Sunday, December 18, 2011

Artists' Images That Work Effectively With Status, Genre, Brand Or Message

Images In The Urban Scene
What comes to mind when you think of rap artists and their style? Do most rap and hip-hop artists wear baggy jeans, sneakers, long silver chains or the like? If so, does this style work for them? Why or why not? What about artists such as Marilyn Manson or Lady Gaga? In comparison to mainstream culture does their rebellious or unique attire play as a disservice to their artistry or does it work well with the image or message they convey?

Image Is Important Wherever You Go...
We all at one point in time have been obsessed with our image. Most of us have high standards and because of that we believe that first impressions are of great importance. Whether it's a job interview or you are heading to an audition, you should always-if not already-focus on making the best impression. You may wonder how can you do this and question whether you can or not. The truth is you have the potential and can do so, simply by making sure that your image coincides with either your music, your label, your contract, your message, what's fashionably trendy in your music genre, your established career in the industry or a particular culture. Lastly, this image must work for you and must not be a disservice to you or your artistry.

How Do Artists Do It, Image Wise?
So how do artists in the music industry select the perfect image that not only meshes well with their music, brand or the number of years they have been involved in the business? There is no easy recipe or formula on what works best. If you are an aspiring rapper, established rapper or singer trying to get back into the urban scene there are a few things you must consider before embarking on an image that may make you or break you. 

What Image Is Best For New Artists?
If you are starting out and need direction on what image and apparel will work best for you, then you must ask yourself the following questions.

1. Does your record label have a theme, image or message   
    they like to convey?
2. If you are a female rapper and have a contract, does your 
    contract require you to dress a certain way?
     A. If you are a female and the label requires that you    
          dress sexy and appealing is there a street  
          theme attached to it in the terms? For example, such 
          as the image of a female stepping out of social norms.
     B. If so are you comfortable with that? 
     C. Do you need to portray yourself as "hard" just as your 
         other male rapper counterparts?
     D. Do you have any endorsements and are what are the           attire requirements?
3. Are you an established artist or an upcoming artist?
4. Does your material convey a rebellious message, love  

    theme, does it embrace manpower or does it posses an  
    image such as a hardcore lifestyle or street life?

Choosing An Image....
Whatever route you go, that is, if you do not have a stylist, or are not bound to a legal contract and your label's style requirements then, choose an image that puts you ahead. Great examples of artists who are managing their image effectively are Jay-Z, Little Wayne, Rhianna and Nicki Minaj. 

The Established Rapper Look: Jay-Z
Jay-Z has a strong standing career in the hip hop scene. Today his image represents an image of a "well established rapper." Rarely dressing like the new hip-hop artists of today, who often wear baggy jeans with their hats to the side, Jay-Z's image is luxurious and it suits him very well. His videos are splashed not only with your no-so average priced liquor, but also with luxurious attire, fancy suits, beautiful companions and expensive rides.

Images Of Female Artists
Female artists such as Rhianna and Nicki Minaj are versatile but do maintain effective images that work for their music, their label and whatever genre they decide to experiment with. Nicki Minaj not only maintains a sexy and a "out of the social norms" look when it comes to women but she also maintains the "hard shell" image that is often required as a female rapper. Rhianna is always playing with her image, specially when it comes to playing in different genres. The one image she always maintains throughout her music and regardless of genre is the "young sexy rebellious" look. This can be tricky because changing images often may not work if it is not done correctly. In some cases provocative images are looked down but on the other hand, the truth is that sex sells. Rhianna's "rebellious and edgy" look allows her to transform and reshape her image as much as she likes and this works well with her music and the message she conveys.

I'm So Good, I Can Wear The "Whatever Look"
Little Wayne's look is unique and despite his jail time, his signature look of fitted skinny jeans, dreads, shades and a classic white wife-beater works quite effectively-with everything he does. Having a unique look is a privilege and and not all artists can embark on this look. Why not? Well, if you have not been in the rap game for a long time and people do not know your content, this image will not work for you. Little Wayne on the other hand, is charismatic, is well known and people love him so much that they could careless what he wears. In other words, they respect him for his music and that is what drives his fame-not his clothes.


Image is important and in the entertainment industry specially the music industry, the image you choose not only must sell but be in line with your label as well as with your contract's terms. If you are not bound to any legal terms then use an image that puts your best foot forward and not in the backseat.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Use Innovation, Looks, Charisma or Do It Better Than The Key Players To Succeed In The Entertainment Industry!

What Do Celebrities Have That We Don't?
So what does it take to make it as a model, a musical artist, an actor or an actress? What must one have in order to appeal to mainstream audiences or to even make it in the entertainment industry? Today's television stars, artists and other entertainment professionals posses one or a combination or attributes and skills that off-screen folks, like you and others do not have. So what are those attributes and skills? Can they be learned or possibly obtained? In some cases, some of these skills can be obtained and in other cases, some folks just don't have those certain traits.

What Traits And How Can I Get Them?
In order to succeed in the entertainment industry and minimize competition one must have good looks, charisma and personality, the ability to create innovation, or the ability to create something that is currently happening in the industry better than those that are doing it. Yes folks, when you look through those magazines, flip through those channels and attend those entertainment events, these professionals you see, have one or a combination of the listed traits. So how do you know if you posses one of those eye-catching traits? 

Traits That Are Must Haves In Show Business
In order to find out whether or not you have what it takes to make it in the entertainment industry, you must have completed or received one of the following:

1. perform in front of the live audience and received positive responses

2. sent out surveys of your new innovation and received awesome responses

3. you succeeded in a talent or model competition or the like

4. everyone has told you, that you have good looks and that you should be doing something about it

5. everyone says you have a great personality and are extremely funny

6. people say you have a unique look that's made for television

If you have completed or received any of the above statements, chances are you have the looks, a great idea, a winning personality or something that could potentially land you a career in the entertainment industry! 

Creating A Plan Of Attack For Success!
If you decide to proceed ahead, and depending on the professional career you choose whether it's being an actor, an actress, an entertainment business owner, a comedian, the next step is to prepare an execution plan. What this means is that you must assess the needs and costs of your career and understand the requirements of your selected career. 

Know Your Role In And Out!
So, even if you like the career without knowing the requirements you may have a rude awakening once you step into the career. Simply put, make sure you understand what your job duties will be and what you have to put in to succeed in completing the career tasks. Second, understand the time involved in doing a career such as the one you have chosen. Actors and actresses often attend countless and numerous of trainings, practice long hours, memorize long scripts, complete auditions, build reels and have a professional portfolio handy in case an opportunity presents itself. If you need an idea of what a professional video resume looks like, I suggest you take a look at Geoff Eigemann's profile.  This video resume is not just appealing but also innovative! If you are looking for a great reel, I suggest you look at Omar Mora's reel. This reel is excellent in that it shows the actor's highlights, past gigs and current works.

You Must Network And Create Exposure That Works to Your Benefit And Not Against You...
To that effect, it is also helpful to join a entertainment community online and build a professional profile on a social network to get (1) exposure and (2) to connect with others in the industry. Two sites I recommend are Twitter and Stage32. On Twitter, if used correctly, you can follow and meet professionals online who may be able to connect you to gigs and people in high places of your industry. When you are online remember that your professional network and your professional image is visible to millions of people online so, please tweet and communicate wisely. 

Do What Needs To Be Done To Get The Spotlight
If you think this is a "wait for it to happen" kind of industry then, you are in the wrong field! One thing you must understand, is that in order to get the job of your choice you must do the work to get there. So, yes you must attend auditions, do live comedy nights and perform in places you may have never thought of before actually landing that perfect opportunity. More importantly, you must remain positive and humble. No one in the industry likes a "know-it-all," or someone who insults the intelligence of the industry's most reputable leaders. You want to gain the trust of the industry pros not push them away. Lastly, if you know you have that certain something, never give up. Regardless of who you are competing with move ahead, stand high, focus and reach for your dream; you too, have a shot in this industry so make it count!