Theolodge is a hip-hop/rap artist from Central Florida. Born Theo James, the musician started his music career at an early age. Theolodge began performing in talent shows in elementary school. In middle and high school, he did impromptu shows during lunch. Influenced by some of hip hop’s elite, such as Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, TI, Outkast, Biggie and Tupac, Theolodge went on to develop his own music style and voice.
The musician has released four albums so far: Striving, Who Got Next, Fame, Just Because. The music genres Theolodge works in are Dancehall, Alternative, Rap, Hip Hop, R&b, Trap.
We talked to Theolodge about his music career, engaging with fans, and finding his audience.
Theolodge: I'm Theolodge, I'm from Florida. I grew up loving music. My dad played jazz. Jazz is a lot of instrumentals, and that’s where the hunger started, that's where I started.
Speaking of that, I am a do-it-yourself, and I am indie as well. The key things I can tell them [other indie artists] is just stay true to who they are. Don’t be scared to reach out to people personally.
I used to be the one [to go], “Oh, they are gonna find me. They're gonna come get me.” And then I got to the point where I was like, no, let me just hit them up directly. If I have your number, guess what, you received a link from me. If you are on my social media, you received a direct message from me.
Share material, share pictures, and that way that's your support.
It's up to you to say no, but if I don’t give myself the opportunity for you to say yeah, how will you ever say yeah?
So what I would tell them is, "You got your friends around you, tell your friends, hey, I need you guys to comment on my pictures when I post on Instagram, I need you guys to share."
And like I always say to my fans and potential fans – sharing is free, it doesn’t cost you nothing. If you can’t afford to support the artists you like financially, you always can support them by sharing. Share material, share pictures, and that way that's your support.
If you burn yourself out too quick, you give them nothing to wait for, to anticipate. But when you spread yourself out and become kind of exclusive, now they gotta wonder, and [feel], “Ugh, I’ve missed that show, now he’s not gonna do another one until two weeks later.” So what does that make them do? You have to follow my movements. And for the do-it-yourself artist, that's what you do – you make them follow your movement. Now you got them.
Try to find spots that are relevant.
Any club I go to I always print out poster size QR codes. I put them up by the ladies bathroom, guys bathroom, door entry, and the people taking the money. Because if you see something three times, it's stuck with you. After a while, you gonna wonder. So I send them directly to the music right then. So, I would use those methods to help with the sales.
As far as booking spots, just try to find spots that are relevant. Do little lounges, little clubs. Everybody thinks big-big-big! What's the point of having the whole big space with only 50 to 100 people.
I just have this weird feeling because everything comes back in circles, I think streaming will be around maybe strong five years, but I think year five going into ten I think it's going to convert back into CDs, vinyls. I think it's going to go back to into that stage, because everything wears out and it needs to fade away to come back and regain momentum.
Remember who you are at the end of the day, because anybody can put on any act that they want to. But when you go home and you look at the person in the mirror, that's who you really are, so big good to the person in the mirror.