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9Earners Tips

An Open Letter To Up And Coming Artists

Dear up and coming artist,

I have a few words for you but before I start, let me say that you are free to either take it or reject it. My words may make sense to you or come across as the words of a hater but whatever the case may be, understand that I respect your hustle.

As someone who cannot sing to save my life, I can only envy you the talent that God has bestowed upon you and I also applaud your zeal to bless the eardrums of mankind with it. Music, after all, is life and whether it is just a money-making avenue to you or your way of finding your purpose in life, you need to calm down and do things the right way.

You are somebody that we don’t know but you can get our attention with your music. All it takes is one hit to move from that studio rat to a superstar so why not put your best out there? I am not trying to mess with your self-expression and style but you cannot afford to make crap music if you intend to make a mark. At this stage of your career, every song, freestyle or what have you that you put out should be with the mind-set of a potential hit. If that song doesn’t depict you, you have no business wasting time on it in the first place. Wizkid can afford to release an empty CD as a song and fans would think it is the best to come out of Africa because he has attained that level. You, on the other hand, should stop torturing your loved ones to rack their brains for creative ways to tell you that your music is whack.

It is easy to lose focus as a struggling artist because of the frustration that sets in when you fail to rise to stardom as quickly as you predicted. You need your head in the game hence why it is vital to stay focus. Making it big in the music industry goes beyond just your talent because the industry is saturated with enough talents. What makes Mr A bigger than Mr B goes beyond just having a good voice and the ability to churn out hits. Is your focus also on the business aspect of things, what is your presentation (are you ‘brandable and marketable’?), what sacrifices do you make to get to the top, how do you present yourself, do people like your attitude and energy? Don’t tell me your answer, reflect on it and tell yourself the truth.

Money is important! Being an up and coming artist is not a job, you need to get an actual job that can pay your bills. You need money to make money because just as I mentioned above, talent may sometimes not be enough to give you that big break. Ask record labels how much they have to spend to push an artist into visibility. Money also buys your music some quality. Don’t offend our eardrums by wasting a good song on a wacky beat produced in a 2inch studio. With enough cash, you can have the services of a talented or reputable producer and put together your song. When you do finally make it big, it would have been a good investment.

As an up and coming artist, you may not realise it but your public image matters. Publicity is key for you at this stage of your career and while you may not have money for certain media attention, don’t forget you have your SOCIAL MEDIA. Social media has made stars of some of the celebrities you look up to so be deliberate with your use of social media. Grow your social media following and ensure you are actively engaging your followers. You can promote yourself via your social media platforms and it takes but one viral content to change your story.

Lest I forget, need I mention that while you currently stay hidden under the record label of HOPE, it is important that you treat the music industry like your secondary school by respecting the seniors. Taking a bite from the humble pie would not choke you because a stinking attitude and disrespect for others would weigh you down from flying. Even when you do eventually become a star, still keep your badge of humility because you will surely need it. Respect every one whether lesser or bigger than you because, at the end ofthe day, you don’t know where the help you need could come from. I wish you the best on your way to the top.

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