Don’t Give Up on Your Hustle – A Letter to Upcoming Artistes

A word, they say, is enough for the wise. But most recently, not just a word is enough; a multitude of words are required to address the people of wisdom. More so, the same message has to be addressed over and over again for a deeper understanding. Come with me, let me take you on a journey of reality that will make the truth about the entertainment industry clear to you.

Maybe you are one of those supertalented folks who have written a bunch of market-friendly songs or you are a dude with great musical ears and fingers that can fiddle on multi-instruments. You may even that that folk who creates dope beats just by listening to the chorus of an unfinished song or you may be that diva whose voice is capable of breaking a glass.

Are you sitting down somewhere watching colleagues who are not half as talented as you are pulling off great stuff and making waves in the entertainment industry; and then wondering why you are not having the same swell time? Worry less for now is the time to get things right.

Many people agree that the difference between a successful artiste and an unsuccessful one is INFORMATION. Yes, this applies to a great extent. But my observation and research findings proves this wrong. There are a whole lot of folks out there with big dreams of becoming megastars in music…these same guys have all the information they need to succeed. But they are still stuck in one place!

This is why I have come to conclude that information is not the only ingredient needed to achieve success in life and career. What then could be the missing spice? Or maybe spices? ACTION. Of what use is a great idea without the willingness to carry it out? No action, no product. Remember, before you can hit it big, you need a product (song or musical skill) that people are crazy about.

Hence, to get started on a profitable music career, as a singer for example, you may want to start with a plan which contains your big picture and the process you have to follow to attain it. A simple sequence goes thus:

Voice training – learn an instrument – do cover songs – songwriting – record a single (demo) – record single proper – massive song promotion – video shoot…and so forth.

You need to work towards getting your songs out and promoting them on your social media handles. This will help you to Build a FAN BASE which is what record labels will look out for before signing you on. Besides this, there are many websites where your song downloads can be monetized. You need to upload your songs on these sites for instant cash!

Amongst the websites you want to upload your songs to are:

* notjustok
* naijastalkers
* naijapals
* zioniteblog
* hypecelebrity
* itunes
* ilorincitymusic
* 360tunebox
* nigelzyent
* naijacover
* tooxclusive
* gbeduxclusive

Don’t leave out SoundCloud and iTunes. There are many of them. But there is one I am particular about. They will get your songs on TV shows, films, video games and more! Check them out here www.songtradr.com. Another website that gives a lot of opportunities for your songs is www.taxi.com.

Also see reverbnation.com, cdbaby.com, spotify.com, Amazon.com and iTunes. A Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter fan pages are also very important because you will need to promote your songs and build your fan base/ tribe using them. You want to ensure that your name is the same across all platforms.

Now let’s do a reality check. Take note that as a newcomer in the Music or entertainment industry, you need to work hard. In this regard, your connections won’t matter. You need to work on your talent daily, align yourself to your musical dreams and keep distractions at bay. Work with a vocal coach, hire a fashion expert, hit the gym, watch your weight and most of all keep your fans happy by making sure your songs, videos, interview and other appearances are well cut out.

Now take note of this, you won’t get all the attention you expect when you first appear on the scene but don’t let that discourage you. Keep promoting your songs, keep writing new songs and keep being you. The more focused you are, the more you will attract the people, situations and the funds you need to nail your projects.

A positive mindset will take you far in the industry. Be consistent with your branding and your work. Ensure that you are known for a particular genre of music even if you do all sorts.

It is alright to get a few clicks on your posts or a few views on your Instagram or official videos. That should not make you post less. Be even more vigorous with putting yourself out there until people get tired of seeing you. What really counts is that your name and music get registered in the subconscious of your listeners. They also will associated your name to your music.

Sometimes you may do an Instagram promotion of your work and get no comments. That’s totally ok. What is most important is that your work is being viewed and people are assessing you. Some are judging you also. A time will come when they will not be able to ignore you. Trust me that time will come. Consistency is the name of the game.

Because the human mind is highly predictable, and the subconscious association of your work to your person cannot be escaped, after a while, their resistance will break. That is an indication that you are getting to the light at the end of the tunnel. Slow and steady, they say, wins the race!

One day, an occasion that will warrant the playing of your music will arise in a radio or TV program and your song emerges the theme song. This reminds me of Niniola’s song, ‘Maradona’ which is now being associated and played during any football tournament in Africa.

This is how breakthroughs begin. Before you know it, your music is in the air waves and quickly spreads like an anthem. Djs will play it and make it go viral. As a result, you then begin to get thousands of Instagram followers, Facebook page likes and more downloads. You will automatically have millions of fans who are ready to listen to and buy your new music.

A lot of big companies will want you to be their brand ambassador, record labels will clamour to get you signed and your music videos will get a lot of likes, comments and shares! That is the advent of the celebrity status!

Before you know it you are getting nominations for awards and celebrity singers are calling you up to feature in their music projects. More so, you will have multiple streams of income and anywhere you go, people recognize you and walk up to you for a selfie. How about That?

The beautiful part of this celebrity emergence story is that you will be fully booked such that you have a performance to do every weekend. How ready are you for this kind of life? For this is the life of the stars you hope to be like. Get ready!!!

It is common to have artistes who have tried and tried and have fallen by the way side because things didn’t go as planned. You owe it to yourself to keep on working, keep showing up and keep believing in yourself. You are much more than you think you are. Your consistency will reveal a whole new world of possibilities and opportunities to you. Continue promoting your brand creatively, shamelessly and authentically and before you know it, your hustle will pay off. Fame and fortune will come knocking at your door.

To your success,

Laura Etemah.
Vocal Coach & Music Consultant

(An excerpt from my book, HOW TO BUILD A CAREER IN SINGING AND BECOME A SIX FIGURE EARNER IN MUSIC BUSINESS).
To book your copy send a Whatsapp message to +2348137107137.

Author: Laura Etemah

Laura Etemah is a Nigeria/ UK trained an award-winning and full-time Musician, Music Teacher, Author, Vocal Coach and the Director of Lee Vocal Studios and Lee Ellie Music School. As the music woman who loves children and a highly sought-after Music Teacher for children, Laura is also a strong advocate for the music education of the Nigerian child. More so, she has a passion for helping speakers, singers, musical artistes and aspiring vocalists of all styles and abilities, develop the full potential of their voices. The birth of Lee Vocal Studios came through as a result of this. Laura is also an expert in organizing fun and engaging music workshops for children in singing, piano, guitar, violin and recorder. Her multi-instrument playing skills has paved way for her in the music teaching business, making her a force to reckon with in the industry. Laura uses the Nigerian, British and American curriculum in disseminating her music lectures and this is the reason why she is the most patronized music teacher in Nigeria and across West Africa. Laura also teaches music to adults up to the age of 70! Proving to all that anyone can learn music so long as the interest, time and energy are there. The benefits of music are awesome and adults can rewire their brains for higher achievements and rejuvenate the abilities of the brain by taking music lessons. In 2006, Laura won the the Star Quest Music Reality TV Show, with her band – Daccord; and went on a tour with Tu Baba, Tony Tetuilla, P-Square, The Natives and a host of other Nigerian music stars to the UK to perform at the MOBO awards. Her band, Daccord also went for a 10-city tour with a host of Nigerian music stars (Star Trek, 2006) and performed alongside Akon and LL Cool J at the Star Mega Jam, 2006. In 2011, Laura was awarded by the ex-Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) for her successful NYSC music community projects carried out to benefit the secondary school students of the Surulere Community, in Lagos State, Nigeria. One of the projects included the audio and video recording of the popular song – Good People of Nigeria, which is mostly played on the 1st of October to commemorate the independence of Nigeria. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EOIdwOVtrc Watch the video documentary of my NYSC projects here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SncYCkyAOqg Laura is also well known for her bestselling book, Sing Like a Superstar, which has helped many singers, artistes, choristers, musicians, producers and choir directors to discover the true potential of their voices. The book is also accompanied by a downloadable voice training CD that has proved to build the voices of thousands of singers. In 2011, Laura became the first African woman to obtain a Master of Arts in Music Production from Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom. She also holds a first degree in Geology from Delta State University, Abraka –Nigeria; and a number of diplomas in music. Laura has worked in several recording studios, taught and is still teaching music privately and in many nursery, primary and secondary schools. Laura is also very much in the business of training groups of singers and choristers. Laura is currently based in Lagos-Nigeria, teaching music production, instrument and singing classes.

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