In order to not only compete, but succeed in this hyper-competitive musical world, it’s absolutely vital to be on top of your game at all times, and be consistently raising the bar for yourself. You have to learn to really enjoy the process of improving and practicing as well.
The music industry has always been competitive and cutthroat at heart, and these days, income is becoming harder and harder to find, although making a little money playing music on the side isn’t so hard, but in order to turn a passion into a career, you have to need more cash than anything else.
Though there is a ton of luck involved, many factors can be influenced to put you in a position to launch a musical career. However, it is important not to have unrealistic standards about how things will be once you are able to quit your “day job.”
I know being a creative person is a challenge in itself so being a musician and creating or recording new songs or music is always a daunting task. No matter what they say, the biggest challenge a budding musician, independent musician or any musician for that matter faces is: getting an audience.
According to Martin Møller Nielsen, Mdundo.com managing director and co-founder, you cannot go on making music and just hope to get noticed out of nowhere. At the same time, getting noticed does not guarantee that you have a stable group of followers or audience that you can bank upon.
“What keeps an independent musician relevant and motivated to go on doing what they do best, is building an audience. As much as I love a place where I can get more involved every day and people are willing to teach me what they know and listen to my thoughts, still I usually emphasize to them that Don’t try to be better, try to be different!” said Nielsen.
“Passion and determination is what motivates me, and I get passionate if I can influence things around me. Mdundo.com was created to give free, independent and audience to talented but less know or unknown African artists. It is okay to dream big, but if the only reason you want to be a musician is because you think it will get you a large house with a yacht, you will quickly get weeded out of this business,” he cautioned the upcoming artists.
Mdundo.com limited is a music service tailored for the African market. Launched in December 2012, the service aims to make local and international music available for Africa’s 150 million internet users. African artists being their main target, the company’s focus is to provide a service that helps artists and fans to grow in a friendly free environment.
In November 2012 the first beta version of Mdundo.com was launched together with 10 Kenyan musicians; Nazizi, Collo, P-Unit, Jua Cali, Mejja, Alpha Msanii, Juliani, Mbuvi, Alice Kamandea and Octopizzo. Only 1 month later, in December, Mdundo launched the service officially after establishing its first corporate partnership with Airtel Kenya.
With its mdundo.com app, once you download it from the Google play store, you can get access and listen to hundreds of different music around the world with the major being from Africa narrowing to East Africa .
Nielsen while responding to a question on the major challenges faced by artistes in the country and why western Africa music’s is so popular in the country and extends to the East African community at large, he lamented that, “I think the artist are growing as well as the music, but as usual, the issue has always been that of piracy and structure, but the biggest problem is lack of enough support from the government, funding and the musicians themselves because how they perceive their job is how other people will pick out. Lack of understanding of the music business on the part of artistes is another problem.
Having said that, we need help from the government and stakeholders to combat piracy; the artistes, must also take their job seriously.
All they need to do is pay more attention. However, when it comes to fake lifestyle, I think that is a problem with music all over the world.
Depending on the path you take in the wide world of music, it’s possible that you may never have a stable income. Even if it is stable, it might take years or even decades before it is large enough for you to have certain luxuries. This doesn’t have to be a source of fear or anxiety as long as you know how to live within your means.
In the end, it comes down to the question of living an easy life versus a fulfilling life. The “Fake-it-to-make-it” mentality may work for some people, but I try to cut my coat according to my size.’
Successful musicians are confident and adventurous enough to dive into their music careers headfirst some professional musicians got where they are today due to the fact that they struggled to get other work, or just were not capable of doing anything else. When you have no Plan B to fall back on, Plan A will have to be what works out for you.
Nielsen urged artists that instead of becoming preoccupied with trying to get a “big break”, as the most successful musicians do nowadays, they should focus on growing their careers gradually. “A career does not appear overnight, and especially not one in the arts. Even artists such as Lorde, who seemed to appear in an instant and blow up the charts out of nowhere, had been planning and preparing for that time for years.”
Whatever your musical craft may be, as long as you are making steps to improve every day, you will eventually be one of the best out there. Do not wait for opportunities to come but go for them including using social Medias, clubs, events among others.