Blog: How @DJHeatDC Inspired The “Single Push” Effect

As any other time that I would have available to me, I would look into my Twitter timeline and check out the random, hilarious comments that people leave. However, on particular occasions, I would read someone writing an article that is intriguing of my interest. My good friend DJ Heat wrote an interesting article on her website about one of the biggest mistakes that DMV artists make. The content of this article was so inspiring that I wanted to drop additional insight and possibly open more dialogue in the artist community. This won’t apply just to the DC Metro area, but worldwide.

For most people who are familiar with this website, I’m an artist that’s done several strides in the entertainment industry from being an artist as well as in a managerial context. In late 2011, after two years of working on it, I released a mixtape project called The Schemata. I had a vision for this project: the concept, the videos, the grassroots approach, and the song choices. DJ Heat also appeared on this mixtape. After I released the tape, I asked two weeks later on Twitter what were their favorite tracks from it. One of the songs that was featured on this project was “Talk White”, and it received a lot of responses from fans and new fans alike. This song was an old school Hiphop track that flipped metaphors of racial stereotypes, drug use, and musical prowess all in one in comedic satire. So in response to that, I decided that Talk White would be its first single.

I traveled to Harlem to reconnect with Malik-16 to shoot a video for its remix, which would be released on his project. I shot, directed, and edited this video myself with limited experience but a lot of drive. Back home, I performed this song for the first time in March of 2012 in Velvet Lounge for a crowd of nearly all white people. The response of the record was laughter, shock, and chanting of the chorus “I speak proper”. I realized that night that this song was something special and went to work. I performed this song at EVERY show that I’ve done, including this day. After videotaping the footage of these performances, as well as revamping the performance version of the song to keep the crowd intrigued, I pitched the footage to a cohort of mine in the industry, and got signed to SFE Entertainment with a distribution deal through Fontana. The song was then sent to every online retail outlet, and the video was placed on VEVO right next to the latest Katy Perry single in the course of 6 months.

But that didn’t stop there. It was much more of an obstacle to deal with.

I’ve sent the song through different radio services, locally as well as nationally. Radio stations in Tampa Bay, FL and San Francisco picked up the song into its system, but locally did not pick it up quite yet. Several program directors around the country stated that the song was too risky to play due to its content, as well as the fact that it was decidedly not a party record. It was my vision to cause the same shocked feeling to the world that I gave to that crowd in March 2012. However, the younger market didn’t seem to grab to it that fast at the time. It was college adults and their parents that reacted.

Despite this, Malik-16 and myself printed fliers promoting the single to all of our friends, family, and patrons at our respective shows. I literally walked by myself on Howard University’s campus and talked with students to introduce myself and this song/video. It was a package. I also printed t-shirts and stickers of my logo to wear and place around town. The talk amongst people about this song brought me to interview on WKYS 93.9. The shows went through DC, Virginia, Maryland, and New York and each audience took notice. Half of this website’s domain was paid for by the single’s sales on iTunes, but had little attention on the radio or social media. Maybe it wasn’t a hit? Maybe it didn’t impact the general consensus of Hiphop consumers? Maybe it wasn’t the right BPM speed for club DJs to play? Maybe it was too risky/not party enough as previously said? Possibly to all of these reasons. But one thing is for sure; when there wasn’t a market for “Talk White”, we were determined to create one.

The point of this blog is simple: NEVER give up on a single/track/project that you believe in. There is a market for everything. You made that song because you thought it was dope. Act like it and push it as much as you can. If the public doesn’t respond right away, don’t worry about it. This is Hiphop; a genre that praises one artist/song as long as other people say it’s good, then they move on to the next. It is up to you to create that momentum, and keep it going for the next single. STAY CONSISTENT WITH MATERIAL ONLINE. Always have a new video, a song, or a blog, but never forget what your single is. Dope music and passion does not go unnoticed.

Oh yeah, say hi on Twitter and shit. Ha! @redheadpg

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