Music business these days is so competitive and artiste have to stand out from the competition . An artiste will have to set himself apart from the rest in order to create a reputation for himself and gather fans. One area musicians invest their resources, time , and energy in order to stand out is in creating good cover arts. Cover arts most times is the first impression a listener gets of your music – You see before you hear .

I remember when i used to buy records from vendors on the streets. Album covers were the first thing that would attract me to your music. My eyes would navigate a stack of records in seconds , the record with the best graphics , color , format , message and layout would grab my attention.  Today , the market is quite different but the challenge is the same. Most music is downloaded , streamed or viewed online, but still , pictures play a vital role in what songs people pick to play.  A good album art should easily generate interest. It portrays your plan , purpose, direction , creativity , intention and conveys the message to the fans . Sometimes the message is controversial but ultimately it is used to summarize a project . How creative your album cover appears tells a lot about how much creativity you have put in to the album as a whole, as the album design is closely related to the album concept.

Due to the Buzz an album cover can can generate , album covers are very essential and important to music marketing and distribution. It is not a coincidence that the most sold albums are usually the ones with the best album cover . They influence the buyers choice and hence directly impacts sales . A bad album cover could cause people to reject the album and hence affect sales negatively. There has been cases where  records flop or get banned due to unaccepted album covers . Therefore, You have to understand how people would perceive your cover in the environment you find yourself . What is regarded as sensitive in one society might not be as sensitive in another society.

A good album art will include the title of the project , Track listing , copy right information , warning label , credits, and contact information . Although Professionally taken portraits of the artists seem to be the most common , many designers also employ the use of abstract painting, canvass painting, 2D and 3D graphics to convey a vivid message to the consumer . In other words , Album art may not necessarily be a picture of the artist , sometimes it is plain text or just a combination of colors . The most essential thing is to ensure that it is attractive and informative . Clarity is also important , the design must allow for the write-up to be readable and clear. Here are some of my best album covers of all time.

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Event’s organizers often need artistes, musicians, and performers to provide entertainment for their guests. Some of the performers are established acts while the majority are often up-and-coming artistes. Unfortunately, It has become a trend for event organizers to refuse to pay up-and-coming artistes, most times the excuse is that the event already provides a platform that would expose the artiste, hence there is no need for financial compensation.

crowd in front of people playing musical instrument during nighttime

In my opinion , no business should run at a loss. Unfortunately most upcoming acts run their businesses at a loss. People say that unless an artiste is a household name they really do not deserve to get paid. But on the contrary, upcoming artistes need as much money as the established acts do. They spend a lot of money on music production, photography, album art designs, radio promotions, video production, distribution and promotion. The average cost of producing music is #100,000, most photographers will charge you anywhere between #50,000 and #300,000 for a well shot photo session. The cost of promoting and distributing music runs into millions of Naira. Therefore, it would be very inconsiderate to expect an artiste who has spent all these amounts on their work to make an appearance at your event for free. Unpaid gigs and event will run your music business to the ground and it has ruined a lot of artistes and music businesses already.

Artistes should get paid just as Upcoming DJZ, Models, Vixens, Producers all get paid for their job at events.  It disturbs me why most event organizers find it difficult to compensate a new artistes for their work. Paying people for their work ensures that they also grow as a business, they become relevant in the society and ultimate helps grow the economy. An event promoter would also benefit from it as more artistes will be willing to work with you in the future and give their best because there is a financial reward. Be you a farmer, a trader, a mechanic or an artiste, if you are invited to work you deserve to get paid. An upcoming artistes job at an event is to entertain guests until the main act or main agenda comes on stage. They help to you hold your crowd together. You should be able to offer a decent amount of compensation for the Job they do for you. Without upcoming acts, people will not be primed for the main act and many may eventually leave the venue.

The problem is that there are too many desperate artiste out there who either do not understand business or are just too desperate that they pay to perform at events. The problem with this is, once you started in that direction it would be very difficult to find organizers who are willing to pay you. Because they all know that you perform for free. There is a popular saying “Do not start what you cannot finish.”

Another problem is the lack of a management for most fledging acts . Every artiste needs to have a management or a business manager whose responsibility is to ensure that the artist interest in being protected at any negotiation. They would ensure that bookings, appearance fees, endorsements are reviewed and is in the artists favor. Failure to have a management means that you may continue to accept deals that are not in your favor just because you want to present your music to the crowd.

In conclusion , Even if it is a token amount compared to established acts, please set aside a budget to compensate the work of up and coming artists. it is an insult to their work , struggle and effort to persuade them to work for free. It is also unjust and unfair. It is not a favor it is a right.