When I first started Kharma’s world 6 years ago, I used to do indie-artist exclusives. This is when I would basically take an independent artist and have an open and honest conversation with them on record for my readers to view. I would transcribe their words verbatim and ask all kinds of questions. Exclusives are deep and personal. I used to love doing them because of the fact that they were so intimate and gave my readers a raw and artistic perspective outside of my own. None of my exclusives are the same. However there is one out of two standard questions that I always ask during each exclusive that eventually changed it for me. It’s a very simple question: “Why music?”
This was the repeated response that I would get that eventually killed my enthusiasm: “For a check I just want to feed my family.” Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with wanting to live well or do better. I am not bashing that. Anyone in their right mind would want to provide for their family. My issue is…. I did not ask you, what you want to do if you just so happen to make it “big”, I asked you, “Why Music?” Out of all the dreams in the world to chase, why this one? Where is the love for what you do? When I get the usual dry response, I can’t help but think: “Hell are you even an artist or do you just call yourself and “artist”?
It seems like in 2015, people only do music for a check… Nobody actually likes doing music. That is what I am forced to believe. As an artist myself, I am beyond irritated with this answer. My question is: do you even like making music or being creative? I have grown so irritated with the answer to this question that it has truly made me look at music and independent artists completely different. I remember back in the days when people did music because they had something to say that was worthy of hearing. Better yet I remember the days when people did music because they loved it. They loved it so much that they would even do it for free. They enjoyed sharing their creative perspective with whoever that was willing to listen. I miss those days.
With that being said, I refuse to strike this question from my indie artist exclusives. And NO, I cannot simplify the question any further. I’d rather not do them at all if that’s the case…. Besides, it’s a two-worded question. You really can’t get any simpler than that. Every exclusive is different and unique but I do make it my business to ask this one question. It is extremely important if you are an artist, especially an independent artist, that you should be able to run off a list of reasons why you genuinely love or want to do music. Why do you want to be heard? Why should the world care about your artistic interpretation?
There is a business to being an artist. Simply meaning that in order to live this dream, you are going to have to hash out a lot of cash without a guarantee that you will make it or be liked or respected. That’s the gamble that you take when you go for a career in the entertainment field. So once again, to all my indie artist, “Why Music?”
It doesn’t matter if you’re a singer, rapper, dancer, or athlete. So many people work hard and never get the recognition that they deserve and that’s not necessarily because they aren’t talented. It takes a lot to ride on the faith of your dream especially if it is music..
Any answer is better than saying I just want to feed my family off of music. GTFOH, it costs to be an artist in pursuit of making it to “the top”. If that was the case then why don’t you just get a regular 9 to 5, hell why don’t you get two? Whenever I do these exclusives and I come to that question and I received the same mediocre answer I can’t help but get annoyed. That response beginning to get under my skin. I feel as though if that is your answer, we don’t need to do business and I really don’t want to write about you. I don’t care how dope your music is.
This article is in no way shape or form a diss at any artists that I have done past exclusives with.
This article is simply stating why I’m not interested in doing indie-artist exclusives in the future. The only thing that would change my feelings would be a more real and authentic response from artists whenever I ask them: “Why Music?”