How is it that a musician can cultivate mass amounts of plays on their first release when other musicians struggle for years without getting anywhere?
This past month CAT quarter three EMP student Noah Ridgway came out swinging with his first music release, the ‘Tear’ EP. DAMN0AH (Noah’s artist name) combines hedonistic viewpoints with Grunge and Heavy Metal music to create an aggressive new type of Hip Hop.
“I just want people to know that it’s okay to scream and get amped up because there’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to be tame or shy from yourself because you care what other people will think. I want people to forget about all of the stress going on in their lives and just let loose when one of my songs comes on,” says DAMN0AH.
The “Tear EP” is Noah’s debut EP that released on May 12th, 2020. Produced and written solely by Noah, the main idea around the project was to not only showcase his abilities as a producer/ vocalist but also give people a sense of who he is as a person.
“All of my current frustration and anger from recent broken friendships and betrayal went into the making of it, and I think the emotions are really felt throughout each song.” explains Ridgway.
Going against the grain of hip hop’s current trending auto-tune vocals with crazy filtering has paid off for Noah. Cultivating 5,000+ plays upon release with no prior track record of release! Combining rebellious music concepts with relatable branding has played a big part in Noah’s success but not everyone sees what goes on behind the scenes. When asked, Noah had this to say about the release:
“Getting started as an artist is the hardest part, so that’s why it takes a lot of posting on social media and just getting yourself out there in general. Leading up to the drop of my EP, I was posting pictures and snippet videos of me rapping my upcoming music. Just to give people a taste of what was to come and showing them, I am about it. I started posting content that related to my brand and the music that was to come, and I used the Instagram promotion tool to reach people outside of my audience.
I reached out to Deborah Lampitt-McConnachie, the head of the Graphic Design program at CAT, asking for a student who could do the cover art for my EP. Deborah ended up making it a class assignment and I had the opportunity to work with a couple of her students to create an amazing finished product.
Once I dropped the project, it was a matter of reaching out to as many playlist curators as possible to try and get my music heard. I pitched to independent curators, as well as SubmitHub to try and get my music onto playlists.”
All of my current frustration and anger from recent broken friendships and betrayal went into the making of it, and I think the emotions are really felt throughout each song.DAMN0AH
“It was great for students to be able to work with DAMN0AH as a ‘live’ client, and we had some great submissions from them,” says Lampitt-McConnachie. “In the end, he utilized two of the students’ work – a cover design from Shauna Gardiner and a great little ‘winged-monster’ illustration from Sierra Simard.”
Lead Electronic Music Production Instructor, Taylin Simmonds had this to say about Noah’s success:
“Noah has been working extremely hard since the first quarter. From the first time I met Noah, I could tell he had drive, passion, and most importantly, the work ethic needed to compete in the modern music industry. Noah works every day to hone his music, his brand, and his network. While other artists might focus on only the music, Noah creates the time needed to grow all areas of his career. I am a big believer that this is the reason he is finding success.”
It’s not just DAMN0AH who has been using this oddly quiet time in history to work on his creative projects. Artists as diverse as Lady Gaga, the Rolling Stones, and a plethora of established and undiscovered artists have been creating, writing, launching, filming, uploading, and sharing music across platforms. Other CAT audio students busy releasing material include DocMadeIt (Dayton Fishley), who released his debut experimental Hip Hop EP where every song flows together like one intertwined masterpiece of music.
Check Them Out: DAMN0AH on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/4uYPcIgD2j4KQZAypKbCZ6 DocMadeIt on SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/docmadeit/sets/2000-plus
‘Tear’ EP by DAMN0AH. Cover design by Shauna Gardiner, with ‘winged monster’ illustration by Sierra Simard.