Meet Jimii HitMaker, the 24-year-old, Bronx, New York born, Virginia raised artist, who is marching into the music industry to the beat of his own drum.
HitMaker claims no particular genre, as he strives to let his music be its own classifier. BlackEnterprise.com caught up with the aspirer to find out how he plans to stand out in an already crowded room of upcoming independent artists.
Check out his plan to rise:
BlackEnterprise.com: How would you describe your sound as an artist?
HitMaker: I don’t have one. I really don’t want to be boxed in by people. I don’t want to be stuck with just R&B or just trap. I try to dabble around and touch everything, so when you hear me, you don’t know what to say I am. I can be an R&B singer one day and a pop artist the next.
How would you generalize your content?
People say I’m a conscious rapper. I tell the truth. All of my raps are factual.
If I’m not really going through anything, I don’t feel like I make the best music. I make the best music in [times of] struggle.
You’re currently an independent artist. Why are you looking to remain that way?
I want to touch everything I can put my hands on, without getting mixed up in the game. A lot of people take deals and they’re 360 deals, and they can’t really explore nor do what they want to do.
I own my music, and I want to continue to own my music, royalties, and compositions. I like the fact that I can distribute my own music, track my sales, and monitor my demographic. I have all the control.
As an independent artist, how do you go about marketing yourself?
That’s the hard part—I’m trying to be more strategic. At first, it was mainly social media and seeking out promo packages where you pay for promotion. I realize that’s not the way to go, when considering longevity. Maybe for that month or for three months it’s good for driving traffic, but if you don’t have a machine behind you, there’s no need for that.
Now, I’m trying to find different areas—like collaborating with companies like Black Enterprise—to really get a bigger platform to be noticed, so people can recognize me for what I do.
What do you think sets you apart from all other up and coming hip hop artists?
What I’m rapping about is real. When people see my story and listen to the music, they fall deeper in love with me. Shows, meet and greets, exposing myself, and opening up all the way is my biggest asset. My best quality is the truth.
I also do what other independent artists aren’t willing to do. They want to put a lot of music out and are focused on quantity. I don’t just throw music out; I try to set myself up for the long haul. If I’m going to drop music, I want to sell it. I want it to be profitable. Many independent artists just want to be on SoundCloud or YouTube. I’m getting paid for SoundCloud and paid for YouTube. Every time I put something out there, it’s going to be monetized.
When I started, I went straight to books. I want to read about this. I want to learn the business. I’m not just an artist; I’m my manager and promoter. A lot of artists just want to rap; be in front of the camera, get a little fame. I’m trying to set up a business.
What are your long-term and short-term entrepreneurial goals?
Short-term: establish my label. Long-term: be iconic.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I have my album 1992 My Jurnee that will drop during the fall, and I have a mixtape featuring me and my right-hand man, Lou—it’s called WUDNTBE (What’s Understood Don’t Need to be Explained). I’m also working on shooting videos of my prior work that will be available on YouTube.