Those who know me well and my friends on Facebook know I have been constantly preaching to upcoming artists and pointing out some things they need to pay attention to; if they want to understand what music is really about.
I have done a lot reading myself and made personal observations since I started my music blog. I was sitting in the Garden on a sunny day with a chilled Coke whiles browsing through my Facebook Timelime. I came across a video that shows the people of Takoradi celebrating Kofi Kinaata‘s win at this year’s Ghana Music Awards.
It was like a whole carnival and I swear, I have never seen a Ghanaian artist celebrated this way for winning an award. So I asked myself, “How did this happen?” How was he able to win the hearts of so many people in a way that he is celebrated even without his presence? This is epic!
But then, I realized some things I think upcoming artists must learn from the VGMA winner. These are my personal observations and I stand to be corrected.
Become a Ghetto Superstar: If you are not a star in your neighborhood, don’t dream of being a star anywhere else. All the successful artists in the country including Kofi Kinaata, are Ghetto Superstars. They are well appreciated in their communities because they knew what people close to them want and they kept providing them exactly that.
The people of Takoradi pushed Kofi Kinaata to the world. He said in an interview that, when ever there is an event, the people always request or insist they see him on stage. And that is how he got to meet Castro for the first time. There is nothing more genuine than people close to you endorsing you to an outsider when they are asked “Who is the best here?” Please BUILD YOUR FAN BASE from HOME!
Do Not Chase Stardom: To become a star is not just a matter of saying it. You will have to work hard to attain that status. Even though Kofi Kinaata is popular, he has tagged himself as an “Upcoming Artist” and said that on almost every interview he had.
I have never heard him comparing his talent with any other artist or looking down on them. He keeps doing what people loved him for, and he is satisfied with it. Of course, he may throw jabs at “Weak Rappers” once in a while in his songs but its just part of the lyrical exercises. When you become a star, everybody will know… You don’t have to be noisy with your “Fantasy Stardom” challe.
Make Yourself Available To be Taken: These days almost all the upcoming artists seems to be on a “Record Label”. They release 2 songs and the “Record Label” comes into existence automatically. I have never heard of “Kinaata Records” or “Move Records” or “Westside Legacy Records” or You name them…
All I hear is “TEAM” move! “TEAM” West Side Legacy etc… When you sound this way, you will attract record labels and they will also feel comfortable to approach you; knowing they are not snatching you away from your so called “Record Labels”. Now he can boldly say I’m signed to “High Grade Family”. You get the picture?
Be Open To Options: I have heard countless stories about artists terminating their contracts because their Managements or Labels asked them to do something else apart from what people know them for. If you can’t adjust to circumstances, then you will be loitering around in the music scene until thy kingdom comes.
Being flexible is the key to success in music. We all know Kofi Kinaata can rap like hell! But the question is, is he capturing the market and making that “music money”? NO! After Kofi Kinaata released “Susuka“, he fully settled in the heart of Ghanaians. His rap skills are still valid and even more appreciative when he added his singing side. That is what won him awards and at the same time touched many hearts.
Do Not Rush Releases: I remember when Kofi Kinaata was signed to the High Grade Family, people started mocking him after some months. They said he hasn’t released any song and he is just sitting there doing nothing. I guess we can all bear witness to how the wait has paid.
Taking your time to carefully choose your song concept and having your targeted audience in mind is every artist’s home work. If you don’t have a management team to do that for you, just relax, sit back and pay attention to what is going on. Don’t just walk to the studio just because you are bored at home. You hear a beat, you cook chorus, you write your verses and record in the same hour.
Well, as much as I know, no hit song was made that way. If an artist ever said that; this is how his or her hit song was made, trust me, he is bragging! Every hit song was well planned, arranged and recorded. Take it from Mr. Aborga! Thanks for reading and please leave your comments. Don’t forget to share though… Im OUT!