As an Artiste you are to understand what music is, and what the music business is. The Nigerian Music Industry has developed so much so that people earn a living from music, to the point that artistes’ like Wizkid can afford to buy a Porche which goes for over n50million without having to call on Mummy and Daddy.

If you have the mindset that music is business, then you will think like a business man. In business we invest to get returns, and so it is with music. No record label will want to sign someone that has not developed a brand for himself that they can invest in.

In an interview with Audu Maikori, president of Chocolate City he said ‘For you to get into Chocolate City system, you really must have worked on yourself. Like some of the artistes we are considering now, they are people that have been doing their own thing. You can’t walk up to me and say you are an artiste and you want a record deal with just two Facebook likes or followers, I won’t take you seriously. People are looking for content.

There are people with no talent with five thousand followers; that means they are actively engaging and doing something. It’s important that you have those followers because it shows me you have fans. How was Justin Bieber found on YouTube? He has fans and he was marketing himself.

Chocolate City will not wake up one day and say, ‘You, it looks like there is hope for you, lets sign you.’ No, you have to be active. You must be doing things. Then based on these things, we can say, ‘Wow, you need some support and we can sign you.’ Labels don’t change you, they add to what you already have.’

In an interview with Banky W, president of Empire Mates Entertainment, he said that you have to be doing your thing, attending shows etc, stressing that Skales and Niyola were discovered in shows, while they were doing their own thing.

You have to
1. WORK ON YOURSELF/SONG: You have to ensure that your song is good, and acceptable. Get a very good production for your song. Listen to songs of top musicians and compare with yours, then fill the missing link.

2. CREATE A BRAND FOR YOURSELF: In the music industry, presence matters a lot. Remember, every business man or woman will want to invest in a fertile ground. Seeing they say is believing. They have to see something that will convince them to invest in you. They will only associate with you when they feel you are already successful. Locate a branding and packaging company that can help you in building a brand for yourself. Customize your wardrobe, have a website, etc.

3. LET THE WORLD KNOW ABOUT IT: To minimize cost as an upcoming artiste I advise you to make use of the new media (Internet, social media) create a buzz around you. Have a facebook fan page, twitter /youtube account and increase your fanbase.

Then you will attract the best record deal.

Sheba Macby is the C.E.O Sheba Entertainment, with a passion of bridging the gap between record labels and upcoming artistes. Sheba studied Linguistics and Communication Studies in Abia State University, Uturu. She works and lives in the city of Lagos. Follow Sheba on twitter @smacby or email her at

By Luakit_