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Every Artist Needs a Karen Civil on Their Team

Every blogger wants to be Karen Civil. Why wouldn’t they want to be her? She is an influential new media princess and the head honcho of her own digital media marketing agency, Always Civil Enterprise, and the creator of Living Civil bracelets. And her empire doesn’t stop there. She launched her own clothing company Civil Clothing, already touted as one of the best urban wear brands on the market; and she founded a lifestyle property, Living Civil. Oh, and Karen Civil TV, in which she shares exclusive interviews with such rappers as Big Sean, Tyga, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa should also be mentioned. With no doubt Civil is someone who every artidt should want to learn from.

Based in Los Angeles, the civil-living entrepreneur can minimize the existence and importance of a rapper by ignoring him (or her) on her website Karencivil.com, or make him (or her) an overnight sensation by merely mentioning him or her on the website. She also manages the editorial staff at KarenCivil.com.  Indeed, Karen Civil is that hands on.

In the late 2000s, most of the popular urban blogs had already been established. It seemed unlikely that there was place for any fresh faces. But either Karen Civil was not dissuaded by this, or thought she could bring something different to the blogging game. Where there’s will, there’s a civil way. She had interned with some of the biggest radio and music brands in New York, and had made more than a handful of connections with talent and shot-callers in the music world. When rapper Lil Wayne went to serve a jail term, Civil teamed up with web designer Karla Moy to create a website to help the star keep in touch with fans.

Civil had assisted Wayne in keeping his brand intact. Now, the Brooklyn-born, Elizabeth, New Jersey-raised gal wanted very much to bring her own venture to life. She knew one of the primary principles of starting a business: start with what you already know and have a passion for. She knew she loved music, especially hip-hop…and she had some contacts  Civil decided she wanted to build her own brand. There were several highly-trafficked hip-hop blogs, but none were helmed by a female. She turned on the ignition on KarenCivil.com and has been driving on the success highway ever since, landing on Black Enterprise’s Top Blogger list, and most recently being whisked by Dr. Dre to head the social media of his headphone brand Beats by Dre. When big conferences want an expert on their panels, Karen Civil is one of the first names that pop into their heads.

6 Key Things Every Independent Artist Should Focus On

major-key-alertBeing an independent artist is a whole lot of work. It can get really hectic at times, especially if they are not sure what to focus on first. Every day I see artists spending hours tweeting their music to random people and celebrities on twitter, or posting their video to Facebook a million times where only their few hundred friends can see it. In this business time is money, so it is imperative to spend it  wisely and come up with a way to spend less time with greater results. The goal for every artist should be  to make great music and get it heard by the masses. I’ve compiled a list of some of the main things every artist should focus on and questions artist should ask themselves while on the journey to breaking into the music industry.

1. The Art –  Is their enough have enough material for an album or mixtape? Does the artist  have a steady recording studio? Is the music mastered? Is the product marketable? These are all things that artist really need to think about and focus on before make any other moves. Without a quality product there is nothing to promote and showcase. Make sure the music is up to par before deciding to move onto the next agenda. Never jump the gun and get the best quality possible for the budget. Quality over quantity. One original single, fully mastered, with a very professional video is better than a whole mixtape full of ‘bars’ on industry beats. After creating a solid piece of work it is important to create promotional teaser to get people excited about the new project. Check out this short video teaser Atlanta rapper Miroj uses to promote his single Pimp Tight.

2. The Brand – Getting the music out there also involves creating and promoting a brand. What do others think of  aside from the music? According to Sean Combs  a artist creates a successful brand by cross promoting a music with a lifestyle. Putting forward a consistent public image everyone can associate them with. Producing a logo that properly represent the artist is a good start to building a noticeable identity.  Your Twitter avi, Facebook profile picture, logo, sound, image, personality, and beliefs are all a part of what makes up your brand. This will help with marketing and merchandising, and it will give fans a clear picture of the artist. The brand should be developed and genuine. This will make it easier to market. This past week I had the opportunity to record Atlanta rapper Kota Santez as he performed at #A3CSocialClub Open Mic.

This video that I recored serves as a way to promote his music as his brand(added logos and addition of website information). Also, through this video the artist personality shines through his stage presence. Content such as this gets people intrigued about your brand.

3.  Business/Marketing Plan – As an artist having a marketing plan is essential. This plan is blueprint to distributing the music and brand. Some of the questing that should be asked during this stage are: What video/song should be pushed first? Who is the target audience?What music blogs can post and support new releases? Is there a press release for your single/mixtape/EP? Is all of music copyrighted? Come up with a marketing plan for a current single, and also have a broader plan for the next steps over the next 6 months to a year.

4.  Budget – A budget is simply how much money is  put aside specifically for music or for a certain project that is being worked on. No one expects a indie artist budget to be enough for huge marketing campaigns like labels, but it does pay to invest in certain things like studio time, photo/video shoots,listening sessions, email blasts, major magazine placements, promotional packages from marketing companies and websites, also it cost to  post music on iTunesAmazon, etc.  In order for others to invest in you, you must be willing to invest in yourself.

5. Presentation – This is  one of the most important things to focus on throughout your music career. How much effort is put into looking as professional as possible? Presentation means everything from name, style, website, the quality of product (album cover ,artwork, music videos) to how to conduct oneself during interviews, what to say on social media. Always make sure that the artist presentation is  professional as possible.

6.  Proper Networking – Making valid connections is a crucial part of of a artist success. In the music industry it’s about who you know as well as what you know. When having a firm grip on a marketing plan, people see a a professional. It’s not about contacting every random person and trying to get everyone to listen to the music, it’s about being yourself so that others are genuinely interested in the brand as a whole. If people like the artist as a person, when they release music the audience will listen!  If the social interactions such as tweets/statuses/emails are interesting and can grab people’s attention, when music is posted people are more likely to  listen.

So there you have it – what every independent artist should focus on in their journey to break into the music inndustry. I will be going in more detail in future blogs, but hopefully this will help guide all up and coming artist in the right direction.

Miroj Talks Working With Atlanta Producer Da System on Latest Single

Miroj debut project Beautiful Mind Ugly Confessions released on September 6,2016. (AP Photo/Ciara Carnes).
Miroj debut project Beautiful Mind Ugly Confessions released on September 6,2016. (AP Photo/Ciara Carnes).

Miroj might have a hot single burning up the airwaves with “Juke,” but that’s not stopping him from dropping more fire.

Miroj outside of the Da System's in-house studio located in Marietta, Ga. (AP Photo/Ciara Carnes).
Miroj outside of the Da System’s in-house studio located in Marietta, Ga. (AP Photo/Ciara Carnes).
Miroj is music is inspired by the youth and the issues they face in today's society.
Miroj is music is inspired by the youth and the issues they face in today’s society. (AP Photo/Ciara Carnes).

This past Friday September 9th he released a new track called “Elements” produced by Da System, and the Atlanta rapper, like on Juke holds back nothing and gives fans nothing but lyrical greatness. Da Systems says,” working with Miroj is something different for me, he isn’t your typical Atlanta artist so the beats that I create for him are a little bit more complex than the tracks that you might hear other Atlanta artist rap over.”

Miroj is known for his soulful hooks and raw lyrical content in his music. (AP Photo/Ciara Carnes).
Miroj is known for his soulful hooks and raw lyrical content in his music. (AP Photo/Ciara Carnes).
Miroj started rapping when he was 12 years old at Parkers Ridge Elementary school. (AP Photo/Ciara Carnes).
Miroj started rapping when he was 12 years old at Parkers Ridge Elementary school. (AP Photo/Ciara Carnes).

The single’s out now on Soundcloud.com For more information of Miroj be sure to follow him on on twitter at @Miroj_Satie.

Georgia State Panthers Kick Off Football Season Against Ball State University

The Georgia State marching band performs during the Panther Walk before the 2016 opening season game against Ball State.
The Georgia State marching band performs during the Panther Walk before the 2016 opening season game against Ball State.
The Georgia State cheerleaders performs during the Panther Walk before their game against Ball State.
The Georgia State cheerleaders performs during the Panther Walk before their game against Ball State.

Georgia State’s hopes of building momentum after this year’s media day was a second thought in this weeks 31-21 loss against Ball State during this passing Friday’s season-opening game in the Georgia Dome. In the 2016 opener we got to see just how different these two teams are.

Georgia State head coach Trent Miles greets fans prior to Ball State game at the Panther Walk.
Georgia State head coach Trent Miles greets fans prior to Ball State game at the Panther Walk.

The Panther’s offense struggled through the first three quarters under the lead of new starting quarterback Conner Manning. “We turned the ball over in the first quarter and we could not sustain any drives. We did not do anything on offense to help move the ball and protect our defense,” Georgia State head coach Trent Miles said.

Georgia State receiver Penny Hart runs after a catch in the first quarter of their game against Ball State.
Georgia State receiver Penny Hart runs after a catch in the first quarter of their game against Ball State.

The Panthers’ defense, consisting mostly of returning starters, played well through three quarters . Cornerback Jerome Smith had two interceptions, including returning one for a touchdown in the first quarter before it gave way under an accumulation of Ball State plays.

Georgia State Panther defensive end Carnell Hopson and Bobby Baker gang tackle Ball State wide receiver KeVon Mabon after a catch during their game Friday September 2,2016 at Georgia Dome.
Georgia State Panther defensive end Carnell Hopson and Bobby Baker gang tackle Ball State wide receiver KeVon Mabon after a catch during their game Friday September 2,2016 at Georgia Dome.

An inability to stretch Ball State’s defense with long passes, the seasons-lng problem of an inability to run the ball, combined with two turnovers, penalties and a critical error by the special teams contributed to the Panthers’ fourth loss in an opener in the past five seasons. The Georgia State Panthers look to bounce back next week September 10 ,2016 with there game against the Air Force Falcons.

Miroj Releases the First Installment of His #BMUC Documentary

 

 

With his new album, Beautiful Mind Ugly Confessions, due out September 6.2016, Miroj is picking up the promo. The Atlanta rapper is giving us a glimpse at who he is and his thought process with this video blog  #BMUC.

During this clip, Miroj once again talks about the process that goes into his new music, and how he wanted to give fans a complete body of work different from what his fans are used to. Miroj talks about his unique approach when making this mixtape. Miroj says, ” after my previous single Martial Arts not meeting my expectations it directly affected my approach in releasing this project.” Rather than working with multiple producers on the record Miroj links up with Atlanta heavy weight producer Da Kidd Half . Miroj says, ” I wanted my project to sound unified so i thought it was best to stick with one producer on this record.”

As with part one, Miroj spoke brief on what emotional elements he likes to portray in his music. Miroj says, ” I like to capture every emotion in my music…I always seek to speak the truth in my music about me and about society…”  With Miroj releasing more vulnerable music to closely connect with his fans many supporters are buzzing that this may be his best body of work yet. For more information about Miroj and the release of Beautiful Mind Ugly Confessions please follow @miroj_satie on Twitter.