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Seth Dyer explains how to be a successful DIY artist & how to make something from “Nothing”

Toronto, ON – As he gears up for his upcoming performance at Adelaide Hall for 199Z Fest, Toronto artist Seth Dyer just released a brand new single titled “Nothing.”

“Nothing” is a track made in celebration of Seth nearing a million streams via Spotify. Seth comes in over a very militant style, self-produced beat as he tells the story of his come up and how he’s worked his way from “Nothing” to something.

It’s taken him a long time to get to where he’s at, but he’s done it gradually and 100% organically. I’ve been following Seth for a while now (just over three years, in fact) and he’s one of the most industrious artists I’ve met. This guy does everything himself. And not only does he do everything himself, but he’s constantly raising the bar on himself. Whether it’s sending out press releases, producing beats, or working on his branding and strategy, I’ve been privy to witnessing Seth’s growth over time. He doesn’t have a big team around him, he doesn’t have a massive budget, and he definitely has not been given any shortcuts along the way.

Seth Dyer discusses his two new singles & how to elevate your rap career with minimal funds - HipHopCanada.com


Q&A: Seth Dyer

HipHopCanada: Start off by telling me what this track means to you on a personal level.

Seth Dyer: This one means a lot to me. I made a commitment to myself to reach 1-million streams this year and I’m 50,000 away from my goal. As I look back at how I’ve gotten to this point I really came from nothing. No producer, no engineer, no money, no connections for years. Now artists that have everything I thought I needed are coming up to me and saying they respect my independent organic grind and I’m very thankful for that. I know if I stay committed, driven and keep my mind in the right space I’ll have the success I’m aiming for as an artist.

HipHopCanada: Respect! So talk to me about what your “Nothing” come up was like, and how that inspired you to make something out of it.

Seth Dyer: A lot of money moves around this business and money often pushes people’s careers further and faster than someone who doesn’t currently have the resources to pump thousands of dollars into their career. I came from a household where my mom struggled every year to keep our house, pay her bills and keep my brother and I fed. I learned to make beats on a crappy home computer. I started engineering with Adobe Audition it took me years to become a great rapper and artist. Whenever I got money I tried to invest in my career; I bought a better computer, I got Pro Tools to engineer and mix with, and I genuinely did everything from scratch. I had to make my own beats, record myself, mix myself, book my own shows, edit my own videos even make my own graphics at times. I’m very happy it happened like that though. I appreciate what’s happening so much more now and I know I can stand on my own two feet in this business. I’ve gotten myself to a level where other artist now pay me for the skills I developed out of my necessity.

“Whenever I got money I tried to invest in my career; I bought a better computer, I got Pro Tools to engineer and mix with, and I genuinely did everything from scratch.”
– Seth Dyer

HipHopCanada: Of all the guys I’ve been following, you’ve always stood out to me as one of the most industrious. Because you quite literally do everything yourself – from the production, to your PR mail-outs and everything. What are the most crucial things a DIY artist should know? How can a guy on the come up get success without a big team or a big budget?

Seth Dyer: The first thing I would say is that everything starts with your mindset. You have to have desire, you have to make a choice to get what you want and then you have to take the action to get what you want. So my process goes: 1. Desire 2. Choice 3. Action. All of that starts in your mind. The second thing I would say is to work hard. Work harder than everyone else because you have to. Record more music, release more music, learn everything you can about music and the business. The information is everywhere for free. If you can’t find a producer to work with, become your own producer. The resources on YouTube are crazy. My younger brother just picked up production and he’s further in one month than I was in six. If you can’t afford studio time save up and record yourself or create a studio fund with your income and devote a certain percentage to recording music. You also have to think smarter and different than everyone else otherwise you’ll be everyone else. What creative things can you do that fits with your music and message that will be cool for your current fans and new fans? At the end of the day it all boils down to self-sufficiency. I refuse to believe that great music will go unnoticed, if you’re dedicated and talented and think a little different than everyone else you can have success. All together though I believe it all starts with your mindset you have to know you deserve success and then go get it!

“What creative things can you do that fits with your music and message that will be cool for your current fans and new fans? At the end of the day it all boils down to self-sufficiency. I refuse to believe that great music will go unnoticed, if you’re dedicated and talented and think a little different than everyone else you can have success.”
– Seth Dyer

HipHopCanada: I think “organic” is a word that gets thrown around pretty loosely but talk to me about what – exactly- it means to do things organically, and to get organic success.

Seth Dyer: Organic to me is doing things solely from the strength of your music and not throwing money at every issue. Investing in your career is not a bad thing. I would never advocate that but I’m not into paying for things like SoundCloud plays or placements because that means that people don’t genuinely vibe with your music; you’re just getting people paid. An organic come up is based completely around the music and the creative work which includes music, photos, graphics, videos, shows and just the art in general. It’s all based around the content and fans gravitate to the content. Organic success to me is being able to live off of the revenue my music makes me and to be able to have great tours based off of a fan base I created from the ground up. It may take a little longer but it’ll sit well with my conscience knowing I did this from the ground up and I own what I do.

HipHopCanada: What was that audio clip you used at the end of the track and what is its significance?

Seth Dyer: That’s a clip from Grant Cardone. He’s a multi-millionaire businessman. He’s into real-estate, investing and other things. I actually draw a lot of the inspiration for my hustle from successful businessmen like Grant Cardone, Gary Vee, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett and Jay-Z (had to get an artist in there). My YouTube feed is full of business videos and business insight. If I’m a boss I have to think like a boss and learn from real life bosses.


Twitter: @SethDyer_EV

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Sarah Jay

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Sarah Jay is HipHopCanada's Associate Editor in Chief. Sarah is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

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