Find out more on how lucrative is music in Nigeria, become a musician, how to become a successful musician in nigeria, starting music career in Nigeria, signing with a record label contract, how Nigerian musicians make money in the entertainment industry and easy guides to promote your songs as an upcoming artistes in Nigeria.
It is of no doubt that Nigeria is filled with great talented individuals across several walks of life; mostly in sports, literature, and of course, entertainment. Perhaps, sports and entertainment appear to be dominated, and for some reasons, entertainment seems to be the most lucrative, especially music production.
As a result of the lucrativeness of the music industry, many young individuals have become highly ambitious about becoming the next music star. In this article, I have compiled some simple, yet comprehensive, guides/steps on how to spring up your passion to starting a career in music and make it in the Nigerian music industry of today.
What Does It Take To Start A Music Career In Nigeria?
This is a common question often asked by many up-and-coming artistes ‘I want to be a musician but where and how do I start?’ ‘how long does it take to become a musician?’ If you fall into the same category, then see more to music profession. I want to make a clarification that having a great voice, musical skills is not enough to start a career in music, it goes far beyond that.
Music, just like any other professions requires certain level of know-how which can then be geared with the appropriate skills and equipments. Don’t be like many people who fail to realize this; jumping to music just because it is lucrative and people are making money from it. Now wake up to reality, “Without a solid foundation (talent),you are bound for failure”
As a prospective singer who want to pursue a career in music, you must have first look inward and discover yourself. What genres of music interest you? You need to discover your preferred style of music which should be inline with your talent and skill set, build on it and do it right.
Writing And Recording Your First Song
After realizing what it takes to start a profession in music, before a record company will work with you, they want to see that you have taken some personal initiative to move your music career forward. One of the most obvious ways to demonstrate this is by releasing your own album (either independently or in a band/group with other musicians). When a music company sees that you have already released a finished product of your music, they will consider you much more seriously as a potential partner.
It is then very important that you write your first song before hitting the studio to record it. Like i mentioned above, music requires certain ‘know-how’ skills, you need to have basic writing skill or probably hire a song writer. However, for a relatively new artiste, i will strongly suggest that you write your first song yourself. To achieve this, i recommend Step by Step Professional Instruction for Writing your First Song
Once you have successfully written your song, you can then proceed to a standard recording studio and seek out the service of a sound or music producer.
While in the studio, check out the pre-recorded beats and songs, as recommended by the music producer, and pick out one or two that best suit your taste. Once this is set, proceed to record your first song.
How To Promote Your First Song In Nigeria
You must get your music out of the studio and bring it to the ears of the people whether you have money or not. Either ways, i have compiled 7 ways below on how to promote your song as an upcoming artiste in Nigeria.
- Firstly, ensure you share your new song with friends and families.
- Upload your song on Nigerian music and video sites; sites such as YouTube, Naijaloaded, Soundcloud, iTunes, Hulkshare among others. Some are free and some requires a token.
- Take your song to radio stations for broadcast to wide range audiences. Listen to lasgidi 90.1 fm 9am-12pm everyday if you reside in Lagos, you could get yourself and song promoted for free, prior to that you can always send your new song to their official email address (firstname.lastname@example.org ) for review.
- Promote your song on social media: As an aspiring music artiste, you need a very strong social media presence. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even WhatsApp to promote your song. Reaching out to social media Influential for a shout out is also a strategy for song promotion on the social media.
- Perform live at Nigerian Local Shows and Events.
- Go For Nigeria Musical Audition, Concerts & Contests.
Top music talent shows in Nigeria:
Take your time to search for nightclubs,carnivals, community festivals and among others, meet with the organizers of such events and offer your service at a relatively affordable price or out-rightly free of charge. Aside from profile and street recognition, you can never can tell who is listening ( Could be a record label boss). Performing at such event could also earn you recommendations for a well paid performance.
You will agree with me that Nigerian musical auditions/contests has brought many artistes out of nothing to lime light. Most of all this shows are annually, which means you can get auditioned for any of them every year.
- MTN project Fame
- X Factor
- Star Quest
- Nigeria’s Got Talent
- Destiny Child
If you perform very well, aside the cash prizes for the winners and the runner-ups of all these events, you tend to get exposure and recognition to wide range of audience nationawide. Getting signed under a record label won’t then be a problem for you.
- Connecting with Nigerian Music Record label companies;
Many superstars today such as Maryokun, Reekado Banks used this unconventional method to meet with their destiny helpers. Maryokun, reportedly met with Davido via the social media when Davido listened to Maryokun demo of him on Twitter, Reekado Banks before owning his personal record label also met with Mavin Records boss, Don Jazzy on Twitter.
Regardless of this, there are different ways you can approach some of these Nigerian record labels owners.
- Connect with them (Record label CEOs) through their social media handles, most record labels are very active on the social media.
- Walk up to their record label studios/offices, we have a lot of these record label studios in Lagos, submit your song for review.
- Send your song as attached MP3 file via Email to record label’s management Email addresses which you can easily get on their social media bio.
I recommend that you read 7 things Record Label Will Look For Before Signing You.
Signing A Record Label Contract
Now that your song has been reviewed and passed the background investigation test, the next step of course is signing agreement/contract with this companies.
One of the greatest mistakes, commonly made by young upcoming artistes is accepting “slavery” contracts from talent “poachers”, who have dominated the Nigerian music industry. We’ve heard many cases of brutal separations of some top Nigerian artistes from their record labels. Typical examples in this case are Kizz Daniel
“Early last year, it was widely reported that, Kizz Daniel was having serious contractual disagreement with his record label, G-WorldWide.It was gathered that in August 2015, news broke that Kiss Daniel despite all the hits he had only collected a paltry salary of 50k monthly. This, as gathered, was what eventually resulted in the separation of the two parties.”
The above instance was aimed at making you, an upcoming/aspiring artiste, understand contractual obligations and how it could make or mar you. That said, you should get a lawyer and a relative to thoroughly review a contract before putting pen to paper. Doing this right will guarantee your sustained growth and eventual success in the Nigerian music industry.
Hopefully everything outlined in this blog gives you a big picture perspective of what you need to do to get started in your music career and become a musician. Kindly use the comment box to share your experiences as an up-and-coming artiste getting a deal with Nigerian record label companies, how has the journey been?