Let me tell you something that is a known fact. In Nigeria, there are Millions of underground musicians that are yet to make it big time and more songs are being released each day. In every street corner, there is at least one audio studio and so many wannabe musicians visiting it every day. Believe me when I tell you that I have seen and heard a lot of “artists/musicians” and they all sound the same.
Being a successful artist basically means being able to reach out to your intended audience. It makes no sense recording an album only to have it kept in your shelf. You should be able to reach your target audience with your music. That makes you a successful artist.
So how do I become a successful artist?
Music is an art and like all works of art should be mastered and perfected. What is the difference between the small percent of successful musicians and the other unsuccessful large percent? It really needs addressing. With the millions of underground artists every day, there needs to be some rules to follow.
- Stick to a specific genre of music. Most underground artists are so confused that they don’t really know what they want. Today they want to sing on a track, the next day it is rapping. Next week, they want to do a reggae song. At the end you find an artist doing all the genre of music and having no targeted fan base. He is neither here or there. Try as much as possible to carve a niche for yourself in the very large genre of music. By carving a niche for yourself, you are assured of a loyal fan base that likes you for your style of music.
- Try to sound as REAL as possible. I have listened to countless songs and worked with various artists. During the course of either listening to or working with these guys, the one thing that struck me as odd is that “this guy sounds like this or that artist” or “this guy is trying to sound like this or that person”. The public do not like listening to duplicate acts. Be original and not try to copy another person.
- Do what sounds natural. By this I mean do not be swayed by the crowd. Try to do songs that sound natural to you. Don’t start trying to do what everybody is doing when you clearly are not good there. If it’s slow love songs that you are good at, stick to it. Do not try to do dance tracks when you only get inspiration to sing emotional songs.
- Surround yourself with talent. The importance of this point cannot be over stressed. Good works and talent complement each other. Surround yourself with guys who share the same ideas and inspiration about your music. The worst thing that can happen to an upcoming artist is having no one to share or bounce ideas with.
- Finally, consistency. Be consistent. Being a successful artist, like everything in life requires hard work and dedication. Stick to what you know how to do and keep improving yourself.
By Ibeleme Uchenna of www.naijaaudioclass.com