Okay. One more time. From The Beginning...
Selling beats wasn’t the goal.
The money would be nice though. It'd fix the shattered iPhone screen that's all but torn off my fingerprints. And part of my left cheek.
Selling beats didn't seem realistic. Kid you not. Becoming Batman seemed more possible on this boring Wednesday afternoon.
Wasting away on a TwinXL, scrolling through the crushes' IG pics to that one sundress post from last summer. A smirk crawls across my face. 10/10.
But halfway through shooting my shot in her DM’s the iPhone with the shattered screen dies.
This is a sign.
Maybe not today?
We can decide when the phone is charged.
After I roll out of bed to do that, there’s a ding.
Wells Fargo alerting me of insufficient funds. Probably.
A quick glance at the notifications bar confirms my suspicion: $-4.52 in the checking account.
Then the iPhone with the shattered screen buzzes. And a new banner notification pops up.
PayPal Business: you received $43.99 from Kunden Write.
And the world freezes. And my heart drops out of my chest through my asshole. And then selling beats is no longer a fairy tale.
Still a miserable undergraduate Ivy League student? Yes. But now also a legitimate producer, thanks to Beatstars. Now skipping thesis seminars and calculus recitations to make beats didn’t seem as shameful.
The only thing that made sense was doubling down. And when I wasn’t deafening my roommates with my producing, I spent the rest of my time in DMs selling beats. And on YouTube learning how to improve the presentation of my brand with tools like Photoshop and Adobe Première Pro.
YOU DIDN'T THINK IT WOULD BE THAT EASY, DID YOU?
Motivation and will power run out though. They are finite. Scientifically proven.
Days turn to weeks turn to months and no more sales come in. A fluke. Of course.
And those skipped math lectures are catching up. The last calculus exam looked like a literature paper to me.
Not good. Mom and dad still rehearse my loss at the second grade spelling bee. My inclination to draw anime characters is cited as the distraction that kept me from studying enough to win.
Failing out of the Ivy League because I'm making beats will fucking kill them.
Music wasn't giving glory.
It was giving shame.
A college student with below average grades and no career prospects.
Of course I start going to class again.
What do you think I am, an idiot? (don't answer that)
I quit making beats. Sort of.
Grades improved. But the urge to throw my entire life away to click drums into a computer program festered in the background.
During every lecture. In each recitation. Throughout all the time spent practicing logarithms.
The desire to make beats burned red hot in my spirit.
So that's why I spent any free time available getting better at making beats or learning how to sell them.
Which was usually at 3 AM.
Late one night I come across a forum post discussing beat sales. This guy shows screenshots proving he makes well over $75 a day selling beats. Interesting.
How can this no body make $75 a day? He's got no placements and makes more than industry producers. Super interesting.
He details the post with tips about how to build genuine connections with musicians instead of just trying to make a quick buck up front. Nothing but gem after gem of music marketing information. And the last sentence of his post reads "... and then the connections just sort of naturally lead to sales. Idk how else to put it tbh lol."
And it all 'clicks' for me.
KNOWLEDGE (RELATIONSHIPS, & VALUE) ARE POWER.
Here's the kind of person I am.
As long as something makes sense to me, I'll pursue it and put my faith in it. Even if the rest of the world is in opposition, I remain unmoved. As long as it makes sense. But it has to make sense.
Spending $500 to fix my shattered iPhone screen doesn't make sense. Apple will put a bug in it once the new one drops in a month anyways.
Is that true? Maybe not. But it makes sense to me. So I believe and have faith in it.
The fact that it takes work to build a career in music isn't what derailed me for so long.
Not knowing the method to apply the work is what's terrifying. The thought of putting in all this work only to realize I did it all wrong crippled me.
It cripples me.
I'm not blessed enough to have totally blind faith in things. Except God.
And boy does God come through.
Not even 24 hours after reading the post from the "$75/day no body" I come across a site called Beatstars. It comes with every feature I need to build an audience of artists and producers who connect deeply with me.
The TL;DR. Chu hustled. Chu sold beats.
And then something else happened.
Artists start messaging me daily to commend me on my professionalism. And I'm getting more noticed on the internet for my music.
"...the connections just sort of naturally lead to sales. Idk how else to put it tbh lol."
Effort pays off. Centerfold sweeps Kyle's beat battle.
The beat not the kit. But the beat led to the kit.
The TL:DR. My traffic blows up over night.
The beat battle doesn't directly lead to this. But gaining so many followers form winning the contest encouraged me to make content. The content went viral. Then some beats went viral. And I got a few humble international placements from being a bit more noticeable.
And now here we are.
Hopefully, I get to continue this story...