It’s getting increasingly hard to hit stardom as a fast rising musician. Most of them are in the business for the wrong reasons with no real conviction as to why they are making music or what they hope to achieve with music and that’s why we keep having several absurd ‘Publicity stunts’ all in the name to ‘Blow‘.
Here are 10 honest questions every upcoming artist should sincerely ask themselves.
So Stop! Whatever you’re doing Stop! Go through this with sincerity and re-evaluate your stance in the music industry.
1. Why do I make music? You must be able to answer this anywhere, and don’t tell me because it makes me happy or to pay the bills, that doesn’t cut it, there must be some honest depth to this answer. Some sort of strong conviction from within, not just because of the life.
2. What aspect of music am I absolutely great at? What can you beat your chest and say I can compete at the highest level in this regard, maybe not exactly now but in a bit. The standard is not static, if you walk away after seeing where you need to improve, on coming back you would meet a different level of creativity. So where! Writing, rap, singing…
Where can you fit in and stand up to anybody. You need to know confidently your skill-set or work on a strong point if you lack that.
3. How long? How long do you intend to make music, firstly you can’t do this for life FACT. So how long and what next, what’s your end game. Where does this end for you and how
4 What’s the vision? Do you just want to ‘Blow’, get it like Wizkid or Davido. That’s their story, what’s yours? You need to have a fulfillment point, and you absolutely need vision and direction as to where your own process is headed and what the plan is as you move.
5. What’s your dream, what’s your reality? So you listen to the J.Cole‘s the Kendricks and you hear their start stories and it inspires you to ‘dream’, but my brother. the point is you can’t totally replicate another man’s dream. Not because of lack of talent or skill but because of reality.
So let me hand you the facts, Nigeria’s population as at 2013 was 173.6million, as at 2014 the American population was 318.9million, now imagine in 2017 what the population will be. So clearly you don’t have the same listening/interested population.
The music structure abroad is not your reality, there are different stages there, you can have an Rnb concert PACKED, a rock concert PACKED, a metal concert PACKED, a hip-hop concert PACKED. Here we have only one stage, and we call it ‘blow’. We do not have the same structure so you have to study and learn what applies here and cross that with your own dreams and goals.
6. The record label logic, Can You Justify this? If you work for money, you would value it. So it happens that you are signed or about to get signed. Here’s the thing, so some at the label says lets pay Artist X 1.2million to be on this song and also pay Artist Y 1.5million, mix and master the Music with the ‘best’ sound engineer 150,000, shoot with the best Director with about 2 million, logistics and all you’re headed up to 5 million on one song, and you’re dancing to Burna Boy’s ‘wetin you see na God e blessing’ you’re not alright sir.
Considering further that the music hasn’t been promoted. How do you justify this, how much more will the label spend before you earn that? This is one of the reasons artists and labels fight, just plainly being unreasonable at the start.
That 5 million can work on a large catalogue of music and can run the project for sometime. Some silly ‘label’ moves defy logic. The reason you’re okay with that kind of spending is because you’re ignorant and you lack personal vision so any move with icing is a good move. Labels can sometimes blur things, keep your feet on the ground don’t rack up pointless debt.
7. If the label system fails, what next? So we take it that number 6 is where you’re out of a label system, what would you honestly do. If that label drops you today what do you do next. Can you work and spend ‘your’ hard earned money on your own music. Ask yourself this now, because if you can’t pull it together when it falls apart please kindly quit now.
8. How do you measure your growth? Where were you 6 months ago, where are you now. What kind of opportunities did you attract a year ago and what kinds do you attract now. You must be able to judge yourself critically but! You must be realistic and consider your own path, you can’t judge how far you have come by looking at another artist, they can be a point you look up to, but acknowledge your own successes and failings with perfect understanding that everyone’s process and progress is never the same.
Set goals and follow through, have meetings with yourself and sometimes someone or group of people you truly trust to analyse your situation and set targets. This isn’t bad to do as an upcoming.
9. The business, what do I need to know/learn? Digitization (selling the content on iTunes, Vevo and others), marketing, the cooperate sector and all that stuff is a broader view of the business. You must outline why things are done, why you would spend this and a logical way to earn. Don’t spend without thought, there should have thought towards your financial management, so you must go out and learn ways to monetize what you have and ways to earn.
10. God? Yes, God. I don’t know what you believe in or what your religion is but brother there is a God who is in perfect control of events and keeps the world in balance. Without faith in God, you CAN’T do this. Rely on Him to guide you and have faith.