Finding your lane as a creator will unlock your true potential growth. Taking your time to explore what it is you really want to say with your art is not always an easy ride, but persisting with the process is key to your success. But what does that process look like?
We linked up with a veteran of the creative industry, Elijah, to find out more. Co-founder of the record label Butterz and known for his popular and motivational ‘Yellow Squares,’ Elijah’s mission is to empower and enable the next generation of music creators by sharing valuable insight on the inner-workings of the music industry and how to navigate it. Scroll down for his advice on finding your creative skills, taken from our chat with him at New Systems Academy, a live-streamed event between Mixcloud and N-Studio, powered by Nicce.
Find quality through quantity
“You find quality through quantity generally. You’re not going to make your best beat on your first, it’s usually when you get to your 100th. You’re not going to do a great radio show on your first, it’s going to be your 100th. So just start with what you have and then over time, as you build confidence, you’ll be like, “Ok this is what I actually need to level up what I’m doing.” It might not be that you need a microphone, you might be comfortable just doing something on an iPhone and it’s fine and whoever is listening and giving you feedback might not even know that’s how you do it.”
It’s ok to move onto another passion
“If you’re passionate about something, you’ll find a way to get good at it. If you’re continuously bad and then not putting the hours in to practice or you’re not motivated, then you should move on. It’s good to drop things out as well. I used to do radio and then I wasn’t passionate about it anymore, I didn’t think it was the right thing to do moving forward. So I stopped. Then you just find something else to plug into.”
Find your unique creative skillset
“When I want to manage someone, I look for a very unique overlap of skills. So if someone is, say, a musician and an ice skater, they might have a perspective, an audience and a way of doing things that’s quite unique. Whereas if your background is in Grime, you only make Grime-influenced Grime, listen to Grime all day, go to Grime things, listen to Grime radio, then their ideas are limited by what’s being done in that thing. So for me, it’s usually a skill-stack or a knowledge-stack that no one else in their scene or community has.”
Collaboration moves your art forward
“Have as many collaborators as possible, because it’s like a feedback loop. So if you just spend all day at home making beats by yourself and no one hears them, then you can’t really improve. Even making and releasing music with other people, collaborating on different levels, moves your thing forward. You get honest reactions once you trust them enough and you’ve kind of got this thing where you’re like, “Oh this is sick, this is something better than your average.””
Learn more on the benefits of being an independent creator here.