Midem Music Pulse – Tips to Achieve Success in the Music Industry as an Artist

How to start a music career? What does it take to stand out from the crowd as a music artist? How to achieve success in the music industry?

Midem Music Pulse helps you understand the main challenges and key trends shaping the future of the international music business via exclusive content from the Midem conference programme.

Every month, Midem conference team offers you a curated eye on Midem conference programme, to discover insightful business tips, key facts and global strategies on vibrant topics of the music industry.

Discover 5 keys to success in the music industry as an artist!

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1. Stay authentic

“I was rapping in English when I first started off because I thought hip hop could only be done in English, but I was always thinking in Hindi. When I made my first Hindi hip hop song, I started to be more connected to the people: from the local street vendors to the businessman, everyone was understanding me because it was the local slang we use in Bombay in the day to day life.”DIVINE, Artist & Founder, Gully Gang Entertainment (India)

This quote is excerpted from Midem 2019 “Mainstream vs Underground Hip-Hop in India: a Talk with DIVINE” conference. This panel discussion unveils why today’s Indian music industry is increasingly about the explosive growth of regional sounds and myriad non-film genres, as a new, young, digital audience is getting to decide its music tastes for itself.

2. Find your magic

“Transitioning from being a producer to being an artist, to struggle to be respected as an artist at the early stage of my career. I sat down and did some soul-searching for literally two years: what is my sound, who is Maleek Berry, how I am going to stand out from every other artist in this culture, what’s going to make me stand out? And I had to craft my own sound, find different chord progressions that people weren’t using, find new drum patters, find new ways to write songs that people have been writing forever.” Maleek Berry, Artist & Founder, Berry’s Room (Nigeria)

This quote is excerpted from Midem 2019 “Behind Today’s Nigerian Sounds: a Talk with Maleek Berry” session. Ambassador of the Midem African Forum 2019, he is one of the leading figures of the Afrobeats movement, he is taking the world by storm, having achieved success in the music industry globally. Having produced for some of the most exciting artists today, from Davido to Wizkid, Jidenna and Ycee, he discusses his experience and international development. He shares his vision on the growth of the African music industries and the opportunities and challenges faced by African artists in the continent and beyond.

3. Stay strong

“The artists have to not be able to sleep at night from how bad they want it. I cannot be the one who is losing sleep over it. Artists who make it are the ones who don’t see themselves doing anything else. If they didn’t do music, they would die.”Rebeca León, CEO & Co-Founder, Lionfish Entertainment (USA)

This quote is excerpted from Rebeca León’s keynote at Midem 2019. Still one of the few female managers in the business, especially in the Latin industry, she is considered as a true force and visionary, having represented Latin superstars J Balvin, Juanes and Latin music’s fastest-rising star, Rosalía. She is a tireless advocate for women in the music business, always striving to create opportunities for young women. Her keynote focuses on female empowerment in the music industry, offering an invaluable insight into being a female executive in today’s music ecosystem and breaking Latin music with its diverse cultures into the global mainstream.

4. Act cool under any circumstances

“I was in Belgium and I had this call so I’m picking up and it was Jaden Smith! I was like acting normal on the phone like “Yo what’s up bro? you good?” he was like “Yo I like your music I wanna meet you in Paris right now, let’s do a song for my album” and I was like “Yeah okay let’s get it”. Then I was like “what the fuck man, Jaden Smith!” I took the next train going to Paris and went to the studio. He was really cool showing a lot of love and we made this track for his album.”Hamza, Artist, Just Woke Up (Belgium)

This quote is excerpted from Midem 2019 “Mixing Artistic Excellence & Mainstream: a Talk with Hamza” conference. This panel discussion unveils the journey of successful hip-hop artist Hamza, his meticulous planning and his ambitious drive to achieve his goals as an artist and entrepreneur.

5. Give no matter what

“Music is not for fame and fortune, music is probable more tedious than any other profession. Whether you are in pain or not, your audience comes to watch you relieve their pain. You are like a doctor, you have to give them love when they came to watch you play or listen to your album. It is very important for a composer to understand he is a medium to give people joy and love.”Femi Kuti, Singer, New Afrika Shrine (Nigeria)

This quote is excerpted from Femi Kuti’s keynote at Midem 2019. He has been named Midem 2019 Artist Ambassador after welcoming at The Shrine, the heart and soul of Nigeria’s music scene, Midem’s second edition in Lagos. As one of the most successful African musicians today, he shares his vision on empowering the new generation of Nigerian artists and music executives, shedding the light on his own initiatives to structure and professionalise the local music industry and facilitate access to education and training.


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