Performing on stage could be difficult for upcoming rappers in Nigeria, mere looking at the alone could be quite tough and unforgiving, but do you know that you can overcome stage fright???
There are moments before you step out when you feel so tense that you just want to run away from performing, wishing none of it never happened. But this is perfectly normal, you’re not alone. You can beat that spine wrecking vibe on your own.
Its simply a stage fright, psychologists would prefer to call it pre performance anxiety. So when it hits you, just remember that almost all great performers felt it too at one stage in their careers. Confidence is the key to succeeding in the face of this challenge, this article will focus in how you can build yours.
1. Focus on your act
One silly mistake a lot upcoming rappers make is paying too much attention to what the audience may or may not think.
Sometimes you get tempted to start creating some bunch of scenarios in your head, these images you play is a major distraction to you.
In local Nigerian shows the crowd is usually critical so there’s very little need to spend your precious mental energy visualizing what they might think of you. Look at it this way, they are already not impressed by you so what’s the least that could happen?
If your mindset is like this, you already know that it can’t get any worse before you even step on stage. Now you know that its all about you cos the others don’t care.
2. Put on your your best attires and look great
Putting on your best clothes to perform at a show is not just a thing you do because its normal. this is a big step towards beating stage fright. It’s got very extensive psychological implications especially for an underground guy. Firstly, your best clothes might not be your finest clothes.
Your best clothes are the clothes you feel most confident and comfortable in. What you’re wearing can affect your confidence especially when you’re going to be around other impressive people. Trust Nigerians, we slay for a living!
You need to impress yourself first before you can impress anyone on stage.
Have you ever discovered your hairy armpit was oozing smell while you were on transit in a bus. It takes a toll on you, you become insecure as though the other passengers are secretly hating on you.
But they probably aren’t even aware of your presence, its just the symptoms of your own smell eating up your confidence. So clean up and have no doubts about yourself.
3. Spending too much energy on trends
Trends are seasonal and will come and go in no time. I know it is wise to maximize the opportunities presented by a trend by creating music for the purpose.
But Its really stupid to build your whole career structure in a Trend. Media attention moves on really fast and you stand a risk of getting forgotten when everything about you represents the past.
If you’re going to invest your time in a trend then do it timely and effectively. When a song becomes a hit, you should do a cover for it while its still hot.
Imagine building your work on the infamous “Oga at the top” incident that rocked Nigerian news space in 2015, your work would be obsolete by the time you’re reading this.
If you have a unique style, put more effort in promoting it. Become the trend that other people want to copy. Good music cannot die and you know that.
4. Focal topic
Your songs should have a focus meaning as an upcoming rapper, without this you might have a branding problem later. You first album or mixtape should announce your character more than anything else.
You can have hits without having a focus topic but you could be better placed for relevance if you are known to have a focal point. This is the branding problem afro pop artistes like Biggiano and MP had. Praiz has love for the girls, Young six possesses an annoying god complex and Timaya’s got his enemies.
Modern listeners are very sensitive to new artistes and without a relatable identity, you’re not making it to “most played” section of the playlist.
5. Being too selective
When you are starting out fresh, you need to put your head down and accept as offers as you can provided they comes your way. You need them more than they need you and you’re going to be using them to your advantage because it’s an opportunity for you to get exposure.
We’re not asking you to undervalue your work, we’re asking you to maximize any opportunity to your advantage. Its understandable that you want to work with big names.
You could get lucky to have Ice prince in your mixtape, but be careful because you might get carried away by that false feeling of achievement. Do not refuse the opportunity to do a collab with smaller local guys.
Having ice Prince on your song is not a guarantee that you have made it, he has done songs with many other guys like you.
A collaboration can deceive you, you can spend a lot of money trying to get a top artiste to drop a verse on your song. Or you can use all that money to promote your own singles.
Think about it, a lot of artistes don’t blow up from big name collaborations as most hits are made by upcoming acts. Ice Prince’s Oleku featuring Brymo is a good example. No one knew both of them before the song.