HOW TO BE A NIGERIAN SUPERSTAR MUSICIAN- Osowe Oluwagbenga
It’s the 2nd week of the New Year folks and once again I say thanks for being faithful supporters of this column and the blog this past year. You’re most highly appreciated.
Many people would gladly tell you that the year 2012 was a great one for Nigerian music and with the number of international collaborations, awards, concerts and hit songs released it might be a hard task for you to argue otherwise. Rather my aim, after a critical study of the music industry in the past year is to help you.
If your desire is to become a Nigerian music superstar that could rival the likes of 2face Idibia, BankyW, MI, D’Banj, Wizkid, Davido and all the other big boys in stardom this year, I say SHOUT Seven hallelujahs because the secret is here. The secrets which I shall reveal below are guaranteed to make you a big boy musician in Nigeria if you can follow them to the letter even if you have never recorded any single at the moment. Just pay attention to these tips and the safety precautions below and you are set to shine.
1. Diss somebody: Did I just advise you to launch your music career by dissing somebody? YES I just did that. This trick of dissing somebody has been working for decades and it is so surprising that many young wannabe musicians have not been using it. This strategy was the selling point of many old artistes from the time of Fatai Olowoyo and Ayinla Omowura and has been put to good use by the likes of Kollington and Barrister amongst many others of the their contemporaries.
The current crop of fuji musicians have learnt this and as you can remember now, they make cool dough from dissing one another.
Now that you understand, let me tell you how this trick works. You diss another musician, based on his music, dress sense, diction and many other things under the sun and if you do it well people will spread the news because Nigerians like fights be it virtual or physical. They will help you spread the news and voila you’ve climbed the first rung of the ladder of fame.
Safety Precaution: Do not pick on record label owners or an artiste that is much bigger than you or one with demigod status because his fans might act like voltrons and that’s bad business. If you think it’s a lie, ask one “Handsome” musician like that.
2. Autotune is your friend: My friend, if you BELIEVE that 2013 is your year to make it in the music industry but your voice sounds like a damaged woofer, don’t worry, AUTOTUNE is your friend. Do not bother you head with vocal lessons, leave that one for all those church singers, autotune will perform wonders for you. The same way Photoshop makes a pimples-laden girl look like a model, so can Autotune make you sound like a Whitney Houston even if Ja Rule has a better voice than you.
Safety precaution: Do not ever fall into the trap of singing live if autotune is your backbone. Avoid all those TV presenters that would ask you to do a “little freestyle” on air. Be smart enough to develop cough or sore throat when going to that TV or radio station where they can ask you to sing live.
3. Miming: From tip 2 above, we know that you cannot sing but we don’t want to come for your shows to hear you telling us to “throw your hands up in the air”. Take time to learn how to mime to your own songs so well that your mouth will be in perfect sync with the music we hear anytime you’re on stage. Know that your fans watch your mouth and if it doesn’t rhyme with the voice, you will be exposed. The simple way to this is to rehearse in front of a mirror several times daily till you can mime the song perfectly.
Safety Precaution: When miming ensure to put the microphone off and on at intervals so that we can at least hear your voice for a little time. That will convince us more that you are a performer.
4. Videos: Make sure that your videos are very appealing to the eyes. To do a good video you will need the services of a good director so you had better start saving money now to help your cause. The presence of semi-nude girls in your video would also help in selling your video even if the song would make more sense without their presence.
Safety Precaution: Know that the days of black and white pictures are over except you’re portraying old school music.
5. Collabos: Beg if you have to, pay if that’s what is required and make sure that you do a song with one of the industry heavyweights. It does not matter if his verse or lyrics on that song have nothing to do with what you sang in the song just make sure that you get a big name to feature in your song. I’m sure that if people would not listen to the song because of you, they’d listen because of your collaborator.
Precaution: Do not allow them push you aside in your own song and make sure you don’t allow words like “LaBunzo (if that’s your name) dey for corner”. Haba! It’s your own song and you cannot be in one corner in your own song.
6. Develop an accent: Every Nigerian musician has an accent these days so you have to develop an accent too. It could be the British accent, the American, French and even the Chinese accent. Make sure you know how to use all those annoying unnecessary pause words like innit, you know, I mean and the like or how else are we to know that you’ve been to other countries.
Precaution: Wait till you make your first trip outside the country before you develop these accents. It does not matter even if it is only an overnight trip, just make sure you go overseas before you import your accent.
7. Get a tattoo: You are about to become a star so do what stars do and get a tattoo. Make sure your tattoo is in a very visible part of your body and use every opportunity to display the tattoo. You could write your nickname, your name or even a song as your tattoo, it’s all part of the game.
Precaution: Make sure your tattoo is beautiful and well done. Your fans don’t want to see partially washed off tattoo or your tattoo looking like a badly done water colour project so do it right.
8. Lyrics: Nobody listens to your lyrics nowadays so you don’t need my help here. Just make sure that your lyrics are catchy and there is one word that everybody can remember in the song. It could be a part of the body (waist, head), an adverb (every time) or even a threat to the enemies. The catchier your phrase is, the faster your rise to stardom.
There are many other tips that I am willing to give you to help your musical destiny but I want to see how far you can go with these tips.
For more enlightenment, ask @gbengaosowe on twitter.