Two hours separate me from a Snapchat that will build crazy momentum for myself. I planned this for a week now and the time is here. The snap with this artist won’t propel me tremendously, but enough to make people realize I’ll do whatever it takes to get attention.
I’m nervous but I’m ready.
It’s almost time and the artist is on his way. The security guy makes an announcement “— will not be here until six o’clock” I thought to myself “Wow six o’clock. That’s 2 hours from now. I can’t wait that long, I have things to do, it’s hot, I have to get my haircut, I can’t stand on line anymore my knee hurts, I have to leave.” So I left. Maybe not even an hour later I look back at the persons Snapchat and see I all the people I was waiting in line with before I left. At that moment I realized, fear won, and I was left in deep regret.
One of the biggest challenges for me and other artists is fear. To be an artist it requires us to do things that are abnormal. Any artist can just walk into a studio and record for hours, but it takes a true artist to take the record and bring it to life by performing it and creating a visual behind it . It takes being watched and judged; which is a common human fear. Most people are scared to death of public speaking. Performing is a form of this. If you want to become an artist, you must master the
art of performing. Your fans are gonna want to see you, touch you, hear you. Performing is a huge source of income in the music industry. So what do I mean “overcoming fear” as an artist. Let’s talk a little about fear first.
“Fear doesn’t exist, danger is real.”
I think the scene of the movie “After Earth ” explains it the best. Will Smith tells his son “fear doesn’t exist, danger is real.” Fear triggers our flight or fight response. We tend as humans to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Since the idea of doing something big and new scares us, most of the time we avoid it completely. It is extremely easy to talk ourselves out of doing something because we know what to tell ourselves to justify the fact that we are scared. This is the evil that has killed billions of dreams. The most ironic thing is that most of the things we fear, don’t happen!
What happens a lot is the time is that the result of overcoming the fear comes out better than expected. As cliche as it sounds, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, could not be anymore truthful. In order to achieve great success one must conquer little fears in the way. Now I’m not perfect. Fear has stopped me more than I have conquered it. But every with battle, I lose I grow, I recognize it and I accept it. I learn from it knowing with every victorious battle with fear, one builds a massive momentum to where he/she feels invincible. Here’s my example..
It’s the night before my video shoot. I can’t sleep. I have the perfect idea for a scene for my new song. Me performing the record on a NYC train in front of strangers. The idea is brillant, but the thought of putting myself out there is making my stomach turn.
I don’t want to do this, but inside I know it has to be done.
We start walking to the train station. My heart is racing, my stomach hurts, I’m breathing funny, I am nervous times 100 squared. We swipe the Metrocards and start walking down the stairs. “One shot and we out”…
I have to get this scene because it’s unique, it will catch peoples attention, and it will match the concept of the video perfectly. The day is here. I tell my director what I want to do and he loves it. He’s ready. We start walking to the train station. My heart is racing, my stomach hurts, I’m breathing funny, I am nervous times 100 squared. We swipe the Metro cards and start walking down the stairs. “One shot and we out” I tell my director nervously. I give him the blue tooth speaker. He sets up his camera while the train approaches. “Here we go” I thought to myself. The train stops the door opens. I walk in with him, camera and blue tooth speaker in his hand, the train is full but no one is standing. I open my mouth without thinking “Good evening ladies and gentlemen I’m shooting a little music video don’t worry your faces wont be in it….”
The music starts…..
As I’m performing the record I am not even thinking. I am so focused on the camera and performing the song that no one else matters at this point. I’m running up and down the train. I’m swinging on poles, I am in the zone. All I wanted to do is one take. In and out. Not only did we do it three more times but people actually gave me money. I made at least 12 dollars in 15 mins. One guy told me to keep grinding and good luck with my future. I felt invincible after. Wow!I did it and it came out better than I expected.
The next scene was going to be me in the middle of Chinatown dancing with a bunch of people watching. I already conquered the train, so dancing in front of a bunch of random people was a piece of cake. We even got one dude, that video bombed me, to start dancing! The video shoot was a huge success.
If you want to be a pro we have to compete with the pros as well.
In order to break in this industry you must have unique and interesting music videos with great concepts matched with a great song to grab your target markets attention. If you want to be a pro we have to compete with the pros as well. Too many times I see artists have music videos where there just at random neighborhood spots, rapping with their friends in the back, just repetitive, not original and boring. In order to have great music videos your going to have to think outside the box. For example, this music video of mine, which you can view below, involved me acting crazy in front of a bunch of tourists on the Brooklyn Bridge. Again I was terrified, but after it was done and the footage came out, it was amazing. Now my lack of promotion is why it didn’t pick up the way I wanted it to. I had wrote about this in my previous article.
The idea of performing a song in front of an audience who doesn’t know who you are can be terrifying. Every time I get on stage to perform I get nervous. My stomach turns, my heart is heavy, my lips get dry, I start to shiver and for some reason my system always kicks in making me want to either fart, pee or take a dump. It could be 5 people or it could be 5000 (shout out Rockview), the anticipation before my performance will always leave my stomach in shambles. But once my foot touches the stage and I look into the crowd and I’m officially in it, all my fears leave disappear. Which leads me to believe, We do not fer the actual action when we are in it, we fear the thought.
. It’s like when Bruce Banner turns into The Hulk destroys everything, then turns back to his original self looking at the destruction The Hulk just did without remember a thing. That is me on stage and that’s who you should be on stage as well.
It seems like the butterflies turn back to caterpillars and crawl back into my stomach once my fingers touches the mic. I transform. I become in the zone. Nothing else matters but my performance. The reactions people make, the sounds, the faces, the people that seemed bored, people that leave, people that aren’t paying attention, people leaving, my mannerisms, everything becomes some what of a blur. The focus is so strong sometimes I forget I’m even there. No thoughts are in my mind, straight music. I become Jayo The Beatslayer. Once the performance is over I become Josh. It’s like when Bruce Banner turns into The Hulk destroys everything, then turns back to his original self looking at the destruction The Hulk just did without remember a thing. That is me on stage and that’s who you should be on stage as well.
The point that I’m making is that everyone feels fear. No matter how old, how rich, how famous, you will encounter this. The crazy thing about fear is that its more beneficial then harmful. When you are about to do something and you feel the fear, it is a signal that you are going in the right direction. *If you don’t feel big enough fear doing things, then your not doing things big enough*
So I was watching Fabolous’ “The Plug” video. He’s in Columbia with a Hawaiian shirt, smoking a cigar with beautiful foreign women surrounding him. He looks untouchable. He looks like a billion dollars. He looks swagged out. He looks like how I want to look. This video sparked an idea instantly “I need a video where I’m in another country with beautiful women smoking a cigar” I had no song, no location, no director and no girls. I was so excited about the concept I had in mind I couldn’t help but to tell everyone I was going to do it. Then reality set in. If I was to do this I would have to get a director to fly there, I would have to book it were it’s convenient for both of us due to conflicting schedules, I would have to save money, I would have to find a location, I would have to find the right beat, write the right song, and of course the girls! How am I going to get the girls. I don’t know anyone in DR.
At first I was all in, then as reality set of all the stuff I had to do I started to stray away from it. I was scared. And that is what plagues us in reaching our goals. Yes we want this and that but when the reality sets in of what we actually have to do to achieve it, it can be overwhelming. So it’s like two months later, the idea of the video and song just left me. I had no intentions in doing it at this point. I’m in a club, chilling like I do and the Fabolous song “The Plug” comes on. It was at that moment I realized I have to do this. I imagined the air, the women, the location everything. I felt goosebumps.
This has to be done.
It’s crazy how things work out sometimes. When I made that mental decision to do this video everything fell into place. The beat fell in my lap, I had the chorus within seconds, the location was handed to me, me and my director found great ticket prices and a date. The flight was booked, everything was a go.
My boy who flew there a day before me actually pushed the record in the clubs out there before I arrived. Now I had the record in rotation before I even get there! It felt great. We were in the club watching people react to the record. Chilling! The first two days were straight vacation until I looked at my director’s Instagram. I saw he had arrived.
Fuck. It’s real now.
All this time I’m was on vacation mode not realizing I came here with a purpose. It’s two days before the shoot and I’m missing the most important thing- the girls. The fear was massive at this point.
Every girl in my video was attracted to me and I don’t mean physically. It seemed like it was designed for me to meet these women. Some things are not coincidences. There was a split decision moment that if I had chosen to go a different direction I would have not met any of these females. They all agreed to be in the video. I got the location, director, the girls, everything was a go.
This is what fear does. It gives you every worst possible scenario for you to avoid doing it.
The morning before the video shoot. I was nervous as shit. My main fears, what if the girls don’t show up? What if it rains? What if a Dominican sees us shooting and stops the whole thing? What if a gang just comes and robs all of us? What if the directors camera breaks?
This is what fear does. It gives you every worst possible scenario for you to avoid doing it.
When the director showed up I only had one girl with me who was a last minute decision. My director is like “Where’s the other girls?” “There coming ,there coming” I said it confidently but didn’t feel as such. I was worried, its been an hour and I haven’t heard anything from anyone. If these girls don’t show up, I’m screwed. This whole trip was a waste. With every passing minute my worries grew larger and larger. I looked at my phone every second, waiting for a reply and received none. Then I heard the sound of the motor passes my ears. The girls are here. It’s real. This is really happening. It’s time to shoot….
The was a lot of tension between the girls before we started. But all I knew was that these girls have to lighten up or they would look boring in the video. I figured they wouldn’t be any more than average. Boy was I wrong
The shoot was a huge success! It came out a million times better than I had ever expected. The girls did such an amazing job. They all exceeded my expectations 10 fold. They even bought their bikinis which I didn’t expect them to do. . I was so proud of myself that I made this happen. As I sat with my cigar and reminisced about the whole shoot I thought to myself wow, if I would of let the fear talk me out of this, it would of never been done. All the things I was worried about didn’t happen. I beat fear. I felt invincible.
Check out the full video, ” In DR with a Bad Chick” below.
Now today as I think about the Snapchat opportunity I missed I am fully aware it was fear. The invincibility feeling after you conquer a fear is only temporary. You have to stay consistent in order to keep that feeling. Funny thing is I don’t know what the fuck I was scared of. All I know is that every small victory of conquering fear will give you one step closer to your goals. If you have a song about benzes, you better have a video with benzes in it. Think outside the box. Conquer your fears and be original, clever and different with your music videos. I have so many ideas for my next up coming videos and songs. I promise you I am going to get all this done due to the fears I conquered with my past videos. The project is new but the actions aren’t. Good luck my fellow artists. Until next time….