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Why Some Artistes Don’t Succeed

Posted by Tyler on September 29, 2013 in AUDIO · 53 Comments

My Reasons Why Some Artistes Don’t Succeed 

So I’m sitting on my bed this cold Saturday morning and I’m grateful because it’s an environmental sanitation day and it’s raining! Good excuse to remain in bed I must say. My family’s out on a weekend trip, so there’s no dishes to be done or breakfast to be made.

Listening to the rain and The Weeknd’s KissLand album simultaneously, my fingers were itching to do something. I figured I’d write another article after my last compilation on 6 mistakes upcoming artistes make . I read the article again and asked myself; How come artistes who don’t make these mistakes, or have corrected these mistakes still don’t end up being tagged successful artistes?

First, what is Success?

According to my dictionary, it says it’s an achievement of an action within a specified period of time or within a specified parameter. Success can also mean completing an objective or reaching a goal. Success can be expanded to encompass an entire project or be restricted to a single component of a project or task. It can be achieved within the workplace, or in an individual’s personal life.

To some fans, a musician’s success can be measured by the number of followers and fans they have on twitter, some by the endorsements they bag from telecommunication companies, pictures they see of them balling with Hollywood celebrities, or maybe nominations and international awards being won and the likes.

To others, it could be a 5-star rated album, Sales of album rights to distributors for a reasonable 6-figure cheque? International recognition and collaborations, or maybe the mad love and massive rotations they get on air and online.

From my findings especially in my country Nigeria, nearly every family can boast of an artiste or two and every body wants these artistes they are affiliated with to be somewhat successful or achieve one or three things I mentioned earlier.

Well whatever it is you may be gearing for as an artiste, a lot of things may hinder or help your success. I’ve studied a lot of artistes and situations and I compiled a list of 10 factors or elements that may and have hindered many artistes’ successes in their careers as musicians.

I’ll speak briefly and fairly on these 10 elements below:

The Artiste

He/She (as the case may be) is the subject of concern here. They’re held responsible for the successes and failures in their career, regardless other possible factors I’d be mentioning below.

The artiste is responsible for the genre of music they embark on whether or not they have the talents to handle that genre. They decide what song(s) to write record or perform depending on what they’re inspired or forced to do. The artiste decides on success or failure with or without knowing it.

The artiste is the first person to lie to his or herself, they start the Lying Chain. They lie to themselves on how awesome their music is; therefore expecting everybody to adhere to these lies and just say anything to please their egos and emotions. This, my people is the basic problem most artistes find themselves today.

The Funds

Money plays a major role in the music industry today. Artistes need money for production, promotion, tours and the likes. It’s only mandatory that an artiste has enough money to kick start a music career. Nobody cares if you’re just an unsigned act anymore, you’ve got to have that paper to be able to breeze pass many obstacles.

Funds may come in from the artiste’s pocket, sponsors or even record labels. Without money, efforts may be wasted and honestly, time waits for no man.

The Producers

They are everywhere today. I mean, anybody with a fair knowledge of Fruity loops and the likes, has a computer, good enough headphones, a mixer and a Mic can pass for a producer today. These producers tell the artiste to bring some small change for a song. Forget the terrible music quality, the producer would never tell the artiste that his music is sub-standard or “wack“, after all that’s what the artiste can afford. Everybody is hustling right? The producer doesn’t care about their feelings or reputations enough to tell them that their songs are sub-standard. So long as they’re ready to pay, he’ll lie to them!

Friends and Family

They’re supposed to be the people artistes trust. Even if the producer can’t tell them the truth, they rely on family and friends to listen to their music and be sincere with feedbacks.

Unfortunately, very few artistes get to be told the truth about what friends and families think of their music. They feel they might hurt their egos and emotions, hence they tell the artistes their songs are going to make hits; which is what the artistes want to hear anyway.

The artiste is satisfied with what his “personal people” think of his song or songs and heads on to make promotional plans.

The Manager

Managers ought to be the ones who take the wheel of the artiste’s career, guide them through decisions and make sure they are always on track. So long as it’s official, the manager is supposed to be with the artiste. These days, the concept of artistes’ management is an apology.

Managers are supposed to be people who command a degree of respect from the artistes they manage and also have a say in what they do. These days, a manager is just a friend, cousin or an elder brother who fronts for the artiste who also fall under the category of people who fail to correct the artiste. Managers cannot tell their artistes what they really think about the music because he/she is really like a Personal Assistant and is not being paid for “opinions”.

The most successful artistes have people who they respect sitting over them and telling them, constructively, what they think about the music, the business and personality. There is always mutual respect. Regular reality checks help good artistes grow.

Record Labels

These days, setting up a record label is almost no big deal. There’s so much record labels scattered around the country and the world in general today. Artistes set up record labels, producers set up their record labels, publicists and even bloggers have record labels you know. I’ve seen some of them!

Even those who are lucky to be signed under good record labels still find themselves at risk of failing because most record labels these days do not employ the services of personnel needed to run a record label professionally. One of such personnel are the A&R reps who are responsible for the contents artistes send out. They review every song or songs an artiste brings to the table and give advices. Unfortunately, most record labels don’t have them present.


There’s a whole bunch of them out there today, thanks to the lack of job opportunities and the laziness present in our today youth. Everybody wants to earn a living by just sitting in front of their computers these days; hence the struggle to get artistes to promote is very real.

Most publicists would never give true criticisms on artistes’ material(s) because their comments may chase the artiste right out to the nest of another publicist. So they go ahead to accept the material(s), make efforts at distributing and promoting the sometimes “sub-standard” material. He “kisses ass” to get the songs on every blog possible and he’s on to the next client and really doesn’t care if people actually respond positively to the materials.


This set of people can make or mar your music career. They are a very important factor to your career because they ought to be the critics, not just download links providers. Unfortunately, most bloggers don’t criticize music. They just copy and paste whatever the publicist mailed them, drag the download links to their webpage and they’re on to the next post! What’s worse? Some of them don’t even listen to whatever music they’re posting nor encourage their readers to leave comments, hence no atom of feedback is left for the artiste.


Everybody wants to be on an On-air personality’s good side because we want air plays and possibly, massive rotations. Artistes and managers buy them gifts and pay them handsomely to get songs playing at least 3 times daily. Do not forget OAPs are humans too, like the others, they got bills to pay. They don’t tell you that your song won’t be played for long because of it’s poor quality or that fans do not request for your song(s), they keep collecting gifts from you and manage to play your songs maybe once a day before they eventually stop. They may tell you to record something new for your fans just to get that song out of the way. Well yea, you “once” had that song playing on-air. Same goes to videos too.


I stated this on my last article right, networking is very important for artistes. They need to connect to a large number of people. Being an artiste doesn’t make you a king! You’ve got to take your listeners, critics and fans seriously, communicate with them and get to know what they think about your music. Quit winning them over with recharge cards, truth is they’ll only stick around as long as you keep giving out free tickets and recharge cards to them.

Quit buying fake views/fans/followers, because honestly, it takes you no where. Who’d watch your videos, download your songs or Retweet your tweets? Dummy accounts? I guess not.

Dear artiste, endeavor to network with other artistes, producers and the likes. It helps a great deal and exposes you to a lot of things your team members may never tell you.

All that being said, managers, record labels & publicists need take control of the artistes career and show them how it can be done. Speak confidently to your artiste and make them understand all you’re doing is for their benefits.

As a musician, to earn the benefits of being a successful artiste you have to become successful. Give your time, resources and energy to create music people love and want to hear and then focus on ensuring that the supply is consistent.

Good luck!!

Written & compiled by Joyce Imiegha (Media Agent/Consultant)

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53 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. U really got does finz ryt, all does are the facts, artiste especially upcoming have 2 knw where de stand,wat de want 2 give out, wat de want 2 work on 4 ppl 2 learn, n also the upcoming artiste shld know a joni starts from somwhr, if u get beta @ wat u do, ppl wld accept,love n respect u 4 it. I know we wld make history as Nigerian only if we can stop copyinh international acts, we gat better artiste in Nigeria I cld swear dat EVA d Nigeria Diva is better dan Nikki minag anyDay, we can beat international act only if we help each oda, finding great upcoming talents helping den wifout xtotin money,stealing dere songs from dem. I m Afican n Proud

  2. All these words nd nt a single one explains why artistes don't succeed..whoever wrote dis needs to go nd do a thorough research abt d 'politicking' in d industry..and with all due respect,this article is straight up trash

  3. Isn't it jst stupid that an artiste must have money before he makes it? So if sum1 in Nigeria had the same talent as Michael jackson and he don't have money..wld he jst die in the talent??Go and look @ al the Greatest artistes especially those from America..they were broke people from the beginning nd it was music that put food on their tables.Our industry is soo corrupt that everybody jst look out 4 d moni nd ignore d real talent 4rm Dj's to OAP's..down to bloggers..especially inclusive…I jst kno a special room in hell awaits bloggers nd I'm being real

  4. All U????? have said s jst d planket truth. U????? re S????????? raw & specifc. keep it up. Dis will help we d upcomin artiste 2 bear all dis U????? hv. said @ mind God bless

  5. I agree with the writter……she said the basic truth. Nice article. Kings is talking about broke artist who have made it. U right Buh this is Nigeria,can u mention more than 6 top trending artist in Nigeria who made it from being broke no u can't…….am a DJ n I certainly aggree with her. The game is alot,cos even the artist who got money havnt even broken into the the market cos the failled to plan properly with their label team or management crew

  6. He actuali said the truth…..we are in nigeria….

  7. U are so damn right about the 10 hints you mentioned.. I just hope many up coming artiste's reads this.

  8. Moske I agree with the writer.because I gat talent but small cash

  9. Well!!! U guyz are all right ! No one is wrong , bur de quesions is …who's going to make these changes ? How's it going to start ? Naija is too corrupted dats all! Am an upcoming nollywood actor, and trust me ! It happens there too…only those with money makes it to stardom ! Its nt fair !

  10. 100% fact, d writer iz on point..

  11. J w

  12. My name is Yobama… I'm an artiste… May God Bless whoever wrote this article #Walaah

  13. She said it all #NP. Just to add to it, for you to be successful you must believe in yourself before others (producer, manager, friend, etc) can believe in you. Thanks a lot Joy Imiegha

  14. First of all, as an upcoming rapper,I agree with the person who wrote this.Secondly, I support King.Must err1 have money before they can blow?.All the ones with money,where av dey gotn 2 nw.once u don't av money,u don't count.God knows how many times av asked @Boye_tx how to get my songs posted here nd how much.buh he has never seen my mentions or DMs. *sigh..Bdw, 4 doz saying dis is naija.. Y must naija b dis way? We r never diff for gud tins..only bad tins.. D tin is Artistes need to b real nd diff wit dia music nd we nigerians shud b ready to support good music nd not noise..#OkBYE

  15. U said the truth..but we have some great talents in Nigeria the media aint promoting …for instance Boogey..that guys talent is intelligent and his versatility is gross..I call him 9ja j'cole..if this dude can be assisted very well..he'll make name in the international music scene…

  16. why not venture into the music industry and succeed since you already know the reasons why artistes don't succeed… you think its all about writing english? and grmmar? it goes beyond that bro.

  17. Nice one comfam

    I am also an upcoming artiste but nobody to help and i myself i dont have money to help my self pls i sing afro hip hop if you care for me or you want me to perform in any of ur shows pls call me.i school in benin cotonue.+22966379915 thanks GOD help you

  18. ori gbogbo yin ti daaaru una dey craze !!!

  19. wow am very suprised by the comments am seeing here,dis goes straight to the writter since u think that is all about cash for blowing up yeah i agree wit you in one perspective but if u gat d money but dont knw where to start becus in dis country we gat frauds u cant jst send ur tracks to a nigga called promoter dats one thing secondly a guy asked wrote here that he haz been tweeting to a guy called tooxclusive

    on hw to have ur tracks posted here and d so called tooxclusive didnt reply,so if u guys i mean TOOXCLUSIVE.COM dont post here we d artist can get our songs posted here and how much is gonna cost us then i think u guys have no w

    right to write how artist blowup and what hinder them from blowing because u guys TOOXCLUSIVE.COM are also not helping hands,if u think is so easy why dont venture into music and tell us how easy it is to blow….

  20. Whether this is Nigeria or not if you really have the TALENT (like Micheal Jackson & co.) and you WORK HARD, people will want to invest in you. People will want to listen to your stuff. Nothing comes easy; the world owes you nothing! If your songs were up to par perhaps Boye would have posted them. That aside, start by getting the attention of people around you, work hard to impress them and you could get sponsors and connects from there. Music isn't for everyone, even the ones with talent need work to improve and maintain their skills. Finally, if your sole aim of going into the industry is to make money, then you're better off starting a poultry or learning an IT course. To excel in a music career, the passion for the music itself (not just fame and money) has to be present. Bless.

  21. I Just Wanna Say God Bless You For All You Said! I Went Through every Bit.

  22. I'm not siding any1 on this but really…its not an easy task for an artiste to blow so to say cos take my friend for instance, he had well over 2million naira to promote his track & video on air,online, evriwhr, only to now get into d wrong hands, we

  23. INVESTMENT thats the key word that follows TALENT,only wen an attention is tilted towards d cause of scouting for talented upcoming artistes,will there be a reason for investment.if known bloggers like TOOXCLUSIVE.COM can't promote such artistes,then you have no write to post this Blog.

  24. The writer is right tho buh on the real tooxclusive have ignored monster tracks that made it……. I support good music and I think every true talent must be heard. Trust me I have sent more than 4 outstandingly good tracks to tooxclusive but they won't post it so please the writer should shut the hell up and check his/herself first! There is a particular track that I posted to this site and it wasn't posted…..a guy danced to that same song and started crying in the club, I still have the video with me, the song is the most phenomenal dance track I've heard yet tooxclusive, jaguda and notjustok didn't post it….the God we worship will surely purnish y'all for not helping true talents! Now the same artiste got signed last week in a label in UK, likewise another guy I sent his track…..his rounding up his agreement with Maybach Music. So don't get me twisted when you talk about bloggers search yourself first. Learn to listen to songs, better yet learn how to detect a HIT! Fuck Y'all and have a very BAD day! If you've got a problem with this comment pls kindly go and drown in goat urine! – Lyrical Patience Uzokwu

    • Ha God go bless you bro. God go really punish this fake bloggers. they dont post for free. they are all thief’s.

  25. Nice but why didn't she address the politics in the industry or are we acting like we don't know the exist?? This is what the upcoming should be aware of. We ve a lot of artiste in nigeria that made it out of nothing,2face,vector, etc these are peeps that people saw their talent and the were ready to invest in them. I will tell any upcoming artiste to Work hard and keep recording, do the little you can and pray 1day God makes ur helper locate you. Nobody can make it all alone even with ur money you still need people to help you out in one way or the other. all the best to the upcoming artiste!!

  26. loool well to all upcoming artistes,you all too should also reason clearly,the game has changed,music is now like football the richer men has or have moved into the game,its not easy for these bloggers too,to set up a well registered and recognised or an entertainment company,its takes more than enough,do you know how much a blogger uses to maintain his site do you know how much visafone or swift subscription is every month,do you know how much they spend on advertisement to promote their blog,its not easy updating and posting everyday…they too wanna make cash to cover up all their an upcoming artiste,if you become famous now, are you going to do free shows or free endorsement…That's it help promotion companies or bloggers to help pay a blogger today or promotion company,believe me they will promote you to the last,they are not hungry people,they only demand appreciation by paying them to help you.

  27. There's more to this so called music than what people think. So many artistes but fewer are real Talent! #Get_it…

  28. oboy na bloggers own dey pain me pass, them don finish me eeeh….. This person wea write this article na blogger, their mouth sweet die. Download great hit "merry go round" by Kasco ft m-Josh(dude of spiritual conji) @

  29. my baby is the best writer eva

  30. my baby is the best writer eva

  31. Strange

  32. Above all, upcoming acts needs to be prayerful. Be close to God. – Dis

  33. For the first time, I've actually read something meaningful on the internet. I thought i was the only one with this kind of reasoning… Thank you very much for this ma'am, thank you!!!

  34. Of all the comments here,d 1 that I really wanna say sometin abt,is what @vinoslim said abt boogey…..mehn that guy is out of this world. So intelligent I actually call him d best lyricist in nigeria. His lines can move international scenes if he's well promoted.He 2geda with jargo are my 9ja's favourites. They're jst 2 brilliant

  35. well, i will not say this particular article is trash or is the most reliable article for up and coming artist to consider, i simply believe its the effort one put in as an artist that makes the deference

  36. @Rharptee

  37. Kudos 2 d writer of dis 10 element its a big privilege granted 2 me,becaus there are so many up coming artist facing dsame mistake,by producing wack tracks nd video nd d producers nd managers just sit nd watch dem wast dier tyme nd effort,once again thanks 2 whose so ever that wrote these element,I pray dat I won't mak d same mistak my colics are making here is my contact 08184888429

  38. Be it nigeria, be it america, be it anywia…., if d talent is not dia 4gt abt it.. A manager or anybody can even tel u ur song is bad wen ur song is good… So 4gt abt blogers or evn record labels.. If u dnt have d talent.., ma dr artiste 4gt abt it

  39. This jones dat sed Eva is talented dan Nicki minaj don dey really jones sha…Evn nicki tries 2 sound lyk her den d last 4-5 comments above me is nonsense.If u are an average artiste here,dnt comment…u can neva feel the PAIN of an up and coming artiste if u are nt an exceptional artiste.I've released songs dat pple listened to nd pple 4rm diff parts of d world commended nd were suprised @ d fact dat I'm stil relatively unknown…In the US,u jst need 2 perfrm smwhre 4 sum1 2 spot u…Bloggers here are jst heartless and dey can neva know what an artiste go thru!..Forget abt d cost of running a Blog…Now almost every youth run a blog and I kno it does'nt cost much! Most of these bloggers evn leak bigger artiste's songs without their knowledge..who is payin dem 4 dat one…bros make una 4gt abeg.If ur fada no b davido fada or u no b don jazzy brother jst lock up

    Nd for ur info,u dnt need 2 av talent 2 blow…u wil tel me hw mch talent tonto dike has den u'l tel me d numba of airplays she got on radio nd TV stations wen those her trashy songs came out

    • Niggy u jux said d truest truth…….buh neva giv up d hustle cs if likes of wizkid,olamide n skales cld make it tru evn without a fada lyk davidos n a broda lyk don jazzy….we gun pull tru men

  40. Thank you for making us know this. God bless our hustle

  41. hmmmm…so much said,I think for an upcomin artist to b successfull in nigeria, 1st av d talent,work on urself and make ur music catchy, 2nd u av to look4 money,manner will not fall4 u, 3rd hustle ur links urself,u know d office of record label companies,

  42. 4trick

  43. Now I ask, hw do u get a good manager?

  44. Nice article, true words, basic truth…Thank you so much….

  45. Chill out guys, cool article tho..buh sm facts needs to be checked all balls down to truth and honesty..some pple buy their way around wt yahoo money to promote demselves wtout pple avin d guts to tell dem dey av no business in d music industry..The industry needs to be cleansed abeg..y'all check dis out -

  46. Funsho

  47. Damn you God sent. I love what you have written its inspiring. About d ishh of money you right dear with so many G????????????????d???? artist around you just need back up to push your music. I pray in d nearest future I would work with you or meet sm1 like u to work with. I need positive thinkers like you and realist like you.

  48. Best advise ever……. God bless u

  49. gud one dia,it is real talent that will bring u into d limelight one day,even if u don’t have money nw and u hv d talent,jst be working hard,develop urself evryday,opportunity will come around one day and u will show off ur worth and trust me u will be comforted.talent is d only major factor that will determine ur success in music industry.

  50. Thank you for the advice.

  51. you beauti

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