So, when the year began you drew your New Year’s Resolutions, pinned them on the wall and with that, set out on the long journey of realizing them. Now, you’re an upcoming artiste who is confident of the talent, you need the other aspects to be a star. This is your prioritized resolution, to be a household name by the end of the year. What do you need to do? How?
To begin with, make yourself a brand. Being a brand means being unique, standing out and being identified as you. This is in terms of looks. How do you do your hair? Which type of clothes do you wear? This goes as far as the poses you do for photos. Even in a silhouette, a person should be able to point out, ‘this is so-and-so’.
Create a social media presence. We live in an era where most of the music consumers know of new music releases through social media. Create a social media presence. Check out how successful artistes have utilized their social media handles. Go for photo-shoots. Post photos with other established artistes. It will draw eyebrows and gradually you will get noticed. If you are capable, you can get yourself a social media manager. Also, release some of your work on YouTube or Soundcloud. You don’t have to do a video with a lot of cash, you can do a lyric video just to get your music out there and get people talking.
Apart from social media, you also need to make a social impression on events. This not only sells you and your brand out there but also brings you to different people who might be phenomenal in your career. This is also where you’ll get content to feed your online audience and create visibility for talent managers and other industry stakeholders.
Have a team to work with you. We have always heard that no man is an island. This is true. If you want to break through musically this year, you need a strong team behind you. This includes a manager who will be guiding you on what to do, informing you on the available events, trying to broker deals for you, reminding you on what’s due and keeping you on toes.
Do cover songs. We can all agree, Nyashinski’s Hayawani was great, but Keam Kym’s reggae cover is quite something. Out of this cover, people who maybe didn’t know Keam Kym noticed his massive talent and he’s been on media tour over just that cover. Doing cover songs increases your visibility, and offers much more if you do it really good.
On the same note, working with an established artiste will also give you mileage. You might be good, yes but getting out there and becoming a household name might take years (but you want to do it this year, no?). Try and get a collabo with an established artiste – although this is not very easy to do but you need to try. It might need cash but look at the gains you would make out of it. A good example is Vicmas LuoDollar. He does good music, has always done good music but to conquer Kenya with just one song he collaborated with Octopizzo. Octopizzo’s presence in Bank Otuch brought a big difference in matters of reception.
It is also important to network. Networking for an artiste is everything. Get the media guys contacts and have them on your mailing list so that whenever you have something new, you send it to them directly. Don’t only get in touch when you have something new. Keep talking to them throughout the year and make yourself available for interviews if they ask you for one.
Most importantly, do good music. Above all else, good music is the core to standing out and getting noticed. Otherwise, no matter how much people try to support you, they will give up on you if your music is not good.