Flickr:  Sarith C

Flickr:  Sarith C

Have you ever wanted to know what fans of the art gravitate to? I started the weekly Conversations & Quotables series in February of this year for the purpose of creating dialogue about the industry through sharing experiences, perceptions, and knowledge that has been received along the path. So far there have been 26 Q&As and since this is the halfway mark for the year, I thought this would be a great time to look at what the featured artists have shared about what they love about the artists they enjoy.  Are there any attributes you would like to add? Please drop your thoughts in the comments section below.

 Anagram, Independent Artist

Anagram, Independent Artist

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills an artist should have to make your top 10 list?Anagram: Originality, creativity, solid technique, passion & above all just make good music.


 DaForce, Independent Artist

DaForce, Independent Artist

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills an artist should have to make your top 10 list?
Daforce:
This is just my opinion, I think he or she should have some kind of personality. Secondly, they have to be able to adapt to almost any work condition that may arise in the studio or on the road or even with the politics of the business. Third, communicate well with fans and build that link of understanding. Fourth be nice and truthful with that delivery and lastly, be fearless. I think when a rapper/musician, etc. has these attributes they have greatness and we know who these people are.  Whether we feel them or not, their message was successfully delivered and understood, and these are the ones people tend to love.

 Kamaria Tilley, Independent Artist

Kamaria Tilley, Independent Artist

Achickwitbeatz: What are five qualities/skills you admire about the performers who inspire you?
Kamaria: Work ethic , style , the way the artist knows how to get the crowd to participate , how an artist sings from their heart with passion in a way you can feel every note, and the motivation from an artist.

 Valid, Independent Artist

Valid, Independent Artist

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills an artist should have to make your top 10 list?
Valid: 1. Charisma- This is the IT factor that cant be taught or gained with practice. You just have to have that appealing factor that makes you so compelling that people already gave you their attention before you even start performing or even demanded it. It is just your aura. This goes for any one- MCs, dancers, DJ's, comedians, actors, pro-wrestlers, it's just in the way you move, talk, operate that attracts people towards you. You can't turn it on/off, it's just you.
2. Originality- This is the hardest one because there is nothing new under the sun. Any idea you've got has already popped into 1,000 other people's head. But you can do it in a way it's never been done before and put your twist on it. So whether it be flow, content or whatever, it has to be fresh as hell the way the certain individual does it, that it's forever known as their style.
3. Complexity - Show me that you have to be a truly special person to be able to do what you do because it is not simple. Whether you have just a God given talent that makes it easy for you, or you practiced your ass off day in and day out to be as good as you are, show me that not any average person can not do what you do by the fine detail in your art and doing something that has a very high level of difficulty.
4. Simplicity- Making all the stuff I said on number three look easy. Doing the most difficult of task, but doing it with ease and style. Spitting the most complex rhymes without being over the listener's head.
5. Lyrics- I know this is very broad and subjective, but say some witty clever intelligent sh*t that was so well articulated it makes me spazz out and make me wild out.

 Dave Gutter, Independent Artist

Dave Gutter, Independent Artist

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills an artist should have to make your top 10 list?Dave Gutter: 1.  Rap Skillz
                       2. Album Structure
                       3. Consistency across your catalog.
                       4. Relatability
                       5. Being cooler than me, and that's not easy.

 Get Bucc, DJ

Get Bucc, DJ


Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills an artist should have to make your top 10 list?
Get Bucc:
1. Rap about something your listeners want to hear- everything don't have to be about guns, killing, hoes and all.
2. Have a radio edit verse. I get artists who always give me tracks that's not radio edited.
3. Feel the music. Rap with the beat of the track- don't just put anything down.
4. Give me something that will rock the crowd.  I need anything I know once it comes on, my crowd is wildin' out!
5. Be different, but not too different.  Stand out to the point that the listeners will be like "yo that's _______(artist name)"


 Praverb, Independent Artist, Blogger

Praverb, Independent Artist, Blogger

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills an artist should have to be listed in your top 10?
Praverb: Personality
               Creativity
               Interpersonal Skills
               Stage Presence
               Ability to Learn

Achickwitbeatz: What do you look for in a song when deciding what to put into rotation?
DJ Niko: When I listen to a song the main thing I look for is to see if it makes me move- I.e a head nod, a foot stomp, anything.  That's the main thing I want to do as a DJ is make people move.  I also look at other things such a BPM, the mood of the song, the flow of the song... hit/club records normally jump out at you and scream "PLAY ME NOW!"

 Brian Felsen, Former President of CD Baby, Independent Artist

Brian Felsen, Former President of CD Baby, Independent Artist

Achickwitbeatz: What would you say are the most important characteristics an independent artist should possess in order to be successful?
Brian Felsen: A natural talent and inclination toward a specific medium is the single most important skill an artist can have. That, plus tenacity. Of course, in the modern era, entrepreneurship and self-promotion can't hurt, but I'm less interested in art-as-business than art-as-art. If you can monetize it and find an audience, great; but if not, as long as you can feed your family from other income sources, and if you don't stop making art, you're (in the words of Charlie Sheen) "winning."

 DaZoo, Independent Artists

DaZoo, Independent Artists

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 skills/attributes an artist should have to make your top 10 list?
DaZoo:

Honesty – the ability to convey truth in your music and be truthful in your relationships
Integrity – the capacity to stay true to the ideas behind your music and why you created it
Fearlessness – the ability to step outside of your comfort zone and experiment with your art
Creativity – the talent to be able to come up with new ideas and concepts or ways to express old ideas in a new way
Passion – the unwavering desire to create and work towards completing a project or reaching a goal through trials and tribulations

 Masud Merch Music, Independent Record Label Executive

Masud Merch Music, Independent Record Label Executive

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 skills/attributes that would put an artist in your top 10 list?
Masud Merch Music: Rhymestyle, personality, voice, style of dress, business sense.

 Fusion, Independent Artist

Fusion, Independent Artist

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills that would put an artist in your top 10 list?
Fusion: Delivery, lyrics, style, creativity, tone....in no particular order

 Awthentik, Independent Artist, Recording Engineer

Awthentik, Independent Artist, Recording Engineer

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills an artist should have to make your top 10 list?Awthentik: Foremost, I am impressed by lyrical skill. I'm from an era of hip hop where that was and still is important. Second would have to be wordplay. You know, not just rhyming one word with word, but actually rhyming with 3 and 4 words at a time within a couple of bars. Third, originality. Fourth would probably be presence. If you want to be heard you have to sound convincing. Really bothers me hearing a rapper who sounds like he is reading. And last, a good live show. I'm not trying to see my favorite artist on stage winded, out of breath, and not quite the person you heard on the studio version.

 Mz. Jae, Poet, Entertainer

Mz. Jae, Poet, Entertainer

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills that would put an artist on your top 10 list?
Mz. Jae: Clever
               Smooth approach
               Extraordinary delivery
               Dope presentation
               Humility

   

 Phire Free, Poet, Model, Speaker

Phire Free, Poet, Model, Speaker

Achickwitbeatz: What are the top 5 things you respect about independent/freelance artists?Phire Free: Artistry is scary. I'm laughing, but I'm serious. I respect anyone that pours their heart out through their art. I respect honesty, creativity and creating newer surfaces. I respect all of those of us hybrids that bridge gaps through art. I respect anyone that's been hustling for years. It's all work and it takes endurance.

 Fable, Poet, Host

Fable, Poet, Host

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 qualities that would place an artist in your top 10 list?
Fable: Heart, intentions, humility, professionalism, talent. In that order.


 Bruno Browning, Independent Record Label Executive

Bruno Browning, Independent Record Label Executive

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 qualities/skills that would place an artist in your top 10 list?
Bruno Browning:
-Love of music
-Walking their own path musically
-Hard working
-Consistency
-Not taking themselves too serious


 Sheba Shane, Independent Artist

Sheba Shane, Independent Artist

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 skills/attributes that would place an artist on your top 10 list?
Sheba Shane: 1. I like witty artists
                        2. Wordplay/Vocab
                        3. Flow
                        4. Story-telling
                        5. Creativity

 Ashim, Independent Artist

Ashim, Independent Artist

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes that would put an artist on your top 10 list?
Ashim: Content is number one. I've spent most of my life breaking down lyrics like most hip hop kids and I've come to believe lyrical miracles aren't worth a tenth of substance. Song structure is important. Sometimes being overly lyrical can subtract from the whole of a song, or sometimes a beat is too dope, too imposing, or sometimes a message is heavy handed. You have to have not just all the ingredients but the right balance to make a dope song, and that's song structure in a nutshell. Social relevance, track record, and impact all figure pretty heavily in my top 10 too. 

 H, Independent Artist

H, Independent Artist

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 skills/attributes that would place an artist on your top 10 list?
H: Energy
     Message
     Style
     Production
     ...that's it.

     

 Saan Solo, Independent Artist

Saan Solo, Independent Artist

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 skills/attributes that would place an artist on your top 10 list?
Saan Solo: Lyricism (wordplay, cadence, delivery)
                   Creativity
                   Subject matter/concepts
                   Uniqueness
                   Longevity/consistency

     


 WuZee, Independent Artist

WuZee, Independent Artist

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills that would place an artist on your top 10 list?
WuZee: Longevity
              Originality
              Vision
              Rhymes
              Swagger


 Torben, Independent Artist, Filmmaker

Torben, Independent Artist, Filmmaker

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 skills/attributes that would place an artist on your top 10 list?
Torben: 1. Honesty
              2. Sincerity/Thoughtfulness
              3. Creativity
              4. A respect for the tradition and where they fit in
              5. Relatability


 KeSera, Poet, Entertainer

KeSera, Poet, Entertainer

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 skills/attributes that would place an artist in your top 10 list?
KeSera: Creativity
               Delivery
               Insight (what did I learn from your piece)
               Captivation (were you able to keep me interested)
               Confidence (do you believe in self)


 Santos Taíno, Poet

Santos Taíno, Poet

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills that would place an artist on your top 10 list?
Santos Taíno: Honesty
                        Well-studied
                        Extensive vocabulary
                        Visualization
                        Vocalization

 Miles Bonny, Independent Artist, Musician

Miles Bonny, Independent Artist, Musician

Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills that would place an artist on your top 10 list?Miles Bonny: Originality, Genuineness, Listenability, new approaches to genres or sounds ive heard before, forward thinking. They have to do something better or different from everyone else i have in my record collection. Or why listen again? I might as well listen to whoever does whatever the best, from ALL OF TIME. Compete with all of history and all of forever.