In just two years making beats in his home studio, Braxton Troxel ’22 has become a sought-after producer and manager in the rap music scene, recently securing an album placement with multi-platinum artist G-Eazy.
The secret he points to for his success is a skill he’s spent much of his life honing – networking.
“Being able to differentiate yourself from other people and bring something unique with both your beats and your marketing and business strategy is really difficult right now because so many people are trying to make it,” Braxton said. “You have to bring something special to the table and bring your unique spin, otherwise why would someone care about your beats?
“The way I network and the amount of networking I do is probably what has gotten me the farthest. There are a thousand people who can make good beats, but 70% of it is on the business side.”
Braxton’s business acumen was shaped by early entrepreneurial efforts like selling shoes and phone cases. His latest venture grew from listening to rap music with friends in middle school and making beats for fun to seeing music production as an opportunity to turn a profit from his hobby.
His song credits include co-producing Yung Slatt and Lil Keed’s “27 Slimes,” which dropped in August and has logged more than 100,000 listens on Spotify. To reach an artist he wants to work with, like Lil Keed, Braxton starts by mapping out his connections; he originally connected with Lil Keed through a friend of a friend who is a photographer for rap artists like Young Thug and Gunna.
Braxton also looks for an “in” that will benefit prospective partnerships. When he saw that a producer on rapper Peewee Longway’s label was working with smaller artists and doing cover art for them, Braxton offered to do some graphic design work for him in exchange for a music connection.
“When you’re building relationships with people, the number one thing is you have to provide something,” Braxton said. “When you bring something to the table, they will always return the favor.”
Thanks to this networking, Braxton has compiled a list of 600 artist email address, to which he sends a pack of 250 beats every week. He spends his free time – breaks during the school day, and evenings when he’s done with homework – composing five to 10 three-minute beats daily. He reaches 250 with beats created by the six producers he manages.
Braxton admits the chance that one of those 250 beats will get picked up by an artist is small, but his networking discipline has paid off with big opportunities. The placement with G-Eazy is already opening up doors for Braxton, including offers for publishing and management contracts.
“It’s awesome. It’s a huge sense of accomplishment when you’re working hard for these relationships and finally you get a text or a phone call that what you’ve been working hard to do pays off,” he said. “When you get a big accomplishment, it feels good.”
Follow Braxton’s work on his Instagram
, and listen for his tag “Braxton Go Crazy” as his song credit on tracks.