Learning how to become a successful musician in Nigeria is very vital. It’s no hype, music is the ultimate entertainment for the world.
It’s food for the soul. Across regions, people, tribes, ages, backgrounds, everyone listens to good music and some even transcend to realms beyond the physical through music.
Here in Nigeria, the music industry is about the biggest when it comes to entertainment.
Music artists emerge every day as the old ones dissipate into irrelevance, It takes a successful artist to become and remain relevant in the music industry which only a few manage to achieve this feat out of the army of singers marching on every day.
At the moment, the A-list music acts in Nigeria bank home with six figures, sometimes daily and sometimes weekly.
So this financial splendor, to a large extent is the fuel behind many with just a paucity of music talent hopping into the bandwagon of the album release and falling out shortly owing to lack of understanding of how the industry works.
The 10 ways on how to become a successful musician in Nigeria
- Talent and Hardwork
- Do the unusual
- Become a nationalists
- Enter a music competition
- Create a unique dance step or style
- Raise some dust
- Align with the big boys and roll with them
- Feature a big name in the industry
- Get a partner and split later on
- Be known for something,
1. Talent and Hardwork
While it is true that in every field, there are born prodigies and their people who had to work their butts off to become successful.
Either way, what mattered, in the end, was that they were successful.
So if you have the talent, you have this zest for music, you look around you and at the snap of a finger, you have fixed yourself some lyrics and a song is set, then that’s terrific!! you are one step ahead.
You are blessed and talented.
All you need do is to add up more personal efforts in improving whatever kind of music genre you’re good in, then just follow the other sub-headings.
However, if you don’t fall into this “gift and grace” category, it means you have to work your nerves out to the latter.
Hang around the studios often, read books on music, get a mentor, play a lapdog if you have to, learn a musical instrument, do all you can in all the ways you can to start singing really good songs.
When you’ve arrived at that point where someone can listen to your song and nod in affirmation of good music heard, then you have successfully crossed the very first bridge to being a successful artist in Nigeria.
2. Do the unusual
See, the Nigerian music scene is cluttered with too many artists doing wacky conventional songs with household beats that everyone rolls their eyes to in exasperation.
If you can become unique and carve out a niche for yourself you’ll be popular and successful.
Ask Terry G, he went gaga doing music, he got his fame and success.
Ask Phyno who took to rapping in his dialect.
Ask Asa who spat on all the traditional Hip Hop and went solo, doing her thing with the guitar.
You can go out of the country, get beats and styles from other African nations, come back and infuse it into your music.
Just do the extraordinary, do a song in an exceptional way against what everyone is used to hearing and then the spotlight can beam brightly on you.
3. Become a nationalists
Well, you can ask Duncan Mighty who sang “Port Harcourt Boy” and Mish with his “Akwa Ibom Ayaya” song.
This route is even faster, especially if the beats are great and the lyrics talk about every good thing your state has to offer.
Call names, governors, ministers, senators, commissioners, hype them, say all the good things in the book.
Your song will be played regularly at your state’s government house.
You’ll be often called to come to do it in political gatherings in the state.
Your governor might rock the song so hard, he’d be forced to honor and empower you.
So going patriotic can accelerate your ascension into tables where the big boys sit and then you can continue from there, reeling out other great songs not necessarily with a patriotic undertone this time, else you will slip down that height you climbed.
4. Enter a music competition
This boils down to a combination of talent and hard work.
You are talented and you think you can do it.
Beautiful! enroll in one of these music competitions all over the place.
Go out and battle with other contestants, you could get lucky and become the winner.
Iyanya, Praiz, Chidinma, Omawumi, Mercy Chinwo, Timi Dakolo all rose from these platforms, look where they are today.
The good part is that, even if you didn’t end up as the winner, you could still shine with the popularity and experience you’ve gotten.
Even the first and second runners-up of this competition still make it big afterward.
5. Create a unique dance step or style
Everyone loves to dance to the beats of a song.
It might just be the game-changer for you as an upcoming artiste.
I like sighting instances, Olu Maintain prior to “Yahooze” was upcoming, but the dance style announced him.
Dance styles have sent Nigerians wild in excitement, from Alanta to etighi to Azonto to shoki to galala to shaku shaku, the list is endless, help me complete them and be the judge of the artist who sang them in terms of fame and success.
You should have thought about one new dance step already.
Oops!! you’re still thinking?? continue.
6. Raise some dust
Publicity is publicity.
Whether it’s good or bad.
Do something that will give you the “all eyes on me” attention.
Hey! don’t murder someone or bang someone’s wife.
Just go a little controversial, grab the spotlight and shine it on your forehead by dissing a top artist, feigning something you’re not and getting caught, fall of the stage while performing, allow female fans molest you on stage, strip down to your panties on stage, if you are a female, keep flashing some panties and boobs at every given opportunity, just do something crazy that can court attention for you, but I must warn here seriously.
This piece of advice is to be used with caution and at users’ risk.
It might not make you successful pronto but it will give you enough popularity which might lead to some deals.
Trust me, some people will like you for flashing your boobs steadily or for attacking top musicians daily.
Cossy has fans, Bob risky does, the controversial OAP daddy freeze does too.
And by the way, even the top celebrities in music and Nollywood do it whenever they notice a sharp decline in their relevance and popularity.
They call it “Publicity Stunt”.
Two big acts will engage in an altercation online, two days later they are apologizing to one another after giving blogs a fat paycheque, don’t you suspect something?
Well, I do.
7. Align with the big boys and roll with them
When you roll with the A-list acts in the industry, some of their clear dazzling lights might tilt in your direction.
Lobby your way into being signed by one of these top record labels, there’s an article on this already how to get signed by a record label in Nigeria.
Go there and get some tips.
Hang around the big boys, submit under them as a hireling or something like that, be loyal and faithful, they’ll carry you along, and little by little you’ll start getting successful.
If one fool rolls with four wise men, he makes them five wise men. Do you get??
8. Feature a big name in the industry
Partly this is linked to number 7.
Your continued alliance with the big boys in the industry might earn you a free collaboration with one of them.
But if it doesn’t, pay if you have to.
Fame is not cheap.
Sacrifices are needed in form of cash, sweat, and time.
So if they ask you to give them some bread, don’t run away, look for the money, pay.
That big name might just be the only reason why you would sell a million copies of that song.
Plus, you might even receive free sound mixing and other sweet ingredients that will make your song sound pleasant.
Since a big act is involved, he won’t sit and allow you to disgrace him with crappy beats from a rookie.
9. Get a partner and split later on
If you can succeed on your own better, if you think you can’t, find yourself a partner.
Probably one who has dope fluid rap punchlines, so while you do the solos, the other person does the rapping.
Two heads are better than one.
Most times, some people’s success is tied to others, if they can find themselves, they become successful.
R2Bees made up of Mugeez and Paedae were successful partners from Ghana, including the famous P Square, Bracket, Stylplus, Plantashun Boys, KC-Presh, all these are fantastic combinations of artists as a group that did great together.
All the groups listed are now history, but each member is left with his own share of wealth and fame.
So splitting at the right time is necessary, it’s not marriage, change is constant, what matters most is that you guys rode to success on each other’s back.
10. Be known for something
Alternating between Hip Hop, R&B and Reggae will make you look confused.
Stick to one genre and be known for it.
Stop being versatile to your own detriment.
Stick to what works for you.
Be consistent and success will be attracted to you.
Never relent in your hard work, there are so many artists who once dined with the high and mighty because at one point in their music career they were termed “successful” but they relented and got wiped into obscurity.
Put in a lot of hard work to go up there, and when you get there, double your efforts to stay up there.
Getting rich is one thing, staying rich is another. GOOD LUCK!!!