When it comes to choosing a musical style that will help you blow in the music industry, there are two factors that are involved.
And they are: Originality and proven styles.
Originality in music is held by many as the way of inventing a new musical style which will help an artiste, especial an up-and-coming, to be heard over thousands of other musicians in his genre.
I believe you’ve heard a saying in the industry that goes “as an aspiring musician, you have to be original if you want to stand out from the crowd”.
Proven styles are those style used by artiste who are already making waves in the industry.
Therefore, before any artiste attempts to break into the music industry, he must first and foremost sit down and ask himself these two questions:
Can being original pave way for me as an up-and-coming artiste? And specifically make me to become a musician everyone is dying to listen to?
Will using proven styles that are already working for big artiste, work well for me as an artiste who is struggling to come up?
I will therefore try in this article to give my views on these two questions.
And in so doing hope you’d find the knowledgebase that will help you make the right choice. Which in the end will become instrumental to your becoming a super star.
If there is no other musician who is presently using the style you have invented, being original will really help you to stand out from the crowd; if only you will have the capacity to promote yourself.
If you have the capital upfront to promote your style, you will attract music fans who are keen about the new style from the new artiste they have just heard.
From thence, they will take on the task of spreading the word about you, as well as, pass your music around to friends and family who will quickly imbibe the style and become a fan.
And when this happens, bloggers and corporations will begin to give you a coverage.
In a bid to bring more traffic to their sites, attract massive readership and in turn use that to sell more Ads and sponsored post.
Secondly before you settle for originality, you must ensure that you are talented enough to put out songs that people will find it hard to resist, and you must also be able to prove that originality at any given time or place.
Lastly on this point, you must note very well that it will never benefit you to be original in a bad way.
For instance, if you make weird sounds when singing or rapping, it will make it easier for people to identify you once they hear your song.
But on the other hand, if those sounds are putting people off, they will definitely skip your track or change the radio station once they hear your song coming through.
So therefore, you must ensure that you invent the kind of originality that music fans will accept and imbibe else your music career will end before it even starts.
In case you have never noticed, there tends to be ways and patterns in the music industry when it comes to what’s popular and trending at the moment.
If you look into music charts, you will discover that a certain style of music is taking up a lot of the top positions.
And if you dig out that style and incorporate them into your music where necessary, it can definitely help you to secure a better place in the music industry.
Never forget that music charts are determined by the kinds of music currently trending and selling.
And if people are streaming and buying that particular style of music, it shows you will increase your chances of making it in the industry if you use the same style.
However, you must be mindful of the fact it is not everyone who makes a song that suits a trending style that will eventually sell out.
For that reason, you must ensure that you step up the quality of your brand, when using the style every other successful musician are using, else you will just be pissing fans who are patronizing that style off.
When Copying Others Style
Another important point to note is that when incorporating or using the style other successful musicians are using, you must ensure that you don’t copy their outright style or lyrics.
The key point here is to dig out a certain element of what that big artiste is doing that so many fans are dying for and adjust it to suit your own brand.
The truth is there are only a very few musicians out there who are even 90% original.
Everything your so called big artistes are doing has already been done before and majority of them are just incorporating things they have learnt from others into their own style.
The current Afro Pop that is selling in Nigeria today was adopted from the Cameroonian Makossa.
And blending that with the western RnB made the music become popular in Nigeria, and till today that style is still selling out so many Nigerian musician.
If you have been doing it unknowingly before now, I think it is high time to start consciously looking at what proves to be working well for other musicians, in your chosen genre and use any of those parts to your advantage.
The secret is to listen for instance, to how those big artiste in the Afro Pop genre are rendering their vocals and study how they are formatting their lyrics:
Verse=Bridge=Hook and after the second verse a little Ad-lib is added before the Hook returns to fade.
And once you pick on a particular vocal rendition and get your formatting right, you will finally realize how professional your music begins to sound.
Have An Alternative Style
Lest I forget, when settling for a proven style, you must ensure that you have an alternative style you can switch to if that proven style is wiped out of the music industry.
Yes! It has happened before and will continue to happen.
Ajegunle had their own style of music but today that style is no longer in existence.
But am still seeing the modern day up and coming musicians still making that AJ style of music and I wonder where it will take them to.
I think Oritse Femi had this knowledge base that was why he switched to Afro-Pop and so remains the only AJ musician who is still making waves in the industry today.
Your Style Your Culture
In conclusion, whether you are trying to be original or using a proven style, you must make sure that your style bonds with what is accepted in your own culture.
For instance, I see so many artiste here in Nigeria trying to make their music sound western, thinking it’s going to prove how good they are.
But how I wish these kinds had the understanding that, trying to make western music as an up and coming musician, has been the reason so many artiste here in Nigeria never made it.
I was among those kind of artiste.
And during my days I was unfortunate to learn very late about how many rappers, either switched or reshuffled their raps, to bond with the Nigerian culture.
For instance, after Ruggedy Baba rapped like the Oyingbo for years and couldn’t break into the industry, he finally decided to incorporate pidgin and the Yoruba language into his raps.
And once he did that and came up with “Ehen” a song he dissed Eedris Abdulkareem. He became one of the early Nigerian Rapper’s who made waves.
This was possible because he made his raps go together with the Nigerian culture.
He then immediately ceased that opportunity and returned with a dance track titled “Gbaraje”.
In no time, Ruggedy Baba left the up and coming category of musicians and entered the league of the early rap super stars Nigeria has ever had.
Many rappers back then began to follow the same path, because they realized it was selling out.
Finally we had the early successful rappers in the likes of Nigga Raw, Mode 9, Eldee, Slo Dog, M.I Abaga, Ice Prince, the late Da Grin, Olamide etc. changing the face of rap music in Nigeria.
And it’s very sad to realize that majority of the modern day musicians, whether singers or rappers. Are still making this same mistake of settling for a kind of musical style, that will never help them enter the music industry in the near future.
So therefore, be very mindful of the musical style you choose if you want to blow in the music industry.
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About the author
Eventus Okon is an online music promoter, blogger, cinematographer, photographer and, web designer. He is the owner of this website that is bent on providing the tips and tricks that will help up-and-coming artiste become superstars.
He also owns and manages several other sites including: taculiatv.com, freestylevideoz.com and okopusem.com which serves as a platform for AkwaCross people, where he comes from, to connect globally for the purpose of advertising and promoting AkwaCross contents online