5 Questions with Keith Jacobs - Singer/Songwriter
On the Evolution of R&B
The influence of ‘90s R&B is obvious in Houston-bred, singer/songwriter Keith Jacobs’s debut project “Still Tippin”. You can hear it in the 808 bass, electric piano chords and sampled strings that permeate the EP. But Jacobs is no copycat. His upbeat sound is still distinctly his own and puts him firmly in the modern-day RnBass camp. Already he has more than 150,000 streams—without a major label marketing push.
The Bridge recently sat down with Jacobs to get his take on the genre he’s loved since childhood and what’s next for the indie artist.
What’s going on in R&B right now?
The R&B genre is drastically taking on a new form on individualism and creativity. The music is more about the acceptance of self versus embracing the views of others. We’re definitely on the come up; RnBass is the wave of the future. Good music lives forever and always stand the test of time.
How are you connecting with fans without major label support?
Social media is everything. As an independent artist, organic growth from the grassroots is essential. I stay engaged with my core supporters daily. I am a strong believer in data collection. At the core, I’m a numbers guy. My goal is to always be transparent, consistent and accessible through various social channels with the hope gaining more than just a like or a follower.
How do you see tech changing the music game over the next 18 months?
Technology will continue to advance and so will the way we get our music to the consumers. [Still use] A-tracks, cassette tapes, CDs, or AM/FM radio? I didn’t think so. Me either. If the music is good enough the listener will find a way to get it and let the world know about it. As creators, we have to refine ways to monetize the music experience. This goes way past the sale of a single or album. In the last year or so we’ve made some positive strides in the way streaming sites pay out artists, but for independent artist this will continue to be an uphill battle. All that being said: Good music wins 100 percent of the time.
What sets your sound apart from others in R&B or RnBass?
This is going to sound cliché, but my music is different because it’s my viewpoint and my opinions and my project. Over the years, I’ve been shaped to become this body of work through my experiences both good and bad. I embraced and curated a sound that suits me. I finally felt like it was time to share it with the world.
Industry Rule No. 4080 is a fact. How does an artist protect him/herself from the industry shadiness?
First off: R.I.P Phife Dawg! Second: Only keep people around that add value. Third: Never forget why you started.
What is your most notable accomplishment to date?
Being a black man in America. Every day I get to share my gift with world, and, for that, I’m grateful.
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*Responses edited for clarity and length.