Liberia struggling music industry is getting better. There is now competition , musicians are certainly growing into professionals – Music Production is up to standard and Music Videos are marketable .

What is the most effective way to blow up in the music industry ? Some may ask  .  To succeed or blow up in the industry requires being smart and using the right tactics to beat your competitors. Avoid these five career killers identified by 

Chasing the small Picture : 

“Every small step you take for your career is a building block; every new fan is a doorway to the next fan. Every good show is an opportunity to a bigger show next time. Every regional review is a step towards national press coverage. ”

“In the music industry, most opportunities aren’t so much about the specific thing you’re getting right now – they are about what you can use that opportunity to get to in the future. So, it isn’t so much about landing the feature in your local paper – that is important and worth pursuing with all your might – but it is more about what you’re going to do with that feature once it is in print. How are you going to use it to drum up more fans, more sales, more press, more radio plays ? ”

Adopt to unpleasant attitudes : 

“You can and will be replaced – that’s the blunt truth of the matter. So be someone people actually want to work with. Not everyone in the music industry is nice. Some people are really pretentious . Sometimes the pretentious people  have accomplished enough in the industry that they get to walk around being jerky unchallenged, because they’ve got the track record and the access to things people need enough to put up with them. ”

“It might be a little pathetic, but it comes with the territory a little bit. What is a surefire way to get shown the music industry door is to adopt that attitude before you even have any of that experience under your belt. You should believe in the music you’re making and be confident about what you’re doing with a good attitude ”

Slacking Off : 

“Aiming to make a living in music is not like playing music for a hobby. It is a job like any other, and when you don’t treat it like one, you’ll lose it. Yes, you love music and in the grand scheme of things, you know that getting to work with it day in and day out is a gift. ”

Playing to your weak points : 

“The key to music industry success is knowing what you’re good at doing, what you’re willing and able to do, and when to find some help to fill in the gaps. There will come a time when it really isn’t practical for you alone to make the music, record the music, promote the music, book the shows, promote the shows and so on and so forth.”

“If, for instance, you really hate updating your website, and you know you’ll just keep putting it off and putting it off until your website hasn’t been updated for nine months, then by all means, get some help. Help doesn’t have to be expensive. Depending at where you are in your career, help can simply be a trusted friend who either wants to get some music experience of their own under their belt or will work for super cheap.

Better to admit what you need help with and get it than to let jobs remain undone (or poorly done).”

Being controlled by the Excesses : 

“As a musician or someone working in the industry, you will have more than ample opportunity to dabble in life’s little excesses. For some people, the availability of alcohol and drugs can become all-consuming, and it may even seem like fun at first. The end game is that you become unpredictable, unreliable, unprofessional and just downright difficult to deal with. Your band-mates may decide you’re not worth risking their own reputations over, people may decide that you’re not worth booking if you’re going to show up late or not at all, your fans may decide that paying money to see you play an incoherent set is not worth it – and that is all before you even consider the risks to your own health and your personal relationships.”

“You will absolutely always be able to find someone to tell you that your overindulgence is ok and to help you convince yourself that something about your behavior is what makes you interesting as a musician/inspires your creativity. These people are so easy to find, but make a point of surrounding yourself with people who really care about you enough to tell you the truth. If you don’t think your music career can survive you not partying around the clock, then you aren’t cut out for this.”

If music is just a hobby to you, then the following don’t apply; but if you are into the industry to monetize or make profit, then start putting these four tips into practice.

Liberia Music Insider Tip :

1. Improve Your Musical Skills Beyond Average.Nothing good will come easy. So if you dream of making money and having a lasting success in the industry make sure you work hard to make your work stand out.

The Liberian music industry needs quality and unique musicians, not copycats. You can only go so far trying to imitate an established artist, but you can’t replace him or her. Worst of all, people will brand you as an inferior version of the artist.

Remember it is not only your voice or singing style that will make you unique , but the song you compose too makes a huge impact.

2. Have A Clear Vision and Strategy.
Most musicians who are successful or have blown up in the industry made it because they have a clear vision and strategy. It is difficult to succeed as a musician without an objective.

The music industry is not like the movie industry where one can play multiple roles and succeed easily. If you are a rapper ,make sure you deliver your best as a rapper . It is advisable to focus your energy on what you’re good at to build a fan base.

Draft plans for each goal you set by evaluating your progress from time to time and amend your strategy if you are not making any progress. Get more ideas and education about the music industry , then apply what you have learnt.

3. Forget Pride and Be Humble!.
Forgetting pride and being humble is an  important factor to succeed in life. Some people may be willing to help with your music career , however if you are not humble, they will not be encouraged to invest in you. Nobody wants to help a rude person. That’s the fact.

Pride can destroy you as an artist, and all the things you have been working for over the years. The sad thing is that the only thing pride will get you is self-gratification, which will do nothing positive for your music career and talent.

Talent alone is not enough. You need people who will help you to succeed, so forgoing pride and being humble will open doors of opportunities for you.
4. Do Self-Promotion
Promoting your music should be your first priority because you can blow easily with good promotion. This can easily be done by contacting DJs , bloggers and entertainment professionals.  Network and get out of your comfort zone.

Written By Robin Dopoe, Jr.

Robin is a freelance Art and Culture writer for the Daily Observer newspaper in Liberia. The Nimba born, is the Press and Public relationship officer of the Liberia Nation Movie Union. Not only that, Robin is also a music coach and a bio writer .

Edited by – Marie Kwende Collins