#MEMO TO ARTISTE BY UNACHI SUNDAY [FRESHBOII]

Dear Artiste,

Happy new year. From my corner I want to sincerely wish you a good music year.

 

As usual it will be of interest to share my thoughts as we usher in a new year in all its enthusiasm. What plans do you have to further put your music out there?

 

To start with, every year comes with its trend. Unfortunately no artiste has the monopoly of the industry. Churches go for who is popular at the time and so it beckons on you to work hard, build a solid team, sign up with companies that can make you achieve a milestone in this new year.

 

Go beyond the social media noise to making tangible impact.

 

Let’s take snapshot back, in the year that just ended most gospel artistes became motivational speakers instead of cooking good music. Instead of researching and working on personal development, many waited for what song will trend and the copy-cat follows. It doesn’t end here, dependence on one producer who produced a hit to produce you will box you into a corner. This does not mean you should not work with such persons, but while doing so be yourself because the trend will only be to replicate what has been done in a slightly different way.

 

Have a check on your actual performance online, downloads, purchases and interactions. Viability is not just the number of likes, how many people bought your song or downloaded for free, how many real fans are you are able to gather? Beyond the church do you have enough crowd to host a sold out show?

 

Moving on, while working with anyone, please don’t be greedy. It’s the team’s responsibility for you all to make money and when it happens to become the boss overnight.

 

In this new year many artistes will emerge with great sound and massive acceptability, if the old sit tight without re-inventing they will fizzle out. Your market value drops as new acts emerge. 

 

In this year, don’t just work towards an album, host events, tour and grow your followership across board. Seize all opportunities to build a lasting brand. For every song you release build new innovative ways to promote and push to the next level.

 

It’s a new year, it’s not just about doing new things, it’s about self-discovery, new method of doing things, building teams, and creating content that will last. It’s a time to build synergy and grow. Don’t wait to loose market value before you wake up. Raise new talents and re-invent yourself.

 

As you embark on this journey, it will be rough and sweet, it will cost you money and time. Find a means to fund your music until it starts paying off.  Don’t box yourself into a location, get your content out you don’t know who is waiting just to hear your song in another location and that could be your starting point to stardom.

 

In 2018 on a personal note, I’d like to see more unity amongst gospel folks, not just copying and secretly not being in support of the progress of one another . It’s time to move forward not just alone but with everyone in the mini-dustry. Finally, pay for services those offering the service have bills to take care. Take your brand serious and grow it.

 

Unachi Sunday (Freshboii) is music blogger, radio show host and lead partner at 7Pro Media Communications a music distribution, artiste management, promotion, product development and event management company based in Abuja Nigeria.  Ff on twitter/IG @iamfreshboii @iamfreshboii_  #DearARTISTE series on FB. Email: sunnyunachi@gmail.com

Music Repartee With Alex: Dear Gospel Artiste, Good Artwork Can Save Your Ministry!! | @Alex_Amos

The emergence of Nigerian Christian blogs have aided the growth of Gospel music tremendously. Prior to its emergence, gospel artistes existed in clusters, with one or two popping up at intervals and cutting across. Examples are Lara George, Sammie Okposo, Buchi, Midnight Crew and more. These ones beat the odds and stamped their faces in our minds even before the first Christian blog could publish its first article.

Notwithstanding, what we could not achieve in ten years, we have been able to do in 3-5 years because of these crop of new media (Yes, another name for online media is new media). There is actually a platform for the gospel and the online media have aided the growth of terrestrial media tremendously in that it is the first point of contact which the other media leverage. We have been able to form a chain of network readily available to serve the christian audience – an alternative to the perversion of its counterpart and strong enough to disseminate message and give a backbone to ministers and their ministry. Be it music, church, literature, event, and more.

However, a lot of gospel artistes have failed to acknowledge the importance of this media and have either been relegated to the background or have picked up pace slowly in a jet age.

The least an artiste can do for himself is to be social media savvy, at least, it has worked very well for some, so well that they can have a successful release just by posting a link on their social media accounts, but even then, the blogs still play the role of taking the release to the next level and we have seen numerous occasions where a song became major because of the power of these blogs. (Allow me to use “blogs” although most of these platforms have integrated online radio, TV, soft copy magazine and the likes).

It may cost you a token to put your material on some of these platforms as an artiste. Others may take your materials for free as long as you satisfy some conditions but I guarantee that you will pay less and enjoy more access if you paid more attention to presentation. Yes, online promotion depend largely on presentation because you are appealing to the sight before any other thing and this could be achieved in more ways than one. It can also be used to sustain an awareness campaign such that you draw maximum attention to your material, however, I will like to mention one of the most overlooked ways this can be achieved.

The Artwork/Album Art

The artwork or album art is an illustration prepared for inclusion in a publication. According to the definition, the artwork is the graphic illustration of your material. In this case, music. It is an expression of the music and the saying goes, put your best foot out, therefore if you have made a great song, you also should be willing to give it a great expression. Often times, a lot of great songs have gone down the bloggers trash folder because of the artwork. Imagine having about 20 songs to attend to and the blogger switch to elimination mode. I don’t think the first form of elimination will be listening to the songs, rather, it will be discarding poor presskit. Now when a presskit is opened, nothing tells the story of the song like the artwork does, therefore the blogger goes for the artwork first – even before reading the press statement in most cases – especially when the artwork is displayed inline in the email.

The problem is that most Christian artistes undermine the importance of the artwork and do not take the making seriously – that is not to say I have not seen some artwork that have astounded me over the years… shoutout to Glowreeyah – the artwork for “God Alone” video still stands out as one of the best ever, Wole Oni‘s “Cover Me Lord”, Joepraize‘s “Introduction” DVD, Nosa‘s “Open Doors” and Ada‘s “So Fly” & “Lifted” album artworks too, amongst others. But for the most, Christian artistes have received a label because of the kind of artwork they produce for their music releases so much that it has become a turn off. I have advised some artistes pertaining to artwork but as soon as I recommend a graphic designer stating his price range, they take to their heels! Now tell me, if you will not invest in something you would use to add value to someone else life, where is the value you are adding? Can you give what you don’t have? Moreover, you took the pain to make a great song, why let something as simple as an artwork be the undoing of the song’s destiny?

Everyday, somewhere on a blogger’s table, great songs are going down the trash folder and it’s all because of bad artwork. It’s time we stepped up comrades! The harvest is still plenty!

Note

I will like to talk about the press statement too but that is a topic for another day. Meanwhile, as an artiste, do you write your press releases yourself? Do you hire the help of a PR? Do you check what has been written before publication? Watchout! a lot of writeup have marred the good image of the artistes because of lazy writing and writers, unnecessary CAPITALISATION (hehe… for emphasis sake), using small letters for nouns (e.g name of a person, place, etc), bad spellings and social media IMs (e.g “@” instead of “at”, “U” instead of “You” etc) and more.