MKHL from London, currently living in Atlanta.
I kicked off the interview by asking MKHL what genre he works in…
I make mostly hip-hop but I'm far from limited to just rap. It's always been a part of my culture and film, especially music videos, have always been a huge influence in my life and the life of people around me.
And why do you make music?
I see the ability to reach out to the masses and create change and that inspires me.
What are you working on at the moment?
After my last major release for my song "Low", available on all major streaming platforms and on my website mkhlmusic.com, I am now in Georgia partnered with KWYS for recording and joined the label Afromartian. My next planned release is "Sex" which will be set for international pre-order on the 9th. The video will be the official launch on my own Vevo channel mkhlVEVO and I'm working with Cale Donaldson once again to bring this vision to life just like we did with "Low".
I'm incredibly excited for this because it marks a major step in my career as a visual artist, as well as a musician. Being on VEVO has always been a major goal for me. My video for "Low" got me on the website and now I have the chance to host my own channel and become a part of that high-end production world.
Does that mean your audience will only find you at mkhlVEVO?
Everything will all still available on my website mkhlmusic.com
What is unique about your work that sets you apart from other creatives working in your field?
Before hip-hop I started out playing folk music on guitar in the subways of NYC. It was my way of making money, doing something I loved, and also taught me how to perform to a crowd.
In my music now you can still feel its influence. The topics I choose to make my songs about vary so much more than most artists in my genre because my roots are in others like rock, folk, country and punk.
Do you promote your work on social media? What platforms are you on?
I love Instagram. It's probably the best place to reach me:
My Facebook is where I often drop my videos early:
My YouTube channel is going to become a VEVO channel soon but I'll still have it up. I think I want to use it for a vlog so I can always stay connected to my fans:
My main website with show details, music downloads, videos, and soon merch is:
On which platform do you have the largest audience?
Instagram is my main fan base. I just love how simple it is. The picture layout and content quality just makes scrolling, commenting, and connecting with fans so easy. Facebook has given me the most video views with "Low" getting over 40k in 2 weeks but in terms of post-to-post interaction, Instagram is the best.
The question we all want answered is, how have you found and built your audience on social media?
First I got into hashtags, following the trends that applied to me and using them to find the audience I wanted to connect to most. I like posts and pictures from as many people as I can every day and it always opens up communication with more people to work with. For example, if I post a new picture that's just a really awesome, well-taken image, I’ll post a question and info about what I'm doing musically under it and then go to a tag like photography, and like everything. I know they'll like the pic and then read and that's a new fan from outside of my standard audience. I make music for everyone, not just people into the music tag on this day on Instagram.
Can you go into a bit more detail on that for us?
Tailor your tags in accordance to your target audience and the image you've taken. A beautiful black and white raindrop image taken from your music video will do WAY better with tags aimed at photography than it will under the hip-hop tag. The best tip though? Connect your IG and Facebook profiles and then only buy your ads through Facebook. Use a worldwide target audience to get your art out there and understand that this is what investing in yourself means.
There are tons of websites with the most popular tags updated on them too.
Do you pay for advertising either online or in other media?
Heck yeah, I do, how do you think anyone makes it? Your video can't go viral without that initial push unless you know someone that'll post it to a major blog or have a celeb in it already.
Where do you make the most sales?
Spotify right now is the best place. I use CD Baby to handle distribution and mainly push Spotify for royalties but I'm expecting VEVO to take over. On average 1k Spotify plays is around $5, about $0.005 per play. VEVO is expected to be more like $0.05 due to premium ad placement and with Google AdWords as an option to boost views I doubt any other streaming service will hold up. Maybe iTunes when my name's even bigger but there's no real way to advertise on iTunes, only ways to advertise your link on other websites.
Do you have any techniques to convert followers into customers?
Facebook pixels are designed specifically for this. First, run a brand awareness add to get as many people familiar with your brand as possible and then use a Facebook pixel to track those people and create a lookalike add that will retarget them and track the ones that purchase your product (usually just set one on page view and on your thank you page).
Do you have a marketing philosophy?
Just because they don't buy what you're selling doesn't mean they don't want it. Your biggest supporters are all strangers.
Do you use any tools or apps to help you market your work online?
The Facebook ads app is gold, I can set up ads, track performance, and customise the links right there and then while looking at my demographics and seeing directly who I'm affecting. It's the best one out there so far as I know.
What are your top 3 tips to help other creative people learning to market their work?
1. Pay for ads
2. Use the facebook pixel to track customers and retarget
3. Don't be afraid to give things away, but only if you’re getting something back, for example, blog spots to someone with more followers than you or an audience you have trouble tapping into