When I think about the subject of consistency, my mind takes a time travel back to 2019 when the music space stumbled on Lil Frosh and Zinoleesky. From their lamba and yoruba-infused freestyles, their videos became viral pieces. One thing stood out: they were consistent with this, with as many freestyles dropping in a week.
We’ve witnessed several come up stories. Most follow the same pattern—a rising artist post a cover on IG, tagging the A-list act, it gets seen and the end result is “Welcome to DMW.”
Still consistency is every creator’s bane. You don’t get up and decide to do the same thing every day. A new day, a new problem. You wake up with pangs of tiredness. You get up to do an activity and inspiration decides to take a day off. Factor in daily life issues that spring up unannounced. Man, what else?
Yet the benefits of being consistent are huge, of enormous rewards to the artist. A look at Olamide who went on a pulsating run of seven albums between 2011 and 2017 in a period preceding the streaming era. Still the rewards were there. Olamide would soon turn out to be one who enjoyed the hybrid of streets and elites popularity. The awards wins. The hits that emerged from these albums. The yearly OLIC concerts. Would all these have happened if Olamide had taken a break after dropping Rapsodi in 2011?
Of course, different strokes for different folks. But now in the streaming era, rising artists understand to be of top priority to most listeners, to being talked about—they have to be consistent with music releases. Perhaps it’s the reason why Rema dished out three EPs in his first year or Fireboy releasing two albums in quick succession.
Rising artists know this approach better. There’s always a new artist on the prowl. There’s always a newbie who will emerge and become the focus of the music industry. If there’s no new single, there has to be a new feature, if that’s not possible, a video to a single released months ago. It’s a competitive space. You snooze, you lose. You’re inactive for a few months, you lose relevance. You stop being at the center of attention, the music space forgets you altogether.
Consistency doesn’t translate to putting out singles repeatedly, we see a form of consistency re-enacted when artists get featured on another track. Established acts know this well. There could be a period when they are in album mode but to keep being active, they give out a loosie to a DJ or a Producer. When you’re always on the minds of listeners through well-tailored timely releases backed up with social media interactions, consistency can you up to the top of the charts.
It’s this strategy Bella Shmurda is effectively using to his advantage. In the past three months, Bella Shmurda’s name has appeared on four albums—glazing Olamide, Davido, DJ Spinall and DJ Consequence albums with verses. Factor in his trendy hit, Cash App, he’s easily the most consistent rising act in that time frame.
Creatives have to understand there’s always a fanbase eagerly waiting to consume a new product. Of course fans can wait patiently for their faves to compensate them with quality music. But times are changing, if you waste a fan’s time and trust with an inferior product, they can easily look elsewhere for their cathartic relief.
Again, if you snooze, you lose. Consistency can take you from a place of obscurity to being prominent, quickly. Its antagonist—inconsistency, can consign an artist to be forgotten.
This article was written by Olabode Otolorin; connect on Instagram with him here