SAGE SUEDE LLC Interview

Excerpted from author Corie Johnson, Lead Designer of ZenBusiness

Join us today as we interview one of our users, a multi-talented artist named Sage Suede. Listen to his music on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/sagesuede


“My name is Corie, and I’m with ZenBusiness. Today I’m here with Sage Suede. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?”

Hi, my name’s Sage Suede. I’m a local musician and model in Austin, Texas. I’ve had my brand for a few years now. I started in 2015 and I just started a fashion brand for it. I formalized my business recently as an LLC with ZenBusiness.

“That’s really cool. You said that you were doing clothes, as well, so is this kind of like a lifestyle brand that you’re working on?”

I’d say it’s a lifestyle brand. I do a kind of a streetwear style because I want more of that fusion, and I have a lot of inspiration when it comes to casual clothing. I feel like I have a pretty good perspective as someone that’s been involved in modeling, and most of my clothes from thrift stores; that actually gives me a very variable style.

Sage Suede’s new hat: https://www.sagesuede.com/shop/snapback/

“What were you doing before you started your business?”

Before I started my business I was in college. I made a demo while I was in college at the recording studio there, and currently I’m still working full time in marketing because I jumped into this, without so much capital. I’m learning on my way since I do pretty much everything myself.

“That’s how things go sometimes. So, your business as Sage Suede, what inspired you to start this business? You said you were in marketing and then you were doing some modeling, but what really made you think, ‘Oh, man, this is where I want to head?'”

It’s kind of always been my long-term pursuit and a passion project of mine. As a kid I played drums and piano and guitar and clarinet and I started teaching myself beat production in sixth grade. It’s just something I’ve been doing for my whole life, and it’s reached a point where it sounds a lot better than it used to. I have reached a lot of challenges along the way with developing the music. With most artists nowadays on the radio, they have 40 people on an album or more and everybody’s expecting you to be at this quality level and it’s really a challenge to get there. I do feel I’m very close to that level, if not at that level. Now after having made my demo my new EP is going to be really good because I really honed in on those skills.

“I think that artists these days almost have a task force behind them. There’s all the social media aspects and the online aspects, so it’s really hard to do by yourself. So I think it’s very admirable that you’re doing that.”

Nowadays they kind of expect artists to reach a pretty big level before they’ll even sign them on or consider them anymore.

“You were talking about how this was something you’ve done for quite a while in your life. What made you decide to formalize it? You formed an LLC with us, right? What made you think: ‘This project is something that I should actually formalize and get the business.’ I don’t know if you got an EIN, but did you open a bank account and everything? What made you decide, ‘This is the moment I need to formalize my business?'”

There’s more than a few reasons. One of the main reasons was I’ve been Sage Suede online for about two years… I chose an LLC because I didn’t want my personal assets to be incorporated in the business. I’m starting a business, and I have to take a loss while I’m starting it and I can’t tie my entire life to it.

“Do you have a full digital storefront or do you sell anywhere in person in Austin?”

It’s all digital at the moment. I’m going to start selling it as merch at performances, but I’m waiting on the performances ’til I finish my EP. I did a lot when I was still in Boston, but when I moved back to Austin I didn’t even have a car, so I had to take off more time. Now I want to finish the EP first because it’s so much higher quality. Then I will I start performing again.

“That’s understandable. We kind of talked about what inspired you, but did you have any particular people or artists that inspired you when you started to get into music?”

That’s a hard question because there are so many different kinds of artists. My perspective is very global because I’m a polyglot, so I speak German, Portuguese, Spanish, a little Russian, and I’m all over the place with that. Languages have always been a passion of mine since I was a kid. A lot of my favorite artists are foreign bands, and I listen to music from all over the place. My perspective is very different from where most people perceive music.

There’s a lot of aspects that I really want to incorporate in my music. I do really enjoy hip-hop because the drums are very good. I would love to incorporate some more of that Brazilian style of drumming. I really like electronic music, so I’m very influenced by French electro, German electro house, and all kinds of stuff all over the world and that just all comes together as what I ended up putting out.

“I look forward to hearing your new EP.”

“What were you most afraid of when you started this venture? What really was scary for you?”

That’s a hard question. It’s changed a lot over time. When I first started I was pretty scared of performing. I had a lot of stage fright. I did some classical music training as a kid. I was in band and I made it to area band for two years. I ended up quitting after my sophomore year of high school, but I was very serious about it. I practiced for five hours a day, but the problem was that I would get really nervous in front of people. Everybody always told me I was a state-quality musician, but I would always choke at the performances on stage. What I realized over time is that I actually do have a lot of performance experience. It’s not really something for me to be worried about. It’s still something to be a little bit nervous about, but it’s just because I actually care about how well I’m doing.

“I think even super famous people who go on stage still get that moment of anxiety. At least I hope they do. Otherwise, they’re god level; they’re too cool.”

That adrenaline is a good thing.

“Maybe they can focus on it and use that. For you what was the most difficult part of starting your business?”

I’ve had to do just about everything. It’s really challenging because I work full time in marketing and I’ve learned how to build websites during my marketing internships. I started audio editing really young, so I’ve gotten pretty good at it by now, but if you look at my demo, there’s still errors. I’ve gotten to this point by just consistently working towards it. Web design did take me awhile. I’m still having some issues with it.

“It is hard, let me tell you. As a designer myself! It is a long road.”

I had to learn graphic design. The new clothes I’m doing, I’m designing them. It is taking some time. I think it’s a time commitment, always additional time in my day. I really love doing it, so it’s worth the time, and I really want more people to see it. That’s part of the challenge, getting that open and available to everyone.

“Can you tell me what advice would you give to other entrepreneurs or other people who are just starting out their own businesses? In music or otherwise.”

I’d say, especially in music, don’t give up on what you’re doing because the business is really just a combination of all your time and your effort and everything you’re doing. Being all about the profit isn’t really correct for your business because most new businesses don’t profit for three years to five years after the formation. As you’re starting don’t let anybody talk you down, especially if you’re a musician. Your music isn’t going to suit everybody’s tastes, even if you’re the biggest musician in the world! You really have to let people say whatever they want about your stuff, but don’t take it personally because a lot of them will probably change their minds at times, or they might like another song of yours.

How has your life changed since you started this business?

I’ve had it informally for a long time. I’m happier with it now that it’s formalized, it shows how serious I am and that it is a full thing that I’m investing in and it’s not just a side project when I have the money behind it. It’s motivated me more to keep working towards it just because of the additional costs. And I have about 50,000 followers already so…

“WHAT! I didn’t know that. That’s crazy. Congratulations.”

It’s mostly Instagram. Part of the challenge is getting people that are on different social sites to see what else I have or to go to my shop and all that. They want to like you as much as they can when they’re around on your social sites, but they don’t necessarily see anything else you make. So that’s part of the challenge.

“Especially Instagram because it’s so visual, and, as an artist or as a music artist, that’s a whole other issue. But I guess they have video now, too.”

I’m still trying to find good ways to schedule videos. It’s always been difficult.

“What’s the next thing for your business – your artistic vision?”

I’m finishing up my EP; it’s called Electro Papi EP. It’s almost done. I’m about halfway done. I haven’t figured out how many tracks I’m going to do, but I’m thinking probably six tracks. I have a demo that’s already out. If you want to download that, that’s on my website. I also have 15 other free songs you get if you join my email list. I’m going to send one of the songs that’s from the upcoming EP so you guys can listen to it in this interview. I also have a YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/ALittleShock. So listen to my music there. I have a comedy series, and I talk about magic from different cultures all over the world, if that’s something that interests you. It’s something that interests me.

“You have another whole section on YouTube that’s about magic, and a comedy series?”

One of them is a superhero parody series where I’m a superhero, but he’s super petty, so he doesn’t really save people very often. I’m also going to start doing clothing giveaways as I add new products to my website. I’ll give away one item of clothing to someone that wins the raffle.

Entrants can sign up for my email list here and then they express interest in giveaways during the contest period: https://mailchi.mp/6f35a19f1a9f/sage-awesome-giveaways-exclusives#header

The first giveaway is the hat I wore during this interview: http://www.SageSuede.com/Shop/Snapback.

“Is there anything else you wanted to share with us today or anybody listening to this podcast? Maybe young artists, anything else you want to tell them?”

Definitely don’t give up on your dreams if you are a person in music. I do think it’s worth it to get an LLC just to separate your personal assets. ZenBusiness can be a really good way to do that since they’re a local Austin business and they don’t charge you a filing fee.

“Thank you so much for coming in today. I really appreciate it. And everybody who is out there please make sure you check out Sage Suede.”

Thanks for having me.


 

Read The Full interview on ZenBusiness.com

Find Sage Suede:
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/sagesuede
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ALittleShock
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sage_suede/

 

Download Sage Suede’s special Halloween track here for free:

Why Your Astrological Sign Is Probably Wrong

I Have Read a Little Bit About Astrology, so I Thought I’d Share Some Magic

As an example, here is my natal chart. It has tidbits for anyone that is skilled in reading them. The outer rings are astrological signs and the inner symbols are the planets in each degree. There are also some sub-planets like Chiron, which represents deeply-rooted pain. I don’t want to go into excessive detail, but I will post about this again if people ask for it.

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Why Your Astrological Sign Is Probably Wrong

When it comes to astrology, there are a lot of different kinds of charts. I don’t believe in tropical astrology, because it was based on charting of the planets 2 millenia ago. Instead, I use sidereal astrology. I understand why some people prefer to go by tropical and that’s why I’ll explain how I felt about it when learning about sidereal. I didn’t understand that a different system might be more accurate in terms of the position of the planets and for me, the periodic influences of planets should be based on their real, astronomical position. Your astrological sign is like the reference point for how to interpret planetary influences as the planets travel through signs throughout the year.

You might even be considered Ophiuchus or, “the new 13th sign”. It’s not a new sign at all, actually and that’s not a bad thing. It’s because there are more than 12 signs in the sky, but the sun only travels through 13 signs. Ophiuchus was likely removed to round downand simplify math, or maybe because multiples of 3 are holy. I’m sure it was easier to make an astrological wheel with 12 signs too, since 360 is divisible by 12. There are ~365.242199 days in a year though, so things were bound to get funky.

The most popular form of astrology is tropical astrology. It’s so much more domineering that if you look up astrology that’s what you will find by default. When I first learned about it, I didn’t get it. I always thought I was an Aquarius and felt that the sign described me well. So anyways, I checked a real astronomical charting program and that’s when I saw that at the time of my birth, my sun was in Capricorn.

Learning more about Capricorn has shown me that I have a lot of those traits. I won’t go into detail but a lot of great musicians have been Capricorns, like Elvis. Here are some of the planetary symbols from NASA’s website:

How to Find Your Sidereal Astrological Sign

I recommend using your natal chart. I used this site to generate mine.

I know it’s a little hard to understand, but I can make some videos to help y’all with it. I think it’s important to understand which planets are in your home sign, so that you’ll know how the position of the planets is relative to your person. It’s kind of superstitious and up to interpretation, but I love foreign languages, magic, esotericism and spirituality so I include aspects of this in my music and want to share it with people, since it’s fun to learn about.

Important concepts to understand about your planets

1. You are ruled by the planets that are in your sign. In a general sense, that means that the characteristics of each planet may have some effect on you.
2. Your sign is determined by your sun sign.
3. The position of the planets changes as they orbit the sun and their influences change accordingly. This is on a case by case basis based on where and when you were born.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about astrology but leave a comment if you’re interested and I’ll help you learn more.

You Obtain 15 Free Songs When You Join and Yes, It’s Exclusive!

No one else can see the free item’s details without the secret code. The songs stay in your account on SageSuede.com forever and you can download them an unlimited number of times.

Note: you can still download the un-mastered version of DIAMONDBACK Demo for free, without any passwords.

I haven’t finished adding the mastered version of DIAMONDBACK Demo to stores yet, so please don’t buy it off of other websites. It’s cheaper on my shop anyway.

Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for More Magic

This blog post talks a lot about magic. You can learn more about how to connect with planets in this video.

Magic Squares are just one method of connecting with planets and generally mantras are based on deities. You can choose your own mantra, deity or say the planets name directly.

This type of magic is primarily based on intention. The video below is based on the sun. The sign your sun is in determines your astrological sign at birth and it is the primary planet of wealth.

I read this in a book on dark magic, but it’s not dark. It is borrowed from Hindu traditions and you can re-frame it to your beliefs as appropriate. I am just talking about aligning with planets and recommend having a practice to align with all of the planets in your home sign.

Believe in Yourself When No One Else Will & You Will Succeed

I’ve been a musician for my entire life. No one has ever handed me a song on a silver platter with pre-recorded vocals and instrumental tracks.

How many albums were made this way in 2018?

I have been the only person working on Sage Suede, except for my collaborations. I actually only started modeling because I thought it would help me as a musician and it’s helped a bit with my online presence, but that hasn’t always been a part of my life. I like modeling, but as a child I thought it was too shallow to even consider it. I thought ageism reduced it’s viability greatly and didn’t live in a big city where gigs are. It became something that I did independently. I’ve organized many of my photoshoots with indie photographers and cut my hair in almost all of my photoshoots.

I just want y’all to know that I am really dedicated to what I’m doing and I know about most of the mistakes I’ve made along the way. I don’t think that those mistakes invalidate any of the music I’ve released online, even though I am always working towards perfection.

Releasing my music online has resulted in a lot of backlash for me, I’ve been even more isolated than I tend to be and it’s been stressful for me emotionally. Still, it’s what I love and I can’t imagine a life without it. I hope that someday I can make this my entire life, but for now, I’m still slaving away at work, before creating things in my free time. I love what I create and those imperfections are just where I was at in becoming the person I am today. I had to make mistakes to keep growing and I am still working towards my goals.

If you want to be something, then keep working towards it. No one can tell you that you’re wrong for following your heart.

  1. 01 - Bird Girl 2:51
  2. 02 - Cleopatra (snake queen) 2:34
  3. 03 - How Can I 2:23
  4. 04 - Un Photo De Toi Nu 3:02
  5. 05 - Sexy in that Sweater 2:22
  6. 06 - Lazy Sunday with You (Shaky Lips) 2:03
  7. 07 - It's Alright (Fall in Love Again) 3:53
  8. 08 - Uh Huh 2:48
  9. 09 - Bring my Diamondback 3:39