In 2018, we launched Best Advice, a video series where some of the world’s leading artists shared a piece of advice they received, an advice they always took with them to help them figure out how to move their careers around the world and beyond. Done.
Tiara HaqSuggestions from Outre Andre 3000, LizoIts advice came from Miss Elliott, and Trippy RedIts suggestion was actually a quote from John F. Kennedy Jr. (via a history book).
Over the years we have interviewed everyone Rick Ross, Per Christina Aguilar, Per Phoebe Bridgers, Per Killer, Elton John, Quincy Jones, And Carol G., And many more. Each of them had a story that was connected to their advice, a narrative moment from their own lives where these instructive words took effect.
As a producer of Spotify for Artists, I spent a lot of time interviewing these incredible artists to come up with a quick Tidbit for the video series, but I found there were a lot of useful takeaways, so rich experiences and perspectives that were left to cut the room floor. So we decided to create the best advice podcast: candid, intimate conversations with some of the most interesting names in music. Each episode provides in-depth insights into how to navigate the world of music, commerce and creativity. Each artist shares their own advice collected from their successes and mistakes, as well as advice received from mentors, collaborators, family and trustees.
Coming down every Thursday at 10am EST, our 10 episodes will include conversations with the season Joey Bada 6, Hailey Kyoko, Ashnikko, Connor Oberst, Rush, Billy Cargan Of The Smashing Pumpkins, Princess Nokia, And more.
Today we are launching with a double drop: an installment with ATL hip-hop legend Gigi, And the other is futuristic-pop dreamer Charlie XXX. The poles are different – not only in terms of the music they make, but also their journey so far – both artists give a very clear view of their world today as a working artist.
Listen to the first two episodes and watch some of the many takeaways from Charlie XXX and Gigi.
Highlights of Gigi’s Best Advice episode
Forgiveness is the key.
I had to write a long list of people who made a mistake and I had to go down that list and give a reason why I would forgive each of them, just to forgive myself so I could move on. Hate is toxic. And when you are toxic, you give toxic energy to the people around you. You give your kids, your loved ones, your employees toxic energy, you know your coworkers. I was there.
When people make a mistake with you and it comes to your mind, if someone says you will never be anything … Someone will tell you that you will never be that person, you will never be that superstar, you will never do that and then you will spend your whole life with that person. You can’t get what they said trying to prove you wrong. Then you got it and you’re not happy, you’re still lost.
Everything about your ethics and values.
No matter where you come from, no matter where you go, no matter where you come from – money, fame, temptation – just don’t lose your values, your morals and your integrity because when everything is said and done, your one billion dollars, 10 There may be billions, if you don’t have these three things, you have nothing.
Being smart about money means being open-minded in a place where you are not the smartest person in the room.
You’re the brand, you’re the business, and when you come to a business meeting… they’re looking at ways to shrink numbers and ways to monetize. When I started to understand how to invest, to buy real estate, my metaphor was used as leverage to be part of a brand for equity … those conversations came with my level of comfort talking to people in other rooms and outside. We as artists, we are the leader of our pack, so it’s hard for us to look at someone else. It changed for me when I put my ego aside … and started walking right into those rooms “Okay let’s talk about it.” You need to be comfortable to be uncomfortable.
Highlights from Charlie XXX’s Best Advice episode
Commercial success is not equivalent to personal success and does not always fit your vision as an artist.
When I was thinking about who people were thinking about who I was, I was able to find myself and find the music that I love to make. It has taken away a lot of boundaries for me. I always had a distinct vision, but I also felt like I wanted to achieve commercial success and didn’t understand how my vision and commercial success would fit together. I’ve fought it a lot and now I don’t. But it took me a second to make it work and I think it was something that stuck me in for a while. I know this is the most ideal advice, but I think it’s actually advice that we don’t follow enough: you have to go with your gut.
Keep an open mind when working with new collaborators: you never know what might come out of it.
This is important when you are young and start exploring different types of people. Even now I have to say that, because I must be a little snob about who I’m going to work with for my own work. I write for others, so less, but when it comes to my own things, I judge very quickly and I want to be very quick, no, that person is not right for me, not even giving them a chance or meeting them. There are a lot of situations like this where I decided to pull the session around, but then I left and that person became one of my longest-term collaborators.
Read your agreements and ask questions.
When I signed at age 16 and I didn’t know that A&R had been standing for years and I was too scared to ask. There are still a lot of things that people assume you know. Labels have a responsibility to make the agreements clear to the people who are signing. And lawyers have a responsibility – if they are going to hire a young client – they have to spend time with that client and answer their questions. That’s the advice: ask all the questions.