Starting Out A Music Career In Nigeria? Here Are 6 Things You Must Know — Guardian Life — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

by Guardian Nigeria

18 October 2022 | 12:53pm

Here in this post, we are going to give you a detailed guide on how to start your music career in Nigeria. We hope you find this post helpful.

microphone and headphone PHOTO: Pixabay

Here in this post, we are going to give you a detailed guide on how to start your music career in Nigeria. We hope you find this post helpful.

the Nigerian music industry has been around and thriving for years. It has produced legends, that is even internationally recognized examples including Fela, 2Baba, and Sunny Ade, amongst others.

A lot of young Nigerian artists are making us proud outside the shores of the country, and you can become the next big thing in Nigeria if you plan your career properly.

If you are interested in chasing your dream of performing your music to more than 30,000 people in Teslim Balogun Stadium, I will guide you in this article on a sure way to achieve this dream.

Overview of Music Careers in Nigeria

The Nigerian music industry is broad, and a lot of things come into play when planning out your career. The reason why many young upcoming artists don’t hit the spotlight is that they do not plan out their careers properly.

Many of them usually just do 1 track single once in 1 year, with no fan base, social media presence, career plan or goal. Even though there is no pattern to success, many different musicians achieved fame in different ways.

There is a standard approach to achieving professionalism because a music career is a job and you must look, and act like a professional.

profitability

This is an ambiguous term, profitability can mean a lot of things when it comes to music. However, I will assume the financial aspect.

The typical show fee for A list artists in Nigeria (Wizkid, Davido, Burna boy, Simi, Olamide etc) is between 3 to 2 million naira.

However, this price is negotiable as some A-list artists have been known to take as low as 500,000 naira, and some as high as 10 million naira for a 10-minute performance.

Furthermore, endorsement deals are also another gold mine for artists, as they get huge annual endorsement payments.

Tiwa Savage signed an endorsement deal with Pepsi worth millions of naira, followed by Wizkid, Davido, and a few other artists.

Another big advantage is that this artiste can endorse more than one brand so far they do not produce the same thing.

Some of them even receive a lifetime supply of the company’s product, yes, if you represent a brand like Pepsi, you get Pepsi delivered to your home every month.

Note- I advise that you do not delve into the music industry because of the money, this is the mistake a lot of people make and they usually end up lost in a world of regret. Do music because of the passion, and the money will come later.

How to Start Your Music Career in Nigeria

Pay close attention, as I will explain in clear terms how to start your music career in Nigeria.

I call this the “I promise myself list”, this is a detailed list of things you wish to achieve in your music career, in a given year.

If you want to release a song every month, release an album or mixtape, grow a fan base or feature a top artist in your music.

Write all your goals in this book and make sure to follow them, and come back to check them as you move forward in your career.

  • Release Songs (Especially Singles)

Nigerians hardly pay attention to albums or mixtapes, however, they are more interested in a hit single. Do not try to change this mentality at an early stage of your career, instead just go with the flow.

Furthermore, it is cheaper to record single tracks than an album of about 9 songs. You should only consider an album when you have grown a fan base of about 200, that way you are sure of listeners.

Now let me explain how you can release a smash single in Nigeria. I am a broad music listener, and I usually can tell when a song is going to be a hit.

Nigerians love songs that are danceable, relatable and have a nice rhythm to it. Take songs like Case by Teni, On the Low by Burna Boy, and Fia by Davido.

The lyricism is very low in the Nigerian Music Industry, it doesn’t mean you should settle to sing “baby your waist na kprokopro”, however, try to sing meaningful things.

This will really help you stand out in an already over-saturated industry. Concentrate on your chorus, if you plan on doing afro-pop, establish a rhythm to it and make sure it can hook your listeners.

Always consider bringing in a backup artist, although it might cost extra, it will really give your music a sense of depth.

  • Choose Your Producer Well

There are a lot of wacky producers out there, I will tell you from experience. Many of them just buy a laptop, microphone and speakers and call themselves sound engineers.

Take your time to choose the type of studio you would work in, reach out to your fellow upcoming artists on social media and ask for help.

A typical standard recording studio will charge about 15-20,000 naira per session. However, as you grow in your music you will begin to see producers who charge up to 200,000 naira eg Kidominant, killerbeatz, Fresh, Sarz etc

If you like, you can even set up your own studio in your house. This is not only cheaper, it enables you creative control of your music, this way you can wake up one morning and decide to do a song without paying anybody.

To set up your music studio you will need a laptop, DAW (digital workstation) software, a condenser microphone and two good speakers.

In total buying and installing this hardware and software won’t cost more than 100,000 naira. This is a worthy investment, as it will cost you way more by the time you record 10 songs at 20k each.

You are a musician and you should look like it. I am not saying you should go and get tattoos or piercings, what I mean is that people should know that you are an artiste just by looking at you.

Things like your dress, hairstyle and social media should be a priority. Once in a while pay for photo studio sessions and take a beautiful picture you can post on your social media.

Try to interact with your fans on social media, no matter how small they are. Collect their email address and send them links to your new song release, making them feel part of the journey.

Once you release your first song on online streaming networks like Soundcloud, Spotify and Audiomack. It is time to market yourself, and secure shows and paying concerts.

Depending on the success of your song, show promoters might even be the ones approaching with six-figure amounts for you to perform. However, you need to make proper efforts to secure shows nevertheless.

  • Do Not Jump Into a Record Deal

Many young artists feel that a record deal is all and all. Most times, record deals are a trap that promising young musicians fall into.

Many Nigerian labels do not know what they are doing, some do not even have an A&R department or marketing team.

They only have capital and a bunch of other artists with uncertain futures. So before you fall into this trap, be careful not to sign anything without a qualified entertainment lawyer present.

Don’t let anybody rush you into signing anything while making promises. Because when there is a problem, a referral will be made to the contract and not the individual’s statement.

Make sure to read every clause in the contract and have your lawyer explain the ones you don’t understand. Because there have been situations where dubious record labels hide clauses that state that the artiste cannot leave the label until 6 to 8 years and a very little royalty and show fee split cut, like the label taking 80% and the artiste 20% or lower.

They usually come with six-figure advance payments, and “Wow” their victims so be smart and be enlightened, not all that glitters is gold.

Conclusion

Most of the big names you see in the secular music industry today, including Davido and Wizkid started from somewhere. In the gospel song industry, we have the likes of Mercy Chinwo, GUC, Sinach, Ada Ehi and many more. For some of these musicians, it took them almost four years before they could really break through. Once consistency is there, and commitment is your watchword, you will surely make it.

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