One of the questions often asked by upcoming artists in Nigeria is, what is the main key to success as an artist in the Nigerian music industry?
And this article will aim to answer this question.
I am going to write this article based on my experience as a music promoter, here in Nigeria.
Because when I get to listen to so many songs sent to me for promotion by upcoming artists in Nigeria; I realize that they are not making the kind of music that will ever make them successful.
As a matter of fact, upcoming artists in Nigeria do not place much value on their music.
And it’s so disheartening to see them approach you on a daily basis asking for a record deal or effective music promotion. When in essence, they are not making the kind of music that will bring them to the spotlight.
Without taking you any further, let’s move on to see what is the main key to succeeding as an artist in the Nigerian music industry.
The main key to success as an artist in the Nigerian music industry.
The main key to success as an artist in the Nigerian music industry is how professional your music sounds.
Without mincing words, I’d like to clearly state here that if your music does not meet the standard of music Nigerians are consuming, you will never become successful as a musician in Nigeria.
Thus, your main aim or goal should be to make the kind of music that sounds like, or probably close to what the top artists in the country are making.
Some think that trying to make their music sound like, or close to that of, say, Davido or Wizkid is imitation or copyright.
But the imitation of copyright occurs when you use the same beat and sing the same vocals as the song owner.
Thus, using the same format or style of writing as established artists is not imitation or copyright.
But note that you need a timing factor to make this work. For example, don’t try to use the same format Wizkid used in a song he did 5 years ago.
Rather, look for his most recent song and imitate it.
If you’ve been studying music released lately in Nigeria, you will discover that they have just 2 verses. And the bridge and chorus are repeated either twice or thrice before the song fades.
That is why nearly all the current songs are not longer than 2 minutes, and probably 30 seconds.
How to make your music sound professional like that of an established artist.
For your music to reach the standard of the Nigeria music industry, and sound like or close to that of the superstars, you must be mindful of the following:
- Theme or topic of your song.
- Song title.
- Song composition.
- Studio recording.
1. Theme or topic of your song.
If you want to achieve success in the Nigerian music industry, you must select a theme or topic of song that corresponds to what is trending at the moment.
Singing about what is trending will never make your song go out of time real soon, as some think.
Giving reasons that what trends usually last for a while and fade away soon.
But since you don’t expect to make one song throughout your music career.
If what is trending fades away and your song cannot blow, you can always look for the next thing that’s trending and do a song about it.
However, keep in mind that there are trending things that will not go out of fashion soon. An example is the current economic situation of the country.
Because of this, so many youths in the country have been drawn to money rituals and Yahoo Yahoo; while so many have to go to bed hungry almost every night.
So why not look for what will correspond with people’s present situation and make music about it.
You can take an example from the 2 songs currently trending below:
- Lordsky feat Comedian Sirone – Hunger.
- Pheelz feat Buji – Finesse.
These 2 songs align with what people are presently going through and you can see why they were able to blow easily.
2. Song title.
There are so many tricks for coming up with a song title that will blow.
- If you’re singing about what’s trending, it is safe to make your title correspond with it.
- Another trick is to make your song title the same as that of already established artists. But the rule to doing this lies in making your single the same title as their album, or vice versa. It is however not a crime to make the same song title and album title; long as the stories told are not the same.
- You can also embark on keyword research to see what people are looking for the most in search engines. This will help your music to pop up while people are typing the keyword to search engines. But for this trick to work, you need to promote your music on a blog that will optimize your title for search engines.
Whatever trick you are using to come up with your song title, the main key to success on this point is to keep your song title short and simple.
The goal is to ensure it is memorable so that people can easily grab it when they first come across it.
2 to 3-letter words are always ideal.
3. Song composition.
Song composition here will strictly depend on your genre of music.
But I will place focus on AfroBeats or AfroPop because it is the number one as well as most successful music genre so far in the Nigerian music industry.
Nigerians love AfroBeats/AfroPop because the rhythm is danceable, and the vocals are also easy to sing along with.
The good news about AfroBeats/AfroPop is that it is very easy to compose.
You can begin this kind of song with a little intro, which is usually your brand name and song title.
You can choose to begin it with a chorus or verse, but always remember to add a bridge that will come between the verse and chorus.
Don’t begin this kind of music with a bridge, please.
As a rule of thumb, don’t make your verse too long. 2 to 3 bars are ok.
The bridge could also be 2 or 3 bars.
The most important aspect of this composition is the chorus. And the simple rule is to make sure the chorus is repeatable, so it can be easy for people to sing along with.
When you do research on all Nigerian songs that made waves, you will realize that they had a chorus that was easy for people to understand and sing along with.
4. Music recording or production.
This is the most important aspect of the main key to success in the Nigerian music industry, because if you get all others right and bust this one; your labor is going to be in vain.
There are several ways to go about your music recording or production.
For a start, if you have a little budget you can invest in getting your own small home recording studio. But if you don’t, then you need to look for a good studio and producer; that will give you a high-quality production.
One of the benefits of getting your own home recording studio is that it will give you enough time to work on perfecting your production.
After making the beats and laying the vocals, you can then look for a good studio and producer that will mix and master your songs to meet up the standard of the Nigerian music industry.
Your best option however should be to settle for a popular product that has worked with superstars.
The only problem here is that the cost is going to be relatively high.
And if you can afford it, then you will be putting yourself on the road to becoming successful in your career.
Unless you are working with an upcoming producer who is training under a popular one, I will never recommend you to do your music production with any other upcoming producer.
However, if you can get proof of previous productions he has done for other artists; you can work with such a producer.
Finally, the main key to success as an artist in the Nigerian music industry is to make the kind of music that meets the standard of well-established artists.
I mean, the kind of music that sounds way too professional.
Please share this article, to help a fellow upcoming musician know; what is the main key to succeeding in the Nigerian music industry.