The upcoming phase of an artist’s life is usually full of turmoil. There’s so much struggle in the come up that some give up their passion and opt for other things. The pressure is sometimes a little too difficult to handle. In a country where the structure of the music industry is shaky and there is no avenue of support for upcoming artists, the zeal to pursue music dwindles along the line if one doesn’t have the fortitude.
Resources are limited or unavailable especially when your parents/guardians are against your dreams of being a musician. There is a growing number of folks who are looking to become the next superstar yet many are failing to make an impression.
Doing music as a craft can be quite challenging. The way out of the struggle most times is getting offers from record labels. Other times, an artist could have a hit song and begin to work his or her way from there; gathering a team of professionals who have a deep knowledge of the music business. There is no pre-existing template that upcoming acts can make use of to get an idea on how to approach music as a career. Asides Mr. Eazi who is currently running a masterclass for a select few, there is no successful Nigerian artist who has any interest in helping upcoming or emerging acts.
Some upcoming artists get funding or financial support from investors or people who are willing to sign them officially. They are able to invest heavily in their craft and market themselves aggressively on a large scale. Unfortunately, only a minority of these acts get to enjoy such grace. Many others have to break their backs before they can even get to record a proper song. They use the little resources they have to push out the material just to get some buzz.
For upcoming acts who have no backup or financial support, there is an alternative that seems to be working just as well (if not better) as getting funding or being signed to a record label. It has proven to be effective so far. Not only in the Nigerian music industry, but in the music industry in other countries.
The most important thing in an artist’s life is his or her fan base. These are the people who show their support and love for the artist at any given time. They introduce their friends and loved ones to their favorite artist’s music and rally behind anything he or she puts out. Basically, they are the backbone of an artist. Without a solid fan base, your career is not sustainable. You are doomed to fail even before you start.
Artists boost their credibility by gathering a following at the fledgling part of their career. When an artist sets out into the field of music, he or she must consciously build a fan base. A solid fan base is the greatest asset an artist can have in the music industry. It has been apparent in the careers of several prominent acts (locally and internationally). Through thick and thin, supporters are forever there.
With the escalation of social media and digital platforms, it has become less difficult to reach out to people. An artist can, with the use of social media, build an organic fan base. As long as there is consistency in the release of new music, communication with your audience, keeping a respectable image, your fan base is going to continue to grow and expand. It is a gradual process, but it is extremely efficient. It would benefit upcoming artists to pay maximum attention to the necessity of building an organic fan base. There are strategies that can be employed by artists to build a loyal following.
Recently, we have seen artists who have amassed a devoted fan base. By dropping new music on Soundcloud, uploading skits on Twitter and Instagram, posting videos on YouTube, these artists have steadily built a following for themselves till they walked into the limelight. Acts such as Teni, Oxlade, Blaqbonez, Fireboy DML, Odunsi, and many others have done it. Other upcoming acts can learn from this and begin to do the same.