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The Nigerian music industry is a ruthless jungle but with simple planning and focus, a talented artiste can become a genuine star.

The Nigerian music industry is a ruthless jungle.

Even though the Nigerian audience is very large, there is a lack of structure that can render the most elaborate plans useless.

At every turn, there are producers trying to steal your songs, OAPs trying to steal your money and label executives trying to steal your life.

For new artists hoping to break out and claim some success, planning and timing can be the difference between “blowing up” and wallowing in the C-list.

Here are some simple tips that will help your career as an upcoming artist.

(1) Create a brand: From the moment you begin to record music to sell to an audience, you must understand that you have ceased to be just a person.

The audience sees you as a brand and all your work as product. As such, you must consciously build a brand identity and image that fits the brand of music you make and how you want to be received as an artiste.

Adekunle Gold is an example of an artist who has created a consistent brand image that supports his fusion of contemporary highlife, juju and folk music.

(2) Build a website: In today’s digital world, your website is an extension of you as an artist and a brand. Unfortunately, most artists see it as a frivolity, something to do when you have money.

What a website offers is a platform to share your music and keep your fans updated. For as little as 70,000 naira, you can build a website where you share exclusive content and build relationships and a core fan base as the years go by.

Your website is also where you will sell your market; merchandise, albums, tickets and more, so build one and build it well.

You can contact ICIDAT for your website today.

(3) Get interviewed: People connect with the music more when they connect with the artiste. Interviews provide a platform to tell your story and endear yourself to fans and anyone who cares enough to listen, watch or read.

Grab every opportunity for an interview by the horns. It’s not enough to just tell your name and how you started singing in Nursery One.

Tell the interviewer about the times you spent selling Gala. Every interview counts. Open yourself up to the audience and they will open up to you.

(4) Collaborate with other artists: In your early days as an artist, it is important to jump on as many songs as you can. Here’s why; every artist has a fan base that you can borrow from and working with them introduces your sound to a new set of people.

It also pushes your creativity and helps your development as an artist. Still, you have to be careful; some collaborations will do more harm than good and you must avoid them as much as possible.

In every other case, bless the song with a hook or a verse and spread your reach.

(5) Do your Research: Behind the glitz and cramped studios, the music business is a complex structure. As an upcoming artist, you owe it to yourself to study everything.

Read up on artists, contracts and record labels, watch interviews and documentaries and follow the news with dedication.

Understand the fine print and workings of the industry, before you end up signing a contract that will transform you into a glorified houseboy with no control over your career.

(6) Use your Family and Friends: As an upcoming artiste, your family and friends are your first fan base, record label, A&R and managers.

You see that uncle that always acts yuppy, share your new song with him and ask what he thinks.

Share your work with your friends too and turn to them for support and advice in times of need.

(7)Get rid of the Opening Act Syndrome: Opening for other artists can be very frustrating especially when you feel you deserve more but as an upcoming artiste, you must be ready to kill your ego before it kills you.

Open for bigger artists and with time, others will open for you too. What matters is the opportunity to perform to an audience and share your work.

Everyone must start from somewhere, it is your job to work your way up till you become the headline act.

(8) Famz everybody: If you’re to have a successful career, the relationships that you build will be a big part of that story.

Because you cannot pay your way through every door, you need powerful and influential people in your corner who believe in you and your ethos.

So feel free to reach out to people who can help, scratch backs when you need to and famz every OAP, blogger, influencer or critic that you know.

(9)Put your music on streaming platforms: One of the biggest misconceptions in Nigerian music is that artists don’t make money from streaming. The sycophants who sell this lie will tell you that your best chance is to hope for shows and endorsements.

In the last year, Nigerian artists have made over millions of dollars from streaming songs online. On that now-infamous edition of the Loose Talk Podcast, M.I intimated that “Chairman“, his third studio album has made over 120,000 dollars from iTunes alone.

Put your songs on all streaming platforms you can find. You probably won’t make as much as M.I from the jump but that kobo-kobo change can become a river of cash.

(10)Never lose your focus: As you begin to become more familiar with the music industry and all its frivolities, it is easy to get distracted.

Many careers have been cut short when the artist loses himself in the vices that creatives tend to indulge in. As an upcoming artiste, you should remember that everything you do is a function of your art and your career.

Keep our eyes on the goal.

HOLLUP. We’re not done yet.

Patience: Following these 10 steps will get you closer to success but none of it will matter if the artist is not patient. Growing into a full-blown star can take years, even a decade.

The artist must be patient enough to remain hungry and consistent despite all the setbacks and challenges that are bound to come your way.

One song will probably not do it, even two albums might not. So sit down, work hard and be humble.

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By king

Call Me King. I am a Web developer, Content Creator, Digital Marketer. - -- Contact no: +2347062471679. -- Email Address:

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