Howdy. I write to you from the Bay after having spent an energizing last week in Atlanta for A3C.
I am fortunate to have been able to visit for the first time and connect with all sorts of creative, hard-working people within the music community.
Shoutout to sound engineer and rapper JRich who was the plug for this first trip to Atlanta for me.
Earlier in the year, he randomly stopped by the SoundCloud NYC office. I happened to be visiting NYC for a team offsite when I was informed that “Lil Yachty’s engineer” was in the building.
We had never had any prior communication, but I count that as a fateful day. He opened the doors for me to learn more about the current music scene in Atlanta. He introduced me to many talented up-and-coming Atlanta-based artists, and I subsequently helped them make the most of SoundCloud. He also introduced me to the A3C organizers which led to my opportunity to participate in this year's EPK Mentor Session.
Overall, my first visit to Atlanta was fun and inspiring to say the least. It was great to meet artists I had been in touch with through email like Digital Nas; build new friendships with artists like Brian Brown and his crew (shoutout DJ GB, Kimu, Lucas); meet and hear the stories of producers like Jowin, Park Ave., Dolan Beatz and Ducko McFli; catch a bunch of live shows from emerging artists like Brown, Kelechi, Tre Capital and Hefna Gwap to legends like Cam’ron, Mystikal and Too Short; meet photographers and videographers like Quincy Brooks; and learn even more about the rich history of hip hop in Atlanta and the South. I’m missing more details, but you’ll hear more things that bubbled up from my time in Atlanta down the road.
For now, here are my main takeaways from the trip:
- Trusting the process and taking time to create quality music or work is important.
A recurring theme from discussions with different people was how important it was not to fall for "flash in the pan" success. I admire all those whom I met who are working hard to develop their own craft, not rush the creative journey and practice patience daily.
- Truly understand who you are and what you’re about.
The Internet has enabled people to create and release music easily which in turn makes the pool saturated with a lot of artists. Don’t try to copy a sound or fit into something because it’s trending temporarily. Take the time to understand what you care about and what you need to nurture or let go of to continue progressing forward. Know your worth. I feel this is an important thing to keep in mind for any aspect of life in general for anyone. It hits on a lot of the points made in Essentialism. If it’s not a clear yes to you, it’s a clear no. I plan to share more notes from this book in my next post.
- Relationships are the cornerstone of everything.
As shared in the introduction of this post, existing relationships brought me to Atlanta. Fostering great relationships leads to more new, great relationships with others to emerge. Achieving success takes more than individual strength; it also takes support from others.
Without a doubt, I’ll be back in Atlanta.