Music videos’ importance to the musician can never be overemphasized and that is why close to all the artists want to put out the best music videos. In fact, most makeshift labels have branched into video production to cash on this insatiable hunger to be noticed. Could it be because most djs who play live music in clubs have reverted to video ‘mixes’ and that will then disadvantage the average musician? This trend has set the bar so high but do the musicians and their management do a cost-benefit analysis of such an investment?
This is where the issue of albums and singles come in. How many albums are released every year in Kenya? Not that many, perhaps due to the low return on investment. Save for vernacular musicians, majority of those doing pop go the singles’ route. Ideally. the essence of a video is to promote a project, say an album. This has however changed as many online audio-visual platforms like Facebook and Youtube have increased demand for videos. Though the quality of videos has improved , the production cost has generally increased thus forcing the musician to dig deeper into his pocket. But does the return justify the expenditure?
A good video ensures you increased bookings, media interviews, and merch sales and that’s what the artists bank on. This, therefore, means that if you are not ready with a a branding strategy, the thought of investing big in videos should take a backseat in your mind. You may be asking what I mean by an artist being a brand, right? Well, this is a state when the musician has already created a name and a profile to go by it and done the necessary marketing. If the artist has branded him/herself, then investing in a good video will improve on what is already going on and in the process the musician is likely to earn more fans, and interest from blogs. This is the beginning of a to-be-successful career in music.
So as an upcoming artist, you need to record a couple of good audio singles and create an audience as you slowly build your brand. If you go the album route, then you will need to produce videos for 3 to 4 singles and release them before actually offering the album for sale. This will be a very good marketing strategy. However, if you prefer doing singles, then you can smartly decide which records to offer as video singles since, its is not easy to produce a video for each single you record.
Having said all that, I hope that, as an artist or manager, you will settle on a good strategy to build your career.