I was inspired to write this article after a message I received in my inbox from my friend and fellow Hip Hop music artist John Robinson (also known as Lil Sci). He sent me a video of him being interviewed by South African reporter. In the interview he mentioned he gets more support and love from overseas markets than he does at home in the United States. He was not saying the States do not show him any love but what he was saying is the people overseas embrace his music more. At the time of this writing, he was in South Africa performing live shows and promoting his music.
In my own experience, most of my support came from outside of the United States. There were songs that were played on commercial radio stations in countries like Japan for several weeks at a time. Other songs received airplay and sales in Europe and Canada. About half of the music business fans came from overseas.
If you want to stay local and be a hometown favorite that is fine. However you must have a global outlook if you want to have success in the international markets. People overseas do listen to the commercial artists on the radio but you would be surprised by the amount of people who listen to underground Hip Hop.
The 3 main places to market Hip Hop music are Europe, Asia, and Africa.
I like Europe and especially England for on obvious reason: they speak English! This makes communication a lot easier when we both speak the same language. Actually fans all over the world speak English. Its really the music and the culture itself that do the communicating. Your job as a marketer is to find those people who like what you have to offer and give it to them
How do you do find these fans? We are in the Information Age so there are no excuses to why we can not have access to information. The Internet has leveled the playing field between the independent artists and major label artists. The friend I spoke about in the beginning of the article is independent and he has been that way since I have known him.
What is the difference between him and most other independent artist? He has done his market research and he understands he needs to cultivate the international relationships he has built over time. They are the relationships which keep him traveling overseas several times per year.