Are you tired of being one of the sore losers at the end of every award show, throwing shade and discrediting ZHHA (Zimbabwe Hip-hop Awards) at every slight chance you get?
This is not about to be one of my satire articles where I hit you with reverse humour I promise. This is a concise tutorial on things you need to do to have a Zim Hip-hop Award by 2018. Whilst most of you may want to accidentally win awards, some of the greatest people that take those accolades plan and execute how they are to do it.
It becomes even better if you know which category you’re gunning for. We are tired of your ranting when you aren’t nominated.
If you do not think Zim Hip-hop Awards matter you do not have to proceed to read this. You can hop on to another tab and google what you think matters, but f you clicked this link you probably care.
Ideally, you do not get an award for being mediocre, you get one for being top soil, so first and fore-most be exceptional at something. If you are interested in ZHHA it has to be something that they have as a category. In other words you may be great at graffiti Art and beat boxing both of which are elements of Hip-hop culture but in past years we have not seen any category with these.
However suppose you want best producer award. You have to get exceptional at music production and be aware of every little knob. Get exceptional artistes on your productions and so forth. Just depends on whether you intend to be Best Male, Best producer, Best Dancer…. The category has to exist.
You may be good at artwork, animation, making beats, rapping, writing but in a year you actually want an award you have to pick out one that you will be known for through out. One you will be identified with.
F.T.R and Yagi Dojo can rap, but music production is the first tag that comes to mind when they are mentioned. Enqore raps, but animation is the first tag to mind in as much as Begotten Sun is multi-skilled but more famous for management these days.
Carl can cook, but comedy is the tag that comes to mind at his mention, not that his food tastes funny.
You will barely win an award for a category the public doesn’t consider you as part of that’s why John Cena will most likely win a Wrestling Championship Belt than a BET for the rapping, because in our minds he’s a rapper first. Of course he won an Oscar for acting a few movies, but com uhn WWE is acting as well.
What is it that you are first in peoples minds?
A no brainer in any field really is if you want to increase your probability of winning in it, you have to focus on a certain category. Focused actions give specific results whilst random actions where you are just all over the place give miscellaneous results.
If you are a film director trying to win an award for short films, you have to focus on short films that year. You have to invest a lot into them, since you cannot win a short film contest for not having a short film.
You can choose to spread your brand quantitatively or qualitatively. Your choice. In other words you can choose to make many short films in that year (which is quantitative) or you can choose to work on one extremely exceptional short film and put all you PR Marketing efforts on that (which is quantitative).
Both ways work.
Bus Stop TV for instance produces a lot of comedy short-clips per week, such that they can’t be ignored and have been award nominated.
Same applies with Hip-hop. If you are using quantity however it still has to be of consistent quality. There is a year Cal_Vin would flood the streets with “Free Bars Friday”.
Anther way of creating quantity other than a series is to probably do an album.
In the end if you choose what you want to win for, you’ll invest more into that.
Anything you do not know exists does not exist to you period. Thus you must be very visible in this time when a lot of things consume everyone’s attention besides your music. People generally have lots to worry about and even have alternative forms of entertainment.
I heard Kanye’s last album 3 months later but I didn’t die. There is o much music around for someone to actually live their whole life without ever caring about yours. This is a fact. So attention is a big commodity in the arts because any artiste performance where there is no audience is just a rehearsal.
Your work is given greater meaning by visibility. Do not take pride in, “I don’t care about being know.” Yet you know that being known does a lot.
Strive to educate yourself with multiple online resources on how to capture attention. Schingy and DJ Towers have long figured that part out. They dress odd, do songs about drugs and say outrageous things. It works.
Sharky managed to focus and stand out by dealing mostly with African sound in his sets and dressing accordingly. Before that he was just like every other rapper.
Takura decided to do a tour that would automatically make him news worthy. Try different ways of standing out making your brand visible.
One of the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is to be first in mind. Regularly plan out how you will do that because when nomination time comes, the jury will vouch for whose work they know and have heard so many times about by word of mouth.
If you are an artiste perform and record your performances. Make sure they are well coordinated and practiced performances. You will obviously need to do a day research to extensively know what it takes to be booked for a show.
Do not forget to take serious recordings of these things, touch them up and edit them. Put them up on Youtube. You can even keep your eye on updates for Festivals such as Shoko and so forth. This footage will be used when you are now compiling the material that you use to submit to ZHHA.
You should have your portfolio for submission ready before award submission time. The unprepared rapper will start running around at the last minute and then blame the process for being flawed. Some will realize that they did 13 performances, none of them recorded, spoken about in their blogs, in the press etc and thus unverifiable.
You must market yourself with respect to your main focus. Focus on mediums you control more than the mediums you do not control. For instance you may not control ZiFM, Star FM and Power FM. These mediums happen to play you when it tickles their toes.
It is not their role to make you famous, they are not PR Companies though most of them now have a PR side in their marketing department (which is paid for to advertise products). Other than that no one is guaranteed regular airplay (well of course sometimes corruption, nepotism and such intervene).
Firstly however focus on your mediums. Do you have a podcast, a Youtube Channel, a Soundcloud or a Facebook. You can sponsor a post about the product you are trying to raise awareness on or get sales from.
You totally control your Facebook and Twitter, both of which have ads. You can start testing different recipes of doing that, all you need is a debit card which you can easily get from any Bank these days for less than $5.
If radio picks up on you (which it will, if you doing great) then that’s great, but just don’t expend your PR efforts and frustrations on that side. Many people win ZHHA with no massive rotation on air.
However still actively find out the submission process per station and submit well branded material. Actively submit press releases to blogs such as mine and others till they listen. It is not a criminal offence to do so, but it is also not criminal for them to ignore or decline.
Just don’t let us control your emotions about industry, move on with your grind.
Get yourself in the paper, network with journalists and make them fans of your work. Remember, journalists, DJ’s and producers are humans. As humans, they too may actually become your fans and if they are your fans they will put you on for no incentive at all, period.
Submit For ZHHA
Self explanatory and obvious step but people always miss it. Even the Grammy Awards by the way solicit submissions but you will always find some guys complaining about why there is a submission at all.
If a platform requires a submission as a requirement just submit. That’s the requirement.
If you are interested in their accolade you have to adhere to their rules.
After-all no matter how smart you are, you will barely get a Scholarship that was not applied for. If you are exceptional at something and want to enter Guinness Book of Records you have to submit certain things and they will respond, watch you do what you do and judge.
All different award shows have many ways of selection and if you want their accolade just learn what they want and stop arguing with criterion that you wont change.
Know what you influence and control and what you don’t.
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