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Monday, 8 July 2019


It is not in my place to answer this question for you because it is a decision that you must make for yourself.

Also, if you seek clarity on what constitutes a part time or full time music career and I answer you on a face value, you will not get a full grasp of what I mean as there is more than one dimension to making a choice at this crossroad in relation to a music career.

For the purpose of this blog, I am referring to all careers in the music industry and not just music performances.

So, starting with FULL TIME MUSIC, I will split it into two; Type 1 and Type 2.

TYPE 1: FULL TIME MUSIC CAREER simply means that an individual breaths and eats music in the capacity of a songwriter or singer or instrumentalist or music producer or music director or music publisher or music promoter, etc. Simply put, he does only one of these music careers.

TYPE 2: FULL-TIME MUSIC CAREER simply means that a person combines two or more careers in the music industry. 

This person could be a performing musician and also a music producer or he is a booking agent and also a music journalist and also a music teacher, etc.

In my own opinion, he is still into full time music.

A PART-TIME MUSIC CAREER is one where a person does one or more careers in the music industry and also does another career outside the music industry.

For example, a songwriter is a part-time music professional if he is also an accountant. 

I am a part-time music professional because asides from being a drummer, singer, songwriter, music publisher, music supervisor, disc jockey and entertainment blogger, I also work in the literary business as an author and freelance writer. Sometimes I am a live artist who uses her body as an aesthetic form of expression. So far, these tasks have not yet overlapped. 

Albeit, the ratio of my music careers to my writing and art careers is about 70:30. All the same, I enjoy the things that I do. Maybe when I become an A-list musician, I may have to forgo some or all my other careers but for now, I am basking in the ambiance of a career diversity.

There is nothing wrong with being a part-time music professional if you have talents in other fields that you can explore and you are able to manage your time and resources appropriately.

Take a look at an A-list music artistes like Chris Brown who is a fantastic singer, rapper, songwriter, dancer and visual artist.

Another example of an A-list music artist in Nigeria is Simi who is a singer and also a music producer.

Her husband, Adekunle Gold, who is also an A-list music artist in Nigeria, is a songwriter, singer and graphic artist too.

Some music industry buffs will argue that a musician must only concentrate on performing music (if he is a singer) or writing songs (if he is a songwriter) because it is like having a plan B. According to them, a serious music performer must not have a plan B.

Below is an excerpt from Anastasia Brown’s book titled, Make Me A Star. Anastasia is a judge on the Nashville Star, a music reality television show in the United States of America;
“A Tim McGraw song asks, “How Bad Do You Want It?” As an aspiring entertainer, you need to ask yourself that question every single day. Becoming a star requires much more work than you can possibly imagine. Your desire and your work ethic will do as much or more to increase – or decrease – your chances for success than any talent, natural ability or bankroll you might have.

‘When I was working as an artist manager, I loved to ask potential clients; what’s your Plan B? If they had one, I knew they weren’t for me because music would always be more of a hobby for them. Maybe they had talent and maybe they wanted to be famous but they probably didn’t have the necessary drive inside themselves to overcome obstacles, endure pain and suffering on the way to success or to have the confidence to survive. That’s certainly a route to take especially these days. But that dream doesn’t interest me. If artists have a Plan B, I’ll never really believe in them because they don’t really believe in their art. Key tip: If you have a Plan B, it is most likely they will become your Plan A!

‘Parents hate to hear me say that because they usually know better than their children just how long the odds are for anyone wanting to make it in the entertainment business. They are also afraid they’ll wind up with an unemployed thirty-year-old living in their house. But this business is for people who cannot or will not do anything else and nearly every artist we interviewed for this book told us exactly that in some form or another.”
For me, the last paragraph of this excerpt is the reason why music performers do not have to put their eggs in one basket because they never know if their songs will become hits nor is it easy to get financial support to record and promote their music especially in a country like Nigeria where financial support in the form of grants and loans do not come readily for musicians and other music professionals except one goes through a record label with the hope that your union does not result in squabbles in the end like a lot of record 
label deals turn out eventually.

Some music artistes worked a 9 to 5 or were students or simply hustled like Patorranking who was a rat poison seller and bricklayer until his song, Alubarika, became a hit and he began to focus more on his music career.

Music is a risky business where  the most talented singer is not popular or the most popular singer is bankrupt.

Pick the music time frame that works for you.


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DJ Irawo said...

Thanks for reading, Dairee.

DJ Irawo said...

Thank you for reading, Dairee. What do you mean by 'the other side'?

DJ Irawo said...

Thank you for reading, Sarah and sorry for the late response.