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 reason, entertainment seems to be the most lucrative, especially music production. Starting Music Career In Nigeria as being of many options.
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 for starting a career in music and make it in the Nigerian music industry of today.
1. What Does It Take To Start A Music Career In Nigeria?
I want to make a clarification that having a great voice, musical skills is not enough to start a career in music (not Nigeria alone), it goes far beyond that.
Music, just like any other professions requires a certain level of know-how which can then be geared with the appropriate skills and equipment.
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 wants to pursue a career in music, you must have first look inward and discovering yourself. What genres of music interest you?
You need to discover your preferred style of music which should be in line with your talent and skillset, build on it and do it right.
2. 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 skills or probably hire a songwriter.
However, for a relatively new artist, I will strongly suggest that you write your first song yourself.
Once you have successfully written a 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.
3. Steps By Steps 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 way, I have compiled 7 Ways below on how to promote your song as an upcoming artist in Nigeria.
1. Firstly, ensure you share your new song with friends and families.
2. Upload your songs on Nigerian music/video sites; sites such as YouTube, Naijaloaded, Nairaland, Soundcloud, iTunes, hulkshare among others. Some are free and some require a token.
3. Take your song to radio stations for broadcast to wide range audiences.
4. Promote your song on social media: As an aspiring music artist, 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 social media.
5. Perform live at Nigerian Local shows and Events.
6. Go For Nigeria Musical Audition, Concerts & Contests.
Below is a list of some 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 outrightly free of charge.
Aside from profile and street recognition, you can never tell who is listening ( Could be a record label boss).
Performing at such an event could also earn you recommendations for a well-paid performance.
You will agree with me that Nigerian musical auditions/contests have brought many artists out of nothing to the limelight.
most of all these shows are annual, which means you can get auditioned for any of them every year.
- MTN Project Fame
- Star Quest
- Nigeria’s Got Talent
- Destiny Child
If you perform very well, aside from the cash prizes for the winners and the runner-ups of all these events, you tend to get exposure and recognition to a wide range of audiences nationwide.
Getting signed under a record label won’t then be a problem for you.
7. 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 Maryo 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.
1. Connect with them (Record label CEOs) through their social media handles, most record labels are very active on social media.
2. Walk up to their record label studios/offices, we have a lot of these record label studios in Lagos, submit your song for review.
3. Send your song as attached MP3 file via Email to Nigeria record label’s management Email addresses.
4. 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 an agreement/contract with these companies.
One of the greatest mistakes, commonly made by young upcoming artists 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 artists from their record labels. Typical examples, in this case, are Kizz Daniel.
Early last year, it was widely reported that Kizz Daniel was having a 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 in Nigeria and abroad.
Follow our social media handle for more interesting articles and tips towards developing yourself musically.
Kindly use the comment box to share your experiences as an upcoming artiste getting a deal with our so-called ‘Nigerian record label companies’.