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 NYC-based rapper and lyricist, Nigel Roxbury. Check out his video and be sure to learn more about his musical journey!
Even at a young age while growing up in Los Angeles, Chris Murch, AKA Nigel Roxbury, was enamored with music–specifically, hip hop (the TuneCore artist was raised near Roxbury Park in Century City, hence the stage name). Throughout high school, Roxbury would spend his time freestyling with friends, writing down bars, and finding influence in his favorite artists, including Blu (of Blu & Exile), Mac Miller, Nas, and Jim Morrison.
During his college years, Roxbury was solely focused on his basketball career and didn’t think his passion for music would amount to anything. That quickly began to change after his collegiate basketball career at Ithaca College came to an end and his focus moved toward his creative process and passion for music.
“I had a passion void in my life. I filled it by beginning to record music and put it out on SoundCloud. Then we grew and built from there,” Roxbury says. “Today, my catalog is fairly eclectic but for my EP ‘Everything’s Alright… I Guess’ I was listening to a lot of lo-fi, lyrical rap. You can sense that in the music,” he says.
The six-song EP took about nine months to complete and is Roxbury’s proudest project to date. “It was my first project in about five years and the effort and coordination that went into it was challenging but ultimately very rewarding,” he says.
Roxbury credits his career growth through learning how to promote himself. “At the beginning, it was still very much social media-based with Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Also extensive reach to blogs, influencers, managers, labels, etc. Now, social media is still there, but in an enhanced way. Outreach is still there but now there are sites that can get you directly in touch with the right people,” Roxbury shares.
Collaborating has been a major key to success for Roxbury, which can be heard and seen in his music, photoshoots, album artwork, and so much more. Whether it’s looking up beats on YouTube or reaching out to producers and other creatives, he has found that making relationships in music can be crucial to his success.
“Having another voice on tracks allows for the listener to be taken a potentially different direction for 16 bars or however long the feature is,” he says. “It’s cool to be DIY, but it’s also cool to get help and collaborate.”
Through trial and error, Roxbury has come to learn that the more serious you become as an artist, the more investment it takes to try to get your music in front of the right audience. Plus, working and distributing with TuneCore has really helped elevate his brand presence and reach new audiences.
“TuneCore has always been a great platform for straight-up distributing music. They’re always there to lend a helping hand and the promotion of artists on their social media platforms is incredible. They really do empower independent artists by giving them the tools to succeed while making it easy to get their music out there in the world,” Roxbury says.
Today, the TuneCore artist’s 2020 single, Solitude, has close to 50,000 streams alone. Roxbury’s ambition, passion for his craft, and the support system he’s developed with other industry professionals have him set on a path to building an even bigger name for himself going forward.
“Success comes in many different iterations,” shares Roxbury. If you’re not truly loving every step of what you’re doing then you’re doing it wrong. My success comes from the work put into the process of what I’m creating and the relationships I’ve made so far in music. Cultivating those two is essential.”