R&B Darling Che Ecru Makes Money (and Art) Different
Che Ecru was introduced to me and pop culture by news queen Doja Cat when she told MTV that “Phone Me” was his sultry song of the moment, which Che “says sexy stuff, and I know all the lyrics, and it’s wonderful.” She has since gone on her IG live multiple times to sing along with Ecru at her stable stable of kittens Doja. Like most icebergs and artists, Ecru’s success came after years of accumulated experience and hard work, a unique personal identity forming at the periphery, at the authentic heart, of the music industry.
“It’s a compromise – working in the industry. And I think over the years I’ve noticed a lot of sacrifices you have to make,” the R&B entertainer said. “And it’s worth it if you want to make that sacrifice. But at least for me, personally, I worry about my own sanity and how it can be tarnished when I leave my work in someone else’s hands.
Traditionally, artists associate themselves with a major record label, a bankroll with connections, staff, and the kind of influence that only surfaces after years of incidental lobbying. After that, their streaming revenue is usually label supper. Transition survivors are making money through other channels, depending on which ones have been drawn from the big players in the negotiations: touring, merchandising and, nowadays, NFT projects – mainly fan clubs or collector screens.
Ecru has his own playbook. The first and only piece of “merch” he released was a sound pack for his fellow producers and engineers. “I put some voice notes for myself in there,” Che Ecru said. “Little things like that help kids get inspired. If I had downloaded a Travis Scott pack and there was a voice note telling me to go hard. I would have done some crazy stuff after that. Sometimes you need someone to put that battery in your bag.
Tours are also off the table at this time. Ecru played with friends, but the prolonged touring process is anti-copacetic to its processes. “I saw an artist who did a huge tour,” he told me. “It’s so scary for me. I don’t know why. I think personally I have a bit of social anxiety.
Without touring and regularly released products, Che was forced to get creative outside of the studio. He and his team collect from all aspects of his music. They choose the clean carcass – streaming, publishing, neighboring rights and label revenue. They are registered on SoundExchange to raise money from internet radios such as Pandora and Sirius.XM and various international territories. Che was sampled in two Baby Keem songs “Pink Panties” and “Lost Souls”. Drake sampled Ecru on his song “No Guidance,” and the clip took off on TikTok. “There’s a huge deal to sample,” said Montalis “Monty” Anglade, COO of Ecru, “and Che is reaping the rewards because he owns his art.
Creating alone facilitates ownership. It also has other advantages. “If I had an engineer say to me, ‘Oh, was that a good take?’ or ‘that was a good catch!’ I would have thrown away half the songs I’ve ever released,” Ecru explained. He made music around people before finding out that observation can be violent. Mistakes are adored, joked about and dealt with carelessly. It’s hard to give success the gratitude it deserves in the moment; it’s vulnerable. It’s even harder to give the creative process the leash length it needs under critical eyeballs. All of this has killed his process, and he won’t let that happen again. After music, Ecru still has a lot of creative aspirations. “I would like to do voice acting or even do cartoons. A big thing that people don’t already understand with my music is that I already do dubbing.
Che is a SoundCloud rapper, part of the generation that overtook Napster and in community, authenticity, immediacy. “In that sense, I’m very impulsive when it comes to getting rid of music. I made some really great songs a few weeks ago, and because they haven’t seen the light of day yet, I’m already starting to lose hope in them,” he warned, a toy for the forces. personal that underlie the creation.
Animals survive in the wild by finding a niche. Species that fight for the obvious sources of energy are separated by competition or their own lack of vision. Che Ecru has found its own swimming pool in the meadow, and as an audience our great privilege will be to enjoy the fruits of its berries.