This is an opinion piece designed to help aspiring musicians make it big in the industry and overcome the shackles of being underground.
With my little experience in the industry, let’s say about 8 years what I’m about to write here is the truth, nothing but the truth.
1) Most upcoming artistes do not make proper use of their social media handle
As an upcoming artiste, your social media account is one of the easiest ways of communicating with your fans. You need to put content on it everyday. If you are going to the toilet, take a picture. If you are going to the bar, do a little video. If you are bouyant enough, give away something tangible
2) Most upcoming artistes do not attend shows
If you are an upcoming artiste and you are not attending shows, you will forever remain upcoming (Not a curse though but harsh reality). I mean, get off that your lazy bed, attach yourself to a DJ, beg him to tag along when he has shows and do your thing at his shows (Simple). Another thing you could do is also to buy tickets to shows (regular). Find your way back stage, before they start the show proper, beg them to allow you do your thing. Record label owners, promoters are listening and if they can see the confidence in you and how the crowd accept your music, my brother, congratulations.
3) Not creating a niche for yourself in the industry
As an upcoming artiste, you need to stop copying other people’s style of music. Stop copying other people’s beat, stop copying other people’s sound. Create your own style, create your own pattern. Stand out
4) Bad mastering, bad mixing of your song.
This is also a contributing factor. Who will play your music when the whole production is whack! There are so many upcoming artiste out there with good lyrical content but their production is poor and this in return makes the artiste sound local. No Dj would jam your song on radio if the production is poor. Work with different music producers. The same producer that created the beat and recorded your voice should not be the same producer that will do the final mastering of your songs. They are dedicated sound engineers and professionals that their job is just to mix and master (look for them).
5) Poor lyrical content, bad concept, bad voicing Imagine a reggae singer trying to sing blues?
The concept from the onset is not proper. What you have to do is to look for your vocal strength and work on it. If you can sing blues very well, my brother, you are not needed in rap. Do your thing, express yourself lyrically. Sing about things your face, talk about your emotions. Sing about everything around you.
6) Not wanting to freestyle
Free styling is your selling point. At times people, fans want to hear you sing without musical instruments. Freestyle your songs, record a Crystal clear video of your freestyle. Upload on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook etc
7) Shoot a music video
This is one of the most easiest way to promote your music. I literally don’t listen to radio but I watch TV. The only time I listen to radio is when my friends are having their shows on radio and I have to tune in to listen for feedbacks. Music video helps put a face to your music. If your looks are great, it will attract the opposite sex a lot but if you have pot belle like me, my brother, Hit the Gym. With a music shot in the right format, resolution and concept, it will get Airplays on TV. There are so many satellite TV stations now and all you need do is get your video to them.
Once you are getting airplays on TV, getting your songs played on radio will be very easy. You don’t have to cut your neck for that. And one of the things music video will do for you is when you go to shows. People, fans will easily identify you. Even when you are on stage singing, they would be telling themselves that they have seen this guy on TV. (And again take note that you are going to do a lot of free shows. The moment you blow, free shows stops)
And as for me the writer, I am doing my own free shows right now. I’m offering 5 free music video production slots to 5 upcoming artiste. T & C applies.
Written by @srazorblade