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Why Musicians Go Hungry

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Gone are the days when musicians sit and wait for their songs to fetch them money. These days musicians go hungry because they don’t know what it details to do music and they benefit their generation could derive from it. ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM gives ways to help artistes succeed.

Nigerian musicians have been starving even as celebrities. They have hits and should be enjoying their benefits just like Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s family are doing today. Many would not understand that getting their songs encoded is the biggest benefit that musicians could have. But no, they just want to sing, have shows to perform, get endorsements, buy cars and live in a mission, not even considering the future of their children.

Many known artistes like , Baba FRYO , Blackface, Stereo Man (Ekwe), African China, Face, even the present crop of artistes don’t get royalties from their songs because they don’t know what it entails to do music.

Just few people like Victor Uwaifo, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Nico Mbaga and others have their song encoded for royalties. Today, their families are enjoying benefits and living large because of positive move their parent took.

Today’s Generation:

Many artistes today don’t want to know what it entails to do or make music. They just want to record, get signed unto a label and crave for endorsement. They don’t understand that there are basic principles involve for one to be successful in the music industry, whilst, they go hungry begging to eat or even squatting with their friends even after they have become famous.

Their counterparts elsewhere enjoy both present and future sustainability because they have what it takes and know what it mean to make music.

What to do to never go hungry as musicians:

Financing music has been the easiest idea on every artiste management’s manifesto, labels included, but earning royalties has scared most willing individuals and entertainment investors. What always comes to their mind is how to become famous in one week. The most sensitive stage in entertainment industry is how to get royalties. To monetise your videos on YouTube or online audios and videos are the least idea a specialist goes for, which is common within Nigeria. Nigeria music Industry is not lacking good music productions but 90 per cent, lacks administrative and promotional skills. Upcoming managers couldn’t do otherwise than ending up with some irrelevant bloggers, like that lady and that guy that have enslaved them over this year. These are the steps to stand out from the sleeping crowd.

  1. Before thinking of recording your singles or albums (Videos or Audios) as an artiste or label musician, make sure you get registered with ISRC agency (https://isrc.ifpi.org/en/get-isrc) Onetime payment forever, no expiry date .
  2. Get an account number in your country of residence, a national identity card like (Driver license, passport or student identity card)
  3. Scan your identity cards if a solo artiste or send a company’s registered certificate of Inc of your record label alongside a photo identity, which mustn’t be different from your bank account information.
  4. Having done the above correctly, get registered with sound exchange to communicate your reference addresses (https://www.soundexchange.com/artist-copyright-owner/registration-membership/)  no payment required!
  5. Be reachable by phone and email unfailingly
  6. During your recordings, videos or sound, precisely  audio mastering,  before exportation, learn on how to embed the ISRC numbers, then fill another form on the sound exchange  after registration, this operation is a repeating process before you  release a song (XLS files, right owners and XLS files Artist or label)
  7. Now, you are set to release a song, first copy goes to National library in Nigeria (Legal Deposit)
  8. Before registering with right of author companies like Ascap, Sacem, SIAE etc.
  9. Never you sell albums, EPs or Single without an EAN or UPC code for online and physical  music sales, it helps you get on billboard  if your sales are communicated to Nielsen.

Without these procedures, further blog or radio, TV promotional materials are completely fiasco. Getting an official press release written by an entertainment editor, music reviewed by music critics, will also improve skills. This is only a beginning on how to generate funds. Performing live shows, even with a minimum of 20 Naira only, could make a difference if you’ve   registered your ticket sales with Nielsen.

Reaction:

According to a Winning Jah, a Nigerian Reggae artistes based in Europe, he said the Nigeria media communication agencies, don’t have ideas about how reggae (music) could grow Nigerian economy. He believes artistes should know their worth first before even thinking of going into music.

“If wazobia.fm and Channels television see or call Majek Fashek a reggae legend in our presence, and he disagreed with the media claims, meaning, presenters haven’t identified reggae music properly in Nigeria. We are few reggae musicians in Nigeria with a mountain of catalogs in discography, released or unreleased. Prominence can’t be given to a genre they probably don’t know. Sometimes they forget my co-reggae legend Rymzo and mention Timaya as a reggae artiste, that isn’t true. Timaya is a dancehall Afrobeat singer and he rocks for real, like Patoranking, Daddy Showkey, Wizkid are all highlife /Afrobeat singers and they all are good. Reggae in Nigeria hasn’t   been properly covered, because the recent Tvs and Radio presenters don’t know about it. Our country lacks reggae music identification knowledge and the global importance. Finally reggae artistes, Cultural centres, Tourism board, libraries and ER’s need to seat back and have a master plan on how to structure it without discrimination, so as to enable professionals to invest on the genre. I will advice news agencies and editors, uniting on national event calendar   like Edos reggae festival Inc, which has a main aim of putting national and international renowned reggae singers on stage, just same as Rototom and Summer fest put together, including our reporters to be different, with regards to reviews and Award programmes. Nigeria Reggae singers like Jethro Lion, are as good when compared to Anthony B, Sizzla, and Jah Vinci.  Daddy Fresh is good and could be compared to Jah Cure and Chronixx, on vocals; DQUEEN from Edo State could be compared with QueenIfrica, on vocals.

“I remain the only living Nigerian reggae head in Nigeria /Diaspora with a higher knowledge to carry Nigeria reggae singers forward.  Within the industry, they all know. Reggae music consumers in Nigeria have been starving from uncovered acts by the media   and not the creators, writers, record labels or artistes.”

 



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