Home to some of the finest music exports on the African continent, the Nigerian music industry has become a money-spinner. Indeed auditing firm, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, reports that $56 million was generated from music sales alone in Nigeria in 2015.
The firm also predicts that the industry’s revenue could shoot up to $88 million by 2018.
Little wonder the influx of young people into the industry, struggling for attention, cash, and fame. Sadly, many Nigerian artistes of yesteryears did not relish the economic boom and fame that the younger artistes currently enjoy.
But the reality remains that music is no longer viewed from the standpoint of the art in itself.
It is serious business and to thrive in any industry, certain principles and false notions must be either upheld or erased.
Because much more than talent is required to become the next big thing like Wizkid, Pyhno, Kiss Daniel, Mr. Eazi, Davido and Yemi Alade, we have highlighted five things upcoming artistes take for granted in Nigeria.
As an upcoming artiste, you cannot feed your prospective fans half-baked music, poor lyrics and lacklustre music video. Any serious artiste is expected to know the difference between a music producer and a sound engineer. Because lot of music producers moonlight as sound engineers today, the standard of music output is constantly being compromised. Blogs and other media houses take quality pretty seriously and you do not want to appear stupid or unserious when your music materials are frowned upon, ignored or out rightly rejected.
And for those who can afford to shoot a quality music video, proper research needs to be carried out before the video is shot in the first place. As an upcoming artiste, you must realise that visuals matter and the quality of your music must also be reflected in your visuals if you must leave a lasting impression in the minds of your fans. Quality should not be confused with expenditure. As such, an artiste can advise or suggest the artistic direction he or she has in mind to the music-video director. The cover art, as we know, also endears fans to the music before it is listened or viewed. And bloggers also give more preference to quality covers arts too.
2. Social Media
This is the 21st century, do I have to reiterate Marshal McLuhan’s the world has become a global village again? Social media is a hub that connects people from all works of life and has also proven to be a veritable tool for music promotion. Unfortunately, some upcoming acts continue to take it for granted. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are some of the mediums that upcoming acts can explore in order to build a vibrant fan base and network. It is a very sensitive sphere, thus, the knowledge and fear of social media is also the beginning of successes and breakthroughs.
There are quite a number of notable blogs in Nigeria that any upcoming artiste hungry to succeed needs to take serious when trying to build a name and a brand. Some upcoming artistes do not understand the power blogs wield and how much they influence careers. Upcoming artistes must maintain cordial relationships with bloggers, their owners, and freelance contributors.
4. Publicity Stunt
Now, publicity stunts could either make or break an artiste and it all depends on how well or otherwise it is executed. “Fake it, till you make it” or “Fake it to make it” is a common phrase in the global music industry. We are not going to name artistes that have benefited and are still profiting from publicity stunts. Established artistes are also guilty of not understanding how much publicity stunts could help boost their careers. A clear example of a missed opportunity is ClassiQ’s controversial “I Love You” video, which features Kannywood actress, Rahama Sadau. The controversy that trailed the video dominated news headlines for several weeks, yet ClassiQ and his management, failed to seize the opportunity. If well exploited and handled, ClassiQ would be smiling to the bank by now.
5. The Art Vs. The Business
Upcoming artistes in Nigeria need to understand the difference between their love for music and the music business. This understanding could change how they see the art. Upcoming artistes must understand that music business obeys the law of demand and supply. Every music corresponds or is peculiar, to a particular audience or environment at any given time. As such, an artiste must strive to satisfy the demands of his audience without compromising the quality of his music.
Artistes who have been able to master this technique have thrived beyond their wildest imagination. These lucky stars include Psquare, Wizkid, Olamide, Flavour, Yemi Alade, MI, Tiwa Savage and Davido.
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