Before he took on the music game, 6LACK studied computer science in college, and truth be told, it laid the foundation for the career success he’s reached today.
“In the easiest of ways, just being able to navigate a computer early in my life made it so that I was on social media pretty early,” he told AFROTECH. “I was able to figure out MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and everything as it grew.”
He continued, “Being able to grow with technology definitely proved as a benefit at the beginning of my career because I would figure out how to recruit people and make them a part of the fan club, and it was a fun job in the beginning to just like build my own little family.”
View this post on Instagram
Not only did technology lay the foundation for 6LACK’s career, but being connected to a label like LVRN (Love Renaissance) is the icing on the cake, he says, because it allows him space to let his creative juices flow freely.
“Honestly, it’s the easiest thing that I could ever ask for as far as management and creativity,” he said. “As being productive goes, it cuts out the middleman and makes it easy to just have conversations in a way that you would with just your friends and family. It’s very easy for us to get things done. It’s very easy for us to make decisions. Even if we agree, or disagree, somebody has different ideas, it’s just the type of environment where you can get in one room and shoot as many ideas as you want until you come out with a good product.”
As previously reported, finding the perfect team wasn’t necessarily an easy feat for 6LACK. The musician’s relationship with a former label ended with a bad deal that not only kept him away from his love of making music but ultimately ended with him having to split $5,000 with the friends who signed the deal as well.
“First thing is it just taught me how to read,” the “Pretty Little Fears” crooner told AFROTECH. “It also helped me to learn how to observe a situation and know, ‘Oh, this is good. This is bad. This is what it’s gonna look like long term. Here’s the pros and cons.’ I had nobody break that down for me.”
He continued, “It was learning how to read for myself and then also finding people who could explain things to me that I just couldn’t have known unless I went to school for it.”
What’s more his mindset around money changed, as did his approach to conversations around it.
“I’m more talking about purpose more than I’m talking about money,” 6LACK said. “I just want to be able to connect with people, have good conversations, shoot good ideas, and actually vibe and love who I’m working with before we just start to get into the money conversation.”
He continued: “So, just seeing where people’s heads are, seeing what they’re focused on, seeing what their common goals are and just moving from that.”
His authenticity within the industry has recently led to 6LACK having a partnership with Verizon, Apple Music, the NFL, and Uninterrupted where he went back to his Baltimore roots and joined Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson to curate the perfect playlist for the team and fans through the “Verizon Run The Playlist” initiative.
“It was something that I’ve never done before,” 6LACK said to answer why he said yes to the partnership. “I’ve been a sports fan for my entire life, but just in the simplest of forms, I never got to be the star quarterback in my life. I never even got to be in that type of space and hold that type of conversation, and talk about the parallels between sports and music, so to do it for the first time was just a no-brainer.”
The perfect partnership for the “Since I Have A Lover” singer involves trust, and he isn’t afraid to walk away from any business deal that doesn’t support that.
“If people specialize in different things, you know, just having the trust to let people take care of whatever their part is, and to come back to the table, and you know, to agree to come to one point. Trust is super important to me,” 6LACK said.
“And there have been plenty of opportunities that I’ve turned down just because they didn’t align,” he added. “I don’t necessarily do everything for the look of the business or the money. It is more about relationships and how things feel. So if things feel good, if I become people’s friend, or if we can have the same common goal, it’s pretty much a go for me.”
Looking ahead, 6LACK has dreams of taking his love for music a step further and someday becoming an instructor for others.
“I think one day after I’ve learned a ton more in regards to music, songwriting, and producing, I would love to figure out a way to teach it,” he explained. “Like, if it’s a course or a specific type of school or if it’s just something that we do in-house, I would love to be able to run some kind of seminar.”