Why You’re Yet To ‘Blow’ as an Emerging Nigerian Artist

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Making the big blow in the Nigerian music industry isn’t always based on how talented you are, to be very frank with you, dear esteemed readers — it’s in fact, harnessing every possible resource that you can, and believing that it’s your time to indeed shine. So in a nutshell, to “shine” just like Emeka did last year, you might want to believe in the supernatural and wait for your TURN. 

However, it’s never a walk in the park when it comes to the guiding rules for making it big as an artist; it doesn’t matter the fact that Mayorkun was discovered on social media, you might in fact, never get recognized on social media, when all you need is to simply attend an event. Tactics, you need tactics to do this. 

Now while this applies for artists who take their music business quite seriously, and are hopeful to make it, there are the certain sects who have the notion of ‘TALENT > INTENTIONALITY’. This sect, believe their talents will speak for them, and in fact, gain them seats at the high table, which in fact is quite hilarious.

Coming as a savior at night to resolve the entire dispute of how to make the big blow, we at District234 have come up with possible reasons why you as an emerging artist haven’t made the big hit yet, either you’re super talented or super intentional, or even both. (It’s not foolproof, but can help you know if you still want to consider this music thing, or complete your Mathematics Education degree at the University of Lagos) 

One very essential reason you’re yet to strike hot is most definitely because you don’t put yourself out there, well enough. It’s hardly you see an artist claim to be an artist and don’t have enough visibility to show they’re an artist. What reflects your artistry? What does your socials say about you on first glance? How does one know you’re immensely talented, even without having to check streaming platforms for your music? 

The industry’s too saturated for anyone to patiently wait for you to prove your supposed worth of being an artist— make it easy for those on the lookout for talents, put yourself out there more often. Social visibility and wide range networking — this includes being open to collaborations, gathering core industry relationships and gaining support from the ‘who’s who’

Putting yourself out into visibility however, isn’t a bus stop for you to get noticed and you think that’s all you need to do. Ever thought of the fact that you might need to improve on the quality of your supposed talent? This applies for those who have managed to tick the box when it comes to being visible enough. We see you, but we don’t think you’re worth the attention— no hard feelings, but it’s the truth. You’re never ‘too’ talented, but you sure can be under-talented, so you might need to re-up the fuel that ignites your artistry, and ensure it’s always quality over quantity. 

It’s very necessary to understand that the big break isn’t built around your talent alone, it’s never built around it. Minimal intentionality, maybe, but effort regardless. Your work should speak for you, and in this case as an artist, your music should speak for you — but it can only do so when you make efforts to lay your music out for all to see, curating it in a manner that shows you’re ready as an artist to walk the hall of fame in the Nigerian music industry. 

What does intentionality mean? It’s a sum up of everything you have to do, putting in the work in your music — your crafting, your collaborations, your visibility itself, amongst a host of others. 

While yet again, you put all of these into practice, and hone your craft delicately, there is the need to put in place, the concept of timing. It is very crucial in the music industry, and can influence how you make your big break. With what is currently trending in the Nigerian music industry, being the infusion of amapiano, it might be that one stands a better chance of making it big through this genre than a typical alte artist who is keen on how his lyrical profundity is. 

In this very case, the decision is yours — you can choose to keep doing what you’re best at, choosing to stand on business and keying into the concept of timing as per “your time will come” or you can choose to blend into the demands of the music market, maybe you’ll “blow” from it. 

In this ‘not-so-short-guide’, you’ve learnt there’s never a one-way path to breaking through in the Nigerian music industry, you’ve understood it’s more intentionality with the music, rather than the talent. Here’s a short advice— just keep making your music and putting it out, work on improving your sound and build more connections around you. 

Never forget to stop believing in your craft and the potentiality of it to take you out of the ‘hood’ too. Your belief can go a long way to giving you the big break, more than you can even imagine. Cheers to a breaking through 2024! 

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