By indie rapper and marketer extraordinaire Kosha Dillz
The Coachella bug is here and gone. We are already now in the time of the next big thing (I think maybe my 2 shows with Gza in NYC and DC + The Ascap Expo may 2-4) and I wanted to let you know that although I have finally touched down on the most coveted stage...I still do things that keep me humble, which includes busking. I have been busking for 5 years and going to Coachella for 8 before I got a chance to perform on Sunday 4/21 on the Mojave Stage with Subsuelo Crew. Even though I performed at Coachella and racked up 10,000+ views on my performance video. I am back to busking. Recently it came to my knowledge that two people thought I was homeless and some considered it a bad look, while I have also scheduled sessions with Grammy nominated and platinum producers. Let me show you the results of why it works for me. I don't think it'll work for everyone, but every one should try it. Rejection builds character.
1. Busking has been my #1 hidden fortune.
Over the course of 5 years I have made close to an extra 6 figures. I have been seen and watched by everyone from the late ASAP Yams to Jared Leto to Childish Gambino's drummer to WME agents and Red Light managers... aka people who might never have come across me otherwise.
2. Sober songs sing sweeter
It also keeps me from going out and drinking and associating with overly intoxicated people. I have no reason to be in a bar unless I'm playing, so I decided to start playing outside of them. This frees my mind and helps me work on my freestyling. I feel anxious, it is a humongous outlet for me.
3. Watch the social numbers go up one by one
It is an instant way to make fans and followers no matter where you are...15-20 instagram in a two hour performance. All the free content in the world too.
4. We use real people not actors
While rapping outside the Grammys, where my long time producer Jesse Shatkin was nominated, I landed a national Chevrolet commercial that made me $50,000. Lets say I wanted to work in the music industry at an agency for 10 hours day 5 days a week. I'd probably make $35,000 a year as an assistant. I'd made this in the snap to a finger. Now I invite myself to rap outside the Grammys, until they invite me to rap inside.
5. Part of the DIY Dream and Story
I dream of being the guy who is street performing outside the venue and then selling out the show inside. I have done this at the Echo , where I sell vintage records and merch out of Funky Sole. Justin Bieber has done the same thing , and most recently Alec Benjamin. Many people give up their dreams to do the impossible. I vow to never do such a thing.
6. OMG you are on TV show !
I landed myself on a Bravo TV reality show with Patty Miller who was drumming for Ceelo at the time and now Quinn XCII. I also met her street performing on hollywood blvd, and she became my drummer. If I never busked, I would never be on Bravo TV nor would I ever play with Patty who is probably the best drummer I have ever seen in my life.
7. It helps me make new fans and friends in a city (especially overseas)
In places where no one knows me and extra cash when I am on tour. Imagine more people coming to your show because you did the extra job of letting them know. Busking helps this.
8. You never know who can change your life
After my Coachella,show, I met someone who survived a bombing attack in Israel and it became the most meaningful moment of 2019 Coachella. It was like winning the lottery but in a different way.
9. I racked up over 1,000,000+ views in Hollywood +2000 subscribers in my youtube
One day some guys named Roman Atwood, Vitaly, and Kevin Brueck all decided to film me. This created so many relationships for me in the youtube world. The entire crew has over 10 million subscribers combined.
10. Imagine having a public practice space
Anywhere in the world. I practice my rapping songs every day and see what works in a crowd. This is the beauty of it.
11. I actually LOVE IT.
Once I am there, I can literally rap for hours upon hours. Like I said before, I hate hanging around people who drink and talk your ear off of what they do in music industry. I'd rather not tell you. I'd rather show you. This is just me though. Others enjoy looking cool. Sometimes I wanna give a big FU to people who will look down on me, while others enjoy it. It is in my experience that those are most intrigued in my street performances are the most genius artist themselves. And every new year at the Rosebowl, I always seem to land myself great tickets to inside as well.
The next time that you walk by someone who is performing on the street do not judge them. I have multiple felonies , did time, parole, probation delivered pizza, sold cemetery plots door to door and sold drugs. The only other job i had besides being an artist was working at a rehab, and to be honest, I'd rather be sharing my music (although getting people into rehab and helping people is a huge joy.) . Sure if you are an artist without the artist pass, go GA! I want to be on stage at the biggest festivals in the world but being outside of the festival is also just as good, because it is the same people and, it is still a stage! Regardless you never know what can happen After 10 years of going as an observer I finally got invited to perform on the big stage.
If I keep performing outside the Grammys, I truly believe I will be performing one day inside them. And to those who may be concerned about what other people think; those people most likely don't matter, because you will never work with them anyways.
Kosha Dillz is an artist that has collaborated with everyone from Matisyahu to Rza of the Wu Tang Clan. He recently released a new song called Exercise on Spotify. May 2nd and 3rd he plays with GZA on his sold out Liquid swords Tour and he is planning on moving overseas to Israel ASAP ,as being the the number one jewish rapper in Korea town isn't cutting it anymore. Email him genius ideas at email@example.com and follow him on twitter..