James Silas: Reading is a major part of the music hustle (Y! Superblogger)

James Silas Superblogger

“Ti ojo o ba pa e, sebi orun lo ma pa e…ti orun o ba pa e, sebi ebi lo ma pa e…so you gat to keep hustling…”

The above is a hook off one of the songs on my playlist. It’s by Vector ft. Sound Sultan and it means, “if rain does not kill you, sunshine probably will… if sunshine does not kill you, hunger probably will… so you have to keep hustling”.

The subject matter may not strike as ‘Major’ but it will amaze you that a lot of successful artistes today have learnt a trick or two from what they’ve read outside or in the music business. Come to think of it – is it possible for an artist to have a ‘Music Career’ without “Schooling” on it?

Like any other career (most times linked to academics), people read to pass or to know more about their field of study and artistes are not left out.

I attended some entertainment/creative seminars recently and I was impressed to see a lot of upcoming artistes and aspiring music business practitioners in attendance. Though there was no much time to take questions at those events, but the few people that got the opportunity wanted to know why their songs were not getting airplay and why their managers have not been able to make things happen for them. These questions are not bad but do you know there are songs that did not get to radio before they became big? If you read and research more on music promotion, you’ll know that radio is not the only platform for music promotion.

Therefore while you’re waiting on a particular radio station to play your song, you can also employ other means like roadside DJs, eateries, Clubs, online platforms, and certified Alaba mix CDs. I had to say “Alaba Mix CDs” cos I know there are some of them who actually get the artiste to sign a permission agreement to let them put their songs on their mix CDs.

The truth is – you don’t need to have a Degree to discover and enact your singing or music talent but you need to be informed to explore the talent. Artistes especially the upcoming ones must learn the nitty-gritty of the music business and treat it like the business that it is.

You can read about other artistes and their experiences; you can read about contracts and the key details to look out for when you get one; you can read about artiste management, branding, music marketing and distribution; you can read about everything and anything to expand your view about music.

Who says you can’t read to learn and know more about music production? I don’t believe your career should stop at just walking into the studio to voice and out. Your producer needs to know that you understand at least the fundamentals of music production as it will boost the end product of your alliance.

I’m sure you don’t need this article to know that a good song writer must be informed. Not all songs are made from personal experiences; sometimes, you need to tell fictitious stories which is where your creative strength and knowledge come to play. I should be speaking for all Rap heads, when I say – you can’t be a good rapper if you’re less informed and the same applies to other genres.

‘Reading’, like knowledge, is power. I believe your talent and the grace of God can take you to the top but the little you can do for yourself is know and understand more about the music business so you don’t wake up one morning with nothing to show for your talent.

Like I said earlier, you don’t need a degree to discover your music talent but reading and seeking more knowledge will help you manage the obstacles on your way to the top.


James Silas is a creative writer, music journalist, A&R and media Consultant with Jarmzone Entertainment: www.jarmzone.com. He manages Jarmzone Blogspot. He is also the Associate Editor of Hip-hop World Magazine – a foremost music journal in Nigeria.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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