If you have been following this blog over the last few weeks you’ll have read about our busy schedule recently. I have really enjoyed pushing the music to new listeners, and it’s been a blast gigging every week. Most importantly, I have learned a lot of crucial lessons which place me and my compadre in good stead looking into the future. This weekend was meant to be the last gig weekend this year and I was looking forward to having a bit of time on my hands to work on some exciting new content. A friend of mine used to love quoting the phrase “God laughs when we make plans”, and this week I realised the truth in that sentiment. I have had one of the most eye opening weeks on the musical front, and it is solely down to surrounding myself with like minded individuals. While the week has been exciting, it has also been very taxing on the mind and body. I can safely say that I have a greater appreciation of what is required, in terms of commitment, to be able to reach the goals that we have set for ourselves as the Shottaz. I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the experiences I encountered over the last few days.
Hectic Schedule – Staying In Control
A good friend of mine who’s a top tier hip-hop artist in the NZ/Aus region is currently on tour, and his touring party was in Melbourne prepping for their kick-off show which is happening tonight. I linked up with the bro pretty much from the moment he landed this side and have been shadowing him as he goes about his business. Having never been on a high profile tour quite like this one, I never really appreciated how demanding a touring artist’s schedule can be. Each day has become an endless blur of media engagements, rehearsals, and recording sessions. Probably the most frustrating thing for me is the fact that we always seemed to be running late for everything. People who know me well will attest to the fact that I hate being late, it makes me extremely anxious. My team know that whenever we’re on the clock, I will push everyone to be on time and usually get frustrated when others don’t keep time. It’s a pet peeve of sorts. What quickly became apparent was the fact that it’s practically impossible to stay on time when following such a packed schedule. Another thing that immediately stood out is that the bro maintained a cool head throughout his engagements. When we were running behind schedule, he kept communicating with his management to ensure they stayed on top of everything. As unnatural as it is for me to stay composed in pressure situations, I realise that it is absolutely critical to keep calm in such situations.
Relentless Drive – Keep The Pedal To The Metal
Hanging out with elite artists has been great for me from a learning perspective. Just conversing with these individuals lit a fire in me that will be impossible to quench. One common trait between all these artists was difficult to ignore. There’s a certain drive that comes with operating at the limit of one’s potential, and it was immediately clear that each artist on my mate’s tour has that drive. The amount of time each individual has put into their craft over the years is ridiculous, and to this day you can see that there is still lots in each artist’s tank. Dare I say it, these cats still have a level or 2 they can elevate to, which is saying a lot given their current standing in the game. Being in such a space gave me a shot in the arm and I now have more confidence that the Shottaz are on the right path in developing our craft. I know for a fact that my bro Hlats has the same amount of drive as I do, and I can confidently say that we have the same drive as the artists I spent time with this week. As we keep making our moves, I now have a clear picture of where we can end up if we stay true to our grind.
The Pursuit Of Excellence
Whilst I was shadowing my bro this week, I was picking his brain on specific aspects of his career. I must say, my friend has had a great run over the last few years, and that is mostly down to his attitude. He has mastered his artistry and his artist ego is fully reflected in the music he is making. He has this self belief that no one can take away from him, which sets him apart from most artists that I rub shoulders with regularly. Don’t get me wrong, all the artists that I spend time with are super dope, but this dude’s “in-booth arrogance” is on another level. What I’m referring to when I speak of in-booth arrogance, is this belief that whenever he gets into a recording booth he is the best at what he does. This is evident in the music that comes out of each session I have seen him participate in since I’ve known him. This week, I tagged along to one of his studio sessions and the outcome was nothing but quality. The man banged out 4 big demos in less than 5 hours, which is huge. In my opinion, of the 4 demos at least 2 of them are going to be hit songs. We spoke at length about this confidence he has when making music and he put it down to his hunger for excellence. He only wants to be viewed as the best by people who observe him and I must say that the brother is fast approaching that level if he hasn’t achieved it already. My takeaway from this? Once you commit to doing something the only standard to accept from oneself should be excellence and nothing less.