By Onyejeme Chimere
Dear Wizkid’s and Davido’s of our future The, Phyno’s and Olamide’s of Tomorrow,
How are you doing? I hope you are in good status of health?
The Nigerian music industry gets stuffed up day by day, with almost everyone having a desire to contribute to it either as a rapper, a singer, a producer, etc. because of the Lame mentality that once you are a musician you are famous. Those Who go with such mentality either get Stuck in the industry, give up, Waste money and time while embarrassing themselves on stage or even go home. There was a fact that upcoming musicians (A-list Excluded) in Nigeria is equal to the population of the people in Uganda, Geez What A traffic.
Making it as a musician in the music industry is not as easy as you see it, A lot of people has already given up, even people who have made it to the top could not glue there because the lack quality, tips and information to be at the top. So, I am writing to you to give you important and professional tips on how to make it in the industry, how to scale through, how to be recognized, how to blow, how to be the spotlight, what to avoid, the do’s and don’t of the music industry That lots of upcoming acts don’t know and need to know for them to make it in music. Let’s Get started.
1) TAKE A STEP
Funny as it sounds am not trying to say you should leap forward with your leg. What is the essence of going to the studio, record, mix and master a nice track, go home send it to family and friends, just them and expect to be the next Phyno? What is the essence of dreaming to be a member of Star Boy Records when the only time people know that you are actually into music is when you tell them that you do sing or show them your songs? You know a better producer in your vicinity but choose to go to the inexperience one because he charges small money or should I exclude the fact that some upcoming acts Refuse to drop some certain bragging and accent attitude that turn off future sponsors.
YOU: then what do we do??
ME: Something New, Take A step You’ve Not Taking Before.
WHAT AM I DRIVING AT?
Those superstars you see hear, Watch, Emulate and die to touch all had sacrifices the made, certain steps they took. Iyanya had to sell his only car to shoot his kukere video, had this rumor about wizkid using his school money to record a track, banky w recorded and sold his track himself, kcee learnt a certain handwork, olamide slept in the studio, timaya was a plantain seller, a lot of stories told and more, a lot of steps taken. Am not saying you have to be like them to make it NO, all am saying is take a step and do something for your music career. After recording a track, do not limit the listening ears to only your family and friends, try to promote it on Blogs , Pay for your music promotions , submit to Djs for mixes , Do what you can to get it to more audience and have in mind the more the listening ear the more your chance of scaling through, Make sure people don’t only know you are a musician when you tell them or send them your song , Perform on stage, in your school, your Locality, in any occasion you can find yourselves Try to do something, that way you get tagged as an act, save money and go for better producers for better productions, Take a bold move , even the best take a step in their careers. the music industry is choosing between “going hard” or “going home”
We can’t be talking about Protein and forget to mention beans Just like No one can drive a car with a tank full of water. Let’s say your journey to the music industry is a CAR then your talent/how talented you are being the FUEL. I will advise that if you lack the talent in music, no voice (And Bad Voice), no musical instincts, bad rap line you should look for something else to do with your life, so as not to keep embarrassing yourself till the end of your life in the name of music. Music is not the only way to be famous but if you insist to go on, enjoy the stress and embarrassment.
3) WORK WITH PROFESSIONAL AND UNDERSTANDABLE PRODUCERS
Some talented acts after composing good songs with nice lyrics, bad production from inexperienced producers tend to give it a bad finishing. Professional producers are producers who have been producing the hit songs in your locality, some charge small money and even if the best of them charges a little high, hustle a little to get more money to get production from the best. Good and understandable producers tend to give you the right tune, and understand where your music is coming from, Good producers only need a little explanation on how you want your music to be, how you want it to look like, the understand your preferences and then give you the best. They advise you as people who have been in the business and seen things, Hit tracks would not have made it if not for good producers, learn to work with the best.
4) MUSICAL KNOW HOW – Understanding the Jargons of Music
I overheard a Rapper who came for his Music session asking the producer what he meant by “6 Bars” just like a lot of rappers don’t know. Your I’ll be surprised that a lot of singers don’t know the word “Bridge”. Some don’t even know what music genre is all about, you ask a singer what type of music he is into he says I sing like davido or that type of wizkids music, Oga what’s that, ah ah. You want to be a musician but you don’t understand the musical jargons, please make out time to know the words used in the music industry. Study the music industry as a course, ask questions. Being a musician is not all about having the talent, you must understand the music jargons and musical know how.
5) EDUCATION IS A FACTOR
Not saying you must be educated to make it, in fact almost 60% of our musicians were not educated or fully educated before the made it. Everything am saying is, as you pursue your music career do the same to your education. If you can Drop music and complete your education then after get back to it, please do so. An Educated upcoming musician has a more advantage over an uneducated act. Do not say because you want music to be your career and that education should wait No, ask yourself, why is it that some of our top notches in the music industry who didn’t complete their education later go for it , if education doesn’t matter they wouldn’t have gone for it or made it a factor, a lot of our acts are graduates the likes of Barrister Falz ,Dr sid ,Tiwa savage Did music , Pilot kiss Daniel, and others. Education may not be a major factor but it is and will be a factor.
6) KNOW YOUR GENRE – Know your base
Oga boss, today you will sing reggae tomorrow hiphop the next blues, oga please where is your base. Upcoming acts especially Nigerians always have that “I am good in all of them” mentality You have to choose a genre you love and you are talented to deliver in. Banky w cannot just switch from Blues and Be like wizkid who is in the hip pop sector neither will Yemi alade turn a rapper overnight when she knows she built her fans as a hip pop vocal artist. Someone will introduce you as a hip pop artiste only for you to go up on stage and begin to do reggae. You can be jack of all trades later when you blow but right now focus on a particular genre. What are you good in? What is that musical genre people enjoy you sing? What is that musical genre where you can bring out the best in you most? That is your base. And to all those who wants to be a rapper and a singer at the same time, Quontinue.
7) STOP THE COPY AND STOP THE CHARGE
If you sing in such a way that someone can match you to exactly an already blown act, then its high time you do a little change. It is never a good thing for your music career if you copy the way another musician sings. Learn to be unique. The unique your style of music, the better your chances of securing a place in the industry. Only learn from a music act never copy him/her. But listen, if you think you are good to rap better than olamide then feel free to give him a sit. But my advice is Uniqueness matters it is key. And to all upcoming acts who charge for every occasion you are called to perform in, you should limit such attitude because you could be declined to perform in a place where your sponsor could be, because you attached a fee thereby killing your chances. Charge on occasions where not much audience will be or unserious events like birthdays, small shows, pool events, weddings. But not for shows that could boost you more like a top hotel hosting an event and you are called to perform, if the refuse to pay please perform for free. Beg to perform in top events and watch how you scale through, but don’t make yourself too cheap, know your worth.
8 ) HUMILITY – Kill those attitudes And Be updated
Learn to always be humble to the last respect people, be disciplined if you have attitudes that turn people off this is the time to drop them. Are you a cultist? Get angry easily? Always live a fake life? Get angry easily, Insultive, stubborn? Are you the type that suffer and still faking rich? Do you brag a lot? Speak fake and unnecessary accents? Now is the right time to drop all this so as not to make your career messier, heard about a cult boy who was shot while on stage, not a good thing. Get yourselves disciplined, learn to talk, let your words and actions speak for you and positively. Also, get yourself updated with the latest news from the music industry, know when every event is Dated, go for competitions, attend music seminars, know the mistakes that top acts have made and learn from it, just be up to date.
Finally, I wanna say a big thank you to all who read to this extent and are ready to keep to them. Take this as rules and regulations guiding your music career. am not saying if you don’t do this or any of it you have no chances of making it, just want you to use this to fortify yourself for this journey cause it’s gonna be a very long and stressful one. Self-promotion is key, promote yourself your way, on social medias, forum etc. at this juncture, I come to the end of this letter. My greetings to your parents and family.