We’re back with another installation of our latest series, TuneCore Tuesdays, which aims to highlight artists and other music professionals who are writing, recording, and hustling on their own terms. By showcasing creatives doing it their way all over the globe, TuneCore Tuesdays aims to empower and inspire our diverse community of artists.
This week we’re talking to Australian hip hop artist Jaycee. Check out his video and be sure to learn more about his journey!
Perth-based singer, rapper, producer and multi-instrumentalist Jaycee had a busy 2019.
He and his team were exploring strategies around releasing a bulk of his catalog, and they wanted to do something that’d turn heads. He had been following the campaigns of TuneCore Artists like Russ, who dropped one song per week for an extended run) and realized no other artist had done a similar long-winded campaign that also included videos for each single. So, just like that, Jaycee committed to releasing 26 singles and videos over the course of 26 weeks!
“That was definitely an interesting experience!” he says, “Russ inspired us a lot, and we wanted to do something similar – but with our own twist.”
Shooting 26 videos is no joke, but the DIY approach became second nature for Jaycee well before the campaign kicked off. As a teen, he offered his piano, guitar and drum skills in bands and began writing lyrics in high school. But when he wanted to build his own career, Jaycee’s attention turned to home production.
“When I started out, I didn’t have any connections or resources to afford professional studio time, so I had to figure out how to make a song myself (from start to finish) if I wanted to put music out,” he recalls. “I saved up a small amount of money, purchased the bare essentials required and set up a small home studio in a spare bedroom. Every song I’ve released has been produced, mixed and mastered by me from my home studio. I use LogicPro to create my songs and everything has been DIY from day one.”
Describing Perth as “the most isolated capital city in Australia”, Jaycee describes the local hip hop scene as supportive and enthusiastic.
“Perth is a pretty tight knit scene,” says the artist. “We’re all aiming to fly the flag for our city so everyone is very supportive. And I’ve actually collaborated with a couple of local artists on tracks, so that’s been cool.”
But Jaycee’s social media skills have helped him garner fans all over the world, enjoying over 32,000 Instagram followers and close to 40,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.
“Social media has made it very easy for me to create a deeper connection with my fans and interact with them in ways that weren’t possible only a few years earlier. I’m grateful for platforms like Instagram and TikTok because they have allowed me to build an audience and give my music exposure it previously wouldn’t have had.”
It’s authenticity and hard work, Jaycee claims, that artists should be focusing on:
“When you’re an independent artist all you have is you and your team,” he reminds his peers. “You need to be both strategic and relentless when it comes to releasing your music. Whether it’s fans or industry cats, you need to continuously think of creative ways to get peoples attention to hear your songs! You will get a lot more no’s than yes’s for a long time. But the key is block all that out and just keep going.”
Jaycee’s work ethic, DIY approach, and ability to utilize all the resources at his fingertips reinforce the concept of what it means to be independent in 2020.
“My team and I are fiercely independent and pride ourselves on doing everything ourselves (as we have thus far). TuneCore literally provides all the same services that a major label record does for upcoming artists – but without any strings attached! With technology being where it’s at, and the enormous reach artists can have by strategically utilising tools and platforms that are available to everyone, has made traditional record labels/deals less appealing for artists like myself.”