A few tips for new artists

1. Record a good song, Sample opinions from a bunch of people (friends & strangers alike) and be sure at least 60% or more like the song.

– Most artists believe they have a great song just because they enjoyed making it or because one or two people have been nodding to the beat but that’s never enough to determine if your song will be commercially successful. You have to sample the ears of your target audience. Have your friends play the music for people who don’t know you and get feedback from them because those are the ones most likely to give you a candid opinion. Your sister won’t tell you your song is wack,..well, unless she’s really mean…lol. Make sure you sample the opinion of up to 100 different people within your target audience range. If the feedback you get is not positive from more than half of them, you may need to go back to the drawing board.

Some say “..ah its expensive to record, where will I get money?”, I say if you can’t stand the heat, get the #**# outta the kitchen. Music is not for everyone. If this is truly your passion, you will find a way. Get a job, do something to earn money, save the money until you have enough. If begging is your way, sheeee, beg your way through it. The “no money” excuse is old and boring. If Vocal slender could work his way through the dumpsites of Lagos to get studio money, what are you whining about?

2. Prepare yourself as a product. Work on your image and be sure ure “attractive” to the average person that comes across you or your music.

– This is highly underrated and it is very important that you pay attention. Image is EVERYTHING in entertainment. Don’t be fooled by those who say otherwise. You must look the part, otherwise people wont take you as seriously as they should. As an artist, you are a brand, a product, especially in these parts, people will try to place value on how much they believe you are worth by the way you present yourself. You should make an extra effort to be of your best looks and composure, ALL the time. Spend a little extra time on simple details to ensure people see you as a brand they would love to be affiliated with, otherwise you have a much tougher time selling yourself to potential sponsors or employers down the line. Proper branding helps you stand out in the crowd.

3. Get ready to perform. Create performance routines; find an exciting way to deliver your song to any audience that will leave an impression.

– If you have access to a band, begin to learn to perform with one. If your act isn’t one that needs a band, figure out what you can do to get people excited when they see you live. Create a performance routine that is unique and fun to watch. Do whatever you need to, dance, swag it out, circus tricks, whatever works. With each performance your goal is to win more fans.

4. Create an EPK (Electronic press kit), which includes good photos, a bio and your music. Make sure it’s of a size that can be sent as an email

– Making your own EPK should be viewed as a necessity for any artist or band that is serious about becoming successful in presenting themselves professionally. An EPK is the best way to give anyone a quick glance at you, your music and your story. You can create one FOR FREE with the average desktop publishing software or with the numerous free services available on the Internet.

5. Once u are SURE your song is good to go, make as many copies of your CD as possible. I’d say at least 1,000 (Make sure your CD art has your info)

– There are many duplication options. I advice you raise money and pay for a professional replication plant to give you 1000 copies of your CD. The typical cost is between N40,000 and N100,000 for 1000 CDs and sleeves depending on who you chose to use. Always shop around for the best price before you decide.  1000 CDs seem like a lot until you start giving them out. Trust me, you’re better off with more than you need than less.

6. Create a myspace, twitter, facebook fan page, reverbnation and upload your EPK to each of them including your song, photos, bio etc.

– Make sure you have at least a facebook (artist fanpage, not a regular account) and twitter account, most of the fans you are trying to reach are already there. I suggest you get a reverbnation page as well; it helps you upload your music and has a nice integration with your facebook fanpage. When you are done creating these pages, these are the links you send to people to check out your music, and read about you.

7. Make a list of radio stations within your reach. I advice that u start with regional promo. It’s easier to manage. Nationwide can come later

– This is easy. Listen to your radio, write down the dials where music is being played, find out where the stations are all located and make note of the OAPs (On-air-personalities) that play on each radio station and at what time. This will help you build your “hit-list” when you begin distributing your CDs. If you know everyone that is on the air, you can ensure that they all have your music and all you have to work on is getting them to play it all the time.

8. Make a list of the nightclubs and places where music is played publicly within your reach. Again, regional promo is easier to manage.

– Same as above, know all the clubs, bars and hangout spots in your city. Try to have them all written down so that you can ensure they all have your material when you begin your promo.

9. Make a list of DJs and Radio personalities within your reach.

– Self-explanatory. Same as above.

10. Every entertainment journalist that has a column in a magazines or newspaper has an email address. Make a list of all of them.

– Get all the newspapers, magazines and entertainment publications you can lay your hands on. Most of them have an entertainment column and the journalist’s emails are usually listed. These are the guys you want to send your EPK to first. If they like you and your music, you can get mention in an article or two. It’s also good that they know who you are when they see you at events or listen to you on the radio. If the print media journalists are not familiar with you, they’re unlikely to write about you.

11. Get all this lists you have compiled together and create a realistic timeline of how long it will take to contact everybody.

– Get a book and write everything down. Determine those you can email, those you should meet one on one, and those you should have your manager or friends talk to. Then draw up a timeline for the promo. You should never stop doing promo for a song even if the song is doing well so you will need to contact all those on your list regularly. Make sure you plan properly and ensure that you’re not spending all your time and resources with only a few of them. You must spread the love so as to get more coverage. I made an example of an artist whose song is on heavy rotation on a particular station but you barely even hear it on others. That is very ineffective promotion because everybody is not listening to just that one station.  There maybe more than 20 radio stations in Lagos alone. If your song is not playing on 15 of them, you have work to do.

12. Create an email address and in the signature section, include all your twitter, facebook, reverbnation info and link to your song.

– This is important because every time you send out an email, you have room to advertise yourself,…why not??!

13. Send your EPK to every contact on your list that you can reach via email and start booking appointments for the ones u cant reach.

– The work begins. Take your time, be patient as most OAPs and radio DJs are very busy individuals. You may not be able to see who you wish to when you wish to but you must be persistent with reaching out.

14. Get your CDs to all the Radio DJs, club DJs, bars, Night clubs, Radio stations, Radio personalities, and everyone on your list.

– You want to be sure every authority in music has a copy of your CD.

15. Start your online campaign; start building your fan base by sending your music to people. Do everything in your power for ppl to listen.

– Send messages to friends; get people to “like” your fan page. Follow and get followers on twitter so that you are able to reach all your followers with just one tweet. Paste links for people to listen to your music and encourage people to “retweet” on twitter or “share” on facebook. This part takes some time to build but if people are digging your song, your fan-base can grow quite rapidly.

16. The goal is to get as many fans as possible, do whatever it takes to get people to listen to your music. If people like it, ure good to go

– Being “good to go” means you have been able to cross the first hurdle which is getting people to listen to your music. The rest of it lies with whether they like it or not and how well you’re able to follow-up now that you’ve got their attention.

17. If you follow those steps, & people like your music, you’re sure to get the music across to millions of fans over time. It won’t happen overnight though.

– Once your CD is at the radio stations, start getting your fans, friends and family to call into the radio stations, requesting the song. If you are aggressive enough, even if your music is nonsense, they will have to satisfy their listeners and play your song. Please note that I am not asking you to spam people to death…lol. Most radio stations have a facebook page and they have request shows where they ask facebook fans to make requests, when its request time, get your friends and fans to go to their timelines and request the hell out of your song. Please be careful not to become a nuisance. One message per person is adequate.

Well,…I hope these tips help.

79 thoughts on “A few tips for new artists

  1. that was really great,superb and intresting for me. I am an upcoming artist and this is my top of advice.i love//you eldee.one day i pray i should be able to say thank you

  2. Wow…I am an upcoming musician of ajayi crowther university.
    ALot of ppl has listened to my song{hip hop} and dey love d ish…aldoe I havent done d main studio production yet.

    I used to be under d “no money“.category but after reading dis…my mindset has changed, am gonna do eveytin possible{legal} to get d money and put music on d street.

  3. i’m in 2 music R/B hiphop,i’m schooling in kwara poly ,pls how can i locate u.i will lik 2 do my job 4rm u and blow lik u.

  4. Men… Dis is d best TIP OF ADVICE dat hv ever seen and as an upcoming, u hv to pass true it.so mr eldee baba (respect)
    me ho i go try do dis 1 wey u say…osegan.

  5. any where i go, sing my r n b 4 them, every 1there will cherish my talent, luking 4word 4 help, but now i realize dat heaven help those dat help themself, i will try my possible best 2 help my self.

  6. Eldee aint called the don for nothing. Thankz for letting upcoming musicians into some secret hustle techniques. May d Lord bless u and ur music. Cheerz.
    Wld work with u very soon.

  7. Eldee! U rock! I’m jus so proud, u re a nigerian. It shows u wish aspirants like us well and I’m wishing u the very best dat God can ever offer a music artiste. Although i sent u ma demo some time ago buh i never got ur reply. That doesnt mean i dont love u. I know i’ll still meet u @ d top someday. Rainmaker

  8. eld e e man u tha bomb. Gr8 word of wisdom n’ itz motivatin.. I sure do follow diz stepz.. Thankz man n’ dnt 4get 2 kip it real n creamy #superswag#

  9. eldeeeeeeeeee….wel wat can i say bt a big thank u 2 u..i used to wish 4 a miracle bt i gues dat miracle is me..i jus neede sumone 2 show me nd u jus did..
    i knw pwetty soon il remind u bout dis..dat wud be wen ul be featurin me on ur song!

  10. Eldee, 4long i’v knwn ur d don. Tanx i aprecia8 ur concern 4 upcomin art lyk us. Somday i pray Gods willing, u & i wil av a COLLABORATION. 1 luv 2 al upcomin artist. M’Jay 08062286654

  11. wow…eldee frm d 1st day i saw u @ d sprite tripple slam 2010,den i knw u d man,u d real don..tanx we all appreciate u thumbs up…GOD BLESS..

  12. really appreciate the advise and you’re one of the few artists I look up to. where can we ask you direct questions? Just a something you didn’t cover in your tips.

  13. The problem is that most on-air personality do ask for financial reward or payment before you can get ur songs on their station.. Pls eldee what is ur advice on that?

    • The On-Air-Personalities or radio DJs who ask for money usually dont have much influence and can not provide you with the airplay they promise. They lie about their capabilities just to exploit you. The people who have enough influence to put your music on heavy rotation earn great salaries and will not stoop so low. Dont fall for it. If your music is good enough, they should play it. What you need to work on is having a lot of people request your songs. Once the radio station has your CD, if people are requesting your song alot, they will have to play it. It is even more important to note that youre better off with small airplay from a lot of radio stations than heavy airplay on just one. Dont waste your money, if your music is strong enough and you have support from your friends who constantly request your music, you’ll be fine.

      • Hey boss, which stations do you prefer us to take our music too. coz some, even if you give them your CD, they wont play it, even if they do, they cant talk about the artiste

      • Oh really!?!?!? I thought that its d way to go to pay the DJs to play your music. Pls tell me the way to get air play on the Nigerian radio stations…. Is it the same in the U.S., U.K., n as well in Africa? Tnx for the great advice.. ~Angel~

  14. eLdeetheDon,u’v inspired me a great deal.I’m an upcoming artist,and u’v given to me wot no 1 has given to me so far.Saying thanks here won’t be enough,but I believe dat sumday I’ll meet u face 2 face to say a very big tankz to u.Also I’m looking up to singing with u sumday.Help me send a shout out to all my Chocolate City hommies,especially Wizkid and MI.I’m looking forward to meeting y’all soon!I luv ur style bro,I luv it.

  15. eLdeetheDon,u’v inspired me a great deal.I’m an upcoming artist,and u’v given to me wot no 1 has given to me so far.Saying thanks here won’t be enough,but I believe dat sumday I’ll meet u face 2 face to say a very big tankz to u.Also I’m looking up to singing with u sumday.I luv ur style bro,I luv it.

  16. eLdeetheDon,u’v inspired me a great deal.I’m an upcoming artist,and u’v given to me wot no 1 has given to me so far.Saying thanks here won’t be enough,but I believe dat sumday I’ll meet u face 2 face to say a very big tankz to u.Also I’m looking up to singing with u sumday.I luv ur style bro,I luv it.Bravoooooooooooo!

  17. Big thanks to Eldee baba 4 bringing his time out 2 Give Nu Tips 4 us the nu champs,it Feels like A million bucks as jus Been Deposited in Ma account.

  18. People are just normally bound to drop good comments about this post. But as far as J-Pryce is concerned, El-DEE just made a giant impression on me today. How many of your so-called stars and role models care enough to share the secrets of the music industry? Matter of fact, most of them are scared to help ANY upcoming act in any little way, for the fear of displacement! Most of this things he shared so easily I learned recently, in a daily hustle, through sweat, blood and tears, after being spurned, disappointed and even unfairly underrated by many ‘heads’ in the industry! This article shows all y’all upcoming acts what to do and who to respect. The writer is DEFINITELY one of those, I tell you! Take good advice an’ stop kissing stinkin’ asses. “eL-Dee baba you stand out, and that’s my word!” Now I understand why my friend and manager never stops talking about you. And as for the fake big acts and stars out there, y’all ain’t stars till the common peeps say so, y’knahmean? So real up yo’ sh*t cos u got a whole mob comin’ from behind to get y’all! RESPECT EL-DEE!!! Spread love. – Collins “J-PRYCE” Dada.

  19. Thx for the tips.is it adviceable to use mixtapes as promo songs since to record in a good studio is expensive especially to uni students like me.

  20. mehn respect…to eldee cuz u seems to b d pathfinder.,i kudnt get ma eyes off dis till i read it all….cuz like maje ‘i’m so inspired’ but wat does it takes to make ur family believe in u nd make me pursue dis career…most parents take music as rubbish???

  21. This is just it and eldee is the Don,am an up comming artiste am still working on my song,one thing is u just have to take ur time to do something good.I just don’t know how to join a record label.pls HELP.

  22. This is it, am not waiting till morning to start working on it, am drawing a chart right now. but please I am from Warri, we don’t have the best productions there I just came to lagos now but know no one and don’t know how to reach the good producers here, any help?.

  23. Eldee is indeed a hard worker, i’v always admired ur personality, nice tip bro… first time i got a more satisfying answer…thanks boss d enlightment

  24. This is also helpful for my artist cos they believe you should carry all the burden for them as a label owner and manager….it’s discouraging sometimes,i hope gaing one or two things here…….much love baba….!

  25. The Don.i am impress i must comment a job well done 4 dis wondaful tips,not all who has wisdom valued de gift of God but u hide none may u continue to grow day by day both in ur carrier and music industry.tanx I AM MAURUS
    NB:pls wat will it cost me to work wit u.facebook/maurus mathew

  26. Here comes d real Don. Wat u shared is wat no 1 has eva done. Tanx bro, it realy helpd me. Don’t u tink featurin a blown artiste can help promo? Pipu like eldee, 2face, MI and odas! Pls i want 2 ft u. My facebook page is Noxus crew pls add us as friend. Love u bro.

  27. eldee e e e ey.tought u 4got about we stil clambin d leada nw i knw beta,de snitches ar d bitches u wuldt knw she say i cant stand get her pussy coz i no tal nw i can stand licka pussy wit ma nature stil short

  28. Shit tanx mr. E.l.d.e.e eldee 4 makin mi undastand dat z nt aw far bt aw wella make mi realize dat i aint d mo-chada until i cumbak beta….!chilly ma broda ma nija ma frend ma motivational t.v musical artist.wait 4 black moneeey cumin trou

  29. Well edited mate. I have been a fan since your days in Trybesmen. I still bump Asiko Laye off the Plenty Nonsense CD.
    There is nothing like information, education and knowledge of self.

  30. i recorded songs, the issue is the promotions, for now i am doing it myself and a little DJ promotion… I went arround school (unimaid) i had people banging my track in their phone, deck in their room and like two dinner parties…the question is how can i make it national or internationally with the promotions

  31. Eldee Nice one baba..I know one day pple here are gonna thank you..
    For music production u cqn contact me..08060094784..follow me on twiterr @eronsb add me on bbm 211a501f..gbayi.

  32. You know what?when I saw this I was speechless,I don’t know what to say coz what eldee took his time to put down here is not something so easy like that.am highly impressed and I do appreciate it coz someone like me has been facing problems like this….but now that you put us through am really pleased.you are not like other big stars that doesn’t want small artistes to reach the.but God pass them.my question Is exploiting lil artistes is controllable and bearable than those that wanna get down with we ladies and promised to do all sorts.what will you say to that sir?

  33. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?

    Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thanks

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