I was scrolling across Facebook and after a random search I couldn’t believe my eyes. Are my eyes playing tricks on me?
There’s EFFORT BEING MADE TO IMPROVE INDY’s MUSIC SCENE? OMG.
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I reached out to Seth and thanked him soo much for making the Nuvo article.
I came across your Expanding Indy’s Music Strategy on Nuvo. I love that you wrote this and I’m happy that there’s some effort being made in the Indy area. Thank you for writing this. Omg.
I grew up in Indianapolis, and will always be supportive of the Indy scene, but at a distance. I will support my music artist friends.
I’m a musician, and I find that I get more music done in bigger cities like Chicago, Nashville and NY. As soon as I left and went to places like Miami, I recorded more music and found more people willing to collab. I left because I tried to reach out to artists to collaborate for years in Indy but they acted really cliquish or creepy. Or say they want to do work but disappear off the face of the earth. A former label I worked with seemed more interested in putting up a image and fronting appearances than actually doing work and CREATING. I wrote my own articles on Medium about some of my experiences. And doggone it got more artists interested in working, OUTSIDE of Indy.
I read the end of your article about you being excluded as a teenager from the Indianapolis scene. I can relate, I’m definitely overlooked. I’m not caring so much on how much local buzz I got/get anyways, but I feel like when I’m in Indy I’m on a hamster wheel of not getting nothing done. I’m not caring about the “fame” but if I can get a solid group of Indianapolis artists to work with I would love to record at home sweet home more often. I could be happy making residual income eating food and performing.
I don’t want to make this email a 100 page ebook, if you are ever up for a phone chat I can tell you more stories.
Let me expand on why I left Indianapolis’s music scene.
I would reach out to people in Indianapolis and many times 1 of 3 things would happen. I wouldn’t hear back from them. Or I get a beat or song, then I wouldn’t hear back from them. Or in person they say they want to collab. Then 3 months later I run into them again and they would say I’m too busy. I hate how they say they wanna collab but their actions say otherwise. If you don’t want to, fine but don’t lie. Which is what I find a lot of Indy people do. Instead of saying no, they drag you along for the ride. Like they want to keep a connection with you just in case you make it big but throw you away like trash when they can’t use you anymore.
In high school, a high school teacher was a rapper and I asked about collaborating. He looked down, looked away but didn’t say yes or no. I like his music but got this general impression that he didn’t want to work with me, but worked with other people in my class. This is the general vibe I get from Indy folks. Sheepish, indecisive, and straight crab in a barrelish.
Generally speaking, many people want to be around you especially when they think something is in it for them. I noticed this especially in Indianapolis. Instead of trying to build with you, they want to make money off you and see what’s in it for them. The only way you get support is if you have results, and the only time that your music is worth something is if it’s making money. Let’s call these peeps bandwagon music money grubbers for the purpose of this article.
It’s funny how much we as a society praise and value creativity, and yet seem to do as much as we can to prohibit and control creative expression unless it is in some way profitable. If you want to keep your creative muscle pumped and active, you have to practice it on your own.-Nicolas Cage
I’m a fun and laid back person. I like to post silly food photos and make a lot of jokes. But this doesn’t mean a person should mistake my kindness for weakness, which happens way too much.
I work with people in Chicago, LA, Miami, Pennsylvania, Connecticut (random AF I know), NY and Nashville the most lately (Other places like Spain have popped up on my radar). I don’t know how my music is getting into countries I haven’t been to before.
Of course you find bandwagon music money grubbers everywhere, but I find that more people take a chance on you in these cities. I get more work done with people in the New Yorks and LAs. I haven’t met quiet a few of these people in person, YET I GET 10× the work done than being in Indianapolis knowing people personally. I have never been in Connecticut or Spain or Argentina (and your guess is as good as mine on how the hell they came across me), but I’ve had people tell me that the big music hubs are better equipped and more flexible. At this point I definitely agree.
For example. In LA within two weeks of email meeting (we met April 16th, 2019), a rapper sent me 10 beats. I recorded these and moved on to other projects. Same thing with a few others.
We don’t have history. We don’t have deep ties that take us back 20 years. But we do have the common thread of getting music done.
I asked to record music during the day, and some Indianapolis folks got a little difficult when I asked this. I can schedule a 6 am recording session in NY no problem. When I was unsigned with Royalti Virtue (Indianapolis music group), I had health issues that landed me in the hospital. After this I stopped recording past 5 pm because recording at night with guys as a lady is not a great idea. Nothing ain’t open at 2 am except legs is what I was told. I don’t want to be raped, with hands creepily coming up my leg if I accidentally fall asleep. And my body hurt like hell . I’m not a whiney complaining type, but I will keep a low profile when I’m in any kind of pain.
(I will say my band ended due to my medical stint. It’s been easier finding people willing to be in a band outside my city. I was offered a spot in a new band as we speak. More on that in the future.)
I will say that people in bigger cities worked with me more and are way more flexible. I sent in my vocals from a bed, and they took the songs and mixed and mastered them. Indianapolis record labels? Some would get mad if I didn’t text them back when they wanted me to. Others got mad when I didn’t disclose my dating history. I basically had to tell them that I’m not interested in them romantically AT ALL. I hated these weirdos chasing me down. Being so f**** thirsty and desperate for a girlfriend.
“You’re not committed”
“You don’t communicate”
The only thing I’m not committed to is any of you putting your hands down my pants then I get victim blamed. I’m not interested in going into any apartments at 2 am. I’m not interested in disclosing my dating history or having any of you be in my dating history.
And on the communication front? Ok I’ll admit when I was facing medical issues I was no good to nobody, a lot of times I didn’t know which way was up under anesthesia or morphine in the hospital. I am no good to anyone in this state. I didn’t say anything a lot of time because I didnt want a pity party or burdening people. Generally speaking, I’ve found people are more interested in money than what you are going through. They don’t care so I didn’t say anything.
What this doesn’t mean is they had the right to know everything. Some things ARE NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
I did a poll with my email list. I asked. Which song did I record in the studio? Which song did I record on the toliet (JK the shower)? Which song did I record on a commercial set? Which song did I record on a hospital bed?
None of my subscribers could tell the difference. That’s when I knew that they were trying to play me in Indy. Some guys were looking for a girlfriend and I WAS NOT THE ONE, for the 100th time.
I got annoyed with the boyfriend question. I don’t know how many people are reading this from Indianapolis, nor do I care. I never was and never will be interested in dating any of the fellas on any of the labels I was associated with. I wasn’t into any of them this way, my purpose was to grow musically, and have a catalog of songs. To make myself clear, I had to distance myself from these artists, even if I like their music. There’s weirdos every where and I’m always watching my back, even in NY, Nashville and so on.
Royalti Virtue gave me a office key. I think it was a nice gesture. Really. I keep my hoodie in support. The honest truth? I rather record in a modest college dorm room or a hole in the wall and get songs done, then be in a big ass fancy 1 million dollar building and get nothing done. I don’t need the glitter or appearance. I didn’t want to post pictures of an office and not have no songs recorded. Let’s go back to the basics, record music, have a catalog of songs THEN AFTER ALL OF THIS, give me a key. After all, Billboard doesn’t give you a plague with that sexy gold CD in it for being an artist. You get one when your song goes gold, platinum, silver and when you sell a hella lot of records. AFTER PUTTING IN THE WORK.
Guess what? I’ve gotten songs done with the humblest of settings. I usually send producers 3 to 10 songs each with my verses so they have options. If I open up my email address, I would show you in 1 month, I got more songs recorded than the years I’ve been in Indy. I could release a few EPs if I want. At this rate I’ll have many songs in my catalog in the near future.
Insecurity runs rampant.
“I saw that so and so made a post today, so I wanna post me in the studio making music just because.”
It’s fun to keep people updated on your life, but to post because you are comparing or responding to someone else? Instead of making everybody think you ain’t broke by overposting every move you make, why not make the moves so you are actually doing the projects, BEING THE PART, and making the money anyways? The biggest thing is why do you care so much about what others think of you anyways?
I’m guilty as charged for posting a lot of pictures of food. But there’s a lot more work being done behind the scenes. At this point, I don’t need to go out of my way to prove that I’m doing something. I reveal it if and when I want to. Truthfully I rather be overlooked and have my peace then people chase me because they think I’m a bank.
I have a nice amount of music for my email list FINALLY. And a few EPs, like I said before. If you want to check out a song from my various projects, go here. It’s a different sound eh?
There’s going to be times when you are not successful, as this John P. Weiss article points out. You might put out a song and it doesn’t get the response you want. There might be 1 or 2 people that show up to your release party or performances. Shit happens. But I notice in Indianapolis more that people will say that 100 people came when 1 just came.
Just be real. Reevaluate your strategy if you don’t like your numbers. Embrace the people that showed up.
I’ve performed in front of 1000 people before (see one video below. I have more on Youtube).
This is Atlanta, where it was 150-200ish for my family reunion.
I also performed with 1 to 10 people in a crowd with my guitar, like a coffee shop setting. Or at the beach WITH ONE OR NO ONE AROUND just like this footage. My friend can jam on that guitar!
And honestly? I love the smaller crowds. I get to know these people so much better, I get to do fun tricks and jump on tables and stages (see Sonic Ashes footage)
And these are the people WHO ARE MORE IN LIKELY TO SIGN UP FROM YOUR EMAIL LIST AND BUY FROM YOU LONG TERM. I gave away one of my secrets in the capital caps. Embrace the small performances like the big.
My humble take. Too many people spend more time in Indy fronting appearances instead of creating. I understand that no one wants to look unsuccessful, broke or stupid. (If it makes you feel better, I’ll post a picture of me looking stupid eating food. In all seriousness, the person who you should impress most is yourself). Insecurity and trying to look the part takes the place of being the part. After being in bigger cities for a while and watching them put in work and DOING MORE WORK, I realize that I was on a hamster wheel in Indy.
Some of the artists/creatives that I know of did and are doing the best left. Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, John Mellencamp, Vivica Fox, Janet Jackson, MJ and his family, Lily and Madeleine, Ejaaz, Scott Evans, Jim Dougherty, Jane Pauley, David Letterman just to name a few. We supposedly claim Adam Driver because he went to University of Indianapolis for a year.
Please correct me if I’m wrong, but more people respect you more after you made it big and then come back to visit. Babyface has a highway and a big-o picture at Central Library not because he stayed in Indiana, he left and is now works with a ton of acts. He does come back because I met him!
Ryan Murphy wouldn’t have been able to cast Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Ariana Grande, and so forth by staying at the beloved Warren Central High School drama department and being a high school drama teacher. Or the beloved IU drama school.
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I can keep naming Indiana people all day. At some point you gotta make a move.
Let me know if I left anyone out.
Or spelled any names wrong.
Big major acts like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande don’t sell out Banker’s Lifefield House aka Conseco Field House because they are Indiana natives. Have you noticed that the artists that sell the most tickets and break records have no connection to Indiana? Or to most of the areas they perform in? The key is their fan bases are huge worldwide, not just in one city. Nor would they put their eggs in one basket and put all their efforts in just one city.
Garth Brooks packed Notre Dame. He’s from Oklahoma.
Do you think Rami Malek would have won an Oscar by staying at the University of Evansville? Exactly. Look on his Wikipedia page. After graduation, HE MOVED TO New York.
It’s a big world out here. GET OUT AND EXPLORE IT.
I’m following the leaders. Once you get a taste of getting away and experiencing different cities, it’s easy to get hooked and it’s hard to come back.
On the other hand. (I have a tendency to tackle both sides of the fence).
There’s a several Indianapolis artists that are doing it. I told many of you personally that I’ll support you from a distance. Even if you decide to stay in Indiana.
There’s a lot of local acts in your city doing the damn thing, and earning a living from their music, including Indianapolis. I see you.
We some how think that the only way you can be a success in something creative such as music is you have to be famous. As I wrote here, you can earn a living and live your life in peace, paparazzi free.
I’ve worked with famous people, celebs wealthy folks. I sign a lot of non-disclosure agreements. Generally speaking, because I keep my trapped closed and don’t name drop, I get bookings this way. I might not make the final cut on a project nor do I care, but the relationships formed behind the scenes are heavenly. (Paycheck good too, incase you are wondering. Food on set IS THE BEST. OH MY SHIT IT’S GOOD).
Literally being steps from stardom (meaning in the same room as famous folks), fame is like high school. You have cliques, the jocks, the nerds, the outcasts, the popular crowd (A-listers), and so on. You have people wanting to be around you for what you have, not being who you are. I watch people treat you like your shit don’t stink. People come at you at all angles.
Fame is not something I’m particularly going after. I have little interest in being a celebrity with people wondering what I’m doing. If it’s in the cards for me, fine. Fame has it’s perks, sure. I had some confide in me off record that it’s hard to trust and you really don’t know people’s real intentions when you are famous. Being someone who doesn’t trust easily, I resonated quickly. And being someone who likes to keep my private life private, I hate the idea of people asking about my relationship, and trying to hook me up with any Tom, Dick and Harry that they can find. And expecting me to make a mountain out of a molehill. I reveal so much about different areas of my life that this area is off limits. F*** that. I got a spin off article on that subject, keeping my private life private.
Some might say you can make it anywhere with the internet. I will be quick to say that some places are better than others, with a more cultivating, like-minded environment.
If you want to be the biggest star in Indianapolis, may it happen for you. I hope you get every local gig that you want.
In my last music/30 article, I mention that you won’t get to the kingdom by seeking attention from the village. My idea of notoriety is not driving around in a lamo on the east side proving that “I made it” or going to Carmel maxing out credit cards on a shopping spree at a Sax Fifth Avenue just to have heads turn. My idea is being in peace.
If you want fame, may I read about you in Vogue, Rolling Stone and every where else.
Do you find that you built your tribe in your city? Or did you have to go to a bigger music-entertainment friendly city to get it going?
I was in Miami for a bit and asked a DJ #1 and a DJ #2 for a popular artist (not dropping names like I said).
“Hey, do you want to come to Indianapolis to perform with me? Then go out to Mass Ave bars afterwards?”
They looked at me like they want to chop my head off. “Um Alesha all love but hell no. How about Chicago or NY something?” When I put a word in about Indy in other places I mostly get a chilly reception. I was hanging out on South Beach and ran into some artists friends. When I try to bring artists back to Indy, I get a repeating f*** no. Every blue moon I get a yes. I even try to convince them with Long’s Donuts, Jack’s, Speedway, Indy 500, Downtown and Broad Ripple. And there’s other pretty areas like Brown County, Zionsville, Geist, It’s a difficult task, but I will keep trying.
I want to be proven wrong. I hope Indianapolis can be a booming music industry. I want other artists from other cities to be happy to say they are coming here, not put their hand on their face in shame. I claim Indianapolis anyways, I want to say that’s my city. I should give some love to Altanta because I was born there.
What I do:
Support Indianapolis artists by either going to shows or sharing their posts on my page. If you need a fan girl in your crowd when you performing, with a few Tequila shots I got you covered. Warning. I’m really nice with a few in me, if you ever need a confidence booster I got you. Let me know way ahead of time because I’m not in Indianapolis all the time. Thanks for everyone that thinks of me and invites me to your performances.
Taking myself out of the Indy music scene for the time being. As I write this article, I have no plans to perform in Indianapolis in the near future. Instead, I’m gonna be found at every buffet you can think of, eating and taking photos of the food I eat.
I’ll come back home to volunteer. Say hello if you see me!
What I’m not doing
I’m not asking for Indy collabs as much. I work with Indy artists every blue moon. I’m not oppose to looking into it more in the future with the right circumstances. I’m getting so many features and collabs in other cities that I have to tell artists that it might be a month or so before I get to the project.
If any of my past groups makes it to worldwide stardom, fame, glory and prestige, I will not beg to get back into their good graces. Our relationship obviously didn’t work out. I got a big-o Tequila bottle (THANK YOU DJ2Blunts) that I keep to celebrate special occasions, and I will tip my hat in honor of you. I will make my own way.
6/3/2019 update. Right after I left Indianapolis, this is when I had some Indiana people reach out to me about collaborating. I guess the New York, Miami, and Los Angeles pictures are working. And in this weird way, people respect you more when they think you are doing something I guess. You don’t have to be doing something, just look like you are doing something :D
Signing any record contacts, HUGE NO NO. I’ve watched enough horror stories of some artists on YouTube and I’m thinking hell no at this point. Question. Would you have signed any of these contracts I was offered given the chance? I attached them and you can let me know hell yes or f*** no. I will keep the opinions I’ve heard to myself so I won’t sway your opinions.
Recording Contract #1
In one instance, I was able to look up the contract that I was given on LinkedIn. And I realized that it was very similar to the first one….But some things changed on it.
Recording Contract #3
You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks. Not everyone wants to see you succeed, and some people do start to feel small because they don’t think they can compare to your accomplishments. I got the impression especially in Indy that many people loved to see you fail. When people in my life passed away, I noticed more people distancing themselves instead of being there. I secretly tested others to see where they stand. Some were like “they just didn’t know what to say,” just to make up an excuse for them. Just be honest and say they were probably happy to see that happen to me, and they want to see how far from grace you can fall to make fun of you. Sounds awful but I’ve come across more cutthroats in Indianapolis than a lot of other places.
Please prove me wrong and become a booming music industry, Indy. I’ll be watching from a distance.
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Hello There! I’m Alesha! I’ve been involved in different businesses in several different capacities from being ceo, coo, co-founder, and more. I’ve learned so much from creating businesses, and I look forward to all the learning experiences I will have from starting new ventures. 2019 I’m excited to announce that I’m going to add more businesses to my portfolio. STAY TUNED! I’m going to introduce them sometime next year!
With one business I was involved with, we made it possible to install a little device with customized hardware and a SaaS solution implemented to the router, the business owner was able see live data about social media info collected.
With another company, we had professional internet marketing company that focus on digital marketing campaigns, services and jobs such as SEO, PPC, Online Reputation Management, and social media marketing.
With EYT, I oversaw day-to-day operations and keeping the CEO apprised of significant events;Yes I actually talk with my business partner on a daily basis. I created operations strategy and policies; Communicated strategy and policy to employees and interns; Fostering employee alignment with corporate goals; and overseeing human resource management. I also delegated tasks to my team.
With Bones’ Custom Guitar. We created custom guitars for musicians with imported wood. No one Bones’ guitar is the same.
The Wish Benefit Concert is a concert founded by Ayana Carter, Mel Sexton and Alesha Peterson. It’s privately held at Riley Hospital For Children.