I remember releasing my first single with great anticipation and excitement. I had invested quite a bit into my music in terms of funds and even time. Being an upcoming independent artist, I did as much promotion as I could with my personal money. I signed up my music with Tunecore, an independent digital music distribution, publishing, and licensing service.
Basically, they place your music on as many music streaming and purchasing platforms as you choose, for a yearly fee. After about 8 months or so, I remember checking to see how much I had made. Most of these music platforms e.g. iTunes, Google Play etc, take their cut, some 40%, some 60% etc. So after all the profit sharing, I was left with a revenue of…. wait for it, $10; which was the cost of the yearly fee. I don’t think I had laughed so hard in a while.
Of course, I had not been expecting to make millions or hundreds of thousands or even thousands from my first single. But it dawned on me as I had already suspected, that for an upcoming independent music artist, the upward climb is steep, rocky and tough and many will not make it. Many will have to be happy with just creating and expressing themselves through music, not expecting much in return, but happy with creating. Either way, in this industry, as with any other industry, we need as much support as we can get. So, I’ve listed a few ways you can support your favourite female indie artist. 🙂
Buy their music
Refer to my story above, lol. For every dollar or 5 dollars that you spend on an album, only half of that revenue will likely go to the artist. Think about this the next time you hesitate to pay for music. In the Nigerian music industry, it is most revenue for artists is generated from shows, endorsements and the like and not record sales. And of course, the bigger the artist, the higher the pay. For the indie artist, every little thing helps. So please put away the ‘awoof’ culture and bring out your coins if you truly like the artist and want to support.
Attend their shows
Most of these shows are paid for from the artist’s pocket or personal savings. Sponsorship at this level is almost impossible to come by. So again, if this is an artist you truly like, show up, pay the gate fee if there is one. Take pictures, videos, tag the artist and share on your social media pages. Social media is great for creating awareness in general and in doing this you create awareness for the artist. This will hopefully in turn, give them a leg up on this career path they have chosen.
Invite them to perform at your events
We all like to have the big-name artists at our events, weddings, birthday parties and the like for our personal reasons, but why not try out someone new for a change? You will be surprised that your guests will love it, as some people don’t know they want something new until you present it to them. Ask your fave artist to perform and please make sure compensation is good. Even if they agree to perform for free which should be their own suggestion rather than yours, make sure their expenses are covered and they are very well taken care of and treated with respect.
Champion their cause
Talk about them. Recommend their music, play their songs for people in your car. Share their music on your social media platforms. The level of marketing needed to break through the noise and competition is big bucks that most indie artists can’t afford. This doesn’t mean they’re not talented and their music should go unheard.
So, let’s start from here. List your favourite female music artist below, so that others can go and check her out and listen to her music.