A Lot of artiste wonder why they don’t get to excel in the Nigerian Music industry and most times they feel they are under a spell not to succeed but trust me if you work wisely (work hard) & take advantage of every positive opportunity you would be just more than your expectation. Currently record labels are going through a lot of challenges as many signed and successful artiste ask for Cars,houses forgetting the most important thing which is Promotion . After these record labels have spent a lot of money to get the artist to limelight and successful at the end of the day these artiste back out of the record deal a year or two with the mindset of been cheated upon with the percentage share & with the feeling of “YES!!! I can do it now alone they can go f*#k themselves and stop making money from my effort” but they forgetting the spotlight opportunity that was given to them by these record label while they were ripping off the effort of the label boss or whoever believed so much in them & gave them the Spotlight . They probably would have been in the same upcoming artiste level till they finally give up . Now that’s not the issue though let me list out some vital issues why most Nigerian artiste fail ..
Finances Many artists are under-funded .Sometimes this is a result of lack of funds to begin with. Sometimes it is because the available funds are not spent wisely. Successful artists know that they need to constantly invest and reinvest in their act. They establish a budget and stick with it. They raise capital if it is necessary, whether it comes from investors, crowdsourcing, a loan or some sort of enterprising venture. If they are not good at managing their money, they hire someone who is “A Manager” . They do not let money, or the lack of it stop them. Many artists quit too soon. Maybe they have had some success and so they stop doing the things that got them there. Many just get tired of wasting time, money and effort, when all the while they have started creating the kind of buzz that can lead to much bigger and better things. Successful artists refuse to give in. They are determined to figure the puzzle out. They measure the results of their efforts so they see and work to capitalize on even the smallest amounts of progress.
Talent Many artists think they are talented enough to cut through the clutter and stand out among the millions of other artists competing for the same fans. Successful artists work tirelessly at their crafts and strive to be the absolute best songwriters, performers, musicians etc. They are always looking for ways to improve, both individually and as a group. Uniqueness Many Nigerian artists are trying to be the next like 2face,Timaya, Burna Boy, Patoranking, Omawunmi etc instead of creating a sound and look all their own. Even though they may be incredibly talented, nothing about them distinguishes them from the artists they hear on the radio or the multitude of similar artists vying for attention. Successful artists know that the best way to stand out from the crowd is to be unique in as many ways as possible, and they work hard at it. They also know how to build a brand around their uniqueness.
The Work Ethic Many artists are not willing to do the behind the scenes work that successful artists do relentlessly. If you ask them they will simply tell you this “No record label” but then go back and see the reason why a label is scared of signing you above . You as an artiste may be waiting to be discovered but trust me you have to first create your own success by making plenty of effort like 1) Get a good producer & record your own song with your money . 2) Attend shows and beg for a spotlight by performing because you just don’t know who is watching. 3) Make a promotional CD ,branded most importantly and try getting it to people that are successful in the Industry or Promoters & Deejays . Branded CD’s shows the level of the seriousness in you. 4) Get yourself online & make push out promotion ,disturb with your song. 5) You don’t believe in Talent Hunt so you don’t attend ,Please change your mindset .
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What to do? How to do it ? Many artists are willing to do the work but don’t know what to do. Many don’t know where to even start & most importantly are afraid that they will do things wrong so they don’t do anything. Remember not doing anything gives you nothing also . They undergo challenges like marketing, performing, songwriting, legal issues, recording and other important facets of their careers. Successful artists do their homework and tap into experts who help to guide them. They study the ins and outs of the industry. They learn to make wise decisions. Most importantly as an upcoming artiste find a mentor(s) or coach who will guide you .
MAKE GOOD SONGS: Sorry I cannot teach you how to write a song. I believe you are reading this because you have the talent already to compose and record a goodsong. The type of song you do should be targeted to an audience with a good taste in music. It does not matter the genre hip-hop, rock, dance hall, Rap, R n B, classic, alternative- whatever! You should do music to impress thousands of fans and not just your family and close friends.
ATTEND SHOWS REGULARLY: Be it a club performance or sponsored show just be noticed. Keep your ears on the ground for upcoming shows and try to make friends with event organizers and tell them to put you on the list of performers and that you don’t mind doing it for free. Talk to the DJ at the club, give him a promo copy of your CD and encourage him to play it on his shows. You get to meet music industry people at musical shows. Build and maintain your contacts with them. You don’t know who has a marketer in Alaba or who has a friend in that radio station.
USE SOCIAL MEDIA: Open profiles on sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace which gives you the platform to interact with your fans. Update your social network profile regularly with interesting pictures and videos of you. Photos from an event you performed or a video of a studio recording session should do. You get not only fans from Nigeria but all over the world with these types of websites. Social networking site gives you an online following which is good for your music career. Do not underestimate the power of the internet in building your music career.OFFER SOME Of YOUR SONGS FOR FREE DOWNLOADS AND OTHER ON SALES ONLINE: You want your songs to reach a wide audience and people generally love free music downloads. Upload like 2 of your songs to music sites like Reverbnation, Soundcloud and 4Shared and promote your download links to your fans on the social networking sites.You can ask your fans to checkout your profile on these music sites and also share it with their friends. This will keep your songs in circulation.THEN place the other songs for sales on Major online music store like MAKESENSEMUSIC.COM, CDbaby and others, so that you will be making money even as an upcomiing artiste. Contact us Info@makesensemusic.com to place yours now.
PROMOTE YOUR MUSIC ON BLOGS: You should submit your songs with a little profile and album art/ pictures to the top entertainment and music blogs and websites. Some of the best Nigerian Music and Entertainment blogs include Lautechportal.com, Notjustok, 360Nobs and others You might ask for an interview. Some of them will feature your profile and music; others may not even reply your email. It is normal as an upcoming musician to face those things. When you become a celebrity, most of them will come begging you for an interview.
ALABA IS A FACTOR: There is always a headquarters of any industry.Alaba being the headquarters of the Nigerian music marketers, you should familiarize yourself with the people at Alaba. Try to get your song on the monthly Alaba produced DJ mixes even if you may be asked to pay for this.Most Nigerian celebrity and superstar musicians went to Alaba for promotion in their upcoming days. That’s the home for Nigerian music and movie marketers. Imagine what a contact at Alaba will do for your musical career.
You Need A Manager!!!!! Without been told you know you need a manager to handle your career in every way . Many artists act unprofessionally, or just don’t have a pleasing personality. They don’t treat others with respect. They are not on time for gigs, rehearsals, photo shoots, interviews or anything else. They are oblivious to other people’s feelings, egos, needs or desires. Successful artists always act in a professional manner. They are personable, so people want to be around them and help them succeed. They know that this is what it takes to earn the respect of their team, their fans and the industry. Many Nigerian artists have no idea who their fans are. They can’t tell you with any sense of accuracy their biggest fan demographics like age, gender, income level, where they live, what their occupations or hobbies are etc. Successful artists know their fans and everything about them because they interact with them. Many conduct surveys and contests to extract demographic information that they use to select the merch they sell. They use that info to know what to write songs about. They track where the people who visit their website are coming from so they know where to book gigs. Many artists are bad communicators they don’t keep their fans informed about the shows they will be performing next .
Ineffective Efforts: Many artists think they are doing the right things, but for some reason they are not hitting the mark. Some of the reasons for this are that they are not doing enough, are doing the wrong things, are doing things wrong, are missing some of the pieces or do things in the wrong order. Also included in this list are the artists who do things for the wrong reasons. Many just throw everything against the wall to see what sticks. Successful artists know what to do, how to do it, when to do it, where to do it, and how to get the most from it.
Building Relationships Many artists do not take the time to build relationships both in the industry and with their fans. It’s very important you build relationship with promoters & your fans . Yes even with your money some will have you begging them to feature your work but if remember success is your aim . Successful artists do both, and they know how to keep and continuously deepen those relationships.
Team Many artists try to do everything themselves ”One Man Mopol”. This may be because they want to retain complete control, or it may be because they don’t know how to put a strong team together. Often no one wants to work with them because they don’t have anything happening. Successful artists know how to make themselves attractive to key team members. They know how to assemble a powerful team and keep them engaged.
Become Unpredictable Many artists get stuck in ruts and never climb out of them, becoming stale and predictable. This can become evident in their music, their stage show, the look and feel of their marketing, they way they dress and everything else they do. Successful artists are always adding new dimensions to themselves. They keep everyone curious about just what they are going to come up with next. They not only watch the trends, they either jump ahead of them or set their own. They find ways to become pioneers. They avoid stagnation by constantly reinventing themselves, all the while remaining true to their fans and their brand.
Packaging . Many artists look like amateurs. Their promo materials, if they have them they are not attractive. Many don’t dress appropriately, especially for shows . Successful artists know that everything about them and everything that represents them has to make them look like they are in the major leagues. They never settle for ‘good enough.’ They hire experienced graphic designers to create their online and print marketing. They dress like business people when it is appropriate. They know that their biggest competitors are doing the same! There are countless more reasons why some artists fail and some succeed. Timing, unforeseen circumstances such as illness, lack of family support, etc.