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Visual branding, why you need it

A weekly post of tips to help aspiring artistes and musicians become successful music recording super stars.

In this week's post of 'Industry Tips' we take a look at the importance of visual branding to artistes. What is visual branding in the first place?

With regards to music artistes, visual branding can be defined as the feeling or perception a music consumer associates with a singer, musician or rapper.

To put it in simpler things, visual branding is what your fans or listeners feel when they see you either on TV, in a music video, on stage or in a public place.

Listen guys, the game is too crowded right now. There are more musicians right now than there has ever been in history. With attention spans at an all time low, artistes have to strike a deep connection with a music listener fast before the small window of concentration closes.

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In other words you have to be memorable. It is one thing to be a hot artiste or have a hit single, but if you don't look the part and stick to people's minds as a result of your visual branding, then you will be lost in the crowded sea of artistes trying to establish themselves.

Great artistes present and past, have always had a certain 'look' that generates a strong 'feeling' that does not leave the minds of their fans easily. Fela Kuti wore tight bell bottoms to go with his Afrocentric sound. Sir Shina Peters was known for his flashy sunglasses as he ushered in 'Afro-Juju' to the mainstream scene.

An example of modern day artistes who have visual branding locked down are Ice Prince Zamani, and Eva Alordiah. The two rappers have the best look when it comes to imagery and branding.

Ice Prince's branding compliments his flashy and trendy style of music. Whenever and wherever you see Ice Prince you are glued to him. It's not about the brands he rocks, it is how he co-ordinates what he wears to generate a strong visual aesthetic that makes you connect with him, and not forget him quickly. You remember him for this.

Eva Alordiah is a rapper who flirts with the eclectic side of the genre. She is edgy, vibrant, and bold. Take a look at her pictures, and you can easily pick out these characteristics. Eva does not have to go half-naked for you to remember her. Her red mo-hawk or bald look invites you into her world which opens you up to her music.

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This visual brand stuff is like toasting a woman. If you come up all sloppy, chances are women will not pay attention to you.  You have to dress the part, to get the part. I am sure you have heard that before.

A lot of Nigerian acts don't dress like stars (I hate to single anyone out but Chuddy K readily comes to mind). There visual branding is shabby. Talent or no talent, it will be hard for them to stick out.

Visual branding does not only entail how you dress. It involves everything from your  artwork, posters, music videos, vines and even Instagram pictures. You can never see Ice Prince with a wack artwork. The dude is meticulous to create an imagery that will draw you to his music. Upcoming artistes should take all these into consideration when building their careers.

You readily know the kind of feeling you will get from a Kanye West video (unpredictability), the type of theme from a Nicki Minaj video (a lot of sexual imageries), and the perception from a Lady Gaga video (crazy).

What do people perceive when they watch your music video? Is it the same old bland concept, or is it something unique and different.

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I keep saying this all the time. Talent is not enough, as a matter of fact it is just ten percent. How you look and the emotions you invoke in people when they see you or watch your videos plays a whole lot more.

Go to the drawing table and create an image for yourself that will strike the right chord within people and make you a superstar.

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