We had the good fortune of connecting with Richard Hoang and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Richard, what do you attribute your success to?
I would say the most important factor behind my success & the success of my brand so far is from the decision to treat both like a business. Of course I want to create music that I love and have fun with it. But someone has to be in charge of networking, marketing, booking gigs, creating content, putting together press kits, making the music, rehearsing, etc. Another important realization to come to terms with is that no one is going to work harder than you do for yourself to push and promote your career and brand forward. I also learned from experience that it can be easy to get overwhelmed as an independent artist, but it doesn’t have to. The advice I give to others in which I too apply for myself is to have clear goals of what you want but to have even more detailed objectives to reach those goals. These objectives are broken into smaller tasks and everything is put on a schedule with deadlines. I don’t mind taking my time on certain projects to ensure I’m executing it to my standard but that doesn’t mean I want to waste unnecessary time. I also am more focused currently to work with other artists that take care of their own business in a timely manner. Last but not least, I want to attribute a lot of my brand success to Joseph Kravchenko, my main content producer and close friend. So, if you’re on top of everything and have the right team around you, you’ll be ready to take advantage of of every good opportunity that crosses your path.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I believe what sets me apart from other artists is that I’m pretty well rounded in my skill sets. I have an addiction to acquiring more knowledge and am very hands on with all aspects of my art. I often find myself advising others with their artistic process and/or direction. My music, even though fitting under certain genres, there’s never a time I truly just hear one artist that it would sound directly similar to, which makes me feel more confident as an artist that I’m creating something very original and staying true to my own sound. I’m proud to be self taught and be at a point where I can start giving others advice, when still being at a very early part of my journey. Although I’ve been producing music since 2009 and DJing since 2012, I didn’t legitimately start my Full Time career in music until April of 2022, when I quit my job as a Manager at Kroger.

I would not say that pursuing a career in music is easy. Quite honestly, it’s one of the most difficult things an individual could do. Other professions, besides entrepreneurship, you have almost everything laid out for you; a schedule, tasks, meetings, breaks, vacations, even benefits, the list goes on. In the music industry, especially as an independent artist like myself, you have to go through the process of not only learning to do all these necessary tasks yourself but also work them into your own schedule, all while trying to still make an income. A way that I overcome some of these challenges is from my work ethic and drive. I’m risking everything betting on myself. The only way I see it working is if I maximize the opportunities around me. Starting with a solid plan. I knew that I would make the leap eventually to pursue my dream of a music career, so I saved money for one whole year knowing this. While in that year before switching careers, I outlined the steps I would need to make, relationships to cultivate, how I would be making a livable income, etc. There’s obviously so much more to navigating a career in music. What worked for me might not work for the next person. Another piece of advice that I can give is to not worry about the number of followers you have, or streams or if you’re not invited to certain events; all that. What you should worry about, what I worry about, is making something that I am happy with, content that I love and believe has meaning, art that doesn’t make me cross the line I drew in the sand of what I’m comfortable with.

Throughout the years I’ve been through countless ups and downs, industry related and with my personal life. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that things will only get better, espeically if you believe they can. Another lesson is understanding that your physical and mental health should be your highest priority. After that would be investing in your own personal development, knowledge and skillset. Last but not least, another lesson I remind myself of daily is to not let my ambitions rob me of my current blessings. Fall in love with the journey, the process and the present.

One take away that I would want the world to know about my story is that I’m no different than anyone else. Yes, I am a 1st generation Vietnamese born American citizen who graduated from Michigan State University. But I sucked at a lot of things. But I didn’t quit. I am going to reach my goals in life because I’ve decided that’s what I want and that I’m capable of doing whatever I think I can do. Another aspect I want the world to know about my brand is that I stay true to what I believe is great work. I have so many people in my ear telling me what I should do, ironically people who also are not doing what I’m doing. There are many things I see people in the industry doing to obtain quick recognition and viewers but I believe it comes at a cost, a cost at which I’m not comfortable with giving up. I choose to take the route which might take a lot longer to get where I want to be, but at the end of the day, I want to be known and recognized for my originality, talent and really just being myself, and not because I did multiple overly done mashups of 2 top 40 songs and painfully tried to enjoy it on camera and post it labeling it as “a mashup you didn’t think you’d need”.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love these questions since I’m a huge planner, explorer & foodie. I could talk all day about what one should do but to keep it short, these would be my recommendations.

Let’s start with food, my favorite part of itinerary planning. Some choices to pick from would be Soto, Aiko, Oishii, Tobiuo, Xochi, The Original Marini’s Empanada House, Tacos La Bala, Magnolia Bakery, Da Marco, Ciel, Pho 54, Dakao, Crown Seafood (dim sum), Crawfish Cafe, Juliet, Seaside Poke, Yo Yo’s Hot Dog, and In & Out.

Coffee shops I recommend are Cavo Coffee, Cafe Europe, Giant Leap Coffee and Segundo Coffee Lab.

Activities I would suggest are Puttery, Houston Symphony, Shooting Range, Slick Willie’s Family Pool Hall, The Museum of Fine Arts, Cidercade, Alphaland, Paintballing and exploring The Post.

For drinks and bars my go to places are Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge, 13 Celsius, Double Trouble Caffeine & Cocktails, Anvil and Wild.

For nightlife I would recommend Bauhaus, Lumen on Tuesdays, Starlane After Hours, Sunset Rooftop and Soho Garden.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to give a shoutout to my close friends & family, the ones I started with before I ever thought I could even pursue music as a full time career. Of course, shoutout to my #PandaTribe. They gave me the encouragement and support that I didn’t know I really needed. Another person I’d like to give credit too is Joseph Kravchenko, my main content curator, photographer & videographer, who I met when I moved to Houston just a year ago. The work and time he’s put into helping me grow as an artist is priceless and I am forever grateful for not only those efforts he’s made but also from his words of confidence that I am destined to reach the goals I set out for. I’d like to give a huge shoutout to one of my oldest friendships, Thibault Ruellan, who I’ve known since Kindergarten. Thibault has not only inspired me by his talents with music production and engineering but also his ability to cultivate wonderful relationships and be a voice of faith and certainty in this incredibly unpredictable industry.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/richardchoang/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNIETJtdjsgFqxgax4TVnkA

Other: SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5VzO6ME89tvfUnCiC8WozK SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/djphonk

Image Credits
Joseph Kravchenko

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.