10 simple tips to help you “blow” in the Zambian music industry
The Zambian music industry today is a ruthless jungle “yalikosa”, but you can easily blow with simple planning and focus, a talented artiste can become a genuine star.
The Zambian music industry is a ruthless jungle.
Even though many of the Zambian audience is very large, there is a lack of structure that can render the most elaborate plans useless for upcoming artist’s. In Zambia At every turn, there are producers just trying to steal your songs, OAPs trying to steal your money and label executives trying to steal your life. For new local artists breaking out and claim some success, planning and timing can be the difference between “blowing up” and wallowing in the C-list.
Here are some simple tips that will help your career as an upcoming artist in Zambian music.
(1) Create a brand:
From the moment you begin to record music to sell to an audience, you must understand that you have ceased to be just a person.
The Zambian audience sees you as a brand and all your work as a product. As such, you must try to consciously build a brand and identity that fits the brand of music you make and how you want to be seen as an artiste.
Chef 187 is an example of an artist who has created a consistent brand image that supports his fusion of contemporary hip hop, furious and folk music.
The the name chef means serving, but what exactly is it that he serves? the answer is music. See the brand is important, then he adds a 187 to complete the brand for “murder”.
(2) Use a website:
In today’s digital world, a website is an extension of you as an artist and a brand. Find a website to be promoting your music on. Unfortunately, most Zambian artists see it as a frivolity, something to do when you have money.
What a website like Echo Music Blog.Com offers is a platform to share your music in every corner and keep your fans updated.
For as little as K 100 for audio and 200 Video, you can have unlimited access to the web where you share exclusive content and build relationships and a core fan base as the years go by.
A website is also where you will sell your market; merchandise, albums, tickets and more, so find one you feel to be contended with and start building a relationship on social media.
(3) Get interviewed:
Interviews like Smooth Talk provide a platform to tell your story and endear yourself to fans and anyone who cares enough to listen, watch or read. People connect with the music more when they connect with the artiste.
Grab every opportunity for an interview by the horns. It’s not enough to just tell your name and how you started singing in Nursery. Perform your number one hit song if possible and show your skills. Every interview counts. Open yourself up to the audience and they will open up to you. Tell the interviewer about the times you spent selling CD’s in Chibolya Compound.
(4) Collaborate with other artists:
It is important to jump on as many songs as you can In your early days as an artist, Here’s why; every artist has a fan base that you can borrow from and working with them introduces your sound to a new set of people.
Still, you have to be careful; some collaborations will do more harm than good and you must avoid them as much as possible. But It also pushes your creativity and helps your development as an artist. Bless the song with a hook or a verse and spread your reach.
(5) Do your Research:
The music business is a complex structure. Behind the glitz and cramped studios,as an upcoming artist, you owe it to yourself to study everything. Watch interviews Read up on artists, contracts and record labels, documentaries and follow the news with dedication.
(6) Use your Family and Friends:
Your family and friends are your first fan base,as an upcoming artiste. Share your new song with your mom or brother, and ask him what he thinks. Share your work with your friends too and turn to them for support and advice in times of need.
(7) Get rid of the Opening Act Syndrome: You must be ready to kill your ego before it kills you. Opening for other artists can be very frustrating especially when you feel you deserve more but as an upcoming artiste that becomes very hard.
What matters is the opportunity to perform to an audience and share your work. Open for bigger artists and with time, others will open for you too. It is your job to work your way up till you become the headline act.
(8) Consider everybody as Family: The relationships that you build will be a big part of that story. If you’re to have a successful career, respect people as your brothers and sisters.
You need powerful and influential people in your corner who believe in you and your ethos. Because you cannot pay your way through every door,
So feel free to reach out to people who can help, scratch backs when you need to and family is every radio DJ you know, TV presenter and blogger.
(9) Put your music on streaming platforms:
Sound cloud, Itunes, Spotify and more. One of the biggest misconceptions in Zambian music is that artists don’t make money from streaming. The sycophants who sell this lie will tell you that your best chance is to hope for shows and endorsements.
(10) Never lose your focus: Many careers have been cut short when the artist loses himself in the vices that creatives tend to indulge in.
As you begin to become more familiar with the music industry and all its frivolities, it is easy to get distracted.
And as an upcoming artiste, you should remember that everything you do is a function of your art and your career.
Keep our eyes on the major goal.
HOLD UP. We’re not done yet.
The final step is Patience:
Following these 10 steps in Zambia today and you will get closer to success but none of it will matter if the artist is not patient. Growing into a full-blown star can take years, even a decade.
You must be patient enough to remain hungry and consistent despite all the setbacks and challenges that are bound to come your way more especially in Zambia.
Wishing you all the best in your career endeavor and Zambian music industry journey!!
Source: Echo Music Blog