The experience you gain over the years, coupled with your passion in life can truly shape your character, reality, and mindset. As a growing artist, I’m constantly on the run to chase my dreams. I’ve even been working on my music while pursuing my education since I started high school until today.
Looking back, these are the advice I wish my younger self knew:
Don't procrastinate. Time is precious. The time to do it is not later, not tomorrow, but now. I used to spend too much time on unnecessary activities, like excessive social media use, which caused me to have less time to progress in my career. Prioritising what’s most important in life allows you to stay focused on getting tasks done.
In turn clearing the tasks on your checklist allows you to be more relaxed and have free time to do the things you love. Hence, creating a functional schedule for yourself is a good way to get productive. Don’t forget, discipline is also key.
Be humble. We all have unique talents to be proud of but no matter how talented you are, you may not always be the best. It may sound harsh, but there will always be people better than you. Instead of comparing how good you are with the rest of the world, focus on getting better as an individual.
I used to hold my head high over my achievements. But, it’s safe to say that did not do well for me. You shape your own personality and everyone has their own path to take. Focus on building yourself through your achievements. Never brag, and always respect others.
Age is just a number. Never let age stop you from doing the things you love. If you started your working career early as I did, go all out with it and don’t let your young age stop you from doing what you love. I signed my first record deal in 2012 when I was only 13, and at 16, my track "Exolektra'' hit number 1 globally in the Trance music charts back in 2015.
My only setback was that I could not perform in clubs and events as I was below 18. Other than that, my music was supported by major DJs locally and internationally and was even aired on radio stations like FlyFM. Though some form of parental supervision and consent was required, that did not stop me from being free to explore my passion and build a connection with it. You can do it too!
Network with like-minded people. Stay connected with people who share the same passion and interests with you. This is where you can take advantage of social media. Social media is a great way to communicate with the world around you and expose you to many existing industries.
I got in touch with many electronic music enthusiasts and industry players this way. I also met my present manager on Facebook when I was 15. I learned a lot by building great connections with people online who share similar interests as I do. That’s also how I grew my fanbase and notability within the community and industry through networking.
Know your worth. If you have skills and talents that are unmatched, make use of it and realise your dream. Discovering your skills is key to developing your education pathway and career. From there, you can evaluate your value over the years and see how you can do better at what you do. This will help you in your life-long journey on improving yourself.
With that, I would advise myself by summarising all these with one word: ‘Progress’. The key to life is growing while you live your life, whichever path you take. Just get on and keep doing it. See how far you can go and stay focused in the moment.
Outspoken and talented, Yusef Kifah is an electronic music artist and student, growing his own brand. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication (Advertising).
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