Conventions & Awards

8 Ways To Take On SXSW If They Didn’t Take You

Kosha-dillz-hangin-outIndie rapper Kosha Dillz (@koshadillz) will perform at SXSW on March 13.

SXSW is coming up and everyone is going. Everyone is talking. The Grammy's didn't let you win this year, so now is your big opportunity to make a splash at the largest independent festival in the world. Unfortunately, you are not an accepted artist this year to that either and time is running short with less than 2 weeks left.

Kosha Dillz – Hangin' Out

Here is a step by step guide to hustling up the awesomeness and making a impact.

1. Do a Last Minute Indiegogo to Raise Travel Funds

If you start an Indiegogo campaign, you have time to raise $$ for your cross country tour to SXSW to pursue your dreams. Ask everyone for a buck or two, give them digital merchandise packages and help you trek down.

I recently did a kickstarter and it works. I raised 10 k for my film. It takes over 2 weeks for money to clear. You can get 2k in a week. Trust. Even if you don't have it done by SXSW, you can push it there…which is something I did with my film at Sundance. I say do an Indiegogo because you are guaranteed to get the money you raise no matter what.

2. Awesome Cheap Fliers and Swag

If you print out your own special paper with your band links/ rap links and a cool quote about your life, (for example: hi i'm Verbs and I'm your homie, @verbsisthehomie) you will make a large impact on people with visuals.

Burn your own cds and get ready to hustle them all over the street. Make friends with all the Pizza places and kick it there. Most awesome peeps like Pitchforkers and/or Rollingstoners will come across them at least once. The cooler the design, the more likely you will find a drunk pic on twitter about your awesome sticker, flyer, cd, which will lead to a sobering conversation a week after SXSW, which may lead to some small press round up.

3. Headphones Help

People talk a good game but are you able to prove it? Invest in some good headphones and be able to play music for the guy you carry on a conversation with at the BBQ lines. You might just be talking to the next big agent who is drunk enough to put on some nice headphones, hear good tunes, and give you his business card.

4. Develop Your 30 Second Elevator Pitch

My name is Rami. My stage name: Kosha Dillz. I rap with lots of people. I performed with everyone from Mac Miller to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar. I rap in three languages, have had multiple videos on MTVU and was the first guy to ever rap in Hebrew at the BET Awards this October.

My song was in the #1 Superbowl commercial of the Year w/ Bud Light's WEEGO and was seen over 110,000,000 in the 4th quarter. I recorded the song on a $50 mic in a Loveland, Colorado rest room. I have my Oy Vey Showcase @ Spider House Cafe on March 13th and my official one at Townhouse @ 11pm on march 13.

I am also a public speaker. I speak on my experience as an ex-convict and former drug-addict and how I utilize my past life to inspire youth in a unique way with freestyle rap and story-telling.

People want to be interested in how you can help them and how you are capable of things they didn't think you were capable of when they first judged you.

"TELL ME MORE…" (they will probably re-position themselves like "oh snap this dude is forreeeeal").

5. Passionate Outfits

You will be watched and be under scrutiny by everyone. You might as well dress with something you care about for conversation starters. If your clothing is frat boy, buy a new frat outfit. If you are eccentric, go to a thrift shop and get something new.

I do it every year and I try to represent to the fullest. It makes for good pictures and more.

6. CASH for Opportunity

IF YOU DON'T HAVE A SHOWCASE, there is nothing wrong with throwing your own. Go down a few days early with 500 bucks and rent a place out for an hour or two. Prices will go down and people are looking for extra cash. Even if you can't get a showcase, you can buy someone important a drink. People appreciate the small stuff. I had a rental car and gave someone a ride when they didn't need to use a cab. They happen to own the biggest music site in the world.

7. Open Mind to Help Other People and Support Other Artists

Some of the biggest artists and agents I know go down to SXSW and watch their friends play. What a great level playing field to interview other people and help others, which will in turn get you just as much promotion in the following weeks. Go up to another artist's show, tag pics of them and tweet them out. I bet they will be very grateful, because the fact of playing free shows is not a way to make someone thrilled.

8. A Phone Charger x Battery Pack

I think this might be the most powerful thing you can invest in. A phone charger should be on you at all times. The most important person's phone is dead and you can just give them a phone charger and force them to write about you. 100% this will work. They will feel guilty.

So these are 8 ways to take on SXSW if they didn't take you. You don't need a big publicist. You don't need a big push. you need an open mind, some pocket cash, a set of balls, a good outfit that sticks out, a battery pack/ charger, headphones and some swag to pass out.

You will def see me #hanginout at SXSW at my own showcase and at many others. Watch my latest music video on
AOL Boom Box.

Kosha Dillz is a DIY specialist hip hop Emcee that tours around the world playing shows from 5 people to 5000. His music has appeared in Billboard, Spin, XXL, Source and he frequently writes articles on indie marketing. His doc film "Kosha Dillz is Everywhere: The Hustle to Happiness" recently raised 10 k for its production via Kickstarter, and his song "cellular phone" was in the #1 rated superbowl commercial on USA Today in 2012 in Bud Light's "Here Weego" campaign.



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  1. Very true tips! I am one of those PR/Mgmt people looking to scout out and meet the new up and coming talent. I wait in lines to find the word on the street many times rather than VIP it to the front. It is a great way to connect with the next superstar!!

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