As humans, we live our lives in patterns – every interaction and every relationship has a rhythm to it. Some people can fine tune those patterns and create something beautiful.
For Rabihah, that comes naturally – through her music.
“I want people to love themselves and other people. I want people to have compassion for other people, put themselves in other people’s shoes,” says Rabihah. “And most of all I want people to believe in themselves and know that they can accomplish great things.”
Rabihah’s music isn’t a hobby. For her, music is life, and she’s focused on delivering a powerful message in 2018.
“When I started, I didn’t think about my fashion style, now it is bold and vibrant with the African Ankara style,” she says. “My music style was simple r&b love songs, now my writing is more meaningful with a message of empowerment. Being bold, vibrant and empowering is what my brand is all about.”
Living life through music
For Rabihah, a life of music is all she knows; It’s what she’s lived for since she was a child.
“I fell in love with music, listening to Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson vinyl records back in the day,” Rabihah says. “I knew I wanted to make it a career as a teenager. That’s when I decided I would go to school for it.”
It turns out that was a good decision. At UMass Lowell, she found Fee, her musical partner in crime. “Fee approached me after seeing me perform at a few college events and festivals.”
Evidently, Fee liked what he heard.
As fate would have it, Rabihah’s writing and singing ability was a perfect match for Fee’s talent with rapping and production, and they’ve been a team ever since. They’ve come a long way in their musical careers, and the best is yet to come.
Navigating the music industry
Rabihah’s business name is under Nabawi Music for publishing and promoting, but she publishes and promotes herself through her website. She credits the Music Business degree she earned at UMass Lowell as a key part of her professional development, as she’s now able to navigate the music industry as an independent artist.
Unfortunately, it’s not all music all the time. She has to balance music with a full-time job, so she spends about 20 hours per week on her business and brand. In those hours, she writes, records, practices, and researches aspects of the industry. She also networks and promotes through social media. “What inspires me to grow my business and brand is recognizing that now is a great time for independent artists,” says Rabihah. “We have the tools to record, promote and distribute our own music in this new digital age.”
The most important lesson she’s learned? Music is a business. “It’s important to set yourself up as such and file with the state, set up a bank account. Expect success. It’s all about protecting your ideas as well. Intellectual Property is key. I started with setting myself up properly to receive streaming and download royalties.”
Ideally, she’d like to get her music licensed in TV and film and land a publishing deal for her writing. “Writing songs is what I’m best at.”
What’s next for Rabihah?
Rabihah’s latest release, Rhythm Divine, came in January of 2018. Her new hits will be on display at on April 5th Stella Blu in Nashua, NH, where the record release party is being held. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy some great music!
Her next project, set to drop in the spring, is called “Revolution”, produced by Matty Fee. She’ll follow that up with a 10-12 song album shortly after. “My inspiration for these projects is simply the love for the art. I’m excited about empowering people with my message in 2018.”
Advice for future artists
Everyone dreams about singing on stage and sending the crowd into a frenzy. What they don’t dream about is the work that goes into it.
Admittedly, she didn’t fully understand what it took to be successful early in her music career. “I wish I knew how much hard work it really is. In order to get to the fun part like performing and having people hear and love your music, you have to work really hard.”
“The key traits to be successful in the music business are staying motivated, being consistent and having the ambition and drive to get things accomplished,” Rabihah says. “Time management and discipline is a key factor in these habits.”
Rabihah understands that her time is now, and she realizes her experiences can serve as invaluable insight for people looking to make a name for themselves in music. To her, it all starts with knowing the business side of things. “The advice I would give to someone looking to be successful in music is to know the business of music and have a general understanding of music law.”
At the same time, music people that share her passion for music need to understand that there’s far more opportunity in music besides singing. “There are also successful writers, publishers, lawyers, engineers, producers, studio musicians and teachers in music,” she says. “Consider one of these avenues.”
Like music, we don’t know the true meaning until the song ends. Until we hear the entire message, we gain insight from moment to moment. Only when the music stops do the lyrics take on their full, intended meaning.
I wonder – knowing what she knows now, what would she change about her music career?
“I would change nothing and everything,” she says. “On one hand, I know that I would not be at this point in my career to know my purpose, image and brand without all the things I’ve already been through. On the other hand, If I could have discovered my purpose in music a lot sooner that would have been good, but everything happens for a reason.”
And the song plays on.
Check out Rabihah and Fee’s music, known as One Love, here.
Also, be sure to LIKE Rabihah’s Facebook page!
All opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of Home at 30 and are in no way affiliated with any other organization or institution. The purpose of this blog is to give general education and information about investing, wealth, careers, and college; It is not intended to be professional advice.
Author: Josh Ramos
After earning an undergraduate degree in Economics and a Master of Arts in Management at Wake Forest University, Josh has paid off over $130k in student loan debt in 4 years. By founding Home at 30, Josh wants to help you make the most of college, build a successful career, and achieve financial independence.