Everyone knows how hard it is to get signed to a record label. It is a frustrating and all consuming process. With the present state of the industry, financial challenges most new acts face, piracy and lack of structure in the Nigerian music industry, it has never been harder and seemingly impossible for artists to get signed. Sounds depressing doesn’t it? So, is there any hope? Yes! There is! Personally I want to believe that there are quite a number of opportunities in the music industry, and your individual perception and your direction determines whether you recognise those opportunities or not!
Truth is, it has always been near impossible to get signed. And now, the airwaves and the internet have never been more over-saturated with mediocre music than ever before. Don’t think the A&R guys know anymore about what “good” music is now, than they ever have. Sadly, Gone are the days of artist development by record labels.”Let’s have a huge hit with the next “Davido” and who cares if he’s around in 4 years, we can finance all the other failed acts on our roster!” seems to be the record label philosophy of the moment. So what should independent emerging artistes do? Well here are one or two thoughts to ponder…The fact of the matter is this: Labels do not just pick artistes from the great unknown! To get the attention of an A&R , an artiste must have the following:
* Huge social network followers,
* Are represented by successful and reputable managers and lawyers,
* Are being produced by successful production teams.
Most Record labels will not give five minutes to an upcoming artiste fighting for survival. The only way to attract a label’s attention is either:
1) Have a heavyweight manager and/or Lawyer, OR
2) Have a growing fan base, playing well attended shows and selling lots of CD’s independently.
Any of the above scenarios will enable you attract the attention of a good label.
If you are a young singer, you will need to have situation #1 and #2 in place. Here’s the reality. Labels WILL come scurrying out of the woodwork when there is something to jump up and down about. Usually this is when all the work is done for them. A finished master CD with impeccable production or a huge fanbase that labels can immediately sell product to will excite them. This, along with star quality will keep them wide eyed, trust me. Finally, when this is all in place, people talk. When people talk, labels hear about it. They are connected. Before you know it they are looking to speak to you about a deal. Then of course you hold all the cards.
For emerging artistes, I would advise planning a promotion strategy that does not involve approaching record labels. Have them seek you out. Build your street team and get working. If the artiste has what it takes, the labels will show up.
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