If you can play the guitar and sing a tune, you can pretty much gig any city or town. Local bands get opportunities to hone their skills in front of club and restaurant audiences. Nowadays, Hip-Hop music has never been more popular and mainstream. So why is it so hard as an aspiring hiphop artist to land a paid gig.
It seems like if you rap, you are left with “open mics”. Oh, and then there is practice of PAYING to perform (or selling their tickets) . Having a club pay you to perform as an emerging artist is a tough nut to crack.
Last year, as an independent artist from Las Vegas, Jesto dropped two singles. We released a pair of music videos and garnered over 200K streams on Spotify. His song even won a contest on the local radio station, beating out 10 local performers.
Unless you are charting on Billboard or got some crazy buzz (like local radio or millions of followers), it’s probably a fool’s errand trying to convince club and bar owners that you can actually draw a crowd. These people are about the business of selling alcohol and they want their establishment at full capacity.
So we decided to partner with other local Vegas artists and created a lineup of FIVE artists. We leveraged our five acts working together to get a crowd for one night.
We then titled our event “Groove and Soul”, a night of RnB & HipHop. $15-$20 tickets. Not very expensive.
We pitched the idea to local clubs. Fortunately for us, the Bunkhouse Saloon, a downtown club with a history of supporting local music, gave us a shot. Having multiple acts was the huge determining factor.
It’s a ton of extra work and responsibility. It’s not fair. But this is “Da Grind”. And I’m telling you… you can get paid gigs as a local hip-hop artist.