Navigating The Fast-Paced Music Landscape In Conversation With LIFEOFTHOM [Interview]

Marissa Duldulao
Credit: “ROOM 44” EP Cover

The music landscape is undergoing significant shifts due to numerous advancements, which are raising a plethora of questions for artists. How does one effectively navigate the music landscape amidst these changes? What perspectives do you approach it from? Furthermore, how much effort do you truly dedicate to honing your craft?

During my conversation with LIFEOFTHOM, a 24-year-old artist from Washington Heights, New York, I gained valuable insight into these pressing matters. With years of experience in the music scene, Thom provided insightful perspectives on various topics, including the emergence of new distribution services and the importance of obtaining media coverage. He also touched upon his aspirations for the future of his career. Throughout our exchange, Thom shared useful advice for aspiring musicians, stressing the importance of implementing effective marketing strategies and cultivating a strong brand identity to thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of the music business. 

We also reflected on some common observations we make in the community, leading to our key point: the entry level of music is fairly low, which has its advantages and challenges. There’s plenty of room for discoverable talent, but genuine intention and perseverance for longevity are crucial for navigating the landscape.

Over time, the music landscape has changed tremendously in terms of marketing, self-promotion, and pretty much all aspects of media. I just want to know what’s your insight on all these new distribution and subscription services?

I will say it's shifted heavy. It was a lot of things that were gatekept for a very, very long time. And as the internet pretty much expanded, especially through the course of 2020 through last year, I don't know, shit just shifted crazy. We got curator pages out the ass now. But back then it was Vine, Twitter, and the blog era for artist discovery. It's like, now you have more access, and there's so many different points to get into this shit. Like there's more players on the field. 

With all these new distribution and subscription platforms like Vault launched by James Blake coming out, as an artist yourself, what are you excited about and not so excited about with these types of platforms?

I think the direct consumer base is fire, it’s cool. The thing is I’m not new to that because I was into NFTs top in January of 2021. I was already into those markets like Zora or SuperRare. I'm not trying to sound prestigious, but I've known that membership is the best way to really fund your shit. Patreon already been on that, Bandcamp has already been on that. Like if you really care about your shit, your career, you're going to try and adapt to a system like this. Because a system like this is the future of tomorrow. 

Yeah, there have been so many new advancements in the business especially around media and websites. And how do you think artists can put in more effort into making quality music, rather than focusing on numbers or the one-time viral moments?

You know, I was watching my boy HDBeenDope's video on this. And like, the biggest problem is we got a lot of people out here that's just making music for that reason.  Especially in the underground scene some are not coming with the best rooted intentions for the foundation of what the smartest and genius minds have come to do this for. I think we are in an era right now where homies is just pumping out songs from metrics and logistics. Like what Prodigy said in this one video clip, he was like, yo, there’s a lot of people that think they could just rap. This game is for a select few, who are really here to really make shit shake. For me, I'm here to become one of the greatest of my generation. That's why I hold so many different hats. That’s why I'm doing strategy and pitches for my team, that's why I'm producing, that’s why I'm mixing and mastering everything, and even that's why I dub certain deals because I know my value, I know my worth. And I know there's risks I could take, but there's even a bigger one I could take.

This is an ironic topic, but how important is media coverage and interviews to you as an artist?

Oh, that's super important. That’s your branding right there. You gotta understand, this is a music business. At the end of the day, my music is my product. LIFEOFTHOM is the product. So it is imperative, for the brand, the brand association, if you want to really get your shit out there and have your face in front of the people, ain't no way that's going to happen if you're not taking interviews. I know dudes who selfishly don't do that shit and lowkey it bites them in their ass. These interviews give insight. 

Could you name some of your favorite artists, mainstream or not, that have the best marketing tactics?

Easy yo, definitely Saba how he puts things together. I love how ScHoolboy Q puts things together. I love how TiaCorine is rolling out her shit right now for her tour. She's been one of my favorites since like 2019 for real. And definitely Earl Sweatshirt. All of their rollouts and the way they just put themselves together is just fucking epic.

Do you have any favorite upcoming artists? Do you have any in mind you would like to collaborate with or continue to collaborate with?

I think in the community I'm fucking with people like Chris Patrick. I think he's really dope. Sol ChYld, Trevor Spitta, Fergie Baby that’s my dawg. Then Iman Nunez, Niko Brim, Mia Gladstone, mynameisntjmack, Mijita, Wiseboy Jeremy, Andre Lawrence. I feel like the list goes on man, hold up now you got me whipping up the Spotify. I would definitely say Trent the HOOLiGAN and fourfive. 

What are some goals you have for yourself and with your career?

Definitely want to get some more producer placements. I want to be able to produce something on like one of the next Kanye albums, something for Jordan Ward, or one of the next Lyrical Lemonade tapes. I definitely want to step up my producer placement game. I want to go on a nice tour, open up for someone like Mick Jenkins, Kenny Mason, or Paris Texas. I want to be able to get my merch going on a marketing scheme from Shopify to even retail stores. I definitely want to get like a record in one day with Bad Bunny. I want to take shit to the next level really. 

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