Tribe’- A socially, ethnically, politically cohesive group of people.
A society larger than a band but smaller than a state.
We are all looking for a tribe. A place where we belong.We all want to be heard and to be known one way or the other. To make a difference in this world.
This is the desire of every creative artist- Writers, Musicians, Communicators especially want this. I fall into this category of Artist who needs to know their words are making Impact and generating some form of Influence and relevance around.
I woke up this morning with a mood, I had so much going on my mind, coupled with the many voices wanting to air their views in my head. It’s been about two weeks since the release of my official music video, and I have just been unnecessarily worried about nothing!
In the course of the release I have been made to realise that one of the factors responsible for accessibility in this 21st century is Community!
We know we need community. So how do we build this community? That was on a major question that I have been asking all day? In an attempt to make sure this work reaches a wider audience we (myself and my team) have put up systems to help us achieve the wider coverage we want and to also measure the success. But sometimes, it just feels as if you’re not doing anything!
Being a musician, that challenge is much more pronounced, because people have said that having a community is a game of numbers while another school of thoughts says it about the relationship. Who is right and who is wrong?
I think it’s a combination of both.
We cannot shy away from the fact that as a result of the internet and social media age, we have a lot of crowd of admirers and ‘yes ‘ men, It is almost impossible to find the few dedicated fans and followers.
We build our fame and popularity to reach a lot of people so we can influence a few. why can’t we skip the in-between? If I am reaching whom I need to reach now, why not forget all the marketing hype and just go deep with the few?
I believe my dilemma has been the fact that I do not make popular music because that’s not what I am about. It’s about creating music that challenges and also addresses the need of man- I guess that explains why I never “hammer” that’s the Nigerian cliche for material gains.
In the early days of my professional music career/ministry, I was told to do “commercially -inclined songs” for the sake of popularity and ‘quick’ monetary gains( as a Christian artist). Don’t get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with being popular or having a few hundreds of thousands of bucks.
I was willing to go through radical length to stay true to my work, which is about making Impact with every word and every song that comes out from me to the world, which may not make me a “popular jingo”
Reminds me of this great story in the bible in which Jesus was preaching to a great multitude and then he said something outlandish!
He had just fed the multitude by performing an awesome miracle, by feeding the multitude, that would seem like a perfect opportunity to announce his ascent to greatness to get support as the messiah because the people will buy-in, they had just been fed! Instead, he told them to eat his flesh and drink his blood. like seriously?
Instead, he told them to eat his flesh and drink his blood. like seriously? that was hard for the multitude to swallow, they all went their ways, after all, they got what they wanted- the physical food, every other thing was just Mr Rabbi’s rambling. Everybody else hit the road, except the 12 disciples.
They stay with him, and when asked, the reply was they didn’t have anywhere else to go! it was like affirming to Jesus, “we are in this together”. That’s the whole essence of having a fan-base or followership or viewership or whatever. We are want to belong somewhere, somehow!
Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.
If we communicate a message worth hearing long enough, people will rally around it if we have something worth saying. I know I have something worth saying and something worth listening to, and I know that finding that tribe may take a while. It is a continuous journey.
Before you begin growing your brand and building your tribe, you got to pause for a moment and decide beforehand, when will you be happy? what will make you happy?
What will success look like? Is it a record deal? A grammy? or International tours?. I have written down what my music success will look like, and for an Independent artist like me, it looks like an impossible goal. But I know whom I believe.
Finding one’s tribe is not just a function of content alone, you have to stop worrying about being heard and pay attention to the work you are doing. That’s kind of a suicide mission for a musician. How will I not worry about being heard, if that’s the essence of my work? It like a contradiction.
The truth is that, as you focus more on your craft, you become more generous because music in itself is life, and life requires reaching out to help others. As you help you are also been helped!
This is the first part of this post, I hope to post the second and concluding part in the coming week.
Enjoy a beautiful weekend!