Business of Music

HOW TO START A MUSIC CAREER WITHOUT A LABEL

According to Goldman Sach’s, Nigeria’s music revenue grew from 26 million U.S. dollars in 2014 to 34 million U.S. dollars in 2018, and by 2023 the revenue is expected to amount to 44 million U.S. dollars. As social media and streaming services rise, the need for labels and sponsors for artists become less needed. To kickstart your music career, you don’t necessarily need huge sums of money to blow up or become successful.

We’ve listed a few easy and cost-effective ways for you to kickstart your music career:

PRODUCTION
One of the most expensive things in the music process is paying for studio time. Luckily for us, developers and app makers are working tirelessly to make the music process easier and more accessible. There are a couple of apps you can use to record and make your music at home. You can go more into detail here. If you want a cleaner mix and master, then we’ll definitely advise you to work with a professional.

DISTRIBUTION
Distribution is the act of making sure your music is available on different platforms. In 2021, that means various streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, Boomplay, Triller, TikTok and many others. Usually, some distribution company or label will sign a deal with you to get your music on these platforms. However, the emergence of self-service platforms like Tunecore makes this all easy. Recently, TuneCore, the leading digital music distribution and publishing administration company for independent artists has launched operations in Africa.
With the African music industry becoming more and more popular globally, it makes sense for self-service players like Tunecore to step into the picture. Our young population in Africa – more than 60% of Africans are under 25years – and growing internet penetration makes for an exciting time for TuneCore to join the race. Many musicians like Kofi Mole in Ghana and Fena Gitu in Nigeria use the service in their music journey.
Tunecore makes it easy for independent artists to get their music heard on over 150 streaming platforms worldwide including Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Boomplay and loads more. They also offer publishing administration and a variety of Artists tools to help independent artists at various stages of their music career.
Get started with your music distribution with a 20% discount here.

MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS
Free marketing and promotions platforms exist now that allow your music to reach various target groups around the world at a minimal cost. These platforms are called social media. Platforms such as Triller and TikTok have been a contributing factor to songs going viral globally. In the USA we can speak of the phenomenon that’s Lil Nas X. Bringing it closer to home we can talk about Ghana’s Gyakie whose debut EP seed is topping charts in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya after her single Forever went viral on Triller. She’s even on the BillBoard Triller Charts!
Create a plan that appeals to your fans and your audience. Co-creation and storytelling are strong characteristics of social media marketing and you should try your best to incorporate that into your strategies.
Magazine and website stories about you and your music are also great ways to promote your music. Pitching to independent curators (like Harmattan Rain) can also get your music into playlists and in front of potential listeners. Read more about pitching here.

CONTENT CREATION
To further promote and elongate the lifespan of your music, creating content is always a great go-to. However, the cost of shooting videos can always be a bit daunting. Especially when you don’t have any label backing or sponsorship. Then the best option is to use existing platforms that are free. Utilize apps and the power of a smartphone to create exciting content.

ANALYSIS
The best way to measure growth is through analytics and performance reviews. Thankfully many social media apps nowadays have analytics tools embedded. Use that to track your growth, measure your KPIs and see if you’re reaching your key targets. And if you are not, adjust and rework your plan to stay on your game.

Remember, music is a long game. Its often rare that artists blow up at one go, but remember, blowing up means preparing well in advance. Hope this makes your journey easier.

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