We get the scoop on life on the road, live shows and merchandising.
Tour life is something that each successful artist will have to go through at some point during their career, and it goes above and beyond simply hopping on a bus and hitting cities from state to state. There are numerous factors that go into the planning and execution of a triumphant tour, including the set design and marketing, as well as the performance itself.
In the episode three of our four-part video series with Sprite®, "Thirst For Yours," HNHH's Head of Artists Relations Brandon Barrett linked up with Upscale Vandal, Brittany Sky, MMG's digital marketing director Kasim Peterson and Sprite Way artist Khary to discuss life on the road, live shows and merchandising.
When it comes to performing in front of thousands of people, Brittany Sky admits that she still gets nervous before taking the stage.
"I still get nervous... I feel like the first 15 minutes I'm nervous - and then I'm like, 'I got this,' because I know my audience. After a while I can read the crowd." She adds, "I never play the same set either, so like that's always the hardest part, like gaging the crowd. And once I figure it out... I just like let loose and feed off of their energy."
In terms of touring and dealing with the stress of life on the road, Khary notes two things: 1) you'll learn a lot about the people you're with and 2) you'll learn a lot about yourself - especially during the early stages when the money isn't exactly rolling in. He touched on what life was like living in tight quarters for several weeks at a time, and recalled a story about how his boys took notice when he pulled up in a new t-shirt.
"It was like my birthday or something like that and we stopped by my dad's crib, and he gave me like a little bread for my birthday. I bought a t-shirt, and I had homies questioning me like, 'yo, so if we don't get money for anything why you buying a t-shirt?' Just thinking about each little thing and how it can be calculated when you're compressed with like seven of us for 42 days."
Managing all of those different personalities and finding a balance can be one of the most challenging aspects about touring but Khary notes, "There's gifts and curses of everyone's personalities."
As far as marketing live shows is concerned, Kasim Peterson explained that one of the keys is understanding the difference between your fan base and your consumer base, because they are two separate entities.
"The cool thing about merch, is it really bridges that gap between the two. Often times the brand lasts way more than the music. When people see something tangible, like a t-shirt, we might look at it as like 'alright, that's a dope shirt,' but to the person wearing the shirt it's a whole moment, it's a whole vibe for them. So that's something they'll carry on forever, and that translates into you as an artist."
To that end, Upscale Vandal adds, "Merch doesn't necessarily have to always be apparel based. Merch is any actionable items you can get outside of them purchasing your music or a ticket to a show. I think that in this space that we're in you have to use all of your resources to convey your message to the audience. Merch can be a vehicle, but you have to make sure that it's something that rings true to you."