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SoundCloud has become a platform for many artists to get their start and share their music. Lil Yachty and Desiigner both started out by sharing their mixtapes on SoundCloud, and White Station students are doing the same.
Arizona Akin (12) and Jaren Logan (11) are students who write and produce their own music, share it on SoundCloud and hand out mixtapes.
Logan started sharing music on SoundCloud after being inspired by other rappers on the internet.
“I want these people to feel me,” Logan said. “ I don’t mean just my school or my city. I mean I want the whole world to hear what I got.”
Akin did not start sharing his music on SoundCloud until he realized that the internet was where people were really looking for new music. After figuring this out, he adapted and began posting his music everywhere.
When Akin attempted to sell his first mixtape, he planned on selling them for $5. One day, he set up in front of a store, and by the end of the day, he had only made $5. Akin did not want to stop sharing his music, so he decided to hand out his mixtapes for free.
“Even if you don’t have money in your pocket, you shouldn’t be deprived of the music,” Akin said.
Logan took a different approach. He handed out his first mixtape, “The Chronicles of a Third Wheel,” for free.
“The first year, I was just trying to get out my name and my sound,” Logan said.
He decided to sell his second and newest mixtape, “Primo,” at school and at barbershops around Memphis because he believed that people would listen to music that they actually paid for.
Both Akin and Logan work hard to produce quality content.
“With every song that I write, I try to make it better than the last one,” Akin said.
They both wait until they are struck with inspiration before writing a song.
Their music styles are not only influenced by the people around them and other artists, but also by their feelings and experiences.
“I would call myself a reality rapper,” Akin said. In my songs I write about what I’m feeling.” Once they have an idea for what they want to write, they begin searching for beats that match the emotions that they are trying to get across. After finding the perfect beat and writing lyrics, they head into the studio to start recording.
“I’ll be recording two weeks before release, and I’ll be writing as I’m recording,” Logan said. “Nothing sounds right until I make it sound right.”
Both Akin’s and Logan’s passion are evident in all the music that they release, and that is a goal they share: produce music that they are proud to put their names on.
Of course, they receive comments from critics, but their evident self-confidence and the support of their family and friends save them from discouragement. Logan’s self-confidence is one of the main themes prevalent in his music.
“I choose to rap about these topics because I hate being doubted,” Logan said.
Both Logan and Akin are constantly perfecting their craft, and making music has become much more than a hobby for them.
“It’s definitely my career path,” Akin said. “There is no other option for me. It’s either this or nothing.”
Their commitment to creating content consistently is what makes them like other mainstream artists who started out sharing work on the internet and handing out mixtapes. Logan advises that if you want to get started, just share your music everywhere, and get your name and your sound out to as many people as you can. Maybe one day, Logan and Akin will be among the list of well-known artists who got their starts by sharing their mixtapes.