The Nigerian music industry has grown to become a multimillionaire industry. Before the year 2000, only those who did Afro Juju, Gospel, Apala, Fuji, Afro Beat, Reggae and other relevant genres made a success out of their careers in terms of fame, album sales, wealth, local or overseas tours and government patronage. We remember the greats like Chief Osadebe, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Ojo Ade, Haruna Ishola, Orlando Owo, Victor Olaiya, Fatai Rolling Dollar,IK Dairo Chris Okotie, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Ayinla Kollington, Shina Peters, Salawa Abeni, Onyeka Nwenu, Majeck Fashek to mention but a few. Those good old days, as some people like to call it, was when people listened to music on big stereo players in their homes and on workman when they are away from home. Many of these genres are either still struggling to survive or are considered dead by this decade’s music lovers. Only a few still have these records and occasionally play them to relive the times of old. Also, many of these singers are either dead, broke, or have faded into oblivion. Only a few of these legends have their children making some efforts to carry on their music legacies. People like Sikiru Haruna Ishola for Haruna Ishola, Femi and Seun Kuti for Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Paul IK Dairo for IK Dairo.
The rise of Rhythm & Blues, Rock, Rap and Hip-Hop especially in the early 2000s, changed the music industry and the taste of music lovers in Nigeria in a very unique way. We had the Plantation Boys, Style Plus, Psquare, Kennis Music Group that gave us 2face Idibia who was formerly with the Plantation Boys; Tony Tetulla; Lord of Ajasa;Rugged Man; Eidris Aldukareem; Daddy Showkey; and a whole lot more. These artistes moved and shook the music scene in their days. Today, most of them have faded into oblivion as well. There must be a secret to staying relevant certainly but we would rather consider what it takes to be a star in the Nigerian music industry in 2017.
The music industry in present day Nigeria is a large one, therefore it takes a lot of strategies, connections and calculated risks above even talents or skills to excel because it is a highly competitive environment which runs more as a business than the art that it is. This is the age that artistes are now getting endorsed by top brands, signed to big record labels as well as collaborations with foreign artistes. Makes no mistake about it, the quality of your song matters a lot but for any artiste to “blow” in present day Nigeria you need nothing less than twenty million naira. This is a fact that has been attested to by big industry players. What then do you do when you don’t even have one percent of this kind of huge amount and no one to sponsor you? The answer is simple! You ensure that your very first single is produced by a reputable producer, properly mixed and mastered, it doesn’t exceed five minutes so that radio stations can play it when you start promoting, and above all; give it your very best to make it a hit. Look at the records, many who miss it the first time often struggle all through their careers. That is when you meet an artiste with three albums and he is not even known on his street. This is why it is very important to make your first single a hit because that is what draws the attention of music lovers and record labels to you depending on your genre. You would notice that this is a pattern among successful artistes today. We would say more in following posts.