Adam WarRock: Making It As A Niche DIY Musician

Adam-warrock-middle-nowhereNerdcore might be dead to MC Lars but Adam WarRock still wears the niche label proudly and quite well judging from his recent work. Andrea Leonelli interviewed him in Austin during SXSW and WarRock spends about three quarters of the 17-minute interview discussing his DIY approach to nerdcore which has a lot of relevance to DIY music across genres. Blockbusters may be putting the long tail to shame but there's this lumpy middle tail that's still looking pretty sweet.

Adam WarRock was once described to The Guardian's readers as "the man who raps about Doctor Who." But somehow that doesn't do justice to a man who's managed to turn nerdcore into a fulltime DIY gig for the last 4 years. As he explains:

"We're moving toward a new middle class of creators who have a core audience that will allow them to keep making stuff until they choose not to. And that's more attractive than going with a label, or having a manager and being forced to do things you don't want to do."

SXSW 2014: Adam WarRock on building a fan base online, the Nerdcore community and more

Last month Adam WarRock joined many others at SXSW and performed in an annual nerdcore showcase that included such artists as MC Lars and MC Frontalot.

WarRock also spoke with Andrea Leonelli for Digital Music Trends. Though he gets a bit into music making, WarRock mostly focuses on business in this interview and offers a nice overall look at what he does.

One point that comes up more than once is that he puts out a lot of off-the-cuff music for free. WarRock says he gave his most recent album, "The Middle of Nowhere," (see above thumbnail) a full year of work partly to placate his friends who say he needs to put more time into crafting songs. But normally he quickly makes and releases music for free as an ongoing practice.

This approach is similar to a lot of younger artists raised in the digital age who, to some degree, open up their studio process to their fans and create an ongoing stream of music.

It's a little unclear to me how Adam WarRock can do this fulltime given that EDM artists with somewhat similar approaches can make their money off dj gigs.

But WarRock says he's found a way to build by focusing on a niche of serious fans. For example, he's much less interested in the number of likes and views music videos get than he is in the engagement and processes that lead to the emergence of superfans.

WarRock more than once speaks of working with comic artists who are part of a larger aesthetic and social scene. Such collaborations can deepen a niche beyond music in a variety of ways.

WarRock also namechecked a few DIY music biz tools he uses including Songkick Detour, Bandcamp, Brown Paper Tickets and Square.

Adam WarRock – "B.S.F.X."

Adam WarRock describes himself as a creator of "Overly Enthusiastic Hip Hop." I'll let you be the judge of that.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) posts music crowdfunding news @CrowdfundingM. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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