Everybody wants to be different but sounds the same! Understanding who you are as a person and what you represent is the first step to individualize yourself. If you decided to rap or sing because Rapper A / Singer B inspired you, cool; But you don't have to sound like them. Take your time and develop your style. Maybe Neo-soul is your favorite genre, just keep in mind there's only one Erykah Badu, one Music Soulchild, one India Irie; so in other words, create your own path and don't follow after someone else.
How do you create your own path? It's actually very simple. Think about what interests you in life. Think about your wants, desires, social approvals and dis-agreeances. If you enjoy thought-provoking topics, start thinking about how you can create a musical platform to express that. Major record labels want whats hot and what can spin on the radio but they don't know whats best for music in its purest form. Just think of the highest selling artist of 2011/2012, Adele. Her songs were not of any sexual desire nor did she look the bit of a scandalous sexually charged singer such as Rhianna. Her songs were of heartbreak and suffering of her heart being broken. What was the result? Over 19 millions album sold without having to compromise her integrity.
Adele may have endured the type of pressure that other artist feels when they reach that level. Maybe she didn't. But the point is that good music will trump the status quo on what you have to look like, dress like, and act like, image wise. I know it's easier said than done and who are we to give this type of advice. Well, we've seen first hand artist that had a completely different sound when they didn't have any kind of fame whether locally or regionally but the moment they tasted a teaspoon of fame, the type of music they want to do goes sometimes against what brought them to have some level of success.
One thing you always want to remember. The is always a niche for GOOD music. Not factory created, let's go with this right now … music but GOOD music. It all depends on what you want in your music career. If you want fame then you might as well start rapping about what your label wants to rap. If you have something to say and want the world to hear and will not compromise then you just might have a shot at a career in music. The best-selling artists created their own path. Can you do the same?