Interview with John Lewis (@geokidmusic)

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Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

For years I had wanted to break into the world of internet entertainment such as you-tubers, streamers, bloggers, etc. I saw how these people had dedicated fanbases and were able to live amazing lives from the income they made with these ventures. So I started a blog, a YouTube channel, and I even tried to write a book. After a couple of years of not gaining any traction with these projects, I didn’t know what to do. One day I was walking and came up with the idea of making music. It was a perfect choice for me as at the time of this decision I had been performing on stages doing musical theatre and plays for four years. This meant I already had vocal skills and the skills needed to perform on stage successfully. In addition to that my father is a poet and I believe that his skills of writing poems rubbed off on me when it was time for me to write lyrics for my songs. I decided to make comedy rap because I enjoy listening to hip-hop music and because I like making people laugh and being a comedic person. I chose the stage name Geokid for myself because I have always had an interest in geography. In fact, the blog and YouTube channel I told you about before were both about geography. I also planned on making many songs about geography, for example, my comedic diss track on the continent of Antarctica. I chose kid as the suffix of my artist name because of my young age, at the time of this interview I’m going into my Sophomore year of high school. After coming up with the name I started making songs, and the rest is history. 

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this? 

The most interesting story so far in my career as a rapper happened a few months ago. At this time I had released a few songs but my fanbase was very very small. Only a few people in my school knew about my music, and hardly anyone in my community knew I was a rapper. Over the span of a few weeks, this was going to change. It started when a friend of mine told my English teacher that I make comedy music. After reading the lyrics of one of my songs and seeing the references to different ancient philosophers she decided to play this song in front of my class, she did this twice. I also had the coach of my school’s quiz bowl team play two of my songs during practice. In addition to these different people, I went to church with would listen to my music and put it on their Facebook and Instagram which really helped my fanbase grow. Although these moments may not sound very interesting to you, they are very important to me because I was able to get hundreds of fans and thousands of streams for my music in such a short amount of time.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

There are many different things that everyone in the music industry has to learn to become successful and have longevity in their career. I have different pieces of advice for different stages of a career in music. If you are a beginner the most important thing you have to do to get ahead is consistency. You need to release music regularly so you can build up a discography worthy of a fanbase. It’s very hard to build a core fanbase from one track. Once you are starting to gain some traction with your music the next piece of advice I would give would be to network with producers and other artists. These connections will help your fanbase grow exponentially. For example, if you have a collaboration with another artist, you will gain fans from that artist’s fanbase. It’s also good to make connections with other people in the industry such as the A and R’s who can sign you to a label and videographers who can help with music videos. If you have a hit song and are starting to gain a lot of fame the number one tip I would give to you is to not surround yourself with yes men. Yes, men are people who think every idea you have is a good one, and they will never question you because they don’t want to be cut out of your inner circle and lose the perks of being friends with a famous artist. They can hurt your creativity and therefore hurt your image and cause you to become forgotten by the industry. For example, let’s say you are an artist that makes a bad track. Instead of telling you that it’s bad and probably not what your fans want, yes men will say that it sounds great. They don’t really care about you and your career in the long term sense. They just want to hang around you while you are famous. 

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

There are so many people who have helped me with my music career. First I want to thank my sister who goes by the artist name “Maren” for helping me to get interested in making music in the first place. She was making music way before I was and watching her have a lot of fun with music inspired me to make music. My father is another person I want to thank as hearing his poetry which was occasionally comedic helped me to write good comedic lyrics. There are so many others I should mention as they have always supported me since I started making music but the list would be too long for this interview. 

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

The main way I think I have helped bring goodness to the world is by the content of my music itself. In the past couple of years, the music being made by the hip-hop industry has gotten very dark. While I respect most artists making music right now I think a lot of the music being released could be harmful as it talks about self- medication and other dark topics. My music while maybe not conveying as much of a strong message or being as emotional is fun to listen to, comedic and light, and without curse words, so anyone can listen to it.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

One quote I really like is from one of my favorite entrepreneurs and speakers named Gary Vee. The quote says, “ Ideas are worthless without the execution; execution is pointless without the ideas.” These words have helped me countless times while making music especially when I was starting off in my career. I always read this whenever I have an idea I think is far-fetched or unlikely to happen. After reading it I remember that in order to become successful I need to execute these ideas in the best possible instead of waiting forever to execute them or forgetting about them. And that’s what I do. 

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

If you want to find me on social media my Instagram is @geokidmusic, my Twitter is @geokid8, my LinkedIn name is Geo Kid, my TikTok is @geokidofficial, and my YouTube channel is Geokid. 

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