The Benefit Of Free Music Residency Performances [Kosha Dillz]

Free-concert-mcdowell-mountIn this piece, rapper and musical entrepreneur Kosha Dillz discussing the value of doing free residency performances in one's own city, and how it can help to grow your fanbase and build your career.


Guest post by Kosha Dillz

image from upload.wikimedia.orgCreating a sold out show is awesome. I see artists who go from rapping behind their computer and screen, to creating an online hit that brings all the milkshakes to the yard. Or boys to the milkshake or whatever. I see when bands come out of nowhere with some hit blogs to premier viral songs but I guess there are always more tricks to getting to that point. Yes. There is actual work that needs to be done. And this work my friends, is work that you only get paid for with nostalgia, inner feeling, and frustration.

Free shows or $5 dollar shows, (like the awesome ones that Goldenvoice and Observatory did with Gza) are a great way to create an environment of what is affordable and for the people. If it is a weekly thing or a monthly thing,  think of it as a art project to activate your forces in one area. When someone makes it free, it is for me!  Check the list out and maybe consider stepping to your favorite place in town and doing a free residency there on an off-night. This night in LA is designated for Monday's and that leads me to my next piece of writing.

My current project, Oy Vey! October, is where I am going to be the resident act at The Satellite. I made a list of 10 reasons of why it is good to do one. Whether you are an artist, a label , or a PR company, it is always a good idea to do it for FREE. Even though that is hard to believe, just trust me and keep on reading!

1.– I never see you play – For acts that are always on tour to make the dollar, coming back to your hometown, or at least Los Angeles, is a great way to build up a month of activation. This whole month you know what you can do on a monday night

2.– A Movement – Press and awesomeness are things that need to happen, and once people see how great you are the first week, they will want to come next week. If they miss you, they want to come the next week because everyone is feeling like they missed out.

3— Responsibility – It is possible to say you have a responsibility to curate your city's night life. Here is the idea to do it. One great way to see an example of transition is Delicious Vinyl into Delicious Vinyl. They get to combine their musical history with food, and any amazing museum always has bomb food at their exhibits. 

4.– Ae4f855bf98cdfc2e4cb21cc2d346607Dating – This is a great way to get a girlfriend or boyfriend or at least have your friends bring out their dates to you.  Free Residencies with eclectic bands and Dj and singers / rappers will  always mak it desirable to attend, especially if there are free pickles. Lets be real guys. Music is lonely sometimes. We need this in our lives and if you don't accept that you might be doing shows alone forever!

5.– Great way to invite sponsors + label peeps – I know people wanna book you whether you admit or not. But the fact that you have an entire month at a venue means one thing. You are committed. People that are committed people will attract those who in it for "long run" relationships. It proves you aren't one of those "one night stand" artists.

6.Community – If you build it they will come  - a guy named vErBs is making the month of LA in Leimert Park outstanding and cheap with Bananas, giving out short sets to tons of people traveling through town and time to make gas money as well. ALso LA is huge so he does it for the locals as well in our big big city. LoW End Theory is also an amazing scene of greatness that builds up its location and vibe to present the artists. How can we do that ? the only way to be in the community is to be off the internet and present. 

7.Promoting a new project – Why you have one release show and blow all your load when you can create a different element of surprise for each of the performances? That is the key my friends. I have na new album that charted on Billboard and it was sold primarily in Middle america and northeast, but why about Los Angeles?  What about whatever city you are in ? The residency is a place to call home and develop a home. SOme of us have never even had this in our real lives. My residency is going to have that feeling, and welcome you in and show you the new project.

8.-Grow from giving – – When you do a free residency, it is really good to show you are doing this all for free. At a certain time and age, doing things for free is giving back, so imagine

9.-Art Project – Every week you are there creating a live element of life for the place you are. IN this case, imagine people who are running a play at a playhouse or musical of some sort. For instance, Lionel Richie is doing a residency at a Casino in Las Vegas.  This is way to build up buzz around anything you may do and forces you to continue to be creative in your appearance , song choice, and performance etiquette. Matisyahu will do a 3 day residency at the City Winery in December. Residencies are considered special. 

10. Being a part of – This is something no therapist can make you feel guys!There is no better feeling then feeling a part of. You came up with an idea. You executed this idea. You all go together for the greater good of getting together and you created something. there is a bond that lasts over that, and it comes with the patrons and buyers and sellers and everyone! Can you grasp that? All I ever wanted to do as a younger kid was to feel part of. Now that I created this residency for myself,  there is this feeling of giving, taking, pushing pulling, creating, digesting, and embracing all tied into one movement. It is called "feeling part of." When you let people "be part of" you also understand the benefit of doing what you are doing for FREE. 

Any other reasons why residencies are special and awesome? Maybe you have some better ideas? Let me know.

Regardless I want you to come there. It is LA. Who knows what could happen? Maybe I'l bring you on stage. MAybe you can become my manager. Maybe you can become my new life coach. Just remember that you can do all of this for free on a monday at the Kosha Dillz residency, and you can't do that anywhere else, because that is where I will be every monday at 11.

Kosha Dillz debuted on 6 different Billboard charts with his album What I do All Day and Pickle. Listen to it here. He also did a Ted Talk this summer .He also toured all summer with Matisyahu and 311 and teaches a rap class at synagogues around the world, and is currently performing for free every monday  at the Satellite in Silverlake LA with Mars and the Massacre.  He sells great merch and also curates his own official SXSW showcase called OY VEY! Email him at rapperfriends at gmail.com for big money opportunities and RSVP for  his residency dates on Oct 17, Oct 24, and Oct 31 . Free pickles at every show!


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