The Music Industry: 10 Simple Steps On How To Become A Successful Artist In Nigeria
This article is deliberately designed to guide both potential and existing artists on the “10 Simple Steps On How To Become a Successful Artist In Nigeria” and making money through music.
I may not be your regular or very popular artist like the ones you wake up with their songs on your lips but am that singer, songwriter and producer who is deeply rooted in music with a wealth of experience, remarkable successes and major setbacks as well.
I’m in a good position to put up this article and guide you on how to become a successful artist in Nigeria and make money through music because I also belong in the same industry. I’m not just in the industry but I’m still here without any form of doubt and I’m still working on new breakthroughs based on my past failures.
Without waisting time, let me take you through the “10 Simple Steps On How To Become a Successful Artist in Nigeria” and making money through music today.
These 10 Simple Steps On How To Become A Successful Artist In Nigeria Are For Potential and Existing Artists
1. Make Sure You Have a Talent or Develop a Skill in Music
Talent has to do with what you can do without being taught, while skills can be acquired and developed overtime with dedication and hard work. Talent can also be regarded as what one can do based on natural abilities and without stress, therefore having a competitive advantage over other competitors, compared to skill in which you need to invest your time, tears, energy, sweat, money etc. in acquiring it.
If you believe that you’ve got a passion for music but you don’t have the talent, you can search for a good music tutor around your local area and learn the basics or fundamentals of music (scales, pitch, melody, chords rhythm etc.) and probably get a voice training as well before hitting the studios.
2. Build A Formidable Team And Delegate Duties
Working as a team is key and can’t be over emphasized in achieving success in the Nigerian music industry. Successes mostly come from partnership and not individually. The essence of partnership is to make work easier by delegating duties between team members. Look out for other talented people who are related to your career and bring them in quickly.
Assuming there are four team members representing your brand, one person can be in charge of music production, few people can handle the hype and promotion of the music on social media and other platforms, while others can handle graphics designing and directing.
3. Create A Unique Brand For Yourself
A well structured brand is what makes a business, service or product attractive to the targeted customers or audience.
A branded product attracts more attention, recognition, boost business values and support advertising than a non-branded product. It helps to differentiate it from other products. Reason being that, a brand builds more confidence and a lasting impression on the minds of the customers or audience.
A brand also engages customers or audience from time to time to know their thoughts about the products which further helps the brand to modify the product or service in question.
Simple Ways To Brand Yourself As A Musical Artist
- Choose A Niche and Stay There: Although you can be versatile when it comes to music, you should be known for a particular niche or genre so that you can be easily identified with your sound.
- Get A Unique Brand Name: You must research carefully after selecting your brand name and ensure it’s not been used before.
- Create A Logo With Well Defined Colours: Your logo should be unique and depicting what your brand is all about. A team member can design a logo but if the team lacks a graphic designer, then hire the service of a professional to handle the process.
- Write A Brand Statement And Live Up To It: A brand statement should be one that contains what makes your music stand out to the world and why you are doing it. Example; Davido is a singer, songwriter and entertainer who hits the high notes with ease just to penetrate your soul and give you peace and all the joy you need. That’s quite attractive isn’t it?
- Include Your Core Values: Your core values must match your brand statement. It may include being dynamic, delivering outstanding performances, building relationship with fans, etc.
- Have A Unique Dress Code and Look In Your Photos And Appearances: It could be a head warmer or a unique hair style. Let people identify you easily when they see you. You will agree with, Teni and FireBoy DML constantly wear hair scarf and that’s their dress code.
- Flag Your Brand Online: Establish your brand on all the social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterests, etc.) that your team can conveniently manage and place engaging contents there consistently.
4. Get Your Works Protected
Copyright violation is commonplace in Nigeria because artists are more concerned about creating music content more than ensuring that they make adequate profit from the use of their songs by any third party.
A copyright is a legal right that gives the author of an original work the right to it’s use and distribution, usually for a short period. The exclusive rights however, are limited.
In Nigeria, copyright is governed by the Copyright Act. and the body charged with the protection and enforcement of copyright is the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).
5. Don’t Be A Mediocre
Quality must be your watch word. Your sounds (instruments and vocals) must be well mixed and mastered for quality output.
You will agree with me that a well mixed production attracts more listeners than a poorly mixed one. A wack production is a major turn off for most listeners, especially when streaming the song. Note that a good voice and well mixed instrumental enhances mixing and mastering compared to a bad one. Your production software and plugins must be up to date to have an outstanding production.
6. Be Positive In Every Circumstances You Find Yourself In The Industry
The Nigerian Music Industry, like every other industry, has a huge entry barriers. There will be hard times in the game; times where you’ll feel like quitting and times you’ll feel like there are more to music than meets the eyes, to gaining access to limelight.
When you are passionate about what you do, it will only take death to separate you from it. On the flipside, artists who are crazily in love with their craft and career will only see the brighter side of the journey and do away with distractions and pessimism. The only way to avoid setbacks and distractions is to become aware of them because they will definitely show up as they are inevitable.
7. Hype Your Brand On Social Media And Other Platforms
You can find everyone this days on social media, including the big shots in the Nigerian music industry, which makes it easier for artists to engage their audience or fans and also be seen by record labels.
You don’t have to publish your music all the time, you can also engage your fans with other music related topics.
Managing social media pages can be time consuming and needs one of the team players to handle that aspect.
How To Make Your Social Media Page Attractive
- Consistently publish quality photos and caption it accordingly or let your audience caption the post.
- Publish video of your songs regularly: Most people get attracted to what they see. They want to know who’s behind the sensational voice they’ve been hearing.
- Maintain your fashion style in photos and videos for easy recognition.
- Give respect to whom it’s due in the industry on your page.
Social media hype has raised a couple of Nigerian artist including DMW act, Mayorkun and Jealous crooner, Fireboy DML. See how some popular Nigerian artist were discovered and signed by record labels below.
8. Originality, Consistency and Patience
The road to success is narrow and only the consistent and patient ones make it to the top. Nigerian singer, Damini Ogulo, better known as Burna Boy who’s making the headlines and topping the charts now has been on course since 2013 but he just reached the peak of his career in 2019.
Don’t let the tough road leading to success discourage you. Always remember that if the price was low, then everybody will pay to get to the top. “The secret of consistency is originality.”
9. Rehearse Your Songs Regularly and Search For Gigs
Regular rehearsal is a major talent booster and it enhances your stage management and craft. Rehearsal also builds confidence and kills stage fright.
Perform in weddings, clubs and other outdoor events around your environment. Trust me, if your performance is good, you’ll be invited to perform again and you may find your performance published by your fans on social media and the multiplier effect goes on and on.
10. Don’t Hesitate To Invest Your Money
You’ll be invited to perform in bigger shows when a larger number of people can sing your songs.
You can also make money through music streaming platforms. Although they don’t pay the huge amount of money you’re expecting at once, the money you get from streaming will help you to further promote your projects.
Pally with DJs, bloggers, OAPs and appreciate them tips when necessary. Note that the promoters you give some money to play your song might fall in love with it and play it twice or more and if the listeners appreciate it, they will add it to their playlist and put it on rotation. That way, your fans will know the lyrics to your song and also spread the news to others who are yet to listen to it.
Note: When you become successful, don’t hesitate to support other talented artists to the top because continuous success comes by lifting others.
Do you think you have other answers or questions on how to become a successful artist in Nigeria, feel free to share with us via the comment section below.
Author: Egbe Victor.