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September 5, 2013 at 5:21pm

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What are you watching today ? (the doc post)


 I recently been deeply interested by documentaries. I guess i like to think of them as a punk version of hollywood. At a time where people want stories that question the nature of reality conveyed by mainstream medias, documentary releases (both theatrically and digitally) seemed to be booming.   Here are some of my fav doc. What are yours ? 



Wild parrots from telegraph hills


The interrupters



Paris is burning



Endless summer


The queen of versaille


Serving Life


Planet rock

The cove


Man on a wire


Tiny houses


California dreaming


Good hair


Hoop dreams






June 13, 2013 at 6:25pm

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Back to work, Back to Basics

-Work on one thing at a time until finished.
-Don’t be nervous. Work Calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
-Work according to program and not according to mood. Stop at appointed time !
-When you can’t create you can work
-Cement a little everyday rather than add fertilizers.
-Keep human! See people, go places.
-Concentrate, narrow down, exclude.
-Work first and always. other comes later.

Inspired by “Henry Miller on Writing”

March 19, 2013 at 4:39pm

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The art covers of Jose Bezerra Da Silva

He as been cited as a role model by such artists as Chico Science, Seu Jorge, Racionais MCS. 


Before brazilian hip hop and funk, Da silva was one of the earliest artists to   sing about the day to day issues of survival in the “Communidades” 


He also proposed a collective approach to recording new songs by perfoming the work of over more than 100 composers. He saw himself as an ambassador of the Favelas.


The lyrics of his songs were quote in prison rebellion but his music never got airplays. he went on develloping an alternative “marketing” strategy and perfomed at shows in poor neighborhood often sponsored by local traffickers.


The Malindro represented a nuanced criminality characterized by con men, pimps, street fighters, sambistas, and bohemians.


Bezerra’s music openly adressed corruption and drug dealing.


In the 80’s Bezerra started to radically questions the links between the social chaos of the favelas and political representation.



September 12, 2012 at 11:28am

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August 26, 2012 at 2:28pm

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Some good points right there : We The Tiny House People (Documentary): Small Homes, Tiny Flats & Wee Shelters (by kirstendirksen)

August 25, 2012 at 9:41am

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Just made a quick edit from new baile funk tracks. Free DL.

June 25, 2012 at 1:10pm

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A cool doc on the African and Caribbean music scene in Paris, Circa late 80s.

June 11, 2012 at 7:10am

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Top 5 most hectic moment at Fat Beats (Archive Dec 1010)

Top 5 most hectic moments at Fat Beats Distribution

A chat with Amir Abdullah

Amir of Fat Beats

2 weeks ago , I had the pleasure of having great Brazilian food with my good friend Amir. Beside the fact that Amir is known as half of DJ team Kon & Amir, he has also had a pivotal A&R and Distribution role in the growth of names like Rawkus, Stones Throw, Big L, D.I.T.C, A-Trak, Common, J Dilla, and Pete Rock.

After few caipirinhas (a fantastic Brazilian cocktail), we started to reminisce over some good old school memories in Indie Hip Hop, Fat Beats and the state of vinyl distribution.

Fat beats distribution was THE PLACE and crazy stories were poppin while drinking. I felt, man, you’ve got to write down your top 5 most hectic moments as Head of A&R during this golden era. And here we go a 5 long and detailed stories that had been heard, rumored but never really documented. Ain’t no business like rap business !

Watch out for 180 Proof Entertainment, his new label with some several exciting projects in the pipeline.


gunBack in early 2001, when we (Fat Beats Distribution) moved to the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, we had probably the most hectic situation ever happen to us.

Now we had moved into a 13,000 square foot warehouse in the middle of nowhere Brooklyn. Furthermore, there was maybe one other “business” in the building. We were on the 7th floor where the elevator would “work” sometimes. In addition, our offices were not completely built yet so we all worked in a common area close to the back of the warehouse.

So one day either in March or April, the warehouse guys get a buzz from downstairs that UPS is dropping off packages as they usually do. The guys take a peek out the window and tell the UPS guys to come upstairs in the elevator. Now remember I said the elevator would “work” sometimes. Well, this happen to be one of those times that it didn’t so the UPS guys had to troop it upstairs. All of sudden ten minutes later we hear in the back of the warehouse all of this noise and yelling; I just didn’t pay it any attention. I was on the phone with maybe an artist or label; regardless, I was not concerned at all. However, less than 30 seconds later I see a guy walking towards me with a 9mm gun. I thought I was seeing things and I still didn’t pay it any attention until the guy got closer. The next thing I know he is yelling at me “put down the phone this is a REAL gun and I WILL shot you!” Needless to say, I put down the phone. I started to see many guys with assault rifles and 9mm appearing out nowhere. I am buggin out cause I am like who in the world is after us?? Like Joe (the owner) who didn’t you pay?? By the way, these guys never once announced who they were!

They had all of us against the wall and we could not talk. In the meantime, they pull aside Joe the owner and asked him mad questions, none of which we could hear. We are SUPER pissed cause we are thinking he has got us all killed. After about ten minutes some of the armed men come over to me and ask me to follow them. This is where I am shittin bricks! I am thinking I am going to die. However, they take me over to the mix tape section in the warehouse and pull out one of DJ Spinbad’s mixes. They are like did you order this and why are you selling product that contains unlicensed music! Man, my mouth dropped to the ground because I am like all of these guns and bullshit for Spinbad’s mix tape????? Indeed, they were there because we had sold Spinbad’s mix tape too well. Apparently, one of our retail accounts in Canada ordered it and was caught during a raid in Toronto. They quickly told the Canadian authorities that they got it from Fat Beats.

After some brief discussion about paying a fine, I finally asked why did ya’ll storm up here with guns blazing! The lead guy was “like look at this piece of shit building…it looks like ya’ll could have been running drugs or distributing child porn up here!! We had to be ready for any thing.” Thankfully, we could all laugh after the fact. However, that was the most hectic moment at Fat Beats to this day for sure!!!


The second most hectic moment at Fat Beats was back in January 2002. I used to stay late a lot of times at Fat Beats and I would be one of the last to leave.

So this night there were a few of us still hanging around after hours. So around 7 or 8 pm I hear the doorbell ring and I go to the front of the warehouse to answer it. Now I did think it was strange, but I didn’t pay it any attention. I answered the door and it’s my dude Jerry from Hydra Recordings with three REALLY big guys behind him. I am thinking that’s REALLY odd! I say what up and he ask for one of my colleagues. I say wait here a sec and I will grab him. So I go get my colleague. I say hey man Jerry’s here to see you. My colleague immediately says ” ahhh man he must be here to kick my ass!” I am like wtf!?! Why is he here to kick your ass???? My colleague goes “I told him to go fuck himself!” My mouth dropped cause Jerry is NOT a person you wanna fuck with at all.

Anyway, we all accompany him down to see Jerry. Immediately, Jerry was like “say that shit to my face.” I see the dudes behind him with their hands in the coat pockets and I am like ahhh man it’s about to be on. I say to Jerry let’s go into the conference room and discuss this like gentlemen. He just was not having it and starting yelling at my colleague. My colleague tried to stand his ground but you could tell from the cracking in his voice that he was shook like the rest of us. Then to make matters worse a bunch of the warehouse guys come busting in the room trying to act brave. Dudes that were with Jerry were pulling out shit and I stepped all the waaay back out the room. Finally, my colleague had sense enough to pipe down and chill. That’s when things chilled and after a few farewell fuck you’s Jerry left. I will never forget this night.  I remember telling my colleague you need to chill with that tough shit cause it WILL get you killed!


The third most hectic moment at Fat Beats was when one of the artists that we regularly dealt with came by to pick up a check for product sold.

Now this whole time I am in my office doing what I do. However, I get a call from a colleague panicking that he was kinda scared for his life. Immediately, I am like what’s up??? He says that so & so artist came by to pick up a check. However, Joe the owner wrote the wrong amount. So when he handed the check to the artist he got upset quickly. When I say  the word upset I am putting it waay mildly! He said the artist was like “where the fuck is my money.” The guy keeps sayin it, but with the most I will kill you look he had ever seen. My colleague offered to go have the check recut with the right amount, but the artist all of sudden calmed down and just asked that he receive his money next week. The artist just left without making anymore noise. Now this artist is DEFINITELY DEFINITELY not someone you wanna fuck with it. I don’t care who you are down with or who you are.

Right after this, my colleague called me to say can you call blah blah cause I wanna if he is cool. I am thinking what did you do now??? He thought he was going to die there and he was afraid to leave the office cause he thought dude was waiting for him outside. So I called the artist and asked what just happened. He was like your man at Fat Beats almost caught it today and that I was to make sure shit is straight the next time he comes for check. Whew, I am like sure thing brother. Afterwards, I vouched for my colleague and tried to clear him of any potential deadly situation.


Another hectic situation at Fat Beats was when there was a war between Rawkus and Fat Beats. This war began in middle of 99′ and lasted until early 2000.

Now this is a long story so I will try to shorten it. Back in mid 99′, Joe and I decided we needed financial capital in order to expand. We were starting to have competition i.e., Landspeed, Buds,Caroline Distribution, etc. They were all able to give away more $ to artists for P&D deals. Especially, on 12″. So Joe whom had a relationship with Steve Rifkind the owner of Loud whom had reached out to him about a possible partnership. We had several meetings with Steve and all his financial guys. I am mean we were genuinely interested in partnering with a great brand as Loud.

Somehow Brian and Jarrett at Rawkus (the two heads) found out we were having meetings with Loud. They called us to have a meeting. I should also mention that from 1997-2000, we were Rawkus’s exclusive worldwide vinyl distributor. When Brian and Jarret came to meet with us they in not so many words explained that if we were to ever think about partnering with Loud that they would pull from us. Furthermore, they heavily suggested that we let Rawkus buy Fat Beats instead. Now at the time we selling thousands of copies of Rawkus 12″ and LPs. In fact, just to give you some insight of how much. We sold 30,000 copies of Common-1999 12″ in one day! We were moving numbers on vinyl that no one today would even imagine. Needless to say, we made a lot of money from Rawkus. If they pulled then we would be seriously hurt.

After the meeting, Joe and I were understandably shook! We had to decide whether to blow off Loud or Rawkus. If we blow off Loud we could potentially ruin a great relationship and financial opportunity. However, we blow off Rawkus we immediately risk the future of our business by losing our number one vendor. Decision decisions! We decided at the end to go with neither. The decision to pass on Loud was made a little easier for us because we had started to hear rumors that they were not doing too well. The decision to not go with Rawkus was based on our mutual distaste for Brian and Jarrett at the time. We both felt that they were arrogant and that they would be hard to deal with.

When we decided to say no to Rawkus that is when they started the War. First, they started making up fake invoices of stuff that they said we owed them and refused to pay. Total bullshit! Once I and our account shut that down then they went after DJ Eclipse the manager of the Fat Beats NYC store. They tried to lure him away from Fat Beats with a promise of lots of money and a brand new car. That didn’t work so then they came after me. They called me in for a meeting about the possibility of me running the distribution for them. Man, they offered me the world and I have to say I was totally interested. However, as I was leaving the meeting, Jarrett says to me “And oh, Amir if you see any woman here and I mean ANY woman here you like…you can have her straight up!!” Up until that point I was ready to consider leaving Fat Beats, but when they said that I was like nahhhh. I mean I felt insulted like I was a typical black man they were used to dealing with. I am sorry not the kid!

So after those attempts didn’t work they called the next week to say they were pulling from Fat Beats. That’s when the most financial hectic situation began for us. By the way, they did it after we had already pre sold the first Jurassic 5album for them. I remember sitting there like what are we (really me) going to do. At that point, I was basically holding down Fat Beats Distribution so people were looking to me for answers on what do we do next. What I did is that I called PB Wolf because I knew he was moving from San Jose to LA. In addition, I knew he was unhappy with Nu Gruv Alliance and was looking for a new home. So I flew to LA and invited him to dinner. I made my case of why he should go with Fat Beats exclusive worldwide for all his vinyl releases and a month later we had our next Rawkus!


Back in 1999, I was the first one to give Frank and Dank a P& D deal. I have to admit that I was introduced to J Dilla by character named Ramos.

Now if anyone has been in the music industry for a long enough you know whom I am talking about. Anyway, Ramos came to me with two records featuring Frank and Dank with Jay on the beats. I was definitely like yes! Before the deal was signed, I asked Ramos to bring by Jay so that I could meet him. I mean I was a fan too you know! Plus, both these 12″ were going to be on Jay’s new label McNasty, and I wanted him to be there to say it is ok to pay Ramos the advance money. He agreed and Jay made it know that I should pay Ramos whom would be running McNasty. By the way, I was offered “Fuck Da Police,” but Joe the owner didn’t wanna pay for another 12″ no matter how dope it was. I still am to this day fucking pissed!!!

Anyway, the two Frank and Dank 12″ did ok sales wise. They didn’t blow the world away, but I also didn’t lose a ton of money. However, a year later when we had moved to Brooklyn I had got a call from Frank and Dank. These dudes start yelling about how we never paid the advance and that they were coming to kill me. Now I had had plenty of death threats at Fat Beats before so I wasn’t backing down. I was like “word my address is 50 Bridge Street blah blah.” I later faxed them the cashed check that we wrote Ramos as proof that he had received the money.

So about two years later, I am at the Knitting Factory with my new girl and we are just chilling upstairs. All of sudden this guy that I worked with says to me, “I got someone I want you to meet.” i am like word. I go back in the artist chill room and I immediately run into Frank and Dank! Now I also had a Heineken bottle in my hand and I remember saying to myself “I will at least crack one of them over the head before I catch it.” However, to my surprise they both were like man we just want to apologize for all that was said. They had found out Ramos had robbed them of the money. They also wanted to do more projects with me at Fat Beats. That was DEFINITELY a big whew moment!


June 4, 2012 at 7:10am

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Brazil trip Mixtape Vol 1

Brazil trip Mixtape Vol 1  by Olivier Rosset on Mixcloud

I recently made a music trip to Brazil. Bought some good vinyls too. Here are some classics and rarities from pretty much all over the country.

June 3, 2012 at 2:44pm

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10 great shaped picture disc singles (Archive Feb 2010)

10 great Shaped picture disc singles

21 February 2010, 23.34 | Posted in artcool stuffmusic | 1 comment »

Shaped picture disc singles first appeared in US record stores in the early 1980’s, usually in limited quantity. The trend was then pushed particularly hard by UK record company branches in the mid-1980s.  Cant wait for a great connected device version of those collectibles.

more on Unusual types of gramophone here.


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A brilliant chat with DJ Mehdi on Mixtapes, music promotion … (Archive Dec 09)

Archiving some old blog posts/Interviews/Mixtapes … that i did. RIP My Brother.

BBB: Behind the scene release

13 December 2009, 03.53 | Posted in Marketingmusic | No comments »

“Few weeks ago, while eating italian food in a swiss restaurant, Dj mehdi told me about his idea to releasean unofficial remix mixtape right before the release of the official oneon Edbanger/Because music

The idea was to release all the remixes that didn’t make the cut. (copyright and  clearances issues reasons mainly)
Few days later the mixtape got leaked and the stats are now impressives :

30 K downloads zip format albums / 20 K indivuduals tracks download / 70 K qualified plays (more than 30 sec) from more than 60 countries…

Targeting this kind of audience would had cost almost 25 K Euros 10 years ago Vs. close to zero today. Here’s a little “BBB behind the scene release” Itw with Mehdi:

Why was it important to start the original leak from your own website ?

Well, first I have to say that I was so disappointed by the fact that some labels (majors for the most part) wouldn’t let me use the tracks they asked me to remix in the first place, I had to find a way to convey them all to the wider audience possible.

A ‘Black Mixtape’ (as there are ‘Black Albums’) of all the songs I wasn’t able to use seemed a good option. I also saw this as a good promo idea for a record which we had almost zero money to spend on marketing for. Then, I realized that if you piled up all my Myspace friends,Ed Banger followers on Twitter, fans on Facebook, plus subscribers to the the Ed Banger newsletter, you had a much bigger number than copies we were actually expecting to sell of this compilation. To this number, I guess you have to add all the blogs and personal pages that posted the info and/or download link to the mixtape, whom we encouraged a lot.

It was like a ‘50 Cent reverse plan’: we deliberately wanted the record to leak the most possible, in order to provoke the most awareness.

Back to the production of this mixtape now, do you have an approx idea for total cost of the production and distribution ?

There is no easy answer to this question: all the music was already produced, and production costs were supported by the original labels.

I mixed the mixtape in my own studio, using a Pioneer CDJ 1000 and Logic Audio on my Mac laptop, so that was virtually free. And there was no proper ‘mastering’, except for the one I did using my own plug-ins. I guess the mixing/compiling/mastering were close to zero money. Only time consumed.

Ed Banger’s art director, So-Me, draw the cover, which was actually a derivative from the official record cover. It was probably the only new cost affected to the release, because the hosting and downloading links had been offered by Fairtilizer, again, for free, as was the promotion spreading of all the social platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Myspace mainly.

You been in the music production business for more than 15 years. 10 years ago what would had been way to make a mixtape release ?

The means of home-studio production were already in place 10 years ago. But the ability to spread the word AND the music all in one move was simply impossible.

You’d have to organize the manufacturing of the CD, first, then to raise awareness about it, using regular promo outlets like press ads, or radio appearances (which were rather sparse for a mixtape release), and last but not least, take the CD’s to the audience, whether it was distributing it “the old fashioned way”, in record stores or via mail distribution, or just plain have street teams giving it away in concerts or main squares.

Now multiply that to the number of countries you’re trying to reach and you get a decent budget you’d might rather save for your kids education, or for a good bag of weed.

Production costs ? About 3000 Euros.

Manufacturing cost ? 3 to 5000 Euros, depending on the numbers.

Promo agency and shipping fees ? For, say, 5 markets (France, UK, Germany, USA andBenelux), 10000 Euros. For Japan, even more.

I am hearing more and more artists asking bloggers and music media to not rehost their music so they can keep up with the stats. Do you feel it is a fair request ?

No, I don’t think so. It’s 2010, trying to block kids from blogging your music seems counter-productive to me. The more I get blogged, the best it is. If you want to keep up with your stats, you better find a way to host your music from one single place on the internet, a place opened enough for bloggers to be able to use it on their own platforms.

You have some buzz in an emerging country but no way to monetize it, would you give away your music for free ?

Me? Of course. My record label? I’m not sure, and I would respect that.

How do you feel about the constant growth of remixes ?

Remix is the new demo, go, have fun, knock yourself out.

We heard you had download issues with the Uffie remix. do you think that shorter copyright would stimulate creativity ? compulsive licences ?

I used a sample that couldn’t be cleared, so Ed Banger had to retain the remix from being out there. It was sad, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It didn’t killed my creativity at all, because I leaked it myself 2 weeks after the official release anyway.

Internet seems to shorten attentions, do you feel that today an artist should release materials more often than 5 years ago ?

Back in the sixties, The Beatles used to release two albums a year. Sorry, they used to release two CLASSIC albums EVERY year.

What about the future of the music object ? 
Who knows, really?



May 31, 2012 at 3:51pm

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You can’t collect MP3s (October 2009 Archive)

Archiving some old blog posts/Interviews/Mixtapes … that i did.

You can’t collect MP3s

26 October 2009, 17.32 | Posted in Marketingartcool stuffinternetmusic | 1 comment »

I often been asked what is the problem with the music industry. There is a lot of factors but the key point is the fact that it is not a music industry crisis but a support crisis. Why should i pay for a format that i dont like ? The only music that i am still buying is Vinyl.

Interesting to know also that artists never had a bigger part of the pie when CD and digital formats took over the Vinyl.

Manufacturing cost for a vinyl is around 4 to 8 $. In comparaison the CD has a manufacturing cost of 0.4 to 0.8 cents and digital files aprox 0 … let you do the math …

Vinyl is an object of desire, it is non dublicable and a perfect collectible object. It is so far the best way to consume artwork around a music object

In 1996 i started a vinyl distribution company called Chronowax. This company was selling close to a million vinyl per year. I remember when Chronowax did for example campain reissues for Dej Jam and sold more than half a million LPs …

Back then the promotion and viral aspect of the vinyl was key to enter the club scene and the dj’s playlists. Digital happened to be way more effective and a less expensive way of promoting music.

But vinyl is still the best music object we had so far.

Selling picture discs and sexy connected devices seems to have a more bright future than selling CD’s and Music files 


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What can the future do for you? (September 2009 Archive)

What can the future do for you?

23 September 2009, 13.34 | Posted in Mobileartcool stuffinternetmusic | No comments »

What can the future do for you? Just came back from one great week in Korea. Main reason for my trip was the Lift Asia Conference which happened on Jeju Island. The conference explored how entertainment technologies are now reaching far beyond simple leisure, offering solutions to fields like education, health or entertainment.

We definitly have to look up for those oriental markets when it comes to understand the near future of our own markets. As china is already in a post piracy mode, we can discover great ways to publish and monetize cultural contents totaly out of the loop of the old media industry  models.

Nice presentation from Bernie Cho explaining the Korean music ecosytem. Itunes is almost M.I.A. Main digital music players are CyworldMelon and bugs. Both LG and Samsung are about to operate they own digital stores before “allowing” Apple to launch their own local operation. Keep in mind that Itunes would mean Iphones sales and therefore free wifi access to tons of servicesin a pretty much closed market …

For the record, Bernie is also manager of Tablo who has an awesome new album out now.

Crazy sashimi

Big shout out at Asiance team (Olivier, Marie, Bosun) Fred @ mixin,Didier @ alpict, The great Ms J, Laurent Haug and Lift team, Benjamin Jeffe, Gold Dragon …


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CD era might be over but music will never be … digital only … (September 2009 Archive)

Archiving some old blog posts/Interviews/Mixtapes … that i did.

Modern music marketing is about the artist-fan relationship

28 September 2009, 19.14 | Posted in CopyrightMarketingartcinemacool stuffinternetmusic | No comments »

Modern music marketing is about the artist-fan relationship

In the mid 90’s i had been lucky to be involved with some major rap band releases. 

As radios were very slow to react, we use to manufacture few hundred thousands of promo CDs, stickers etc for street marketing campaigns. Means that we used to pay almost half a million dollar to be able to give away music, just to get our new band heard by the kids …. 

Things done changed, new digital ecosystem is offering services for free that used to be so expensive …

Make sure you are getting the best out of it:

- Get out the traditional album marketing path. Release yourself, Release more music than a traditional label can handle. Remember the mixtape era ?

- Give away music for free, donations, feedbacks, email addresses …Download is the new radio !

- Host your music in one single place and publish it across the internet. Tracking streams and download is the new soundscan.

Release Objects, Clothes, art, picture discs, books, connected devices, handcraft records… whatever will match your brand and please your fans. CD era might be over but music will never be … digital only …

May 30, 2012 at 6:54pm

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5 Tips To Not Look Like A Starving Artist (July 2009 Archive)

5 Tips To Not Look Like A Starving Artist

19 July 2009, 02.44 | Posted in Marketingartinternetmusic | No comments »

5 tips to not look like a starving artist :

1-Dont spam comments and message boards asking to check ur music

2-Dont spam comments and message boards with Autoplay players

3-Find out who might be interested by your music, create your own network

4- Be interesting, dont be too pushy

5-And first of all, be creative & radical, dont be another copycat. Internet is killing the formated artists in case you dont know.