What are the reasons Nigerian Upcoming artists are not making it?
This is one of the questions asked by many Nigerians who are trying to be the next Davido or Wizkid but all their efforts has been proofed abortive. Despite the 5k you’re paying to bloggers here and there with the intention of making money and fame because you have both the talent, passion and little investment.
I understand your frustration because you have been doing everything possible in the studio, on Instagram and lots of freestyles in your local zones, but all to no avail.
Before you really decide to jump into music, have you ever ask yourself if there’s really big money in the Nigeria music industry as it is usually hyped on social media and music videos? I bet you’re not sure of the right answer.
As an upcoming artist under certain influences, you think once people start hearing your songs, boom! Money will be flowing. But don’t let that get to your head.
For every Korede Bello that was discovered on YouTube and got signed to a major label, there are a million others who have posted thousands of videos and is still yet to get noticed by anyone. Bad luck, right? Maybe not.
And for every Kizz Daniel, who went from upcoming to pop star, in just five years, there are thousands of other artists, equally talented, but are yet to make a sleeper or even a mild hit, even after years of putting in work. Luck too? Okay, maybe.
Maybe luck does have to do with why many upcoming artists are going to die upcoming, why many underground artists will never be able to go mainstream, and why thousands of talents will have to go unnoticed, even in an open market like this.
Just a little over a decade ago, we only had Radios and TV’s, and whatever music got played was the next hit. You didn’t have to like it, or three artist. So, labels just pay for those promotions with a guarantee that their artist is going to appear on people’s TV’s, and they won’t have a choice but to listen.
That was how hits and superstars were made in Nigeria music industry and any other country in Africa.
But let talk the real stuff and save the history for another day.
Reasons Nigerian Upcoming Artists Are Not Making It
1. Over Saturation
In the primitive age in music industry, all artist needed was, to work on demos.
Countless of them in some shitty backyard studio, and send them to Label execs who might be interested in signing deals. Because one thing was sure, you get signed, you get the financial backing of the label, become a star. Then you’ve made it!
However, that was before either arrival of Soundcloud, Spotify and Internet music as a whole. Once music sharing on the internet became easy and accessible to everyone, things changed. Nothing was sure anymore. On top of that making music became very cheap. So cheap everyone was jumping in and out of studio.
What happened then? Over saturation.
The market was flooded, and there’s nothing anyone could do about it. But we can’t have 1,000 artists who sound like Wizkid. No, I’d rather have just one. The supply was more than the demand. The outcome of that is an industry with so many artists that are not making it.
Some Nigerian artists make it, some don’t. But why? What is the criteria?
In fact, the number of break outs we have every year is on the decline, even though there are many talented guys out there. So why are they not making it? Why are they not becoming the next Wizkid or Olamide?
2. No Content
You know Zlatan for kapaichumarimarichupaco? Well, I knew him since the days of “Ringtone.” There’s hardly any slot for any new artist, practically no void for you to fill, so if you’re looking to succeed in the Nigeria music industry, why would your music be shitty?
Why would you want to sing nonsense? Things would be different if such artists have platforms, like a huge Instagram following or an endorsement from a star. I mean, songs without content (shaku shaku, zanku) become hits because the artists who do them are already big acts.
Zlatan already featured Olamide on “My Body” before his breakout “Zanku” hit. He already had co-signs from top dawgs like Baddo.
Same thing happened to Naira Marley. He was “nobody” in the Nigeria music industry, although he’s said to be in UK but still, nobody knew him. Thanks to Olamide and Lil Kesh for his success in the game.
Nobody wants to hear something like Zanku from an upcoming artist writer don’t know. Compare the reception of Victor AD’s “Wetin You Gain.” Now that’s how you make it in Nigeria music industry. Junior Boy’s “Irapada” didn’t blow because of 9ice. We know many collaborations with stars that didn’t go well. It blew up because it had content.
You may think our industry likes rubbish, because Lil Kesh. On the long run, content is still king. Many Nigerian artists have the talent, but they still are not making it because they got no content.
3. Wrong Promotion
I once met a guy who wanted to release a song and told me he was running a promo worth N50k for the song. Know what the promotion was about? Putting his song out on Spotify, iTunes, Tidal and MTN Music+, so he can look professional.
First off, for an upcoming artist in Nigeria with no fanbase whatsoever, he was wrong. He had no reason to look ‘professional’. A decent Instagram account, is all the professional you need.
Since his focus was being online, what he should be looking for is an online content platform with a readerbase that he can tap into. But no, he was interested in looking professional, for no reason in particular.
Secondly, he was into trap music. Trap music is a genre that hasn’t really caught up, in this part of the world. So you’re definitely not trying to run a Radio promotion for a trap stuff, that would be the wrong type of promotion.
Most trap songs blow from Soundcloud, and any artist with that sound should be looking into that. An artist who does cool RnB should be looking more towards YouTube and while anyone can blow on Instagram, it isn’t for anyone.
Artists keep spending their money on the wrong type of promotion for their brand. Some even waste a fortune to make high budget music videos, and still DNA, Rema, Crayon, and they’re yet to get discovered.
4. Label Wahala
When some Nigerian artists don’t make it, it’s not entirely true faults. Some just did as they were told, I’m talking of guys who had major platforms, an opportunity to become the next big thing. But then, record label happened.
Take Milli (not to be confused with Ceeza) for example. He was on Choc City, but after he left, it became obvious that it was bad choices from the Label that ruined his career. Same thing happened to Pryse, also at Choc City. She left the label, with lessons. She didn’t make it, like we all thought she would.
Kizz Daniel may be an exception, but label policy of G-worldwide has definitely hampered the success of Sugarboy and now their new signers are not even making a killing.
Skiibii is better off now than when he was with Five Star Music. Doesn’t really make sense because E-Money had all the money Skiibii needed.
But many times, when artists don’t blow, their managers are at fault. Cul-de-sac labels are definitely one of the reasons many Nigerian artists are not making it. That’s why you see many ‘this and that’ records, ‘this and this’ music, but we still have the same stars from five years ago still killing it today. It’s a dead end out there!
That’s all we can say about this topic for today.
Left over to you:
What Are Reasons Nigerian Upcoming Artists Are Not Making It??