BeatStars represented at the 2023 South by Southwest Music Conference & Festival (SXSW) with the panel, "The Creator’s Economy - From Beats to Billboard". The panel was moderated by BeatStars Founder and CEO, Abe Batshon, and featured three diverse music producers.
First, 1SRAEL, a multi-platinum music producer from Nigeria, who took home his first GRAMMY for co-writing and co-producing the hit song “Wait For U” by Future, featuring Drake and Tems. Next, KXVI, a 2x GRAMMY-nominated music producer whose work has been featured on tracks by some of the biggest names in music including SZA, Lil Tjay, DJ Khaled, and Gucci Mane. And last but not least, Shima, a multilingual artist currently signed to Universal Music Japan.
The creators discussed a variety of topics from their influences and creative processes, to copyrights and managing their music businesses. On a human level, they all shared pieces of their personal struggles, and the mindset and hustle it took to break through these barriers.
Aspiring artists and entrepreneurs are often curious about the creative process that successful creators undergo. KXVI and Shima offered insight on how to deal with burnout and creative blocks by tapping into one’s community to bounce off ideas, and blocking out time to focus on certain tasks. 1SRAEL offered a more intuitive approach, and emphasized the importance of trusting oneself and going with the flow to create music naturally.
“Consistency” was a prominent topic during the discussion, as all the panelists were in agreement that it’s the key to achieving success. Whether it’s creating music constantly or putting out content, consistency eventually leads to blocking out the noise and seeing results. Because KXVI was persistent with sending record producer TM88 hundreds of loops over the span of a year, he finally landed his first major placement on DJ Khaled’s album God Did with the track “Beautiful” featuring Future and SZA.
“TM88 got one of my ads just randomly. He hit me up, and I got his email. I sent him loops for a year, didn’t hear anything, emailing him everyday, like probably hundreds of loops. Then one day, he just called me while I was at the store saying, ‘Yo, we got one on Khaled’s album’. I was like I hear stuff like that all the time, but then Khaled started really pushing it and I knew the vocals when the track list dropped since it said “Beautiful” over and over again. It was crazy, I couldn’t believe it; it was my first major song and with an artist I really respected and wanted to work with.” - KXVI
Batshon added as well that although consistency seems like a mundane creative and business tactic, it’s a tried and true strategy that sets others apart from the rest.
When navigating the music industry and building their businesses, the panelists had this to share:
Having a team of people who are knowledgeable and capable of navigating the industry, as well as seeing your vision through, is key to surviving and thriving as a creator. Crediting producers was another topic the panelists covered, with 1SRAEL emphasizing the idea that the music industry is just that - a business - and creators need to keep that top of mind in business dealings. KXVI and Shima shared a plethora of insight on building their businesses, as the two have embraced the digital space to promote their work through content creation on social platforms.
All three creators highlighted that because of collaboration, it expanded their creative abilities, helped them reach wider audiences, and allowed them to gain additional opportunities. The takeaway: Collaboration - with the right people - is a rewarding experience, whether it’s collaborating on a track, producing a music video, or handling responsibilities on the business side of things.
As the panelists have proven, collaboration, consistency, community, and creativity in combination with innovative approaches to marketing and business strategies, can make for a fruitful music career.
Watch the recap video of the panel's discussion below for the full experience!