How to survive as an upcoming artiste in Nigeria.

The ability of man to survive and adapt on earth is a fundamental ability that is embedded in his genetic makeup. Survival is what led Tarzan to tweet like a bird, swing from tree to tree like a monkey and whatever he had to do in the jungle — and then there is the case of Chidiebere who changed her name to Vanessa in order to survive as a Lagos ‘Big girl’. I should not begin to define what survival is, but you ought to know that survival requires doing whatever you have to — in order to stay alive. There are several things that humans do to survive, but I cannot begin to list them else I defeat the exact purpose of this…insightful article.

Being an upcoming artiste in Nigeria — without auctioning your life or giving up in the course of the struggle because you have been wearing chains with a I go soon blow mindset, but nothing significant is happening and ugh, with each year rolling by the chains are getting heavier — there are basic things that are required of you.

Bro, comot your chain first and focus on making the music. The chains might be the factor holding you back. I mean, who knows?

The survival tips are in no particular order so it matters less how you go about your own mode of survival.

Before I begin to give tips on survival, I’ll advise you do a thorough check of yourself firstly. Acknowledge that you can sing before anything. Do people feel butterflies or toad when you sing? This might sound…funny, but you’ll be doing the world a great favor if you do not have to coerce anybody to listen to 3–4 minutes of bullshit with ‘Bros, abeg hear my song’. Relate with the people who surround you. Be sure that they truly appreciate your singing ability -that is, if you do have. Be true to yourself. You might have a flair for music, but that doesn’t translate to you singing. You could be a producer or a sound engineer.

Don’t use your own sand sand and spoil someone’s garri. Pliz.

Maybe if someone was candid enough to tell Vic O the truth we would probably not have to deal with this national crisis.


The truth, they say, is bitter. So feel the taste of the bitterness and let it direct you to making a good choice.

As an up and coming musician, you need to listen to a lot of music. Not only Nigerian music. Any kind. Foreign music. Any genre. Standard, whack, any quality you come across. Go on the internet and download as many songs as you can. Or you can simply listen to them without necessarily downloading. There are so many platforms: SoundCloud, Spotify and many others. It helps improve your sound. Listening to a lot of music can serve as inspiration and bolster the belief you have in yourself.

Another thing that is expected of you as an upcoming artiste is maximum studio time. This is me telling you that as an artiste, you should be more concerned about making the music than fucking hoes and the exotic lifestyle. When the time comes you’ll do as the situation demands, but until then make the studio your abode. Do not stop recording. Frequent studio time boosts your confidence as a musician and makes you more comfortable around microphones. And most especially, studio time with musically inclined people. People who will point you to your mistakes and help you correct them.

You need to be teachable. You need to be willing to learn. You need to accept your flaws in music and work very hard on them. You need to be free so you can express yourself musically. Find your strong points and make sure you optimize them. Do not forget that Wizkid used Iye ye ye to win the hearts of Nigerians, and ultimately the world.

As an upcoming artiste who is keen on getting to the next level, you need to work with a producer that will bring out the best in you. By this, I mean you need to work with a producer you’re compatible with. No be say you go dey record dey frown face like mess because you no like the producer job, but you don pay for the beat and na runs you take get the money so you no get choice. Nope. Do not do that to yourself. Work with a producer who can find and will give you your sound. I can authoritatively say that LeriQ is the butter in Burnaboy’s bread. The chemistry between those two is A1. There are more than enough examples to buttress this; Olamide and Pheelz. Sarz and Reminisce. Drake and Boi1da.

The sound production of a song contributes about 40% to its success.

*doffs hat for Kanye*

I’m sorry for the unsolicited drama, but I just had to.

The perfect arrangement of the elements that make up a song gives a song a special touch. This is the reason why as an upcoming artiste you need to give your song to a dope ass sound engineer. The quality of your song matters a lot. I have downloaded songs that on playing them on a speaker it’s as though it was recorded right in the middle of Oyigbo market or during an outrage between Agberos and bus conductors in Oshodi bus park. That is unfair to people who expended their MB in downloading your song. A song that is properly mixed suggests quality — and reflects on your career as a musician.

No be say make your song go dey sound like na sound track for World War Z.

Understand that the employment of social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram to effectively promote your song is also essential to your career as an upcoming artiste. You can access an unlimited number of audience through the use of these platforms. But be careful. Do not pay or associate with the so called social media publicists who will ruin your career all in the name of trending.

The Rice or beans#whateveryoursongnameis people, I mean.


One of the many characteristics that upcoming artistes lack is patience. You. Need. To. Be. Patient. Do not be so much in a rush to get to stardom that you’re willing to be enslaved by a contract offered to you by a potential record label. When you begin to gain audience and recognition, endeavor to involve someone with knowledge of the music business and can help get you a good recording deal.

“I don blow I don blow” might just turn out that you will blow literally and no piece of you will be found.

It is probable that I have not illuminated light wholly on how to survive as an upcoming artiste, but I don try.

untethered. let the wings of freedom take me to an unknown destination faraway from here.

untethered. let the wings of freedom take me to an unknown destination faraway from here.