of the Bible is Romans!"
Last question, what is one piece of advice that you would share with an aspiring Christian beat maker?
"Keep God first. If your music is about you then your success will breed selfishness. Also, one practical piece of advice I never hear anyone say but is so crucial, is get out of debt and if your not in debt stay out of it. Then, use that money to further invest into bettering your craft and marketing yourself. So many people focused on buying other things (I’m guilty of this as well though I have improved incredibly) instead of using that money to continue to build their career."
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions, and I also want to thank those of you who have taken the time to read this! Till the next time, God Bless!
Check out "Rebel" by J-Notes. You can listen to all his beats at jnotez.com
I found this to be an interesting video. It didn't Focus so much on what she is or has said, as it focused on the things that she wasn't saying, or what she left out of the conversation. In my opinion, that speaks volumes about her character. But at the same time, I feel like we've heard this story before. We've already learned the words to this song, and we sing it every year. The only thing different is that the celebrities names change. So, no judgement on Lauren.
Instead, I think you should put yourself in the hot seat for a second. If you had this platform , if you were in her place, how would you handle these kinds of questions. Because who knows, maybe you'll be the one in front of the cameras and behind the microphone. I mean that's pretty much the goal right?
So as artists and musicians, let's take a second to be really honest and answer some questions that no one ever asks us?. Not only is it a good exercise, but it's a good window to your heart. What kind of man or woman are you really? Put your answers down on paper, or better yet, type them out so that you can share them with the rest of the world as we convene in the comment section.
Oh yeah, and before I forget. Here's that video.
Now, Let's Move on to the Questions
1) Why should anyone listen to your music?
2) What do you hope to accomplish as a musician?
3) If your life was a book or movie what would the title be?
4) What kind of person do you envision when you write your music?
5) Do you feel the pressure of responsibility as a musician? Why or why not?
6) What good or bad has come to the world because of your music?
7) Where do you get the ideas for your songs? Where does your music come from?
8) Do you think the world would be better or worse off if you were not a musician?
9) What is the greatest impact your music has had on the world today?
10) What do you think others think of your music?
Answer honestly, and be sure to tag us in your post when you make it on your page this week. Post your answers on your celebrity pages on Facebook or on Instagram and we'll be sure to feature you when we see that tag. Also, be sure to tag three musicians in this post so that they can answer the questions as well. If someone tags you, you have to post!