Our intrepid film crew (Jeph, Danimal) captured the conversations so we could share them with you. Herewith: a series of small talks about big things.
In this week’s installment: avian mutants and genre mutations with acclaimed trapstep group Watch the Duck. “Everybody sees the duck traveling smoothly on top of the water but nobody sees it kicking hard as hell under it, struggling to stay afloat.” That’s how Eddie Smith III of Watch the Duck characterizes the trio’s work. It’s an apt metaphor for their music. And it’s bigger than that. It’s every artist right now working to project and promote an image; fighting for findability in the most crowded, most innovative era in music history. The group says what we all know to be true: “It’s not like TV is playing videos anymore. And our music doesn’t really fit a radio format.”
How can music distribution work for unconventional, original, and weird artists? A couple words of wisdom, from the kids behind the worldwide takeover of trap.
Lesson No. 1: This song? It’s not a song. It’s a flyer.
“I’d rather you know the music and come to the show. That’s a fair exchange. I’m making music because I love it… that’s our charge to keep. That’s what we do. We would do that regardless. It’s dope that you like it enough to want to come to the show.”
Songs work differently know. They’re posters and promotions – the start of a relationship versus the end of a transaction. For groups like Watch the Duck, it’s about letting people listen, hooking the right listeners, and inviting them to be part of the band’s crowd; to participate and co-own the real life stories inside and behind the music.
Lesson No. 2: That duck over there? He’s watching you.
The ninety-ninth phobia: fear of being watched by ducks. There’s a big one over there, possibly at the bar down the street. And it’s recommended to sleep with one eye open.