So I’m not writing fiction or politics or literary stuff today., it’s about my 1st love – music. It’s for upcoming artistes. As usual, I write on stuff as is, not as I wished it was. Enjoy
So you are that hot musician who can sing fire or that hot rapper who can give Jay Z a run for his plenty money. And you are determined to blow as we say in Nigeria. Now, unlike most other countries, we do not have the well structured, corporate style record labels in Nigeria, so people blow differently in Nigeria. The next few lines tell you three things you must have in Nigeria to make this happen.
First, you need to get a producer whose synergy with you produces something greater than you could ever do on your own. D’Banj found this with Don Jazzy, 2Face found OJB, DaGrin found, Sossick, Wizkid with Samklef, Asa with Cobhams, 9ice with ID Cabassa, Olamide with Pheelz, Davido with Shizzy, Dare with Cobhams, Iyanya with DTunes and KCee with Del B. This is absolutely important, because irrespective of what else you have, the music is the foundation, the basis on which you want to blow. So find this producer and make your music with him/her.
Second, you need to get a manager that understands the industry, and really knows what they’re doing. Music management is serious business and requires a lot. Not everyone can do it. Not everyone that knows industry people can do it. Key to Wizkid’s blowing was his manager ThisMetalChick (can’t remember her real name). Olamide had to change management before things moved to the next level. Davido had to find Asa Asika. Iyanya, Ubi Frank and M.I. had Godwin Tom. Your manager is essential at this birthing stage of your career. It’s the difference between people who have the other two things I mention in this article, but never really blow up, never really make it to that A-list and those who do.
The third, is this – you must find someone or people who are willing to stake their money in you and who understand enough to know that the reason the reward in music is so huge is because the risk is equally huge. And unlike abroad where there’s corporate funding, in Nigeria, in many cases, this will be primarily individuals. I was researching Olamide recently to confirm this theory and found a clue on one of his songs, Jesu O K’ola. He said thanks to someone in the 2nd verse of that song. EME was Banky’s dream but finance was from the older of the Demuren brothers. I hear Oritsefemi and LKT keep mentioning a certain Niger Delta name on their songs. When KCee and Presh broke up, one would have thought that Presh would blow. But the finance was on KCee’s side (his elder brother from what I gather), and he got the other two ingredients right and today, we are all Limpopo-ing.
Now to the final thought. The thing is this, all three MUST be present for an artiste to blow, otherwise we will have either a scenario where a great artiste puts out good work, but he can’t promo it and blow (the money bit). Or has great songs (or even average songs) and plenty money but song never really blows because they spend the money on all the wrong things (management issue). You can paint all the other scenarios. But if you are an artiste, and you are serious about blowing, in the Naija of today, you will do well to take this to heart. So, there it is.