Underground musicians in Ghana, this post is for you. If you are here to read this then I guess it is because you are in the category of people this post talks about, you just want to learn and add to your knowledge base, you are an entertainment or music lover or you are probably a cherished reader of this blog – Fillabase.com.
Before we go into it let me give you a layman’s understanding of what an underground musician is, and why certain musicians are called underground musicians. Basically, for a musician to be called an ‘underground’ means that he is not a mainstream artist. He/she is an up and coming musician.
By underground musicians or up and coming musicians, I mean the artist is not mainstream, he is not signed to any properly managed and structured record label, he has not blown, he is not widely known, his songs are not enjoying airplay in mainstream media, clubs, events and anywhere music is consumed.
Usually, being one of these categories of people is not so easy, it’s frustrating and demands only people who put in a lot of hard work, are determined, optimistic, and with positive energies to see a breakthrough to mainstream.
The challenges most musicians face at this stage and the desire to see their project hit the mainstream pushes them to make certain mistakes in their quest to get people to patronize their songs. In this post, 7 common mistakes underground musicians in Ghana and other parts of the world should avoid are discussed.
7 Common Mistakes Underground Musicians Should Avoid
- Avoid the desire for overnight fame – work hard instead.
It is not a bad thing to expect fame in just a twinkling of an eye but it will be very good for you if you let your hard work speak for itself.
I have seen some musicians who got overnight fame and became social media topics but did not last half a year and they faded. Why? because the fame came alright but they had nothing to sustain the fame.
As an up-and-coming musician, I will entreat you to put in all the hard work, build your portfolio, and when the time is right your works will do the talking.
If fame finds you overnight and you have the works to sustain it, that is the best time to keep dropping them so the people will accept you but if fame comes and you have only one song or just a few songs, it will be very hard ride with the fame and soon you will fade.
- Be yourself, avoid forcing to be like someone else.
Forcing to be like someone else is one of the most common mistakes underground musicians make. If you truly want to be out there and be well known, be yourself, find your own voice, your own sound, your own vibe, and keep going with it.
It is often very difficult for and up and coming musician to be well appreciated if he sounds like someone else, especially when the ‘someone’ is a well-known musician doing very well.
Being original and bringing out your own style will not only make you stand out but will go a long way to give you genuine fans who will easily identify with you and your sound.
- Avoid seeing others as competitors.
If you are just coming up, it is very easy to think you are in competition with others but don’t let that be the case for you. It is not healthy to see others doing your genre or others in the same category you are as your competitors.
This does not help you to stay focused since you will always think you have to be the winner. It is best that you let the good works of others motivate you to do better. Competitions are not bad but always make sure it is a healthy one.
- Do not downplay the power of social media
In fact, if you are an up and coming musician and you do not know the power of social media, I pity you. If you do not know how to use social media platforms, go and learn or find someone to handle them for you.
Join these platforms and make sure you create conversations with people and develop relationships with your friends and followers on social media. Underground musicians, let your presence be felt on social media and once in a while post your projects there.
Usually, people who seem to have a social media vibe with you will naturally listen, read, watch, or share your posts. Strangers will not. This is how you begin to gradually develop your hardcore diehard fanbase. In my next post, I will show you how you can build your fanbase on social media.
- Avoid sending spammy messages in your quest to promote your song.
Spamming people’s social media walls, in boxes, and platforms is a common mistake that not only underground musicians do but whoever is trying to get a product, project or service out there does it too.
Getting frequent messages about a product or service from someone you don’t even know is so annoying and that is what most up-and-coming musicians do.
They send links to their music, videos, and shows to people anyhow without regard for the privacy of the individual they are sending them to.
The fact is 8 out of 10 individuals hate such messages and they don’t even open it. Stop sending a lot of links to people, they do not owe you any support. Work hard to have their genuine support rather.
You can politely do this if you first create a relationship, ask for the person’s consent, and then send your links. Personally, I will willingly prefer to open a link from a person who seeks my permission to send it to someone who just go-ahead to send.
- Underground Musicians, do not promote songs for so long before releasing it
As a ‘not well known’ musician, there is no point releasing teasers for your projects and keeping the small fans you have waiting for so long before you release it.
This is okay if you have already built your brand. If you underground, just keep dropping your songs and see promote them alongside.
You can never tell which one is going to blow you into the mainstream. Avoid the act of posting teasers, flyers, and others for long before bringing the workout. Allow the already made musicians to do that.
- As underground musicians, forget about releasing an album
In your journey as a musician, albums are good, it shows your hard work and a good way to have something to add to your portfolio but albums are certainly not a good thing for underground musicians.
Albums are made for fans to consume and if you are up and coming with no fanbase, dropping an album will not give you any listeners. Even for mainstream musicians, it is not so easy to succeed with albums, how much more you, underground musicians?.
Albums demand a lot of financial resources to put an album together. As an up and coming, it will be difficult to raise such resources for quality work to be done on your album.
If you force it, you may end up coming out with bad sound, bad composition, and arrangement, bad videos, etc. Keep releasing your singles and make sure every single wins you a fan, at the right time when your name is everywhere out there, you can release an album.
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