Last week, Sauti Sol launched their long awaited third album “Live and Die in Afrika”. While there have been a couple of albums by African artists released in the recent past, this one stood out for me. The execution was perfect and clearly well thought through, an aspect that only a few artists consider, resulting into low sales. Without a doubt, great talent sells. However, those who do exceptionally well think of it as a business, investing in a proper strategy with realistic goals in mind.
Here are top 5 lessons I got (and every artist out there should) from the execution of Sauti Sol’s album, which I think will contribute greatly to its success.
1. Create an early buzz; make people anticipate.
I cannot remember where I heard about the “Live and Die in Afrika” Album but months before it dropped, I knew about it. Creating an early buzz about an album leads to anticipation from one’s audience, giving them something to look forward to. With this, your audience wants to keep track of you and your activities, which cultivates loyalty.
2. Album title is just as important.
As important as human names are, so is an album’s name/ title. Ensure that the name chosen captures the album’s message in entirety, just as Sauti Sol did on this one. Let it tell a story which would make people want to identify with and therefore buy the album.
3. Album cover should compliment the title.
Stylist Annabel Onyango without a doubt did an awesome job on the album cover of “Live and Die in Afrika”. It is commendable how the rich African culture as well as the pride and honor that comes with being African is captured. Even without knowing the title or listening to the album, one can already pick the story from it, which is what a good album cover should do. Remember, people are attracted to what they see first (which in this case would be album cover) before they begin to read (the title). Make the first glance count, hooking your audience and making them want to give your album a chance.
4. Get the who is who of the industry to talk about it.
Getting influential people in the industry to “make noise” about your album goes a long way in marketing it. This is so as influential people are credible and people are more likely to give your album a chance based on their recommendation. Also, they help to get their own audience to you, which creates a wider fan base in addition to your own audience.Among those who helped to create a buzz about the album include Blogger Xtian Dela, Tanzania’s Vanessa Mdee, Nigeria’s Yemmi Alade and….
5. Ensure easy accessibility of your album/song.
Its already hard enough to get people to buy an album, with the available variety of sites that provide the option of free downloads.Also, people are more likely to down load individuals songs that they like, as compared to down loading an entire album. The good news however is that everyone likes free stuff. Therefore, it would be much easier to convince your audience to down load your album by making it free and easily accessible to them. Sauti Sol may have realized this and resorted to making their album available for free down loading on Safaricom’s website for 48 hours. And yes, the down loads were overwhelming to the extent of making the web site hang. They may not have made money from it but this was good marketing which led many to knowing and talking about the just released album.
Share your thoughts on what other lessons other artists can borrow from the execution of the “Live and Die in Afrika” album.