No one knows what’s hot like millenials do. Our writer, Chris Jamel, sits down with Blair Cassuto, Founder of The Blair List, to discuss what he’s listening to, why branding is super important for upcoming artists, and who he’s excited to see flourish in the industry. Grab some insight below!
Name: Chris Jamel Hunter.
Where are you from? I was born in New Rochelle, NY. Lived there for about 4-5 years. Moved to Jersey for a few years with my dad, now I reside in Mount Vernon, NY.
Three words to describe yourself? I can describe myself as determined, creative, and straightforward.
Currently: I am currently going into my senior year at The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. I major in International Trade & Marketing and my minor is Economics.
Who is your favorite artist at the moment and why?
My favorite artist at the moment is Drake. I’ve been a Drake fan since day 1. I’ve watched the evolution of his career and it’s exciting. He created a lane of music that’s very hard to duplicate simply because he came into the industry as the only guy doing it. Singing and rapping. Drake is arguably the only guy in the industry who can give you a R&B record along with a Rap record that’ll make the charts simultaneously. Not to mention he damn near just ended someone’s rap career a little while ago haha. All praise the 6GOD!
What do you think you need to make it in the industry?
To make it in the music industry I think the main thing would be versatility. As an artist you have to be versatile. You have to be willing to take those chances to step out of your normal comfort zone and give the fans something they’re not expecting. If not, you become a very predictable artist. Unpredictability is better. It may be a big risk but if you’re able to execute, the reward will be even greater. There are only a few artists in the industry who can give you too selling records/albums along with extreme versatility. Drake, Kanye, J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean and so on. That is why these guys are great. Not only do they make great music but they’re able to give you versatility in their music.
How important is social media for an artist?
Social media is a huge platform, especially if you’re an artist trying to expand your brand. In today’s society, social media has created a new platform for getting people noticed and ultimately becoming famous. Now, being able to manage the fame is a different story but nonetheless, it happens. Aside from doing shows, your core audience starts from home, creating a buzz for yourself where you live, and social media. As an artist you have to branch out and try to reach a bigger crowd. On Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr etc you can have fans from Texas and Cali when you’re an upcoming rapper from the Bronx. Social media reaches such a broader audience and that’s sort of like the base and the foundation of your branding.
Whose career are you most excited for?
I’m very excited to see Tory Lanez blow up. I think he has something very different about his music and his sound. He new song “Say It” is my shit. I listen to it all the time. When you listen to songs like The Godfather, I Know What’s Up/The Take you hear the versatility in his sound. That right there will take him a very long way in this industry. I’m anxious to hear more from him and see how he takes over. And it wouldn’t be a surprise to me if he does a track with Drake sooner than later seeing how they’re both from Toronto.
Follow Chris at @ChrisJamelNYC.