Last time we were here, we talked a little about the history of the whole “do it yourself” culture, from Punk Rock to Hip Hop to the Black Panthers to Disco DJs and everything in between. These days D.I.Y. has permeated nearly every part of our lives, from medical treatments to blogging and journalism (*author clears throat!*) to marketing to the new green movement to getting a job and starting a career! But the place where it still seems to be most prominent and influential is in music and entertainment, where more fans and artists are taking power into their own hands and creating, for themselves, new ways to sell, distribute, promote, listen to and benefit from entertainment of ALL kinds!
I’ve come across one of the most stark examples of this while working with an artist that is definitely on the rise, but has put in YEARS of work to get to where she currently is. That artists name is Teresa Jenee, a.k.a. Jene Ecklectic a.k.a. TJ to those that know her best. I want to talk specifically about Ms. Jenee because, in MY humble opinion, she represents, exudes and is the embodiment of everything that D.I.Y. is all about: making your own lane and not really being concerned what anyone else thinks, and in the process, gaining a little success and exposure!
Here are the facts: Teresa Jenee is a performer, that’s true. BUT WAIT! She’s a whole lot more than that. Why and how, you ask?
A. She owns her own label with Athena Sounds Music Group, originally began in 2002.
B. She’s the flagship artists of said label
C. She’s a producer and beat maker that’s not afraid to go against the grain of what’s being played everywhere else.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! When it comes to music and entertainment these days, there are many more options for both fans AND artists, as the old models continue to erode and make way for new ones that many of us are still trying to figure out…Teresa Jenee KNOWS this first hand and is taking full advantage of it! In addition to being a talented artist/producer/songwriter/label owner, she also dabbles constructively in graphic design. She’s been able to place her music on mainstream websites like iTunes and underground blogs such as Strange Fruit.
And I’m not finished, either! Ms. TJ has had the pleasure of gracing the stage in cities across the country from Brooklyn to Washington, D.C. to Atlanta and many other spots in between. She’s performed with the likes of Solange Knowles and Indie R&B superstar Eric Roberson. She’s been featured on BET Centric, Brooklyn Bodega and a HOST of other places on the web. And has done all this with barely the blink of an eye! Now, if that doesn’t spell out MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS for an artists still considered to be on the rise/an indie artist by many, I don’t know what is.
There’s much to be said for someone that clearly works day and night to have her voice heard as much as possible in any way possible. But heck, the bottom line is that we’re living in a time where, if you wanna be successful as an artist in the new music industry, be prepared to work to gain expertise in MANY areas besides just performing and singing into a mic. You’re not a businessman, you’re a BUSINESS, MAN! (Or in this case, WOMAN!!!)
Hats off to Teresa Jenee for being a D.I.Y. queen! Check her out on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, BandCamp and Tumblr. She’ll also be performing on October 29 for Howard University’s homecoming weekend at the Venus Lounge in D.C., along with Conya Doss, Eva Kennedy and Jessie Boykins III.
Thanks again for following, and as always, take care!