With a portfolio career spanning over 15 years in the Nigerian Entertainment industry Sasha P’s wealth of experience is unmatched. Milestones include being the First female to win an MTV Africa award, content developer of eight editions of the Headies music award ceremony and running the talent agency PurpleFire Entertainment. As Founder of the HardKnockSeries she is determined to educate and empower the next generation of music stars.
While preparing for her upcoming session, our Head of Media, Adeleke Farayola, caught up with her and asked her what the 3 major things she believes an artist requires to get the attention of a record label. When the conversation started, it was Leke that begged her to stop.
Undeniable potential. It could be the voice, wit or character but you have to be outstanding to get noticed.
Hard Work beats talent where talent doesn’t work hard. Wizkid is the poster child for talent working hard. When he started out he would network, and maintain those relationships sometimes sending already written songs to fellow artists as a gift etc. Some went on to feature him on records and his hooks were catchy, voice was so distinct that he caught the eye of Banky W and his partners and they decided to give him a record deal.
Talent is never enough. You have to keep improving , collaborating, challenging yourself to get better at what you do. When people see a talented hardworking artist , they are more inclined to sign or invest.
Rema- New Mavin signee was noticed because he did a cover of D’Prince’s song and tagged Don Jazzy and D’Prince. They liked it they wanted to see more. He eventually got signed because they saw his potential.
Related : Is Rema the next big thing
A label wants to invest in someone that the audience will fall in love with. It is much easier these days to build your own following. Use social media, go to open Mic events, try to get on every popular event you hear about. The more people see and like you the more they will spread the word. Word of mouth (organic marketing) is one of the most reliable forms of promotion.
Falz- His core genre is Hip hop but with a little ingenuity he built a following from creating witty videos on social media which people shared because-funny- value-Likeability!
He has gone ahead to incorporate that comedy into his rap lyrics , acting and even live performances.
Artist Development is the process any musician goes through to develop their craft and skills necessary to build a professional career in the music industry. This means everything from voice, songwriting, image and branding, music and video production, live performance, marketing and social media.
Artist development was traditionally done by an arm of a record label but with everything on the world wide web these days. Artists have direct access routes to production and music distribution.
Today label’s aren’t looking to develop new talent from scratch. The industry is highly competitive and they would much rather back a complete package in order to recoup investments faster
So it is up to the artist to develop the necessary skills on their own. They no longer have the luxury of just being creative, they have to understand the business, their brand as a product and treat it like any other business. So that regardless of if they get signed or not they can survive off their talent by leveraging all opportunities available to them.
The issue here is the artists don’t know these opportunities because it pays the gate keepers for them to remain ignorant.
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