I really don’t know where to start or what to say. I don’t even know if anyone would wanna read anything I have to say or learn from it, but I have put this off for days and even weeks now.
I have rummaged through many topics in my head and wondered which would be the best to start my first forray into public writing and blogging with. The simple truth is that am in a fix. Call it writers block or whatever else you choose to, the fact remains am in a bind.
Funny enough there are no deadlines to meet or beat, but the pressure stems from the fact that I wanna touch people, lives and even build dreams with whatever I write. I wanna be able to inspire someone to do more than they have before or to believe in themselves enough to try harder.
So for now there won’t be a title or name for my corner or for what I write. Let’s just say we are freestyling till an appropriate title is decided on so please humour me, be kind to me and judge not too hastely for I am doing this for the very first time.
So here goes….
Everyone who knows me even a little can attest to the fact that I love music and show business almost as much as I dislike gossip and rumours.
Most Nigerian artistes do not know the difference between having a proper label and a label imprint. These days every one forms an imprint and without even a proper registration of the label name as a limited liability company they claim they are record label owners.
Also being a good artiste or musician doesn’t automatically translate into a good label executive or make you a certified A & R exec.
Music is my first love and I believe that for an artiste to do good music you need seven (7) major things
Self belief, perseverance, hard work, humility, loyalty and last but not the least continous self re-invention and constant reading.
SELF BELIEF: Being an artiste isn’t easy whether you are successful or not one thing is certain, it takes great guts and courage to show case your work to others. So to be the best at any chosen profession or endeavour you have to be prepared to face criticism sometimes good sometimes hateful but all insightful. Be ready to take what you need from the positive ones and shrug off the spiteful ones and chug on like a runaway train.
PERSERVERANCE: We are always told that if you try once and don’t succeed try and try again till you do or find a way around it.
Sometimes the problem isn’t even trying but trying in different ways and various means. Before emabarking on any business venture it is sensible to do feasiblity studies, try to plan out every scenario in your head and on paper and then try to execute it.
Same goes for every artiste in every field or genre. While originality will always pay off sometimes it is wiser to explore other angles and methods both proven and unproven. As an artiste you have to be versatile and ready to try new things e.g if you see yourself as an RnB singer there’s no rule or law that says you can’t mix it up by rapping on a song or learning to play an instrument to add on value to your music and brand. By doing so you give your self the chance of attracting rap/hiphop heads to listen to your music and in turn gains you more fans in the long run.
Basically my own definition of perseverance is trying everything and anything in different ways and every way and through different ways and means to achieve your ultimate goal. Also to be a good artiste you simply have to explore all possibilities.
Like Bob Marley said” where there is a will there is always a way.”
HUMILITY: Sometimes people mistake humility for servitude. Being humble is the balance between pride and respect. As an artiste your greatest asset is humility. Allowing your fans to mob you or allowing promoters and clients to take advantage of you or your intellectual property is not humility.
Being humble is being courteous amd respectful to everyone even the lowly doorman while making your opinion heard and putting your foot down. Prostrating on the floor or doing eye service isn’t humility too. Whether you like it or not there is hierarchy in every organisation or group, there are artistes who were here before you always be respectful to them afterall if they didn’t walk, you wouldn’t be running now.
HARDWORK: Hardwork never gows out of fashion it is the bane of every success story. To make good music you have to be prepared to work hard. Sometimes some artistes forget that as much as it is show biz the hard work comes first before the bright lights and champagne popping.
As an artiste you have to be ready to listen to other music genres, research on some of the artistes who motivate or inspire you to find out what motivated them, their life story and what they did right to get to where they are. Getting to the top is the easy part but staying on top is the hard part and that’s where hard work comes in.
You have to be ready to keep late nights if need be and still wake up early for that early bird interview on tv or radio.
You have to try out new things, read new materials and listen to variety of sounds to find your niche.
You must not always write your songs, most hit songs by the biggest stars out there wasn’t written by them in some cases they had co-writers.
Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Celine Dion, Rihanna all had some of their hits songs co-written or solely by others. So be willing and ready to try out new methods of writing or get writers to do so for you.. try out new producers, sometimes the little known producer is the one who will be a huge fan or so in awe of your works to be patient enough to give you room and space to have several takes when recording.
Find a producer who understands you and your recording style. Remember some artistes are much better on stage performing than in the studio and vice versa. Some can record in one take while others need several takes to get it right.
I could go on and on with several pointers but who am I? Besides the brain can only assimilate so much as once so I will pause here so we can all take a breather till the next session… looool
ARTISTE TIP OF THE DAY:
Always be original do you all the time, be inspired and motivated by someone but always strive to be you because no one can be you better that yourself.
All written articles and pieces are original works of Toks Asher Young except the quoted excerpts
Photo Credit: Freepik.com