In this article, I am going to show you how to enter the Nigerian music industry as an artist.
I am going to show you 15 complete steps you need to follow to make this a reality.
But before we dive into this article, let us see why you should enter the Nigerian music industry and if the music industry in Nigeria is even profitable for you as an artist.
Why you should enter the Nigerian music industry.
It is no doubt that the Nigerian music industry today is the easiest road to making it to fortune and fame.
This is evidenced by how Nigerian musicians are living very large. The fleet of cars, mansions, international collaborations, and sold-out concerts are making the Nigerian music industry a dream for upcoming artists.
Another thing is that, with other careers, one is required to go to school to study and get a degree or certificate; but the only thing the music industry in Nigeria requires from an upcoming artist is to be musically talented.
I hope you can see why you should aim to enter the Nigerian music industry.
How to enter the Nigerian music industry.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to enter the Nigerian music industry as an artist.
- You need to be musically talented.
- Study the basics of the music industry.
- Get your capital upfront.
- Be humble and kind, especially to industry people.
- Always take corrections and learn from your mistakes.
- Don’t make record deals your number 1 priority.
- Never insult any industry person.
- Sign up for social platforms that benefit musicians.
- Create musical content and upload it on social platforms.
- Compose or buy your first 3 songs.
- Look for the artist you are going to collaborate with.
- Secure a good studio and producer for your songs.
- Get your promo package ready.
- Design a nice album cover.
- Start to promote your music.
1. You need to be musically talented.
The only thing that is going to pave way for you in the music industry is your musical talent.
By the way, why do you even want to enter the Nigerian music industry as an artist if you cannot perform musically?
And how do you get to know if you are musically talented?
My advice is always for an upcoming artist to record himself using a downloaded beat or instrumental.
You can play the instrumental on an mp3 player and record everything on your android phone.
After recording the demo, play it to people around; that is your friends, family members, music industry experts, etc, and beg them to honestly tell you if you are good to go as a musician.
Gather the feedback you get to know if you are really fit to enter the Nigerian music industry as an artist.
2. Study the basics of the music industry.
Every industry has a particular way it works, and the music industry is never the less.
And if you are indeed conversant with how the music industry works, it will help you a lot to find your way around it.
So go online and scout for articles, and tutorials, look up music forums for what people are saying about the music industry, and reach out to music promoters and advisors, all with the aim of learning about how the Nigerian music industry works.
3. Get your capital upfront.
Your sole aim in entering the music industry is to make money; and in order to succeed in making money in any institution, one must be willing to invest.
Nothing goes for nothing and nothing comes for free.
To me and everyone who knows about the music industry anywhere in the world, music is business.
And as we all know, every business is built upon the foundation of capital, with the main goal of making a profit or return on investment (ROI) as some call it.
Every move you are going to make toward success in the music industry will require you to invest money.
From recording your songs in the studio to putting them out there for people to hear, money is definitely going to be involved.
And it’s sad how I see upcoming artists trying to cheat their way into the music industry by doing everything for free.
They all go for Audiomack when trying to upload their music because it’s free. And once they get the link and share it on social platforms, they go to sleep hoping to wake up to a million streams or plays in one night.
But am here to let you know that it doesn’t work that way, and soon you are going to be frustrated and give up on the music industry.
And if you don’t want this to happen, then you need to go out there and look for ways to raise money to fund your music career.
There are several ways of doing so and some of them are:
- Finding someone to sponsor your music career.
- Getting a day job or hustling to raise money.
- Reaching family members and friends for financial support.
- Musical lunch etc.
4. Be humble and kind, especially to industry people.
Do you see this music industry? there is nothing that pays more than humility.
Because when you are humble, you will escape stepping on people’s toes, as well as being submissive to learn the basics of the music industry.
But when you think you know it all and carry your shoulders high; you will soon begin to irritate people in the music industry, and in so doing be riding for a fall.
The popular proverb says ‘pride goes before a fall’, and you need to avoid that at all costs by being humble.
In my holy scripture, the most beautiful angel Lucifer fell from grace to grass because he was full of pride.
So never let pride get into you while trying to enter the Nigerian music industry as an artist.
5. Always take corrections and learn from your mistakes.
Mistakes are the greatest teacher, only if you look for the lessons to be learned when they happen.
It is certain that you are going to make a whole lot of mistakes, no matter how hard you learn about the music industry.
And when that happens always be willing to take the corrections when you are corrected and be willing to learn from those who have made it a point of duty to do so.
No one knows everything, even the greatest teacher was taught by somebody; he wasn’t born with the knowledge ready-made or packaged in him.
And if you want to get big and great in the Nigerian music industry always learn from your mistakes and be willing to take corrections.
6. Don’t make record deals your number 1 priority.
From my experience as a music promoter over the years, I have discovered that nearly all upcoming artists in Nigeria are looking for a record deal.
No matter how hard you try to show them what they must do first if they need a record deal, they will still ignore you and spend their precious time trying to reach out to record labels in vain.
I always classify these kinds as lazy artist who is just looking to reap from where they did not sow.
And let me quickly add that it is never possible, and will never happen that you just wake into the music industry and sign a record deal on a platter of gold.
Try and consult the established artist who was found online and they will tell you the hard work and resources they invested to make that happen.
Let me tell you one secret about record labels, are you ready?
Now record labels are a group of business-minded people whose sole aim is to invest in an artist and immediately walk away with their profit.
And to ensure this happens, they are very careful in picking the artist they want to work with.
There are a thousand and one ways they will seek to prove you are really going to be the artist that will give them a return on their investment.
This is why I pity those artists who have but one freestyle or viral video, and reach out to a record label and beg them to sign them.
My dear, you are just wasting your precious time and very soon you will get tired and give up.
7. Never insult any industry person.
Personally, I’ve been insulted several times by upcoming artists in Nigeria.
Some of them have gone to the extent of getting into my social media groups to warn other upcoming artists to be wary because I am going to scam them.
And this happens simply because I told them the truth about how they need to work harder and make good music; because their music does not reach the standard that will help them to enter the Nigerian music industry.
And one step I always take when I find these kinds are to block them from all my platforms and blacklist them in case they come around through another means.
So if you are fond of insulting industry people better desist from it because you can never tell what you are going to miss when you lose them; as well as where you will find them while climbing the ladder to enter the music industry.
8. Sign up for social platforms that benefit musicians.
Not every social media platform is good for musicians.
In fact, some of them are structured to disfavor them; because they know, these guys are always looking for free means of entering the music industry.
So you really need to look out for the best social media platforms for musicians and join them.
9. Create musical content and upload it frequently on social platforms.
You need to beat the algorithm of every social platform in order to reach an audience that does not belong to your social media accounts.
And the easiest way of doing so is to upload content frequently on your social platforms to engage your followers.
And what are those basic content ideas for musicians?
You can start by making viral and freestyle videos, snippets of your recorded tracks or music videos, etc; and upload them frequently on your social media platforms.
10. Compose or buy your first 3 songs.
It is now time for you to start composing your first 3 songs.
One should be a love song, one a dance track, and the third a song that relates to what people are facing daily in life.
The latter topic is always very quick to blow an upcoming artist. Especially, now that people are using TikTok to make short videos.
Once they discover and start to use your song on their TikTok or other social media videos; you are on your road to entering the Nigerian music industry for real.
However, if you are not good at composing songs; you can go online and look for popular music composers in your genre to buy songs from them.
11. Look for the artist you are going to collaborate with.
Music collaboration is one way that helps upcoming artists gain access to the music industry.
The trick is that you collaborate with an artist who already has a large fanbase, and once the music is out there; his fans will definitely listen and in so doing get to know about you.
Though this act often costs a lot of cash, it will really be worth the effort and investment if you are able to afford it.
12. Secure a good studio and producer for your songs.
Never make the mistake of making your audio recording in a low-quality studio by an inexperienced producer.
In fact, my advice on this subject is always to settle for a popular music producer for your audio recording.
This is because the popular music producer has all it takes to give you that product that will meet up the standard of what music lovers are currently consuming.
This guy has already blown several artists, and if you are talented and good, tell me why you would ever be the less.
It is also worth stating that this process is usually expensive, but you will never regret spending that big sum after you achieve the need.
13. Get your promo package ready.
The Promo package is going to make it easy for you when you are reaching out to blogs and media houses to write about you as well as showcase your music.
This package usually contains your musician bio, photo gallery, artwork, press reviews, banners, t-shirts, caps, etc.
The trick is to have your name, logo, and song title on this stuff to make it easy for people to spot you wherever people are using it.
14. Design a nice album cover.
Your album cover is what people are first going to see when you are promoting your songs.
And it is what they will use to judge what’s on the inside.
If your album cover is poor and of low quality, then nobody is going to care a second to look at what’s inside.
But if your album cover is dope, people will be tempted to look for what’s on the inside.
The trick to getting this right is to curl a concept out of the topic or theme of your song, go to a photography studio and get a nice photo shoot, find a professional graphic designer to throw everything up on it, and deliver that killer album cover that will attract just anybody who comes in view of it.
15. Start to promote your music.
Now that you have everything in place, you need to start your music promotion.
Here’s a complete guide to music promotion in Nigeria that will really help you to do it right.