Most artists take time off between album releases; and to keep the buzz going some release mixtapes in between their last album release and upcoming release to stay relevant and create a buzz.
A mixtape is a collection of music by an artiste usually released for free. Compared to an album, a mixtape has less structure. It is usually a combination of original songs, covers or songs recorded over the instrumentals of already existing songs.
This sort of projects are used not only by upcoming rappers and singers but also established acts. For upcoming acts, dropping a mixtape is one of the steps taken towards putting in place a long-term career in music.
Here are reasons why you should release at least one mixtape in your musical career.
1. To showcase your art to the world
Mixtapes are a way to create awareness about you and your music. While albums cost money and take more time to produce, promote and market, mixtapes are a cheaper and less stressful way to release fresh material.
HKN artist Danago has employed this method to showcase himself. He recently released the second edition of his mixtape tagged “Free For Fanagogs 2”.
2. To build a fanbase
This can be used to connect with existing and potential fans. So you don’t have the backing of a major record label or lack the finances to go all out in terms of promotion. A mixtape can be used to reach your fans. The fact this is free gives it the potential to reach a wider audience.
Eva Alordiah has kept fans waiting and hungry for her debut studio album. In the meantime, the rapper has released two mixtapes: “Eva” (2014) and “Because You Been Waiting” (2016).
3. To promote upcoming projects
This can be used to promote an upcoming album. Most artists take time off between album releases; and to keep the buzz going some release mixtapes in between their last album release and upcoming release to stay relevant and create a buzz.
Nigerian rapper M.I has released three mixtapes till date. These three projects were released in between the debut of even bigger projects (his albums).
Before Canadian singer The Weeknd released his debut album “Kiss Land” in 2013, he released three mixtapes.
4. To build a name in the industry
In the history of American rap music, mixtapes serve as a rite of passage for the artiste. There are several hip-hop artists who gained recognition off the success of their mixtapes including A$AP Rocky, Chance The
Rapper, Gucci Mane.
5. It could lead to a record deal
A$AP Rocky’s debut mixtape “Live.Love.A$AP” scored him a record deal with Sony Music Entertainment in 2011. Remember hip hop artiste Kid Cudi? His first mixtape “A Kid Named Cudi“, got the attention of Kanye West
who signed him to his GOOD Music imprint in 2008.