::THE #4080:: Chance The Rapper Is Proof That The "Traditional Method" Isn't Always Necessary

::THE #4080:: Chance The Rapper Is Proof That The "Traditional Method" Isn't Always Necessary


by The Atlas Staff

It's the dream situation. You've been putting your all into your music, your craft and that magical moment finally happens. You are approached by a label rep with deep pockets and they're ready to sign you to a very lucrative record deal. All the stress and headache of trying to make it is finally over.

Traditionally, this is what many up and coming artists aspire to. Rightfully so, this method has proven extremely successful across all genres of music for as long as music has been a business. However, the landscape of music and the music business is ever changing and with that come a new set of nuances that change the dynamic of deals with major labels. Everything from problems with digital streaming royalties to 360 Deals have caused many artists rethink the path to success. 

When Chance The Rapper dropped "Acid Rap" in 2013, it helped to make him more of a "household name." With assists from Childish Gambino, Ab-Soul and Action Bronson, "Acid Rap" propelled Chance to new levels.

Since that time, Chance has gone on to do major festivals and tours, gaining the support of millions. In 2016, Chance dropped his highly anticipated third mixtape, "Coloring Book," a streaming only album. Since then, he's been one of the hottest artist in the game. His album received a ton of nominations, there was this amazing moment with Beyonce, he killed it on Saturday Night Live and the Grammys (the first streaming only album to win a Grammy) and the host of recognition from peers in the industry. What's most amazing about all of his recent success, he's done all of this while being 100% independent.

In fact, it was widely reported that after his wins at the Grammys, Chance the Rapper turned down tens of millions of dollars in signing bonuses and label deals to remain independent. Why would he sign to a label? In a 2015 article for Rolling Stone, Chance exclaimed, "I can do whatever I want. I don't have to do a f*cking thing!" Chance has attained major label success while maintaining all of his earnings (minus taking care of his amazing team).

We talk a lot about what it takes to be successful in the music business. We've given you tips on how to build the right team, we've helped you decided on which marketing tool would best help you and we've given you the best ways to stay healthy while on tour. What we've never said is that you need a major record deal to be successful. We recognize the benefits of having a major deal but Chance The Rapper is proof that putting a great team of people together (because Independent does not mean alone) and maximizing your potential as an artist could yield the same results as having a major deal.






If you are interested in learning more about Creative Nomads and how we can help you plot the industry and chart your craft, sign up for membership today.



::THE #4080:: 10 THINGS ASPIRING MUSIC ARTISTS NEED TO remember in 2017


By The Atlas Staff



    It's 2017 and by now, most of you are familiar with the expression “He/She has no home training!” Well, what if we told you that most music professionals have said this about an aspiring artist, or two. Everyone wants to be a rapper, but most haven’t learned their 101s about the industry. Unbeknownst to many trying to come into the game, there are a list of “commandments” that should be followed, especially if you’re looking to shoot your shot with a DJ, blogger, music executive, etc.

    To better assist you, we will lay out the holy grail of things that many of you artists do that hold you back and wastes the time of many music professionals.

    1. If you do not have a budget, BE HONEST.

    It is okay not to have the money to work with a certain producer, engineer, musician or artist. The fact is, these things take time and until then, you should make the best of what you have access to while investing in yourself and your craft. The problem comes in when you are not honest enough to admit that the hottest DJ or Producer right now isn't in your budget. People respect honesty and will be more willing to work with you when you are honest.


    2. (with that being said) STOP WASTING MONEY! SAVE & INVEST IN YOURSELF!

    If you can “floss” on the ‘Gram, you should starting stunting on your career. Pay for quality production, audio engineering, publicity and a website. Your work will only be as good as the time and money you invest into it. Don't expect award winning quality if you're only investing hobby-level time and money. Music is your career, it is your business. Like any successful business, you have to put in the time (and money) to see success.

    3. Hire A PR Team!

    In this business, things happen. Whether it's a disgruntled fan or former business associate post negative content about you on social media or a leaked news story that may be the source of some embarrassment, there will be tough times in your music career. 

    If you are not equipped or trained to handle public relations disasters, let someone else take on that role. Hire a PR professional who can not only best respond to PR trouble but who are also able to present you, the artist, in the best possible light. After all, you have been saving and this would be an investment!

     4. Social media accounts should NOT be private. 

     For artist it may seem that numbers and followers are important and I am not saying they are but it’s not as important as the content you share. If you are dropping video premiers or singles how can potential supporters, support you if your page is private? You only hinder yourself; ALWAYS keep your social media outlets PUBLIC.

    5. Never ignore your fans/followers!

    Your fanbase plays a vital role in your success in this business. Along with your amazing content, your fans support your music through album and streaming sales, showing up to concerts and events and purchasing merchandise. Take the time to become familiar with your fans. Retweet some of their posts and comments and address valid concerns. You never know when you may need them to retweet or repost something of yours.

     6. STOP posting your music on websites without protection!  

    Think we're trolling? The music industry is filled with people who have taken Ls by not taking the proper measures to protect their music before posting it to sites like SoundCloud and BandCamp. Don’t be one of them, properly protect your intellectual properties before posting/uploading your work. Nothing is more painful than seeing an artist that has worked very hard on a project only to have someone steal the idea or concept and the original artist is not in a position to receive proper compensation. 

    7. Build your fanbase! 

    Stop letting your ego tell you that you don’t need anymore fans (just because your homies “have your back”). Build your fanbase; follow people on social media outlets, interact with them and network at events, shows, etc. As we mentioned before, your fanbase will play a vital role in your success. So investing time to build your fanbase (along with putting out amazing content) all but ensures your success in the music business.

    8. Don’t fall behind.

    We cannot stress this enough, keep all contact info, website info, social media info current and up to date. If a record executive was trying to get in touch with you, find out more about you, listen to your music and this information is not current, you could be missing out on THAT opportunity! 

    9. No slacking! PROFESSIONALISM is key.

    Please, stop letting your home boy or girl spam the living life out of people’s timelines – INSTANT unfollow! Remember manners when meeting people. Don’t overshare personal stuff on your artist profile(s), etc. 

    10. Last but not least, as music professionals, we do not owe you ANYTHING!

    Remember, no one is required to give you anything. Just as you are currently that hungry striving artist so was the arts professional you are after. They were once a hungry striving blogger, publicist, Dj and the list goes on and on. The attitude should always be gratitude, their strive got them where they are and so can yours. 






    If you are interested in learning more about Creative Nomads and how we can help you plot the industry and chart your craft, sign up for membership today.



    ::ARTS ADVOCACY:: Tell Your Local News That You Support the Arts

    The Arts Are Vital to Our Community!

    Thanks to the good people at Americans for the Arts Action Fund, there is now a way for you to let your local media outlets know that you are passionate about arts preservation. It's simple: put in your zip code and select which media outlet(s) you'd like to send a letter to. Here's a sample of this letter:

    According to Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit arts industry (museums, theater and dance companies, performing arts centers, orchestras, arts councils and others) generates $22.3 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues annually-a yield well beyond their collective $4 billion in arts allocations.
    Because the National Endowment for the Arts supports artistic excellence and improves access to the arts by granting funds to nonprofit arts organizations, I call on our federal officials to support an increase in funding for the NEA beyond its 1993 funding level of $174 million. That funding figure equals $277 million in today's dollars.

    Go to Americans for the Arts Action Fund's website to view the template and send the entire letter. TAKE ACTION NOW!



    If you are interested in learning more about Creative Nomads and how we can help you plot the industry and chart your craft, sign up for membership today.




    ::Creative Currency:: Social Media or Email Marketing, Which Is Best For Artists?

    Social Media has become the primary tool for musicians to expose their music to new fans. But how effective is it in converting those fans into paying customers? Many people have proclaimed the death of email marketing but studies continue to show the return on investment triples that of social. So which should a musician focus on to grow their career?

    Read More

    ::THE #4080:: 5 Essential Tips For New Producers and Beat Makers

    ::THE #4080:: 5 Essential Tips For New Producers and Beat Makers


    By Stoni

    • Music Producer

    • DJ

    • Innovator

    For music fans, much of the determining factor for why they like a particular song can be attributed to the production or the beat. While great lyrics give a song substance, outstanding production is often the "it factor" that catches a listener's ears and draws them into the lyrics. For new producers and beat makers, the pressure to sound and do like more established producers seems like an easy and tempting path to success. However, finding your own path may help to solidify you as a true artist and innovator.

    We wanted to provide up coming producers and beat makers with some easy steps they can take that will help guide them in the right direction. We enlisted the help of Music Producer, Innovator and DJ Stoni to provide 5 essential tips for up coming producers and beat makers to use on their journey.

    1. Research the type of music you would like to produce

    Platforms such as Spotify, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, iTunes, and Tidal can be a great resources for listening to all genres of music from up and coming independent artist to the established artist. You want to stay current with what other producers are doing and still keep your own style and identity.

     2. Make a choice to use 1 Daw or 1 Groove box that you will master

    One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of producers/beat makers tend to use more than one music production tool at the same time. I would recommend going to a music store (Guitar Center, Sam Ash, etc) and asking the sales reps lots of questions about different music production tools such as Grooves Boxes (Maschine, MPC) or DAW’s (Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton). If they have those units set up in the store, play around with them. Choose the one that speaks to your liking the most organically and then go from there.

    3. Invest in your craft

    There are many ways to invest in yourself. Owning your own gear is definitely a good way to start having the freedom to create anytime you feel like putting your ideas together. I always recommend investing in production classes online and learning the fundamentals of music theory. This will add greatly to your creative process. If you cannot afford online classes, try to connect with people who have the same interests as you, and those who have a vast knowledge of what you’d like to learn.

    4. Create a consistent schedule that will allow you to grow each week 

    There are a certain amount of hours you need to put into learning all the fundamentals of production. You should create a scheduled time when you're well rested and focused on processing all of the new information you will learn and have to apply.

    5. Trust in the process

    The process is not always fun and can sometimes prove to be frustrating. There are also times where the process can be super fun and amazing. I believe with consistency, time and focused work you will become better at your craft.


    When you think of hard hitting hip-hop beats and with sophisticated melodies there's only one name that comes to mind…Stoni. This edgy powerhouse is a Brooklyn, NY native who grew up listening to everything. “Trailblazer” should be her middle name, because Stoni never follows trends, she creates them. She is constantly learning and mastering the intricacies of music production hardware and software, as well as being dead center on the pulse of the music industry. She broke barriers again 3 years ago by becoming the first female producer to be a featured artist and software demonstrator for Native Instruments. Having toured the world with her extremely successful music production workshops, she has shaped the minds of countless up and coming music producers and beatmakers. Her knowledge and mastery of music seems to have no boundaries.

    Connect with Stoni on Twitter and Instagram.


    Thank You!

    On November 20th, we had one of our most popular events, "The Exchange." We'd like to take a moment to thank each and everyone who came out to support and create. The theme this time was #ShedTheHunger. We would like to thank everyone that brought a non-perishable or canned good to help feed those in need this holiday season. 

    If you are not a member of Creative Nomads, what are you waiting for? Join our growing community and never miss events like The Exchange, Navigation and Sips and Sounds! Click here to join.




    ::THE #4080:: 6 Tips To Help Turn You Into A Successful Brand

    ::THE #4080:: 6 Tips To Help Turn You Into A Successful Brand

    by Shelby Blondell

    • Entrepreneur
    • Singer
    • Songwriter

    Some people think being an artist as a career is impossible. What a lot of artists fail to realize is that you are really an entrepreneur at heart and already running a successful business. I studied Entrepreneurship in college so that I could make music a reality and run myself as a business and become an ARTISTPRENEUR or ENTERTAINERPRENEUR. As an artist, it is important to represent everyday to continue to run your “operation” smoothly. 

    Realize You Are a BRAND. A Business

    As a singer, musician, performer, artist or writer YOU ARE A BRAND. You as a person, become a business. You should make sure you strongly believe in your mission as an artist.  Just as Starbucks embraces fair trade, the color green, and tears of operating, as a musician your brand awareness is important. You have a certain style, genre, and you also have other employees or peers such a marketing teams, managers etc. 


    Enhance Your Brand With an “Elevator pitch”

    When approached and asked what you do or who you are, know how to give a clear, innovative and quick response, one that could be given to someone in the time together on a quick elevator ride. Know what area you specialize in, what genre, how long you have been doing your artistry and other mission and value points that you would expect from a business. 


    Opportunity in everyday

    Every road you drive on, person you meet, errand you run or event you go to is an opportunity to grow as an artist. You never know who you will meet and how they will be connected to professionals who can help your brand. It is great to keep cards with you, either business cards with your contact or something such as a download card so potential listeners can check it out in a convenient way. 


    Take Time Off

    It's extremely important to make sure you take time off to do things you love. It is great to love what you do so much that you eat, sleep and breath MUSIC; but its beneficial to your craft and wellbeing to take time off to rest or take a trip for yourself that is not for performing.  Remember, YOU are A BUSINESS. Just like employees of a corporation you can take wellness days for yourself, for vacation or sickness. 


    Live Actively

    It is hard when we are busy to keep up with workout routines. If time is not on your side there are daily activities to incorporate exercise, you can begin a day with a walk, take the stairs, drink plenty of water, or make your desk a standing one. 


    Surround Yourself with other Professionals

    One thing I have learned is the value in other professionals who are music creators for guidance or a friendly and constructive ear. Just like asking a coworker to help with a project rather than an outside friend, we should utilize other creators to get feedback on aspects of our career. Collaboration is a key to success. Weather it is help with your music on a certain song, marketing idea or creating with another, collaborating can help you to reach a much broader audience.


    Shelby Blondell is an Entrepreneur | Singer | Songwriter | Event Specialist & Producer, from Linthicum MD.  For the past few years Shelby has been managing herself from bookings, to composing, creating a path for her career. Shelby has played along side national acts such as Pentatonix, and Howie Day while playing at iconic venues such as Merriweather, The Fillmore, The Meyerhoff, Horseshoe Casino, and Jammin Java, to name a few. Her music has been featured on many radio stations both national and college, such as 93.1WPOC, fresh fm 94.7 98.1 and 98Rock. Shelby has also made national buzz when mentioned by Elizabeth Banks, Cosmopolitian and Seventeen Magazine. 

    Connect with Shelby on Instagram and Twitter


     Save The Date!




    Get ready for The Exchange: #ShedTheHunger on November 20th at Hotel RL in Baltimore! You MUST RSVP to attend and to play! RSVP HERE!





    by Matthew Shell

    • Audio Production Engineer
    • Music Business Instructor
    • Multi-Instrumentalist

    I recently posed a two pronged question to my Facebook friends and Twitter followers, asking, 
    “Who has experienced writer’s block? If you’ve ever broken free of writer’s block, what inspired you?”

    I was fascinated and inspired by everyone’s feedback (as seen here & here).

    These responses were helpful to me as I’ve recently experienced a bout of writer’s block. I tried many of the tips provided by everyone, with many of the suggestions pointing to the productivity gained by getting in a room with like minded individuals to create a creative spark. I immediately organized a writing session at my home studio with an array of artists, producers, and creatives of many kinds coming and going throughout the day, working in various rooms, all providing a burst of creativity that was productive and exhilarating. 

    However, this still requires further analysis. What do you do when the following scenarios occur and you’re friends aren’t around to encourage you and spark your creativity? One or many of the following scenarios my be occurring:

    1.     You can’t come up with an idea for a song. *
    2.     You have a ton of ideas for songs but can’t commit to any of them.
    3.     You have the first half of a song completed and have no idea how to finish it.
    4.     You have a terrible feeling your song is not making sense and you just hit a dead end.
    5.     You’re bored with the song before finishing it.
    6.     You keep imagining all the reasons people are going to say your song sucks, and it paralyzes you.
    7.     You can’t think of the right words for what you’re trying to convey.
    8.     You had this incredibly cool song story idea in your head, and now you’re turning it into words and music and it’s suddenly dumb.
    9.     You’re revising your work, and you just can’t get it right.

    In most of the above scenarios, the solution is often to remove the pressure that you put on yourself to be epic, dope, amazing, legendary, etc. and rather get your ideas out on paper no matter how dumb they may seem, make a rough recording, and revise more critically later. For me, it’s often second guessing myself during the revising and editing process where I get stuck, so this advice is easier said than done, but keep at it.

    I am learning from everyone’s feedback, that even if a song might need to be scrapped, it is not the end of the world. One bit of advice that has helped me the most is the reassurance that a lyric or a song idea might be salvageable to be used in a future song. With everything in mind, be encouraged and don’t give up.  Like anything in life, the more you do something, the better you’ll be at it.

    *Back to the first issue on the list. Passionately conveying emotion is one of the most important aspects of songwriting. If coming up with a powerful song concept is your major hangup, Camile Robinson has created a song concepts list to get your creative juices flowing. 

    Camile Robinson writes:
    I came up with this list as a tool for kick-starting the songwriting process. It was made by listening to a Beach Boys best of, a David Bowie best of, and my favorite couple of Beatles albums, and trying to reduce the concept of the lyric for each song down to a one word kernel (you’ll notice I didn’t always succeed with the one word thing). Each one is an abstract although hopefully emotive starting point from which to begin brainstorming lyrics.

    1.     Alienation
    2.     Being in love
    3.     Worry
    4.     Hope
    5.     Escape
    6.     Defiance
    7.     Fear
    8.     Fragility
    9.     Nostalgia
    10.     Paranoia
    11.     Helplessness
    12.     Fate
    13.     Wonder
    14.     Shock
    15.     Altered perspective
    16.     Fantasy
    17.     Seduction
    18.     Idolatry
    19.     Betrayal
    20.     Jealousy
    21.     Pride
    22.     Flirtation
    23.     Tragedy
    24.     Breaking the rules
    25.     Desperation
    26.     Need
    27.     Loss of control
    28.     Obstinancy
    29.     Feeling lost
    30.     Confusion
    31.     Being at a loss
    32.     Obsolescence
    33.     Commodification
    34.     Greed
    35.     Excess
    36.     Time
    37.     Ageing
    38.     Contempt
    39.     Loss
    40.     Conspiracy
    41.     Having the answer
    42.     Sexual politics
    43.     Rejoicing
    44.     Shame
    45.     Heartbreak
    46.     Melancholy
    47.     Toughness
    48.     Irony
    49.     Memory
    50.     Reminiscence
    51.     Desire
    52.     Gratitude
    53.     Protection
    54.     Loneliness
    55.     Joy
    56.     Giving
    57.     Universality
    58.     Be careful what you wish for
    59.     Dashed hope
    60.     Outrage
    61.     Searching
    62.     Submission
    63.     Devotion
    64.     Contentment
    65.     Showing off
    66.     Reassurance
    67.     Refuge
    68.     Lecherousness
    69.     Change
    70.     Communication
    71.     Excitement
    72.     Mystery
    73.     Danger
    74.     A journey
    75.     Regret
    76.     Growing up
    77.     Elation

    My hope is that this blog post helps creative people everywhere overcome writer’s block. 

    If you would like to experience an individual training session or to be part of a group training session as hosted by MTS Music, contact us to request a free consultation to discuss your specific needs.


    Matthew Shell aka MTS, is an audio production engineer, music business instructor, and multi-instrumentalist. Based in Alexandria, VA, his versatile production style spans genres as wide as jazz and rock, to RnB and soul. Matthew writes and produces music released as solo productions under his own name, as well as for other bands and solo artists. He is the founder and CEO of publishing house and record label MTS Music, a company founded on integrity with the goal to provide the highest quality services & products.



    If you are interested in learning more about Creative Nomads and how we can help you plot the industry and chart your craft, sign up for membership today.

    ::THE #4080:: 5 Tips For Making The Most Of Your PRO


    by Marshall Sims

    • Singer
    • Writer
    • Publisher Relations Expert 

    A Publishing Rights Organization or PRO provides intermediary functions for artists and musicians, mainly the collection of royalties from copyright holders and those who use copyrighted material. As a artist, getting the best from your PRO could make the difference in having a successful career.  

    We asked singer/songwriter and Public Relations expert, Marshall Sims, to give 5 tips for making the most of your PRO.

    1. Research your local representatives

    BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC have various offices in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and many other major cities. Do some research and find out who your respective reps are. Don’t live in one of these major cities? Take a trip! Whether for a music festival or conference, or for leisure. When you’re in the city, schedule a quick meeting. You never know what relationships may blossom.

    2. Engage on social media

    The best way to stay abreast of events, showcases, and networking opportunities is online through social media. There are times when various PROs will have invite only receptions or limited seating opportunities that will be posted on FaceBook, Twitter, etc. Use these tools to your advantage!

    3. Keep up with the calendar

    You can find a calendar of events on each of the major PRO websites. There nation-wide expos as well as local showcases that you can benefit from attending. Meeting local reps, fellow affiliates, and upcoming performers who may become collaborators.

    4. Maintain a current catalogue

    Be sure that your music, no matter where it is housed, is registered with your respective PRO. One of the first questions that many reps ask is “Can you send me a link to music?” Keep your Soundcloud, iTunes, Spotify, etc. current for the right moment. You never know who may want to hear what you’ve got!

    5. Engage in non-creative initiatives

    Does your PRO participate in any volunteer services? The answer is probably yes. Find out if there are ways outside of the creative process to become involved. Giving back is rewarding within itself. But imagine giving back with your fellow creatives. You may encounter something special.


    Marshall Sims is a singer/songwriter by passion and a member of BMI’s R&B/Hip-Hop Writer/Publisher Relations Department. Before joining the BMI team, Marshall was an Outreach Representative in SoundExchange’s Industry Relations Department. He has a heart for creativity, whether he is the creative or the person working behind the scenes on behalf of his peers. Marshall is currently based in Los Angeles, CA and lives by the mantra “Blossom where you’re planted.” You can find Marshall on Instagram and Twitter.


    Join our community!

    If you are interested in learning more about Creative Nomads and how we can help you plot the industry and chart your craft, sign up for membership today.



    by Nicole Hurst

    • Singer/Songwriter

    • Entertainer

    • Performer

    From time to time I’m asked by friends who are joining their first tour for some tips that can help make their experience more enjoyable.  Being on tour is an amazing opportunity,  but it can take a toll on you physically and emotionally.  So here’s a list of things I do to take care of myself when I’m hitting the road.

    1. Bring A Blanket and A Hoodie for The Bus. 

    I'm always cold, and usually there's a battle for control of the bus thermostats that cold natured people like myself usually lose.  Therefore bring whatever you need to feel comfortable on a eight hour bus or plane ride.  Plus you never know what the temperature will be when you get to the next state, so it’s nice to have a jacket or sweatshirt handy.

    2. Take Your Vitamins.

    You're constantly traveling in and out of hotels, different climates, airports and planes, all of which are breeding grounds for germs and a sure recipe for getting sick.  I typically take a multi-vitamin once a day and I keep a few packs of EmergenC in my backpack for those moments where I feel a tickle coming on. There’s nothing worse than being sick on the road, which brings me to my next point….  

    3. Travel With What I Like To Call an "Oh Sh*t!!" Bag. 

    Basically it's a small baggie that you keep with a couple doses of medications like Advil, Pepcid AC, Claritin, natural cough drops, cough syrup, band-aids, whatever you need when you get sick.  The last thing you want is to get stuck in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with a serious cough and the nearest drugstore is 15 mins away; or worse get stuck paying $20 bucks for six Advil in an expensive hotel gift shop!

    Something that's become a staple when I travel, and now in my medicine cabinet at home, is Oregano Oil.  It's antibacterial, and it’s great to help strengthen your immune system and help fight infections. If you feel a cold coming on take 3-4 drops in a cup of hot water a couple times a day.  It's super potent so I'd start with 3 drops and see how you do!  It's also good if you suffer with allergies or sinus issues.  Sometimes if I've got a stuffy nose, I'll inhale the steam for as long as I can tolerate before drinking the mixture. You can find Oregano Oil in a natural health store like Whole Foods or Sprouts.

    4. Drink Plenty of Water. 

    There's always free bottled water in the dressing rooms and catering.  I take as many as I can for my days off so I don't have to pay four bucks for a small bottle of hotel water.  (If you can’t tell, I like to save money too!)

    5. Take Advantage of Fresh Food and Juice Options. 

    It's so hard to maintain a normal diet when you get off stage at 11 and there aren't many healthy options in sight. Finding a decent meal in certain places can be a challenge, but I do my best to eat lots of fruits and veggies and somewhat healthy meals while traveling.  Take advantage of the fresh foods and juicing options that are usually in catering.  A healthy body goes a long ways on a three month tour, so do your best to take care of it.  

    6. Sleep.

    Sometimes all you need to cure a bad mood and sluggish body is a good nap, or a day of rest.  Make sure you’re getting as much of this as possible.

    7. Massages Are Necessary.

    As performers, your body is your instrument.  Sometimes those bus bunks can feel more like coffins than beds, and a cramped airplane seat becomes a bed during an overnight flight.  Massages are necessities for us.  You can't utilize your instrument properly if you've got a serious crook in your neck.  Now you don't have to go to some bougie spa that charges 200 dollars for an hour massage.  But if you do a little YELPing you can find a good quality mid-priced place that does amazing work to melt away the kinks, and keep your body in the best condition possible. 

    8. See The World.

    Especially if you're in a city or country you've never been before.  It's so easy on a day off to wanna stay in your room with the curtains shut and sleep while catching up on episodes of Power (although I'm all for this too!!)  Walk around for an hour, get some free Vitamin D and fresh air.   Not everyone has the opportunity to travel the world doing what they love AND getting paid to do it.  If you have the time, take advantage of it.  Now, if you're sitting up in Santa Fe with nothing in sight, then by all means binge away!

    9. Protect Your Peace

    At times you're probably spending more time with your road family than you are your real family.  And just like family you have to deal with everyone's mood swings, attitudes and petty ways.   Whether that's having a nice dinner for one with a glass of wine (or three), or finding a local yoga class, a church service, or my personal favorite again, a good massage.  Do what's necessary for you to always maintain your sanity and create a little normalcy to a very unpredictable lifestyle. 

    Being on the road I’ve had some of the best experiences of my life.  As with anything it’s what you make it, and when you’re happy and healthy, you’re unstoppable.  At the end of the day, know what you need to recharge your mind and body and to protect your inner peace.  Everyone thanks you!


    Nicole Hurst is a GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter and entertainer from Houston, TX.  She has traveled the world performing and touring with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, and Janet Jackson, and has appeared on numerous television and award shows including the Grammy Awards, ‘Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’.  She has had the privilege of performing for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House’s In Performance: Memphis Soul tribute concert. You can connect with Nicole on Twitter and Instagram.


    Join us for our Be Healthy Wellness Popup!

    We are very excited to partner with House Studio DC to bring you "Be Healthy." This event is a wellness popup for arts professionals. "Be Healthy" takes place on Oct. 1 at 9:30AM. In order to participate, you need to RSVP. Click here to RSVP!





    During the San Fransisco 49ers’ third preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, Quarterback Colin Kaepernick made the conscious decision to forego standing for the singing of the national anthem. When explaining his motives of him not standing, Kaepernick stated that his protest was in solidarity with those people who were being oppressed. 

    In a press conference following the initial news of him sitting during the anthem, Kaepernick said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

    Naturally, his silent protest was met with a visceral response from some angry Americans. Many called for his job, others accused him of not being “patriotic,” while other pushed back on his claims with the rationale that he is a millionaire and has never been oppressed.

    Conversely, Kaepernick has received an overwhelming show of support for his protest, more importantly, the meaning behind his protest. Fellow NFL players, activists and members of the military have all shown a tremendous amount of support for Kaepernick.

    Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why we are using this music education platform to talk about a social issue. Well, as artists and trendsetters, you are in a unique position to use your influence to make significant change.

    Racism, sexism, rape culture, homophobia, transphobia, disenfranchisement, marginalization, poverty, the fact is, there is too much going on in our world to be apathetic. Musicians have always been the voice of the people. Whether creating songs to motive and spur protest or using their influence to further a cause, the musician’s role as a change agent is key.

    Like Kaepernick’s protest, speaking for those without the means or the platform may cause you to be at odds with popular opinion. But speaking and living your truth and the truths of those not able to speak for themselves is much more important than appeasing public opinion. 

    As artists and musicians, your craft will create amazing possibilities. While you create these amazing opportunities for yourself, the suffering of others should not be lost. As creatives, it’s vital to remember the importance of using your influence to create change.


     Save The Date!

    Get ready for The Exchange on September 18th at Hotel RL in Baltimore!  You MUST RSVP to attend and to play! RSVP HERE!


    [Sips + Sounds] feat. House Studio DC

    [Sips + Sounds] feat. House Studio DC

    We love what we do here at Creative Nomads. We can't express enough how much joy we find in connecting artists to other artists and to resources that will help them take their craft to the next level and better navigate the music industry.

    The incomparable event of Sips + Sounds kicked off its third round of networking events for its local comrades in arts, this past Tuesday. This month, our studio host was House Studio DC. This was thee event to be at, there were a magnitude of guest that arrived and were able to make "their network their net worth". These events are just as vital as breathing! Investing in yourself assures a way to reach your full potential.

    House Studio DC's space is prime for creativity. With a large white common space for events and/or video/photo shoots and a wonderful, state of the art studio space, House Studio DC has become a premier space for creatives.

     Although the weather was dark and dreary, the creatives shined bright at House Studios!  Lights, camera, and action ready, artists mixed and mingled sharing not only their talents but what they are contributing to the community. The music and passion for the arts created an environment that was undeniably amazing!

    Seeing creatives network and connect was a great sight. In this "do it yourself" era we are in with social media and streaming music it was great to see members of the arts community who are willing to ask and provide help, advice and resources to other artists. In addition to artists networking with and learning from each other, a space was created for Creative Nomads creator and founder, Kayenecha Daughetry, to talk about "split sheets."

    Becoming familiar with split sheets and how they are supposed to work is important in ensuring that all parties involved on a project receive proper credit and compensation. Many in attendance appreciated the fact that Creative Nomads including this education component within its networking event.

    As the evening continued, our guests were treated to sips by Red Bull, Baltimore based brewery, Union Brewing Company, and one of our return sponsors, D'ussé Cognac. Our friends at KIND provided wonderful snacks for our guests to help make the evening an enjoyable event.

    When we see the arts community brave the weather and travel to make new connections and learn tips that will be beneficial to their careers, it makes what we do at Creative Nomads worth it.

    A special thank you to our sponsors and our host, Monokia Nance, for making this event a success.

    If you would like more information on how you can become a member of Creative Nomads, contact us. Also, be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date on our continuing #SipsandSounds2016 series.

    [Plot The Industry Panel] Cross Cultural Collaborations

    [Plot The Industry Panel] Cross Cultural Collaborations

    [shot]  Nocturnal Charm

    [shot] Nocturnal Charm

    Four well traveled musicians and a production maven came together to share a wealth of knowledge with our Comrades In Arts about overseas artist in residency opportunities and cross cultural collaborations. GRAMMY nominated artist Kokayi, funk songstress Deborah Bond and the duo of Shaolin Jazz, Gerald Watson and DJ 2Tone Jones sat with Risikat Okedeyo at Hotel RL in Baltimore and explored the world of intercultural arts.

    Each took the time to break down what collaboration means and how to approach learning and performing in another country. The theme of the night was humility. Humility in learning the culture, learning the arts, and humility in presenting your arts. From the examples that were given our guests learned the MANY ways in which to find opportunities to perform, grow, and build in another country. From grants, music abroad programs, and private residencies the opportunities are endless.

    Thank you to our moderator Risikat Okedeyi of LiL SoSo Productions and our panelists GRAMMY nominated artist Kokayi, artist Deborah Bond and the duo of Shaolin Jazz Gerald Watson and DJ 2 Tone Jones for taking the time to share their experiences building with other cultures around the world through their music.

    Make sure to follow us on Instagram at @creative_nomads

    For more photos please see below!