In this Q&A session I had with the multi-talented Las Vegas artist Sean Summerlin, he shares the passion behind his various endeavors and sheds some light on important factors for independent artists to focus on while on the path to pursuing their dreams.
Achickwitbeatz: Who is Sean Summerlin?
Sean Summerlin: I'm a artist, not just a music artist but a person who produces work in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria. I engage in more than one broad spectrum of activities related to creating art. I rap and sing but I also show who I am with my song flyers I design to give my followers a vision about what I'm talking about. I'm a role model to big dreamers. I say that because like many who dream big I came from nothing and had little but still did things people never thought I could. At the age of 21, I was the owner of a magazine called "The Veg Mag"; the producer and host of my own show called, "LVX"; owner of a music studio and a clothing line called "Ego Death". Who Is Sean Summerlin? I'm a believer and a fighter.
Achickwitbeatz: When did you discover that you needed music to be a part of your life?
Sean Summerlin: I don't think I did, My mom worked with many of the big name artist back in the 90s behind the scenes. I always loved music from the first time I remember hearing it, I'll never forget the day I told my mom I wanted to be a singer, I was about 8 years old, singing all the songs on the radio that I can remember, from Michael Jackson, Dru Hill and New Edition, From rappers like 2 Pac, DMX, Nas and Jay Z. Music has always been apart of me, I love it because music is one of the only things on earth that can make you feel good when you're down, the only thing that can take you back to the good old days like a real life time machine. I didn't make the decision to do music, it's always been here in my life and never let me down, I just happen to love it and wanted to share what it did for me with others by making my own music people like myself can relate to.
Achickwitbeatz: What would you say is the best thing about being an independent artist?
Sean Summerlin: One word. "Freewill". I like being able to say and do what I want. Like I said before "I'm a artist". People like me have no limits on what we do and can't deal with being locked in a box or told how far we can take our minds. I like being a free soul.
Achickwitbeatz: What would you say is the biggest challenge for independent artists to overcome?
Sean Summerlin: Themselves! I think that's the biggest challenge for most independent artists, sometimes we can get in our own way with having doubt. Be you and love your art. Like minded people will follow what you do and support you.
Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills that would place an artist on your top 10 list?
Sean Summerlin: Uniqueness. There's nothing like a artist who has their own sound.
Creativity. I love when I hear something that I wish I thought of myself, like when R. Kelly came out with "Sex Weed" or how Mario came out with that song "Nikes Fresh Out the Box" it's dope when you take something and change the meaning up like that.
Persistence. I love it when the music never stops, when you can tell the artist loves what their doing by how much they're putting out.
Delivery. Its something about how you choose to say your words, I love metaphors and punch lines.
Staying real. This should of been the first thing I said, when a artist is keeping it real about whatever he or she is saying is the best. Most of the time it's very easy to see who's a honest artist. I respect that.
Achickwitbeatz: Conversely, what are 5 attributes that would place an artist at the very bottom of your list?
Sean Summerlin: Attitude- There's a difference between being confident in an art and being cocky. Staying humble in the industry carries a lot of weight and can carry an artist further
Failure to adapt- The industry is ever changing. Therefore, the artist has to be open to change with it.
Refusal to work with different producers- Every producer brings a different vibe and flavor to an artist. Every artist should at least "try" to work with different people to get a different vibe on what the public wants; different styles, different flavors.
Lack of Creativity/Originality- Even if an artist collaborates with others, they should make a reasonable attempt to create their own lyrics and vibe from their own experiences. No one can touch on life experiences and deliver it better than when the story is told by the artist.
Lack of Knowledge- Failure to learn the industry and how to correctly protect your work by copyrighting them correctly through the Library of Congress. Failure to be a member of a songwriting agency and registering an artist's works correctly.
Achickwitbeatz: What's next on the horizon for Sean Summerlin?
Sean Summerlin: Nothing at all.... Just playing, I'm working on my first all rap mixtape and also thinking about putting back together my LVX show. I have new music videos coming soon and planing on setting up my first fashion show for my line Ego Death.
Achickwitbeatz: How can people connect with you and stay current with what you have in the works?
Sean Summerlin: You can follow what I'm up to on Facebook. www.Facebook.com/SeanSummerlinFanPage or my like Page www.Facebook.com/SeanSummerlinMusic. Also I'm on Twitter @SeanSummerlin_ and on IG @SeanSummerlin
I'm also all over YouTube just look up my name "Sean Summerlin"
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