How To Handle Competition As A Musician


Your fanbase belongs to a unique group of individuals, who not only like YOUR MUSIC, but music similar to your music.

Remember this golden thought. “If you are not out there promoting your music, someone else is out there promoting their music”. There is a tremendous amount of competition out there. THINK….what can you do that no one else has done, or better yet…steal a creative idea from someone else…heck, every advertiser in the world does this, why not you?!

Competition is inevitable.

Currently in the Nigerian music industry, the heat is on.  You have to know the game like the back of your hand.

Wishing competition away isn’t it.

Flash news: Competition will not go away.  It will always show up.  And most times it will show up strong, fresh and sometimes make you look stupid. Staying in your comfort zone and telling yourself that your fans are still loyal to you despite the obvious is living in denial.

Developing a good attitude towards competition is the best way to deal with it. Here are a few tips on how to build a right attitude towards handling competition:


Find your Niche

Find your niche and carve your music around it.

What are your strong points?

What do fans like about you?  This is so you can build on it.

Stay you. Being unique is not a bad idea. So if you have an acceptable style of music-stick to it. You’ll be known and recognized for that.  At least people are buying you for something.


Up your game, tighten it up.

Watch the game closely.  In fact study it like a book. Understand the market; look for success patterns amongst the top dogs.  There must be a trace. I’m not saying you should make someone else’s success your yard stick.  No.  Do desire to surpass but also study those who seem to be ahead of you.  Do your home work and then raise the frigging bar.

Expect Competition

Expect competition.

Do not pretend that competition is not there. He is there and if you are not careful, he might get your fans.  Be prepared.  Focus on your craft and do not make watching every move of the competition your top priority.

Respect Competition.

Commend and admit to yourself- he’s good, especially if he really is. For you, now is the time to ask what am I good at?  I mean think like this:  “the competition is good at what he does and so am I.  Now what’s the extra I’ll bring in that will put me ahead?”

Your fans

Please understand that you can’t have it all- I mean you can’t have them (fans) all.  Know your ‘own’ fans and do all you can to please them. They are like your customers.  Customer is king; hence your fan is king.  Regarding the rest of the public, make your music appealing to all.    Communicate a message.  One by one, more people will embrace your gospel and that’s how you gain more fans.   But for now, focus and work more on keeping the ones showing you love and once in a while reach out to grab the attention of the others.  Do this strategically.

Stay Relevant

Stay relevant to the game.  Bring something into the industry; contribute to the progress of Nigerian music generally.  Let your name be tied to something new (you know, like Fela).   Also, be incomparable before your fans.

Do this in such a way that no matter what close competitor you get (for example someone who does music very close to what you do) you will not lose your ground.


Understand that anyone can blow; it is not that fame cheats.

Haven’t you noticed those with fresh music and unique styles are usually well accepted.  No one wants what’s on ground already, unless it’s a remix.

If the industry is crowded with those who do your kind of music, find a way to set yourself aside.  All the best for you if there’s more crap than tap, then it’s easier to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

Competition should not scare you. Tackle it head on. Mind your music business, know what you are doing and make pleasing your fans top priority.




Esther Fabunmi is the head of  Entertainment Ideaz ( an entertainment social enterprise),  and  bank manager of  Talentz Bank (, a music business resource and networking platform dedicated to help entertainers ‘turn from talent to cash’. Facebook/Talentz Bank, Twitter: @talentzbank.




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