Looking to Go Global As An Afrobeats Artiste? Here are Six Things You Need to be Mindful of

BY Dora Abena Dzaka October 9, 2023 5:48 PM EDT
Photo Source: Instagram: @burnaboygram, @ckay_yo, @kidimusic
Photo Source: Instagram: @burnaboygram, @ckay_yo, @kidimusic

The music landscape for Afrobeats performers is vibrant, inventive, and displays a variety of styles. Africa takes pride in the continent’s beat-driven music, which is attracting fans on a global scale. Additionally, the new “African sound” is enabling local artistes to earn a living. But are Afrobeats stars forging a route toward global supremacy that other genres may follow, or are they reducing a whole continent to the distinctive sound of two nations (Ghana and Nigeria)?

Whether you’re just getting started or well-established, going global as an Afrobeats musician is not easy, because this thriving sector has its share of challenges.

Musicians must establish a strong connection with their fans while remaining faithful to their origins if they want to succeed. There is more to gaining a loyal following than merely producing songs – it involves participating in social media, working with other artistes, and utilizing a variety of venues to increase recognition.

Being open and observant is crucial for professional musicians, however, accepting every offer is not the best course of action. Making sensible decisions is essential for a successful career, regardless of whether you pursue music full-time or just in your free time. Therefore, the following six requests should be declined as you advance in the worldwide music industry:

Say “no” to the lack of proper music education

Many artistes in Africa might not have received a formal music education before starting their careers. But you can actually improve your talents and learn more about music if you put in the time and effort to do so – seminars, online courses, and self-study – can come in handy. Knowing more will improve your ability to navigate the tough aspects of the music industry and make wise decisions. Even though you do not always need a degree in music, having some fundamental musical knowledge can be quite beneficial to you as an afrobeats musician.

Never ignore the business side of music

Successful African musicians must be shrewd business people. Missed chances and financial disappointments can result from ignoring the business aspect of music. Learn about music licensing agreements, copyright regulations, and negotiation techniques. Be sure to have a strong support system around you, including managers, accountants, and attorneys who can help you navigate the complexities of the business.

Say no to collaborations you’re not passionate about

Working with others can help you reach more people and have a greater effect on your music. If you are a musician from Africa, it is critical that you choose the proper collaborators so as to attract recognition globally. Choosing the incorrect collaborators could result in your style being less distinct, so be careful to pick ones that align with what you want to create and what you believe in.

Say no to getting yourself into debt

A musician’s career can be easily derailed by poor money management. To avoid long-term financial troubles, avoid taking on too much debt to finance your efforts. For each project, establish a reasonable budget while taking distribution, marketing, and manufacturing costs into account. Investigating other funding options, such as grants and sponsorships, can assist you in keeping your finances stable.

Do not go on tours without tangible benefits

Although traveling might be thrilling, it is important to weigh the advantages. Avoid signing up for tours that do not provide worthwhile exposure or financial rewards. Before starting a tour, carefully consider the costs, logistical difficulties, and potential rewards. Planning your tour strategically would ensure that you make the best use of your time and resources.

Failing to Protect Your Intellectual Property

The challenge of copyright infringement in the African music industry should not be disregarded. By registering your music with the appropriate institutions, you can safeguard your intellectual property. Recognize your rights and make sure you are getting paid fairly for your labor. Building a career that will last requires protecting your creative output.