I hear artists mock other artists on promoting their songs within the same demographic. They push for extended promotion. That is, promoting outside of the artist’s current catchment area. They feel growing of a brand is just about covering new grounds with one’s material.
Their biggest error is that they mistake expansion for reception. They feel if you drop a project in Kaduna State for instance, and it was well celebrated, then you’re ripe for promotion in Jos, or Abuja, or even Lagos.
Add to that, in their estimation, they have put their current city behind them as far as their career is concerned. But not only is that wrong, it is also laughable. And the reason being that, your music and your brand are two different things, which I will discuss in another article. But as far as this article is concerned, I will speak only to the fact that being known in your city does not equal being accepted in your city.
Releasing some average projects that got some little buzz around doesn’t mean your sound has won your city’s heart. It doesn’t even necessarily mean they want to hear you again. In which case it’s upon you to work harder and bring forth a better material next time to convince and change their minds, else they never see you as an act to look out for.
Therefore, the first stage of promotion is making an unbreakable impression which requires consistency, not speed. And as an upcoming artist who aims at gaining more audience and respect, it is important to win the heart of your city first, in that it compels her to happily announce you to cities around her. Instead of hastily jumping out of the oven, half baked, right into the stores of other cities for adverts.
The idea is to win a spot in people’s heart. To rent a space in their head where the hunger to hear any sound coming from you would exist. It is all about you being accepted and anticipated. If your brand lacks that power, then any other power it’s got is almost next to nothing. You need to be hungry for. People should miss your sound and wish you drop something new soon, and not instead feel pressured to go download the fiftieth song from you in just one month.
Yet, the worst of all would be for them to not even give a damn that you’re dropping a new project, meanwhile you and your team think you’ve conquered your entire city and are up to the next one.
A successful promotional year is one that has earned you the hunger of your city to crave for something new coming from you. And not a promotional year that has left nothing to yearn for.
So ultimately, the point of promotion in this context is to create a relationship and a bond between you and your city.
One that will cross your sound from the shores of being heard, to the island of being accepted.
So when next you think about your promotional strategies, first ask if it has considered, above all, the creation of a bond between you and your city. Because expansion without reception, is self-deception.
“Talk About Love” by Manji Singz and “Amara” by Flyboi Martins are two Afrobeats singles droping this coming Saturday, 25th July.