May. 7th, 2017
Lil Yachty vs Joe Budden: The Do’s and Don’ts of Artist Interviews
The Yachty-Budden interview has everyone talking about what both parties did wrong. A successful interview leaves everyone looking better, not worse. Budden came off like an attack dog and Yachty looked… well, not good. Interviews don’t have to go that way. In fact, they shouldn’t.
So we’ve got some tips to help you prepare for, and navigate, the world of high-profile, high-stress interviews. Keep reading.
DO: Stand Up for Yours
If an interviewer is coming after your music, your image, your label, or anything you represent for that matter, take a stand and stop him or her right away. If you let the insults continue to flow, you validate them—no matter how untrue. If you believe in what you and your people are doing, let it be known.
Interrupt them if you have to and set the record straight.
DON’T: Give Financial Details
An interviewer is not your lawyer, your manager, or your booking agent. They don’t need to know how much you signed for or what you make from a show. They may try to pressure you into revealing numbers under the guise of giving you an opportunity to boast, but honestly what they’re looking for is a chance to pin your success down with a number. Don’t let them.
DO: Tell Them to Back Off
Just because they have the title, does not mean an interviewer has the privilege to come for you. An interview is a two-way street that’s meant to benefit both you and the other party. If all an interviewer is interested in is negativity, tell him or her to chill. Interviewers ultimately want a clickable headline, but that doesn’t have to come at the expense of your good image.
DON’T: Go In There Without the Details
You may not have to take any bull, but you do need to know your stuff. An interviewer may try to make accusations—like Budden calling out Yachty on a 360 deal—but if you’ve got the facts, you’ve got iron-plated protection. Not to mention these are things you should know anyway: your record deal, your management contract, your records sold, etc.
DO: Be Honest
However if there’s something you don’t know, be up front about it. Dodging questions or elongated “uhh’s” are way worse for your image than a simple, straightforward “I don’t know… yet.” There’s no information you can’t find out, and you’ve got a lot to juggle, so there’s no reason to be ashamed of something you haven’t learned yet.
Just don’t get caught twice.
DON’T: Be Afraid to Talk About the Competition
There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition—in most cases it can drive you to be a better artist. You know what you’re doing is great but that doesn’t mean everyone else in your genre is making trash. Give props to your peers who deserve it, give honest criticism if you’ve got it, and turn the conversation back to what matters: your music.