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5 Tips to Succeed in the Nigerian Music Industry

So you want to be a music star. You want your songs to receive massive airplay, top charts and receive awards. You want to drive the latest cars, buy the biggest mansions and hang out with the hottest girls….

Is there more imagery in your head about the perks of being a music celebrity? How do you plan to achieve this? Surely you must have a plan to succeed in the competitive Nigerian music industry…right?

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Oh..wait, you just want to go into the studio and record a song with the right lyrics and hit the right notes? What a plan!

To succeed in any venture in life, you must have a mapped out plan and strategy which you want to follow, without which you can never make it.

This is especially important in the Nigerian music industry where your next door neighbour is an upcoming artiste.

This article will therefore focus on the most important steps to take to succeed in the Nigerian music space.

These tips are mostly for the individuals who want to go into music but can also work for people who want to be producers.

1. Cook the Talent or Quit Now 

To be honest, if you cannot at least key into the right note being played while singing, you should just drop your music celebrity dreams.

This is because you might have everything put in place to blow but it will never happen when you do not possess the skills to pull it off.

Some people have the potential to sing and might be able to pull it off with a little training and tweaking while others are just downright hopeless in that area and trying to make it better will just be exhausting. Please, my brother, find another talent!

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2. Packaging Yourself Well or Pack Well

What is the difference between ijebu garri and Dbanj’s ‘koko garri? What is the difference between cocoa and chocolate? Packaging!

Look, there is nothing in this world that will be attractive and gain attention without being packaged appropriately. What is your identity?

Do you want to be seen as a cute loverboy like Banky W? Or be perceived as dapper like D’banj? Or do you want to be seen as having street cred like Olamide?

Furthermore, you should also look for a nickname you will be called apart from your regular stage name. D’banj is also known as the kokomaster, Davido is also known as O.B.O, Banky W is Mr Capable, Olamide is Baddo, 2 face is 2 baba and much more.

Don’t worry so much about this point as the name might come along the way when you have launched your career but it won’t be a bad idea to have it at the back of your mind.

Also learn how to perform and have stage presence, if you have some unique dance skills, you can incorporate it into your performance and even if you don’t, your well utilized energy can supplement the dancing.

Related: Top 10 Nigerian Richest Musicians And Their Net Worth


3. Write, sing, produce SONGS or Watch Others 

Many of the musicians these days are skipping the first item I listed in this point and put the last item first. Let me explain.

Many mainstream artistes no longer settle down to write a song any longer, the process is seen as tedious to them. You can choose to tow this line or you can decide to do things the right way and stand out.

It might depend on the genre of music you want to focus on or you can go cliché and do afropop. Never stop writing, singing or producing your songs.

If you are not such a gifted writer, you can employ someone to write the song for you. It is not a taboo as we know many of the musicians abroad do it; Neyo has written for Rihanna several times, Sia has written for Beyonce, so drop your pride.

You will want to have many songs at hand so when that musician’s block comes, you will still have tracks to drop.

Make sure to find a producer that suits the genre of music you specialise in as well as a one you have a good rapport with in order to have a lasting relationship.

Related: How To Sell Your Music In Nigeria Fast


4. Network or Die

In the corporate world, networking is king. No matter how talented, smart and skillful you are, you can only reach a certain height if you don’t have the appropriate network. Your network is your net worth.

You cannot separate success from it in the corporate world and it is not so different in the music business or any other sector in the economy.

There are veterans in the music business and it will not hurt to link up with some of them and in fact, many of them will be more than willing to help you out in terms of advice, connections, and even promotion.

I know someone reading this might decide to go spiritual on me and say that God is the ultimate connection but it is also in God’s word that ‘wisdom is profitable to direct’.

So forget ego and do not underestimate this tip and you might even become signed to a record label and you will have your role models become your buddies in a couple of years.


5. Promote Now or FADE 

This is one of the most important aspects of succeeding in the music business. No matter how dope a track is, if you do not employ the right promotional channels, it will flop.

Promotion has been made very easy with the advent of the internet and social media as you can promote your song on social media pages like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more.

You can post the video on YouTube and place links for downloading the song for free. This will help you to gain awareness among youths who are the most active music fans.

You can now use your network to help in the promotion of your songs which will help you to reach a larger audience as celebrities have a large following on social media.

You can also send your songs to blogs that focus on music as well as lifestyle magazines to do a review of the song and post links to download it as well.

You can decide to go traditional and send your songs to radio stations to gain airplay but I really do not see the need of that anymore as I believe with enough promotion on the internet, the song can blow and it will even be the OAPs and DJs that will look for it because of the demand.

Finally, once you have ‘blown’, never neglect your fans and forget the people who helped you get to the top. Put God first and the sky will be your starting point…now soar!

Have a say in the comments section below.

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Queensly Austin is a Content Developer at InfoGuideNigeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Roberts. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Roberts. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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  1. Wonderful,, this is really kul. Thanks for all these,, these things are really the problems am having’ am not doing any. I just record and drop at home,, beliving to blow one day. I love this tenx a million. Its ur boy wixzy-kul da skillful wizy.

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