This short article is mainly for upcoming music artistes, wannabe musicians and singers in Nigeria. It doesn’t really matter the Genre in which you make your music. What matters most are these salient points given below.
A) Good voice and Talent:
As an upcoming artiste, before you decide to hit the studio, you should ask yourself these questions: do I have a good voice? have I ever been commended or applauded when I sing?
Please don’t be deceived, if you have a good voice, you will know. If you don’t have a good voice, you will know.
You must be convinced and be very sure that you have a good voice and you have that music talent to wow people when you sing or perform.
Having a good voice and music talent is the very first step to achieving your goal.
Music they say, is used for relaxation. Now imagine a very busy man comes back from work tired. He steps into a bar to have a chilled beer and then listen to music, to help him relax his nerves and be soothing to his soul. His beer is served and all of a sudden a very wack song with a wack voice starts playing……I bet you know what will happen next. The essence of music to this man, has been defeated at that point.
B) Good “catchy” Song:
You should have a catchy song that would make listeners wanna nod their heads or shake their bodies when they listen to your song or hear your song play. You should have a song that would make people wanna listen even till the end. It shouldn’t necessarily be a party jam, nor have a samba beat. The likes of 2face, Timi dakolo, Asha, Faze, Sunny Neji, Jeremiah gyang, Praize didn’t start their career with party jams and they made hits. You cannot listen to Timi dakolo’s song and not want to hear it till the end.
So, the genre doesn’t matter. Just have a good song. If you don’t have a catchy song, you can involve the services of a very good song writer and a composer. Having a good producer is also a key to making good music. At times, they help in arranging the songs and lyrics.
Your lyrics must also be catchy and you must also involve “Rhymes”!
“the way your love dey shack me”
I can’t explain it
“it’s like electric shock me”
when you touch me, I feel it.
Rhymes are even more important to upcoming and wannabe rappers.
This is the most important part of making a hit song in Nigeria. If you don’t have lots of it, then you should probably join a band, look for record labels….you may get signed if you are very talented. This article is not about record labels. It is about how you can single handedly make a hit song in Nigeria, without the help of a record label.
Money is very much important in all the spheres of making a hit song in Nigeria.
You will have to pay for studio sessions. A full studio session goes for about #10,000 to #40,000 or more, depending on the standard of the studio. You will pay your producer for his/her services. Producers charge between #30,000 to #150,000 for a single, depending on the quality and popularity of the producer. Though some locals charge between #10,000 to #20,000.
You will also need money to make demos, to do massive promotions on radio stations and TV stations, shoot video, involve DJ’s, etc.
Now let me explain how you can go about these promotions to make a hit.
D) Massive Promotion:
The Nigerian Music Industry is one that is saturated. In fact, over saturated, but there’s also a saying that goes thus:
“the sky is big enough for all the birds to fly”.
You must have the doggedness to push yourself, the “never say never” spirit. Like efe of bbn, you must “die put”!
If you don’t have that fighting and determined spirit, then I am sorry to disappoint you, the Nigerian Music Industry is not for you.(hard truth)
Now let me analyse these massive promotions.
D(i) Radio Stations Promotion:
Write down about 10 popular radio stations in Lagos, google their addresses and drop your demos.
Now this is not so easy as stated above. You will have to “settle” (bribe) them so they can always play your song, back to back. I heard davido bribed each radio stations about #250,000 each, to play his song; “ma nogere”, just so he could make a hit.
You have to bribe popular OAP’s, radio personalities, radio program directors etc. I heard a radio director in b*** FM collects about a #100,000 and a bottle of expensive wine to allow them play the song of an upcoming artiste.
The reason for this “bribe” is for your song to get frequent airplay.
If I hear a new song today on radio, and in the evening I hear the same song, the next day the same song, the third day, the same song, by the fifth day, I will subconsciously sing the song or sing to it. Now, imagine this same song is played like that in 10 different radio stations, then be sure you’re on your way to making a hit.
The aim of this frequent airplay, is to get listeners familiar with the song. Let your song be on their lips. You can also collect the numbers of these radio personalities and send them airtime from time to time.
These can also be applied to TV stations, if you have a video.
D(ii) DJ’s and DJ association:
Involving the services of DJ’s is also an important part in making you have a hit in Nigeria. Meet them one on one, be friendly, and drop your demo with them.
Some would ask for tips while others won’t.
You have to settle them well if you want them to always play your song in any show they play.
You can also decide to speak to them or see them through their association. The popular one i know is DJAN(Disc jockeys association of Nigeria). Their meeting place use to be “Quarter Jack” Ogunlana drive, Surulere, Lagos. I’m not sure if they are still there.
Google DJ’s in Lagos and their contacts.
D(iii) Popular bars and clubs:
You should painstakingly, visit popular bars and clubs. Be friendly, have a catchy swag, have a good manner of approach, dress clean like an artiste and drop your demos with them.
Visit local bars too and give them your demo.
Don’t underestimate anybody, even the “okada” and “keke marwa” riders should never be left out. Give them your demos.
Remember, you have to be dogged. keep fighting for it, never say never! “shame nor dey diaar o”
D(iv) Show Performance(s):
Cultivate the habit of performing in shows. Perform in clubs, bars, marriage/wedding functions, street carnivals, etc.
Don’t put money before you. You have to be passionate about your music career. Do a lot of free shows, look for shows to perform. You can practice on how to perform. If your song is a slow tempo song like blues, you can walk out gently from stage, go to the crowd, pick a girl and bring her on stage while you sing. Smile as you sing and hold her. Don’t loose concentration in the song.
E) Finally, don’t leave out the “God part”:
Whether you like it or not, there’s always the “God part”! It is not only about hard work.
Psalm 127:1 says; Unless the lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain!
Pray hard, pray ceaselessly. Talk to God about your dream. Take your demo to church, raise it up before him and ask him to bless you through it.
And of course, you must be clean before going to God. Avoid Sin!