Written by: Tarr “Jay U Boye” Woryonwon
Liberian music has been very slow to catch-up with the rest of the world because of so many flaws that Liberian record label owners refuse to acknowledge. Some record label owners believe flying their artistes abroad to have them feature some big names in the music industry around Africa is the solution to getting their artistes becoming mainstream stars. After those big money features they will then pay foreign media like blogs, radios, televisions, content producers to promote their songs but with all of these efforts, they haven’t been able to even get their artistes become an up and coming artiste in Africa for mainstream. Managing of Liberian artistes hasn’t been fruitful for the past years.
Let me salute whomever that is managing Kaandace Cooper. Though there’s more to be done but they have an idea of how the industry runs and how to get their artiste on mainstream platforms. More often when you post a video as an ordinary Facebook and Instagram user with a Liberian song on that video, Facebook/Instagram usually associate you with that song or give you ownership of the song. Why? Because they do not recognize the owner of the song and they will say Original audio by #the user. it’s because Liberian record labels do not know how these things are done or they are just ignorant.
I was amazed when I did a TikTok video, edited it outside of social media and to promote Liberian song, I used Kaandace Cooper song, “Answer me”. I uploaded the video to TikTok and then I uploaded it to Instagram Reel. Instagram immediately recognized the audio and who it belongs to. They then added it to Kandace Cooper’s “Answer me” page. The song carries the cover of Kaandace Cooper Answer me cover.
Liberian artistes and their record labels will blame it on Liberian fans for not supporting their work but realistically Liberian fans are the number one supporters of entertainment in general in Africa and they support their own. The problem is the inability of these record labels selling Liberian music to their fans in the right way.
Social media has made it easy for all artistes around the world to be able to sell their music to a global audience. Nigerians, Ghanaians, South Africans, Tanzanians and other African countries are taking advantage of it and it has been working for them. One of the outrageous strategies and promotion that Liberian artiste managements carry on is giving a Liberian song to foreign content producers to promote to audiences that the song will never resonate with. What a waste of resources?
Liberian song can only be well promoted by Liberian content promoters who understand the content and audiences that the song resonates with. Audiences that understand a content that resonates with them can better sell the content to other audiences that do not understand the content. The World follows trends. When a small group of people start to run a campaign for a content and that campaign starts to trend, the World will have no choice but to follow suit. Social media users want to get notice, want more followers and being a part of a viral video can help them reach their target.
Diamond platnium sings in his dialect that only his country understands and he became that mainstream artiste through his own people without a feature from the start. Shatta Wale of Ghana did not do any feature of international artistes in his career, he did not travel to pay foreign promoters to become relevant in Africa but he stayed right at home and got a feature with Beyonce. Today he’s a mainstream artiste and that happened right within Ghana. As the Liberian saying goes “If your house don’t sell you the street won’t buy you”.
Whenever a Liberian news gets on foreign blogs that means it is being trended amongst LIBERIANS first. Examples: The power outage at RIA, Princess Cooper’s death, Quincy B’s death. all these stories went viral because LIBERIANS made it go viral, so it should be with the music industry. I see Liberian artistes paying foreign content producers that have over a million followers but yet still the song hasn’t been heard by 20% of the population in Monrovia.
Now let me guide you on how you can become a mainstream artiste without a feature of any foreign artiste. You first of all have to work hard to have your own people “LIBERIANS” sell your artistes to the World, not you. How?
USE YOUR RESOURCES WISELY.
Instead of paying foreign artistes for a feature and paying foreign media,
Pay Liberian blogs and public figures with higher followings to promote your songs. Also pay Liberian social media users, at least 15 to 20 persons to start a campaign for a challenge of your songs on Facebook and Instagram reel. Make sure they have high followings on TikTok as well. These users should be creative with their challenge and hash tagging your artistes and the song name #xyzchallenge.
Do not produce a song and because you think it’s a hit on radio so LIBERIANS will be force to promote it on social media or because you are of the perception that your artiste is big so you don’t need to reach out to those blogs and social media users who are LIBERIANS, you will be dead wrong and trust me your artistes will always perform Infront of community audience but not a global audience for profit making.
ENROLL YOUR MUSIC IN FACEBOOK MONETIZATION:
sharing music has taken on a whole new level, giving musicians the power to share their music with a global audience at the click of a button. So your song must be enrolled in Facebook monetization. It allows creators to put your music in the content they create and share on Facebook and Instagram. You can earn additional revenue when creators use your music in their content on both platforms. Make sure to submit and monetize tracks on Facebook/Instagram that you have the exclusive rights to.
Kaandace Cooper’s management team started this and they are on the right path. They need to do more though but it’s a great start. I will come up with part two of this article to go in details on how you can monetize your songs on Facebook/Instagram and TikTok. If you thought this article was educative, please share.