OPINION: 3 Things That Will Determine Your Success As A Rapper in South Africa

By Silas.

I wanted to write something about artist growth. I speak to new artists on a daily basis and I often get asked what’s the best, quickest way to make it in the South African music industry and my answer is there is none. After this, artists usually stop listening to me and go back to whatever techniques they were using before. The problem is that there is no solid plan in place for their music. They blindly promote and ask for record deals until they run out of steam.

Too often as humans we’re too keen to want to jump to the head of the pack without putting in hours and hours of work on creating content, perfecting our craft and building sustainable relationships with individuals and businesses. These 3 points are way more important than making sure everyone listens to your song. The priority needs to shift. Let me break these 3 points down a bit further.

1. Content

You need to create the content that you want your audience to consume. If that’s music then you should have many songs circulating the net. There is this desire to stay exclusive and limit the amount of work you’re putting out, but I really do believe that the more work you have out there, the more chance there is of getting your lucky break. Your content doesn’t necessarily have to be a song you’ve created. It can be a video that you’ve posted or a vlog post or a random post about your views on a current topic. This content creation gives fans a chance to interact with you and you get a chance to build your brand through sharing your opinions.

2. Perfecting your craft

Working on one’s craft is important. You’re not going to go far on talent alone. Artists need to be doing all they can to develop their sound and explore new sounds. Whether it’s researching ways to sing better, mix and master better, rap better or write better, artists need to ensure that these new skills can be combined with the one’s the artist already has to convert them from being a normal artist to the next big thing. I remember reading that Denzel Washington took acting classes during the peak of his career because he felt there was always something to learn. Artists need to adopt this attitude and continue to develop even when they feel they are good at what they do.

3. Relationship building

Relationship building happens on all levels. Whether it means interacting with a club owner or talking to fans after a show, these are the connections that you’ll build up that will eventually be the most important connections of your career. I take relationship very seriously. I have my WhatsApp number on social media and this gives artists and producers a chance to contact me and start a conversation. Most times the artist will make an inquiry about prices, but then I’ll start asking about things they get involved in. This insight helps me create that relationship that fosters trust and makes it easy for people to hit me up for work. As an artist, you can adapt this by speaking to as many artists you can, interacting deeply with anyone who shows an interest in your music and constantly trying to build these relationships.

If you’re an artist and you’re aware of the importance of these tips and tricks then don’t wait to be managed or to get into a label agreement to start handling these things. You can start right now online for free and provided you keep things consistent then you’ll see awesome longterm results. Look at Nasty C for example. He was all over social media making connections long before he blew up. He did all the ground work and when people eventually started taking notice, there was no going back. Use this as your blueprint as you move into the next few months of your career and let me know what successes you find.

If you’re interested in beats, recording, mixing and mastering then hit me up on silasbeats@gmail.com or on WhatsApp on 074 605 7360. Let me know what services you need.