Uncut: 6lack x LVRN

On Friday, November 9th, Atlanta-based record label LVRN engaged in a fruitful discussion at Harvard University with students and artists from throughout the Boston area looking to learn more about what it takes to make a name for themselves. According to the team, there are three critical factors that attribute to an artist’s success: hard work (not just talent), how good their management team is, and where and how they publish their music.

First and foremost, LVRN makes it clear that hard work beats talent. It is one’s dedication to their art and their vision that sets them apart from the rest. A talent for producing, songwriting, or performing only gets you so far. It is the tough skin and perseverance needed to withstand (and bounce back) from criticism and rejection that produces winning artists.

Second, an artist can only get their music so far without a dedicated management team. LVRN took pride in their ability to pick out “dope sounds” while calling each other out on the bad ones. The team maintained that such criticism is meant to be constructive and honest, ultimately bettering the production process. LVRN communicated the harm that “yes-men” can have in failing to be honest about the art that you make. So, if anything, steer clear of “yes-men.”

Finally, how and where an artist publishes their music can make or break a career. Atlanta, a growing hub of producers, singers, songwriters, and promoters is incredibly different from Boston’s music scene, something that LVRN made very clear to the audience. An artist needs to know their city - what it needs, what it wants, what it’s looking for - before curating music in order to meet the demands of its listeners.

As part of No Label’s second speaker series, LVRN paired transparency with personal insights to deliver an invaluable session to nearly 300 creatives. While the alignment of people, experiences, and timing is important, it does not account for the fact that everyone has the potential to make it big as long as they stick to their vision and remember to retain their why.

Yes, your sound might be “good” - but why should LVRN listen to it? What sets you and your why apart from any other artist?

UncutMakeda Daniel