There’s a conversation I must say, that challenges preconceived notions of African music, precisely Nigerian music and how one gets their sound an audience. A conversation of new faith, hope, and a heart our new age is creating with their own music changing the dynamic of our generation’s audience. There’s something happening around us, I’ve spoken about it, actually I have three articles up on the platform ‘Harmattan Rain’ detailing the rise of a new system, a new structure of minds who will change the way we create, distribute, showcase and converse about our music.
This happened last year; when the New Age was forming across various sectors, systematic growth was phasing Africa, a growth powered by the youth in every nation from the realms of media, culture, fashion, tech, art, music, food, agriculture, to name a few. Africa is growing now and we are connected by the internet, it’s our beacon of hope, it’s what drives us, the opportunity to see what’s happening all over the globe, the access to infinite bytes of information, the consciousness gravitating around us. Still, there’s a lot to do, a lot to be said; we haven’t all heard this calling, a demonstration of our beliefs for a new Africa.
To the music, the New Age, and what we are becoming.
I’m tired of people thinking you need a lot of money to create music. That time is passing, it’s annoying we had to go through that stage at all. It’s fucked up that the ‘gatekeepers’ of our music industry sit down on a throne and lock the gates, giving only the ones they see fit a way through and charging the rest through their noses. The annoying thing is; the sound being released was fucked, but with a few exceptions, most of them were fucked cause it wasn’t the artiste’s true identity, it was a sound they had to conform to make it in the Nigerian industry. The great ones still used this sound “Afrobeats” to get us global recognition but now our system is fucked and it’s been broken and distastefully adulterated. As we clean up Africa as the new age, we have to fix the structures and clear the road for the kids to come through The idea of money to create comes in, and like in all things, money is important but not everything, it’s an abstraction needed at some point, but you can find a way regardless. Let’s go through a few things:
The world can see that we’re the New Age, the ones who will redefine Africa into a global power, we should take advantage of that. The radio wants to play us, the director wants to shoot with us, we come through with the wave. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should go out pompous and arrogant, I’m saying that we should possess confidence when approaching the old school audience (make sure your music is great, unique and channels your inner self).
There was a time the only way to get on the radio was to pay sums seemingly huge for hustling artistes but thankfully, that is being retouched as the radio wants us and you have ways of getting your songs on now with shows like FreshBeats on Beats FM Lagos/Abuja/Ibadan, Kiss FM also has a show which helps showcase new kids in the scene. Minds like Douglas Jekan at Beats FM/PGM, Osagie Alonge; EIC of Pulse and ‘Do2dtun’ at Cool FM are big FANS of “new school music”, they’re open to new music and with the right persistence and solid content, they’d be happy to put you on.
Also, the mentality that shooting a video which we all believe should cost 1Million Naira and has to be done by Sesan or Clarence before it gets on your screen is fucked also. We have new age minds like Falomo; who shot the video of ‘Desire’ by Odunsi, Kuddi; who made the a great short film in “Codename” and many others who are reshaping the scene and giving music videos a more refreshing frame, they don’t see videos as collages of big girls, drinks and flashy cars, they see it as art because the music they film sounds different and they tell unique stories which need to be interpreted with different creative directions. They also don’t charge as much cause they’re creating on the same wave as you, I’m not saying they are cheap and you’d pay 100 grand, but they give way cooler, and refreshing options. You could also just DIY, shoot an idea you have off your iPhone or a small camera owned by one of your camera buddies. It should mean something, for it to be unique, aim for the needle in the haystack.
You also don’t have to pay so much for blogs, there are platforms owned by our own generation’s minds who embrace the kind of audience a new age mind such as yourself would want listening to your music across Africa. Lucid Lemons (Nigeria/Ghana/London), Radr (Nigeria), Harmattan Rain (Ghana/Nigeria), CulArtBlog, (Ghana/Nigeria), BAAB Media (SA/Nigeria). There is one thing at least you must give back to them; and it is that your content must be solid within itself for them to be comfortable enough to share with their audience because in retrospect, they are running a business and have customers who trust them and a smart businessman, 9 times out of 10 wouldn’t pick short-term monetary gain over long-term goodwill sustenance.
Some prominent new age talents use these hacks which allow expressing their real form sonically; they find their sound and actually create vibes and music from the heart knowing there’s an audience more conscious, more accepting, more understanding than ever before is there to grow with her/him. There’s money in the culture, as it gradually makes its way into circulation as which is one of the behaviours and I tell you most solemnly that it will come soon! fostering an exponential growth which will put our music on the global map as one of the best and most profitable because the new age is a culture based upon merit.
These are just different hacks man, do you! This is all I have to say; It may work for some, it may not for others but keep trying. This is a longer, more hardworking but fruitful way.