Let me first introduce myself so that you bear with me on the points that I’m about to list in this article about what Liberian musicians are lacking.
I go by the name Akesse Sanza and a Ghanaian. I started listening to Liberian music around 2014. I was promoting Quincy B’s songs in Ghana so I was listening to him a lot. I promoted other musicians on blogs in Ghana as well.
Elvis and I came up with TunesLiberia.com and I got connected to Liberian music and started following lot of Liberian musicians.
I joined MusicLiberia.com about two months ago to write and assist with other technical stuff.
With all the above, you should definitely understand that I have been following Liberian music and musicians for quite a time.
There are few things that I have noticed that musicians in Liberia are lacking.
I sometimes read in the press about artistes signing or hiring publicists. This is a good move but these publicists are just holding their titles without working. Anytime I receive songs in my email to promote, they come from the musicians themselves. Where are the employed publicists? These interactions with the media are not the work of the artistes unless it becomes necessary.
What I have observed is that artistes always send songs and artworks without any article. It’s the work of the publicist to include a press statement or an article along with the song to be posted by various websites. It is a very bad habit to be sending just songs without articles. Know that bloggers handle many songs in a day and may not have time to listen to every single song to write on it.
The many times I have tried to interview musicians all failed. It is true that you are doing me good by granting me interview to create content for my website but you should also consider the opportunity you have been granted to reach my audience.
Many think social media is the only way to go. Know that not all your fans are even following you and not all music lovers hear of you on social media. So if other media networks engage you, you should open up if you have the means. Most times these musicians refer me to their managers and their managers also never respond when you contact them.
Granting interviews, especially to online platforms is very important. There are A-list artistes whose pictures cannot be found online. You google them and you don’t see any photos of them aside their artworks. This is because there hasn’t been any online publications on them. News articles build your online presence and even aid in referencing your Wikipedia articles.
Since I joined MusicLiberia.com, there have been several events; donations by musicians, launch of music videos, shows and others, but we were not invited to any of these events to cover. I can’t say same of other media houses but I realised that musicians always ignore bloggers during their events.
In Ghana, all bloggers who wish to cover events are given special tags to allow them free entries into events. This helps with publicity before and after the event, hence increasing the number of attendants.
Desire to go International
It’s good for every musician to cross the borders of their home countries. It is true that the musician has to put efforts in getting such recognition but timing has to be correct. They say charity begins at home. Before you think of going international, ask yourself how far you have gone in your home country. Just having international collaborations aren’t enough to send you out there.
In Ghana, we hardly hear of songs of musicians from other countries that our musicians featured on. I know that Liberian artistes have songs with Sarkodie, Joey B and others because I blog on Liberian music. No one else in Ghana knows. So these artistes’ aim of entering the Ghanaian market with the collaborations yielded no results.
Musicians should be focused on doing good music and the international fans would be built organically. Davido didn’t feature Bucky Raw, Christoph or Eric Geso but he’s coming to Liberia for a big concert which would definitely be a successful one. Shatta Wale hasn’t been to Liberia before but he’s big in the country. Focus on getting the love and attention from your own people and others from other countries would be getting to know you as well.
Liberian music fans are the best I have seen so far. So musicians should take advantage of this to shape their careers and get the best out of music.
By Akesse Sanza. Click HERE to Follow me on Facebook