Think Piece | Clout Chasing
Being on social media and dealing with the entertainment industry, I have come across many new artists looking to attach themselves to people that have created a buzz for themselves. These individuals can be locally known or mainstream celebrities. They attempt to reach out via social media replies (i.e. "Play my beats here", "Please check out my song", etc.), all to receive recognition from a person with a perceptively higher status in a pursuit to also reach that pedestal. These people are, more often than not, looking to skip the work required to reach those heights. They are looking for a cosign — someone to share their work to their thousands or millions of followers so they too can have those fans. This is the most common form of clout chasing. I think it's also important to discuss networking here. Networking, by my use of the word, is connecting with people and forming relationships in order to benefit one another in your respected fields. There is usually a mutual benefit here. What makes these networking relationships successful is the work put in behind it. I use social media for this reason specifically. I am able to network with artists in other parts of the world, that I wouldn't necessarily be able to do otherwise. I contact these artists and provide my services such as producing, mixing, mastering, consulting, etc. The work done by both parties is what makes the relationship work. This is what separates "clout chasing" and networking. People who are after clout want the buzz that has been built by the other party. I've also seen this in other forms as well. I often see it in Soundcloud or YouTube plays. Artists will pay for robot services to boost their song plays in order to look more popular to other people. They create a facade of buzz for themselves. This way of thinking only hurts the artist. When you have 10K plays on a song and there are no comments or likes on the song, that is a sure sign that the plays were purchased. If people are going to play your song 10,000 times, there would surely be at least one comment or like. That is why it is so important to have your interactions be organic. Real people will share your art with other real people and you will get real numbers, real results, and real supporters. Fake plays do not benefit you. You need to learn to connect with real people. You should focus on creating real buzz with the art you are creating. Don't try to jump in the spotlight of another person. Learn to market yourself. Submit your songs to blogs and people who would be interested if you're looking to get your work to other people. Don't look to mainstream artists or mainstream publications. Complex, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and these other publications are not interested in your social media replies containing your music. These writers are looking for artists that are creating noise themselves. They will come to you. Stop looking for a cosign and accomplish your goals through your own work. Engage with those who do support you. You should want feedback from the fans that you do have. Build that relationship with your fanbase and they will get you to where you want to be. I'm always an advocate for making sure that you have great content. If you are putting out great things, people will be more drawn to that. That is how you grow a following. Stop paying for plays and robot followers that will never engage with what you are doing.
These are just my thoughts. How do you feel about clout? Let's discuss.