NEWS | MUSIC
By Walusungu Munthali
In the musical world, it’s everybody’s dream to sail into the worlds of the rich n the famous, locally in the likes of the Tay Grins, the Ma Blacks, the Lulus of this world…you name them! Names and brands that have become crowd pullers courtesy of their musical talents; names that have moved mountains.
But ever wondered why other artists, no matter how delicious their musical meals appear to be, but their musical bodies still appear malnourished? Could it be that their musical bodies are resistant to nutritious meals? Could it be that they lack balanced musical diets? What could be the prob with such artists who’ve been in the game for far too long but have never been there yet?
Well, after much observations over the years, here’s what I think could be the breeding ground for musical stunted growth by some of our urban music artists.
- No Money More Problems
Like any other career, without money there is a slight possibility for an artist to start a career in music. Not only does an artist need money for recordings and other related studio works, but also money reigns supreme when it comes to brand promotion. So if you’ve empty pockets and have no idea which doors to knock on the same, forget it! You’re digging your own grave!
2. Cooking what you can’t chew
Would you buy the music you perform if you were your own fan?
Being an artist doesn’t automatically mean that someone will listen to your craft. There’s more to it than just recording and releasing your material. For an artist, the quality of your song, whether the message, the concept or the sound itself should be suiting the taste of your listener. You just can’t be releasing trash and expect your consumers to take anything unto their ears….no no no! it doesn’t work that way! Release something that’s gonna add some salt into your fans’ menus and let your fame blossom. No beating about the bush here.
3. Releasing New Music Too Soon
Releasing new track is cool, but how soon do you have to release the next song after the other? It’s been said countless times that too much of everything becomes poisonous. And Economics 101 says that the more you consume some product or service, the lesser the satisfaction (ceteris paribus).
One of the cardinal sins most up and coming artists commit is releasing songs too quickly that they do not have space to promote the previous or the current song. This is also one of the reasons artists release the kind of music they can’t buy if they could be the consumers of their own music.
As an artist, you need to take your time to perfect your songs before you make them public. Let your fans develop an insatiable appetite for your songs. Make your songs scarce on the market so that people should long for your music. Just look at how long it takes for Lulu to have a new track on the market. Borrow a leaf!
4. Being a Dick
Music like the dating game, the bad guy wins most off the times. Unfortunately, this logic is taken way too literary. Most of our urban music artists mistake being the hot bad guy to being a dick. There are many prominent artists who have no fans since their first or early releases simply because their personality contradicted with their talents. A case in question being the late Mafunyeta’s early days when he failed to come to lime light courtesy of the explicit nature of his songs. And in recent times, Chavura. Has he ever bounced back since his Rape song? search me!
5. Not Willing to Invest Money in Your Career
Yes! Music is for free, but the fact that you do not owe nothing to anybody and you are distributing your music for free does not mean you as an artist should not invest into your music. Like branding, you need money to promote your music, organize gigs and make flyers for the shows and future projects. Most artists in Mdubs are recording on beats they downloaded from Internet.
Not only money, an artist also needs time to practice, write lyrics before they can record or perform. However, artists can record a song a minute they see a mic. And the result??? Your guess is as good as mine!
6. Automating Promotion and Spamming Audience
Internet provides platforms where artists can interact with various people across the world. Artists can upload and share their music to millions of listeners with one click. However, many have failed to acquire any success from such platforms simply because instead of connecting with other people, they spam them with download links without connecting with them on a friendly basis that they can send a song and receive a feedback. You are not an Internet ad. Be professionals.
7. Not Knowing What Your Fans Want
The secret to business is delivering exactly what your consumers want or are in dire need for. No matter how good your music can be, but if people don’t relate, then you’re as good as a dead man. Listeners want songs or messages that they can easily remember; songs that they can easily relate with their everyday lives. Ever wondered why Blasto, despite being a dancehall heavyweight (even internationally) is not as popular as Malinga Mafia?
8. Mimicking (Following The Band Wagon)
As an artist before you follow trends and the fashion, you need to develop and have your own style. A common problem with artists today is not being original. Some might argue to say a majority of hip hop artists sound the same, look the same and have the same haircut. Fine, but that aside nobody can listen to your music for too long if all your recordings remind the listener of their international artists. This explains why it is the same old hip hop stars we had a decade ago that are still in the game today. Have your own identity! Be yourself man!