How To Excel As An Upcoming Artist in Nigerian Music Industry

The production of audio recordings and standard beats with the aid of technology to elicit different rhymes and melodies of music makes up the modern Nigerian music industry.

Nigeria has the most famous and well productive music industry among the African countries, the industry is full of popular talented artists that have done significantly excellent both locally and internationally, yet many are still aspiring to make it to the mainstream. They are the upcoming or literally, the “about to happen” artists.

From a listener’s point of view, the words “upcoming artist” describe an “average” musician who has not made it to the mainstream consciousness, irrespective of your talent or how long you have been in the music profession. One should note that “upcoming” does not belittle an artist’s performances.

Some researchers may point to “joining a major label” as the best alternative for an upcoming musician. However, it’s obviously not easy to be signed by a major label irrespective of the fact that you are talented. This masterpiece offers a step by step guide on how to make it to the big stage; adherence to instructions stated below may result in an upcoming artist being signed by a major label even without direct contact.


Zealousness, the most important tool to begin with as an upcoming artist, helps to improve one’s confidence, not only in music but in any kind of profession, it eradicates doubtful feelings which may hinder performances. Lack of zeal or interest in music results in too much expectations and early gassed-out egos.

The industry is competitive and full of challenges, one who has little or no interest in music will definitely give up afterwards; of course some people go into music without zeal but because of money. They expect each music they drop to be a hit, once it’s otherwise, they loss their ego or become inconsistent.  

Use of Social Media Platforms

By means of social media, Nigerian singer, Terry Daniel Aweke popularly known by his stage name “Terri” was signed into the Starboy record label when he did a cover on one wizkid’s song, though working under Wizkid was a dream, he had never believed such dreams will come true.

Also, Mayorkun was signed into DMW when he did a freestyle of Davido’s single “the Money” featuring Olamide. The same social media influence helped Teni, Picazo Rap, and many other artists to the mainstream.

Social media platforms help to connect artists to other artists; and artists to fans. It also provides a wider audience within a very short period of time.

Being loyal to your fans is also helpful, the media is there to bridge the gap between artists and their fans.

Television shows, radio stations, internet bloggers, digital streaming platforms like spotify and Apple music are cheap but reliable means of music promotion among upcoming artists. 

The truth is that you cannot make it on your own in the Nigerian music industry.   Connection with other artists for collaboration also helps to boost your number of fans, probably from the artist you collaborate with. For instance, Temilade Openiyi, professionally known as “Tems” became popular because of her hit song with Wizkid “Essence’ and that with Drake “fountain”.


Once you have built commitment with your audience, you need consistency to answer to demands for new videos, freestyles, or whatever contents you are known for.

Uniqueness in Music Pattern

Having a unique appearance, voice, manner of starting music, or dance step can also help to attract new fans on social media platforms.

Coming into the industry with the same manner of music as Wizkid for example, may only present the upcoming artist with a problem of lesser recognition as he/she cannot compete with such established stars. In such a scenario, the only helpful hint is to adopt a unique or modified pitch for your audio tracks. Be known for a particular sound, there is no need faking voice to sound like a star, it’s a gradual process,

Know Your Audience

Your family members and friends may be helpful in your music career, but they do not deserve as much attention as other fans you have no common relationship with. Family members may appreciate or love your content whether it’s interesting or not, they may also be less judgmental or less strict to criticise your content than other fans.

…swiftness in changing music patterns is advisable, you just need to know who your listeners are. It is also helpful to change a genre of music once a specific style is not giving you the attention you want.

Most rappers like Olamide and Ice Prince deviated from rap to R&B songs because they understood this. Nigeria has experienced economic breakdown for a while now, the fans are depressed and need something to dance to; not “rap” music that stirs up emotions. 

You will notice presently that music fans extract lyrics that suit their emotional conditions to upload on their Social media platforms like Twitter and WhatsApp status thus, promoting your music unconsciously; upcoming artists should try to bring out such lyrics that predict fans’ emotions or describe their current situation. 

For instance, heartbreak from a relationship is a common scenario presently, a lot of teenagers have done one or two things they regret doing, there are youths in need of a job, merriment, religious, or cultural contents are also helpful. 

These instances are seen in like “Motivation” by Victor AD, “Kweku The Traveler” by Black sheriff, “Problem No Dey Finish” by Erigga, “Alcohol” by Joeboy, and “National Cake (Break Up)” by Maxee.

…have you ever wondered why some weird meaningless music is loved better than those with well composed lyrics?

The need for a good lyrics cannot be overemphasized, in Nigeria however, what you say in your music is not really important as people (including foreigners) dance to music sang with strange languages without minding their lyrics, probably because the sole aim of music is more of entertainment than a means of passing information.

1 Comment

  1. I love that point, because Nigerian artists, they are very talented, and intelligent, that’s why they understood the type of music Nigerian want, and the kind of music, Nigerian needed in the society

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