Getting noticed is hard work and as a music artist you now have your competition cut for you on a global scale because everyone consumes music on that level. So the choice to stream your banging fresh music will be weighed alongside streaming Adekunle Gold’s new EP, for example.
Scary, right? We have help.
If you’re a music artist trying to make a name for yourself, this is for you. Here are 5 vital ingredients every Nigerian hit song should have to stand a chance at making it into the mainstream.
1. A SLANG OR A CATCH PHRASE
To warm your way into the average Nigerian’s playlist takes more than vocal dexterity; you need to be a linguist of some sort. Because to acquire the ever-elusive hit song status, you need to give Nigerians something to talk about.
Something easy, fun to say, catchy and most preferably ridiculous will do. Slangs like “Something light”, “Pepper them” “Banana fall on you”, “Isakaba Iselebete Isokolotobo” “Robo SkeskeRobo Skeske”, has been known to transform otherwise ordinary-sounding songs into mega hits!
So be it an already existing street slang or its home-made equivalent, always give people something to keep in their mouths. If you do it right, forgetting you or your song will be a very, very difficult task.
2. GET YOUR TEMPO RIGHT
The first thing you’ll notice about almost every Nigerian hit song is that they all play at the same tempo! Strange? Not at all.
It’s actually a proven formula that you should seriously consider, if you’re planning to make an impression of some sort in the Nigerian music scene. It’s safer to keep the tempo of your song above 160 BPM, however trends are changing and hit song tempos are beginning to swing between 115 BPM and 120 BPM. Want some advice? Pay attention to trends and join the bandwagon. This is not the time for you to stand out or try to be different.
3. BECOME A DANCE EXPERT
If you must give people what to dance to, the least you can do is teach them how to dance. From the early 2000s, Nigerian music stars have stolen new fans through exciting dance moves; from Galala to Shoki to Yahuze to Alanta to Azonto, Shoki, Shakiti bobo, Shaku Shaku and finally to the latest of trends, the athletic-driven Zanku. This is how it has been and the trend isn’t going anywhere soon. Making a hit song goes well beyond the song itself, it goes as far as everything the song represents, including how it is enjoyed. Things as little as this keep songs memorable, socially relevant and unforgettable.
4. HOOK UP WITH THE BIG GUYS
You might have heard it before but if you haven’t, then hear it now “Success is contagious!”, if you want to swim to the top then you must learn to do a few breast strokes with Phelps! Leveraging on the influence and popularity of the big names in the industry works like magic. From hooking up with the big producers to hooking up to the big artists for track collaborations, down to getting the big names to direct and shoot your video, is a sure way of getting noticed in record time.
5. SHOVE IT DOWN THEIR THROATS
No matter how magical, artistic or groundbreaking you think your song is, you need to really put in work into getting your audience to listen. With the rise in activity in the industry and the ceaseless flow of artistes, singles and albums; making it into the average Nigerian’s playlist today takes a stroke of genius. You must set aside an intelligent marketing strategy and an accompanying befitting budget to follow it up, from budget to cover airplay to budget to cover online marketing, digital distribution, media features and lots more. You must be determined to shove your very good or very bad work of art down the throat of your audience, till they have no other choice than to surrender in love and awe at your craft.
That’s it, five proven formulas to use as a music artiste to make your body of work stick.