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The Connect: Should You Move to Make it Big?

There’s countless number of movies and true stories that depict the artists or actors who left their small town in hopes to “make it big!” They hopped aboard that long bus…train ride, or even drove & arrived to their destination with nothing but two dollars, fifty cents and a suitcase. They headed north or west to embark on this journey for New York City, Los Angeles, or in today’s time your Atlanta, Austin, and Miami. But is moving really necessary in order to “make it?” And if so when is the time to consider it? There are no set rules to determine when this life event should occur but there are some key factors you can consider before quitting your day job for the road to stardom.

Factor number one:

For the sake of time, let’s say your priorities are pretty much in order but you have yet to see any progress in your desired field. Your family or close ones may not be on board with your desire for a new setting, but you’re able to transition and start fresh in a new city. You may even have arranged a job transfer and have nearby relatives, friends, or networks awaiting your decision. Seems like all checks and balances are in place. However, if all of your basic needs are already met and in order, why is it that you find you’re unable to progress where you currently reside? Sometimes we can find ourselves blaming it on “the city” when in actuality, it’s really us. This is what I like to call Self Reflection. What have I not done to ensure I am moving forward in the right direction with my goals? One should look to see what they have not yet tried and why. Business plans? More networking? Professional advertisements versus just the open mic nights at the bar and lounge? For Example: If an individual has a desire to lose weight, it is to not the blame of the Fast Food establishments or restaurants for why they haven’t seen a change in their appearance or health. It is simply because they have yet to make the proper choices and invest the necessary time to see the target goal all the way thru. This includes preparing the mind and having the mentality to stay motivated and focused among all curve balls thrown. Exercise would be ideal. One should remember that in any and all that you aim to achieve, if you do not put in the work, you will not only NOT see the results, but you will not reap the benefits either. In music you will not progress (the results), and you will not be noticed as you should (the benefits). If you didn’t hustle in your own comfort zone, what will encourage you to branch out among the unknown and suddenly feel inspired to do any real work? When you are doing all that needs to be done, you will most certainly progress. It may not be overnight, but it will most definitely be a step forward.

Factor number two:

Progression has taken place, your ego cup is overflowing and you’ve got a fan base established. That’s wonderful! You could abandon ship and get out of dodge, but you’ve worked so hard for what you have. Is it time to move on just yet? Sure why not? But it is very possible to garner the attention of industry executives or investors right outside of your front door. You are your brand, you become the product, and if you can be sold you won’t have to look far and wide searching for that “one”, because they will be looking for you! Once you’ve accomplished much within your town or city, focus on building the region. See if you can produce the same audience and support system. Take note on how receptive the DJs are to your music. Now you are working your actual market in relation to geographical location. When referring to market in mainstream as it relates to genre that’s another article to come at a later date. For now it looks like you’ve got something, and you may even want to consider remaining or becoming solely an independent artist/label. Keep Working.

Factor number three:

You’ve done all you can do. You’ve exhausted all means, resources and networks. You could leave for five years, return to your city with no problem and still having a piece of the pie percentage because you’ve made your mark. Well now you’re ready to travel into a new region and see how well your projects do. It’s time to see if you have what it takes to generate a fan base who knows nothing about your groundwork laid, and willing to give an outsider a chance. Keep in mind you’ll be among a sea of competitors. They will be more advanced, talented, among other “ups” over you. Learn the area and research tirelessly before you arrive. Network and link up with the major players in that area. If you come in with a mindset that you are going to “take over,” they will shut you completely down and force you to go back wherever it is that you came from. You can’t just go into someone’s hood and post up on their block without speaking or permission first. When you do it the smart way, you can work with them, not against them. You’ll easily gain fans and much more this way.

In conclusion, there is no floor plan in which you should determine when moving is right for you. My rule of thumb is that once you have thoroughly mastered a market/region, it is perfectly fine to try for another. Also, when opportunity or money calls, I am all for a trip or move. Once you do arrive in the city, don’t expect them to know who you are because they won’t…and when you tell them, they won’t really care. The internet has helped much, but without an online presence or radio spins, the local or underground fame can only stretch but so far. Remain humble and be ready to work from ground up all over again. Make decisions that are best for you and yours. In the end what is for you, is for you. I’d like to leave you with this anonymous quote — All movement is not progress; just as all motion is not forward.

-Onyx, Queen of Killeen,
Singer•Songwriter | Music Professional | Executive Producer & Host of Jermaine Dupri’s Global 14 the Cut|
2014 SEA Internet Hustler of the Year

(C) Nov 2013
(P) May 2014

*originally written for The Connect via centexhiphop.com

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    • Onyx254 on

      Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

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