Sunday, August 21, 2016

So Gone Challenge? Peter Parker 513 is GILE$ - Accepted.



Tooling around online the other day like I do and I stumbled across the "So Gone Challenge" that seems to have everyone excited thanks to Chance the Rapper's submission. I watched a few different videos and instantly thought it was cool as fuck.

For those of you who don't know what the challenge is all about, it's an invitation for anyone and everyone to remix the classic R&B tune by Monica and Missy Elliot. Apparently it began with an unidentified group of friends that thought it would be cool to revive the song and challenged dislikers and haters of their freestyle to produce a better version, but it didn't go viral until Chance the Rapper tweeted his video on August 10th.

Since then, numerous celebrities including Kevin Hart, Dwayne Wade and Monica herself, have taken to social media to share their renditions. Being that I'm looking to get the ball rolling and gain momentum for my up and coming projects, I thought it would be a good exercise to participate and give my fans a little taste of what they have to look forward to. It feels good to be looking into that camera again!

Check out my #SoGoneChallenge on Youtube.

#PeterParker513 #HollywodBlvd #ChancetheRapper #Monica #plssaythe513 #GILE$

Friday, August 19, 2016

Music Success in 9 Weeks: Week 4 - Social Media

This week it's all about Social Media and given the fact that this book was published in 2012 there are 4 years of growth that may not be reflected in this chapter so I'll do my best to fill in the blanks. The first point made in the chapter still holds true. Social Media = Engagement. And the bottom line is you kind of have to treat it like a living entity that needs consistent food (content) and attention (interaction with others) in order to grow. Hyatt refers to it as a garden that needs to be watered.

As an artist it can be overwhelming and tedious to have to maintain and manages all of these different accounts but if you give it conscious effort and energy it will produce more fans, increase sales and make you money!! It's worth it.

First let's get down some basics. What is Web 2.0? It consists of Social Networking Sites (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc) Wikis (where various people contribute information) and Tagging/ Social Bookmarking. All of these accounts should have the same user name if possible. All of mine are of course @PeterParker513 on Twitter and Instagram and facebook.com/PeterParker513. This way your name stays "Google-icious" (Ariel's made up word, not mine, lol)

Hyatt goes on to outline step-by-step how to create accounts and post content for Facebook, Twitter and Flickr as well as matching colors and photos to your brand. Given that this is 2016 I think we'd all agree that Flickr has become irrelevant with the popularity of Instagram so let's switch those two out.

When it comes to Facebook you should have a personal page and a Fan page. Yes, two separate pages. One for family and close friends and the Fan page for, the Fans! On your Fan page make sure you add a widget or App for playing your music and try to post AT LEAST once a day. I have ReverbNation band profile but you can also use RootMusic, FanBridge, Bandcamp or CD Baby Store.
(My ReverbNation Band Profile)

With Twitter you can post 3 times a day or more. Just keep answering the question "What's Happening?" Hyatt suggests. And try to avoid repeatedly telling people to "Buy My Album", "Come to my Show" "Follow Me" etc. you don't want to over-hype yourself, you want your audience to trust you. Twitter is also great for sharing links and trending topics.

Instagram is especially great for sharing "Behind the Scenes" or "Backstage" kinds of material. Instagram loves food and I regularly post my groceries, what vegetarian meal I'm eating and other things to do with food. I also love to post my sneakers, my weed and shots from my recording sessions. But really anything is fair game on IG. Just like everything else, keep it consistent and MAKE SURE YOU HASHTAG! You should have 3-5 hashtags that you always use on every photo that have to do with you and your brand. For example, I use #peterparker513 #plssaythe513 #pp513hustle and #hollywoodblvd. And then add in other relevant tags for your photo or pop culture to get people to see it.
Instagram photo of my dinner last week - notice my hashtags!!


Across the board, follow and friend people that are into the same kinds of stuff that you are, people that could become your fans and would relate to your content as you relate to theirs. Spend time each day liking other peoples photos, posts or tweets. Re-tweet, share and comment. The more you engage the more it will come back to you. Hopefully this a good overview and jump start for your social media adventures. The most important take away is to keep your posting regular and interact with others as much as you can! Oh, and have fun!


Friday, August 12, 2016

What Is Faith In 5 Steps

Matthew 17:20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Jesus Speaking)

This post is a first from me, but it's definitely a step that I feel is in the right direction. I was very reluctant to write this because I am fully aware that the topic of God is a very touchy subject. I'm thankful however to be able to say, that I know God. I thought it was only right that I started with a scripture because I'm not a preacher but the word of God does move in my life, so I do often feel convicted to share some of my perspectives on the words God knew. So what is Faith to you? Ask yourself this question? Now, does the answer you come up with make you feel like you can move mountains and that nothing is impossible? If your answer is no, then your probably just need to add or subtract a few things in your life that will allow God to give you every righteous desire of your heart. I'll just make this easy and painless for the both of us. I'm going to map it all out in five steps.


1. Understand that fear is the killer of all faith. So in order to see ones prayers answered, he or she must start removing all fear from his or her life. Fear is nothing more than inverted faith. Faith in bad things not Faith in God. Simple right?


2. Faith is preparation. Another Bible scripture that I love is "Faith without works is dead." What pops up to me most about this is it's simplicity. A faith without words is dead. You definitely don't have to be a Jesus freak to see that. There is no way anyone can have faith, true faith, in anything if they are not preparing for their desire to manifest. The Bible also tells us that faith is the substance of things we don't see. So if faith is something we can't see, but it's dead with out works, this clearly means that faith is preparation which means, spending time thinking about the things we want to happen, spending time talking about the things we want to happen, and lastly actually doing something to open the way for God to show his face. For example, if its money you want, spend money like God has already made you rich. If its 's perfect health or love you want, find some way to make yourself feel like you have already received. Simple.

To give you a real life example, before I got my car, I used act of faith by spending time at the Mercedes Benz dealership and visualizing myself in my new car. I also bought cleaning supplies and key chains to act as if I already had the car.

3. Choose your words more carefully. Notice in the opening scripture it says "You will say to this mountain..." This clearly means that in order to move that mountain you must speak to it, or talk about it moving. This is also preparations or action or works thus giving your faith life. The Bible often talks about the power of the tongue. I feel this is one of the most important topics in life, period. If you talk about foul shit like being sick or losing your job or having bad luck, then you will. Never talk bad about yourself or others in a negative way, thus the only karma you can get is the good stuff that you send out. Be impeccable with your word. Another of my favorite saying is "Man is to only use his words for three reasons. heal.bless.multiple." Still Simple.


4. Submit to the will of God. Aka stop trying to control everything!! The trick to this is to only ask God for the things he wants you to have. Would you really want something if you knew that God didn't want you it for you? Probably not, or you wouldn't be interested in a post like this in the first place. Ask God and have faith in all the wonderful and great things he has for you let his will be done and your life will instantly change for the better. Anything you force to happen is not God. It's really easy to think it's God when it's just you trying to force you will. Simple.


5. Give thanks for and in everything you do. Simple.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Music Success in 9 Weeks: Week 3 - Website

As I get into week three of Music Success in 9 Weeks, I'm beginning to feel pretty proud of myself as I realize that I not only have already internalized a lot of this information, but have also implemented it successfully. So while my website definitely needs a revamp and possibly a new platform the nuts and bolts of what Ariel Hyatt is talking about are in place.

To break it down. As an artist you need a website to explain who you are, show off your brand and host all the necessary details about shows, merchandise, etc. Your website helps get you fans and make you money.

First you need a domain name. That's the obvious. I use GoDaddy, it's cheap and they have helpful customer service. When it comes to building a site there are lots of options from Bandzoogle to Wix.com or of course you can pay someone to build you a website through wordpress. I personally, have been using my blogger as my fully functional website which has been working well for me so far, but I think I will be switching over to Wix in the near future as they have recently created a specific platform for musicians looking to sell music and merch.


(Here is a screen grab of my new website under construction)

Hyatt then details how to design your website in order to maximize it's effectiveness. Starting with branding your site with your color scheme and logo which match your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, etc. Front and center on your website is your pitch! Along with a Navigation bar including Bio/EPK, Buy Music, Tour Dates, Blog and Contact, plus some kind of FREE special offer for your fans (I'm working on this!) However, if you check out my website (where you're reading this right now) you will see I have all of these elements and by keeping it basic, it loads fast and makes it easy for people to cruise around.

I do have some work to do in this arena but with what I have put together I have given myself and my brand, Peter Parker 513 a good head start. I am already google index so whenever you type in my name into google you see everything you'd ever want to know about me. Stay tuned for my new site!

Monday, August 1, 2016

How Do You Come Up With Good Blog Content?

While this is still something I am perfecting myself, I wanted to share some of my tips on how to create good, engaging content for your blog.

1. Set aside days and the perfect time for you to write your posts. Preferably a time when you feel most creative and also relaxed. For me, that's early in the morning so 6:00am Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

2. Pick a list of 10-15 main topics that you feel will be helpful and entertaining to your readers. For Example, my topics include the music I love, hip-hop culture, fashion and the the swagg life style, social media tips for artist, Life Motivation, Blogging and branding tips for entrepreneurs, Faith spirituality and health, the music business, technology and trending news. 

3. Once you have those main topic categories, what you want to do is come up with as many sub topics as possible let's say 3-5 under each category. For example, if my category is "Music I love" I could have three subtopics 1. Review of the Latest Curren$y mix-tape 2. A spotlight on a fellow artist or musician 3. How Kid Cudi has influenced my style etc. So if you come up with ten main categories and you have five subtopics for each one, that's 50 blog post! More then enough to get you into your blogging zone.

4. Now that you have a bunch of fresh new topics to write about, the next step is to create your own editorial calendar. This just means planning out all the subtopics days in advance. So on Monday you will write about This and That and on Thursday you will write about That and This. Plan as far ahead as you can actually write it out on a real live paper calendar that you see everyday, or put it in your phone calendar with notifications and little blurbs that will inspire your writing. Alternatively, you can also list these topics ahead of time in your actual blogging platform, save them as drafts and then they will be ready to go as you need them. It saves a lot of time and alleviates that feeling of "I don't have anything to write about!!!" 

(This is what my "Drafts" section looks like currently, and this only shows 8 potential posts! I have about 35 titles with varying degrees of text already written in each one! A little bit each day is how you get it done. Don't feel overwhelmed! 

5. Here is a list of blogging styles to choose from. It's nice to be able to switch things up for your readers and give the opportunity to engage in your content. 
    > How to?
    > Top 10
    > Opinion
    > Q &A's
    > Interview
    > Review 

6. Always try to include at least one original photo (meaning one that you took yourself or one that you have rights to use.) 
     
7. Try and help the reader if you can, have fun and be yourself! I love writing and if your thinking about blogging, you do to! It's always easier to write about the things you love so start there!

P.S. One last bonus tip - if you title your Blogs in the form of a question, it is more likely to be picked up in Google. 














Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Music Success in 9 Weeks: Week 2 - The Pitch

The second week of Music Success in 9 Weeks in geared toward creating your "Pitch" or what some might know as your "Elevator Pitch". A short description of who you are, your brand and what you sound like.  When you are a new artist on the scene people need to have a point of reference in order to connect and become a potential fan. The pitch is no longer than 15 seconds and this chapter guides you through how to create one perfect for you.

The first step is to write down all the basic info about you as an artist. All the genres you play, all the artists other people say you sounds like, as well as all of your favorite influences including authors, books, movies, people, and places etc. Finally you write down the energetic vibes you want expressed through your music. From here, you choose the elements of this scratch paper that feel like they fit the most and begin working out a few ideas. I recommend inviting trusted friends to help you, more brains more ideas, more creativity.

My paper read something like this:
Hip-hop, Rap, Soul, Jazz, Positive, Ohio, Hollywood, Spoken word, Cincinnati, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg, Currensy, Tupac, Kid Cudi, Fresh Prince, Lupe Fiasco, Big Daddy Kane, the Simpsons, Basketball, SEGA, Metaphysics, The Game of Life and How To Play It, James Allen, Og Mandino, Florence Scovel Shinn, Robert Greene, Russel Simmons, Master P, Boss Life, Cash Money Records, Mos Def, Ice Cube, Spiderman, New Jack City, He Got Game, 80s Baby, Pacman, Retro Air Jordans, Conversational, lyrical, stoner, nerd, Weed music, blunts.... And the list goes on....

After a couple hours of back and forth, rewriting and marinating, I landed on: Peter Parker 513 is GILE$, a metaphysical Steve Urkel think DMX and Wiz Khalifa.

Once you settle on something make sure you love it. Say it out loud and repeat in the mirror. It has to feel like it is true to you. If you see, hear and read this pitch everywhere will you still love it? When you're sure, the last step is to post it to all of your social media sites and with that you've strengthened your brand as well as made yourself relatable to people watching.


Go With the Flow...

I  make my own hours, I don't have a boss and I make more money than most people who went to school for their profession. On top of that this hustle allows me to create a fan base while pursuing my dream of being a performing artist. But. Believe it or not some days I take it for granted. Some days I wish that I was somewhere else or that I had made different decisions or that I was further along in my music career. Some days it's just depressing. Looking around seeing all the homeless people and drug addicts, seeing all the different types of scams that go on all around me and questioning if I am any different. Am I just a 2 bit hustler?

And on those days there is always someone that reminds me that I'm unique and special they remind me that I'm worth it. This homeless man watched my hustle from across the street and said he was inspired by how I did it and had to come give me his last $10. I told him "Stay positive, the tables always turn, hard times never last long." I have a feeling this guy won't be homeless for long. A few years ago I was in the same spot. I'm happy to have come so far and I'm gaining momentum every day and encounters like this definitely keep me humble.