In a crowded industry, talent is not enough to successfully break down boundaries that leads to mainstream acceptance in the Nigerian music scene.
Ademola Adebusoye is the head of Rainbow Project Ng, a platform he started in Ekiti State and has been running for four years now.
He developed his skill under the tutelage of renowned talent manager, Godwin Tom, who at some point managed Wizkid and now works with Wande Coal.
Ademola currently manages producer, DJ Klem and has worked with singer Soti at a point. We caught up with the rising manager to share some tips ahead of his program coming up next year dedicated to helping young artists and managers find their path.
What’s the function of an artist manager?
”The job of an artist manager is business development. The artist is like a company while the artist manager is the C.O.O of the company. He looks for ways the artist can make money. An artist manager is not someone who waits for the phone to ring but the person who makes the phone ring.
Relationships are very important in the music industry, even more than money. For an upcoming artist, look for a manager that knows the industry.”
How to avoid the frequent artist vs manager fallouts
”I feel like it is when you don’t have a contract with these artists that things like that happen. Artists should always get lawyers to go through their contracts before signing.”
Which would you advice a young producer working with a big name artist, split sheet or one-time cash payment?
”There are two ways, its either you get your split sheet… you should even get your split sheet whether you are been paid or not,” he adds. ”But if the artist does not want a split sheet, then the money should be big.
But if I am to advise, I would advise a split sheet, because you don’t know which song is going to blow and if an artist is offering you a million naira for a song that will probably go on to earn 50M, then you shot yourself in the leg.
From the 50M, you are supposed to make a percentage of 50%.”
What really is a split sheet?
”A split sheet is a document that basically tells who owns the song, what percentage of the song a particular person owns and how the money will be distributed from royalties. Royalties can be across the board or specified to be digital sales only.
There are even mechanical rights involved but a lot of managers don’t know this.”
How to push your music using digital media?
”I won’t advise an upcoming artist to go pay blogs to get your song distributed.
When I started artist management, I paid a particular blog to put up a song, after a week I checked and there were only 54 downloads, so what did I pay for? I had to now start sending broadcast messages to friends and people to download and after another week, it got to a thousand downloads.
Why not put that money into pushing it yourself digitally? There are some free digital platforms that allow you to put up your songs, why not push it to Spotify where you will get something in return.
If I am paying a blog, then they should give me something extra like an email blast based on the data of their users to help spread the music across.”
How can the upcoming artist succeed in the Nigerian music scene?
”One thing upcoming artists should do is focus on getting data, this will help remarket their music. Digital is the way to go right now.
Then consistency on social media, don’t post something today and leave it for a long while before updating. People forget things easily these days, keep posting your craft, keep posting freestyles or covers.
The key to success is simply consistency, keep doing what you do and one day somehow nature will pick you. No one can really make you blow, it is your consistency,” he concluded.