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[PROJECT REVIEW] Madison Castle – B.O.A.T.S

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[LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA] Making his return to NikkiSiixx.com we have hip-hop socialist Madison Castle with his project titled B.O.A.T.S. Madison Castle was born and raised in Abingdon Virginia. Seeing the bigger picture and his love for creating music he had to make the epic sacrifice and head west to follow his dreams in making it. Currently living in Los Angeles, Madison Castle stays working. With his 5 track project B.O.A.T.S., I’ve decided to take a closer listen and here’s my review.

[ROLL IT UP] What a great track to start the project off. I feel the chemistry between Madison Castle and Jayson Mitchell. From Madison’s witty lyrics and Jayson’s vocals this is the track you want to press repeat too! Especially lighting one up and vibing out to this. Really like the choice in production and this track is one of my favorites of the project. Madison Castle also released a music video for his first single from B.O.A.T.S. I actually had him featured on my [Nikki Hears It First] Series for Episode 12. Let’s see what I thought about his ROLL IT UP video.

[LOUDMILK] By the second track you can tell Madison Castle has a talent with diversity with his tracks. Even though the production is slow, his flow is fast. Madison sounds amazing on this track. The female vocals on this track really gives a trance like essence.

[EL DORADO] Here comes the club mix! I can see everyone dancing to this one. Madison Castle has his eye on girl on the dance floor. He emphasizes all the things he sees what they can do together, like enjoying life with her and all the unlimited possibilities.

[GHOST] If you’re dealing with heartbreak and not over that significant other that has moved on, this is the track for you. And you know damn well she’s not over you so you feel like you’re the ghost that haunts her. The overall production, vibe, and flow of this track is remarkable. This song has been on repeat for me for a while now.

This concludes my review on Madison Castle’s B.O.A.T.S. For the 5 track project I found 4 of the tracks to be my favorites that really stand out to me. Be on the lookout for more content from Madison Castle. And make sure you follow him on all his social media links below!

[LINKS] TWITTER || SOUNDCLOUD || INSTAGRAM ||

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[Music Video] Chocolate Brown & BK Hippy – No Time (Produced By KidNamedNOVA)

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[BROOKLYN, NEW YORK] When growing up in the borough, you can only get influence by the greats and locals in New York City. As for upcoming hip-hop artists Chocolate Brown, BK Hippy, and KidNamedNOVA did just that. They began performing at shows and becoming a familiar face in the crowd. On this momentum they started to build a buss. According to Chocolate Brown, BK Hippy, and KidNamedNOVA their team motto is “spread love it’s the Brooklyn Way”. This time the boys bring us their latest visual for their single NO TIME. The video takes us to different lifestyles from four different walks of life in Brooklyn. You see a hustler, a street musician, young single mom, and an inspiring athlete.

5AM on Myrtle AveThe two emcees (Chocolate Brown and BK Hippy) teamed up with their good friend/producer (KidNamedNOVA) to make a Hip-Hop project that will bring a sneak peak into their lives. They bring you their collaborative EP 5AM on Myrtle Ave, here’s where you can find their single NO TIME. If you are looking for a project that is packed full of Brooklyn hip-hop, look no further than this EP. Both Chocolate Brown & BK Hippy delivered stories of everyday life in New York City. Be on the lookout for more releases from the group and don’t forget to follow them online.

CHOCOLATE BROWN ONLINE: TWITTER || INSTAGRAM || SOUNDCLOUD ||

BK HIPPY ONLINE: TWITTER || INSTAGRAM || SOUNDCLOUD ||

KIDNAMEDNOVA ONLINE: TWITTER || INSTAGRAM || SOUNDCLOUD ||

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Interview: Blizzi Boi

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NikkiSiixx from NikkiSiixx.com sits down with Miami Up and Coming Artist Blizzi Boi and we discuss his genre of Oceanic Music such as his track AQUAFINA. His Approach to Trolling Videos when he added himself to an announcement video from Lil Wayne, and a glimpse into his free project “Purity Rang“. We also discussed his old track Sanctuary which was featured on my poll Who sampled it best! Be on the lookout for more content from Blizzi Boi and don’t forget to check out his youtube channel.

Artist: @BlizziBoi
Cameraman: @iamrickybanks

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Starving Artist Suggestions No. 2: The Curse of Being Gifted

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There is a behavior that some of us independent artists exhibit – I call it the “I Don’t Wanna” syndrome. I’ve been this guy before. You know this moralistic viewpoint; it’s the artist that proudly proclaims that he could make “a million” trap beats or that she could write “a thousand” pop songs, but — to put it simply — they “don’t wanna”.

Voldemort-spell-avada-kedavra-harry-potter-14771461-500-335So please, tell me again why you make music? Is music something you do strictly for stress relief – is it a cathartic means to blow off steam? Do you spend hours crafting and perfecting the music you make just so that you can later listen to the sound recordings of yourself or of your productions?

Or do you make the music with aspirations of intriguing the listener; of leaving the listener inspired, awe struck and engaged; with dancing visions in your mind’s eye of a crowd-filled room, participants engorged with the most intensive of energies – the lips of each attendee raucously spilling forth every one of your painstakingly-crafted lyrics right down to the last drop?

pigeonThe reason I ask is because, as artists, we can sometimes find ourselves pigeonholed into creating the music that we specifically value, or into producing the type of stuff that we want to hear – and there is nothing inherently wrong with that – but I must ask: if you’re focus is creating the music that you want to hear, then why do you have aspirations of releasing it for others’ consumption?

I mean, music is a gift – and I understand that your music can undoubtedly be one of your most personal and unrequited gifts to the world – but the question still begs to be answered: when you give someone that thoughtful gift – deep down from the bottom of your heart – do you give them the type of gift that YOU like; even if it isn’t the type of gift that THEY would?

bob-marley-quoteBob Marley once said, “Live for yourself and you will live in vain. Live for others, and you will live again.” That is some serious food for your thought and nourishment for your soul. See you next post!

Previous Blogs:
Starving Artist Suggestions No. 1: Please Stop Seeking The Advice Of Profits

#StarvingArtistSuggestions
The “Starving Artist Suggestions” is a blog designed to give hard-working independent musicians and independent music executives insightful, honest and frank information that will make positive differences in their careers. @Legasey

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Website Recommendation: SCSuperFans.com

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Hey guys, I wanted to share with you a site that helps and specializes in authentic Soundcloud promotion by SCSUPERFANS.COM. I find them to be the most credited when it comes to driving real traffic to artists pages. You can see, SCSUPERFANS.COM have over 250+ positive reviews and a 99% positive feedback rating… proof that their service are exceptional. They have two ways of generating listens by their blog network and using CPV Advertising. By using these sources, your soundcloud accounts are not being viewed from spam bot accounts. And we all know about these spam accounts according to our discussion I had with Koalition when I was on the Knights of The Turntable “The Indie Rapper’s Guide of The Universe”. If you’re an artist that’s looking for ways to expose your music, here’s a way SCSUPERFANS.COM can help.

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Project Review: Stephen Bradley – Runaways

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Stephen Bradley Cover[Los Angeles, California] Stephen Bradley isn’t exactly what you’d call a noobie musician. If the name “No Doubt” rings a bell, then you’ve probably heard some form of this mans work since he’s been a member of the band for a while. This new EP isn’t about the past though, so don’t let it weigh to heavily on your mind as you’re listening. Bradley has come to us with the offer of a 4 song EP, meant to show us what he can do on his own. The project is without a doubt a feel-good collection of songs. The subject matter is down to earth and easy to relate to. It doesn’t cover a wide range of topics but that’s only because of its brevity. A full length album from him seems like it would be very interesting.

Take You Home” is a standout track on the project. The production is electric and mesh perfectly with Stephen Bradley’s voice and lyrics. It’s your typical “holla at a fly shorty” affair, but it’s sung so enigmatically that I couldn’t stop myself from moving along to the beat.

The only drawback about this EP is that it makes you wish it was longer. Although, that can be taken as a compliment towards the strength of the few songs that are offered. It’s great to see Stephen Bradley doing something outside of No Doubt and making a pretty good go of it. It’s worth a listen for anyone that appreciates a smooth groove and tight production. It’s short, but sweet.

[Links][Instagram][Soundcloud][Twitter][Facebook]

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Artist Advice: How To Approach A Producer With Or Without A Budget

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For this article, I asked my Instagram followers for ideas for the next artist advice column on my site. What would they like for me to write about. I based my topic off their suggestions regarding promotions, blogs, anything related to music. This week I chose – @illtalbeats with his comment: “Do an article on how rappers should approach producers for beats (Especially for artists that don’t have a budget) lol” || Thanks illtalbeats this is the perfect topic! Here’s what I have to say about approaching producers with or without a budget. 

I know for an up and coming artist it can get really pricey in order to put a really solid project together. From the cost to purchasing a beat, to paying an engineer to mix and master it, hiring a graphic designer to create the cover art work, acquiring the licensing, trademarking and copyright. Placing your first order on printing physical cd’s, which need packaging sleeves or cases (plus the graphic designer to create the overall look). Creating and stocking up on merchandise, and then online promotional campaigns you get from official websites that support you’re kind of music. Phew! Remain Calm.

Key is to be able to manage your finances to the best of you’re capabilities. If you need to save, you save. But first things first… when it comes to creating any music content you need to find the heart to you’re song. This is where the producer plays a huge part. Because if the producer is a talented individual, who is capable of multiple genres or a new sound you’ve been searching for. Then your song comes to life, with a heartbeat to the music.

Lately, I find the best ways to find a producer is through Soundcloud.com, Twitter, and even Instagram. On Soundcloud, beat makers upload their beats and even instrumentals they’ve been working on. In hopes to finding an artist who will be interested in collaborating on something new. Networking is key when it comes to building new relationships. Comment, Share, and Like what you hear. Showing support goes a long way, especially when you’re really feeling the music.

Best ways to search for producers are through hashtags! Here’s where the producer who puts #Producers #FreeBeats #HipHop #Music while appear before your eyes. Don’t forget to follow them and become a familiar face. Once that, obtain their contact info; usually an email address, phone number, or straight through a direct message. Let em’ know how you’re interested in working together and how can it be possible? Here’s where it comes to whether or not your wallet comes into play.

Producers work in many different ways when it comes to selling their beats. They can set a price for the track, lease the beat, or accept royalties off any sells/plays. When a producer sets a rate for a beat, you have to understand and respect it. You can either pay in full or even make payments in order to own the music, rightfully. I’ve heard producers leasing beats for a certain amount of time. But this might be helpful for an artist who might not be completely sure if music is the right path for them. But hey! Reader, right now if you’re an artist who knows for sure what they want and their going to work as hard as possible to make it happen… Continue to read Right? Cool!

So, next option is accepting royalties. Royalties occur when you’re content is registered with BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC. For example, BMI has connects with licensed holders who use/play your music; such as radio stations, television stations, clubs, and restaurants. These license holders maintain a monitoring system that provides licensing fees in order to get you paid. 50% of a song is credited to the songwriter and the remaining 50% is left to the publisher.

Once you’ve selected the beat, picked which type of purchase choice, then it’s time to make a payment. When making a transaction, make sure the producer sends you an invoice for exactly what you agreed upon. This will guarantee this service or ownership of the beat you wanted to purchase. You also have to take into consideration any fees that may take place such as Paypal. You should pay to make the difference so the producer fully gets the amount he/she asked for. 

Say, you don’t have a budget. You’re an independent artist and all funds goes towards maintaining your life and your living situation. This is where networking and friendships come into play. I would say search for a producer who’s starting just like yourself and you feel a common base in music and interests. Proclaiming how you really want to work with them on a small scale when it comes to collaborating on music. You two can select a certain amount of beats and then you come with the verses, and then a project is born. A free project, this will help promote both parties. With heavy online promotion, you’re definitely guarantee to gain more fans this way. Now the producers followers, friends, associates become familiar with you as an artist as well.

Also, during the recording process you should have the producer present. Build together on the sound the project will have and hook them up with their favorite goodies as well during the session. Drinks, Snacks, Coffee, and even some funny smokes. Positive Vibes = Amazing Music. After working together.. when you’re in works on any future project, they might possibly hook you up with free beats.

FREE BEATS?? Yeah, it’s possible. When you network and play your cards right. But don’t forget to give credit to the guy who created the song that inspired the lyrics to the best song you’ve ever written. It takes from hours till days and even months to get a beat sounding the way it does. Take into consideration, they deserve the credit too. Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 2.52.50 PM I’ve received music submissions from the artist himself and he did not give credit and not even mention the producer at all. How rude is that? The producer should always get mentioned on anything related to the track/project promotion, getting tagged in every photo of the cover art, and getting notified when the track gets featured on a popular website. This also will benefit the artist because now you have an extra individual who will help promote it because they are involved. This concludes my take on how artist should handle approaching producers on purchasing their beats and even sometimes working without a budget. Any comments or suggestions, provide them below.