T-E-K-N-O…that name we all love to hear when a song comes on either on radio, TV, club, or at our favorite events.
You cannot possibly talk about the rapid growth and likeability, of African music (Afrobeats) without mentioning the name – Tekno, amongst other artistes in our fast-growing industry. Just name it, hits after hits, after hits, and he never gets tired of it. It’s like the very fiber of his every being is filled with them.
This former Abuja-based act was first introduced into the music industry with two singles titled – ‘Go Low’ & ‘Mess‘ back in 2012.
His core fans will even remember his firm impression in the music industry titled – Holiday featuring Davido. That was his break-out song if my memory serves me right. Then again, feel free to correct me (if you think that’s not the single that brought him to the spotlight). He went on to follow Holiday up with Onyenekwu (a remix to Ice Prince’s Olekwu), Anything, and the massive single that gave him the boldness to rub shoulders with the high and might at the time, – Dance, and the rest, they say, was history.
But Tekno has not always been this successful, believe it or not. Before all the glits and glamour you have come to be accustomed with today, he has had his own fair share of what every upcoming artiste would normally go through during their career which is (paying the damn dues and growing with the experiences that came along with it). As a young eaglet, Tekno wanted to learn how to fly so bad, dare greatly and hunt for his own meal, but folks who didn’t realize his true potential tried to confine him to a box. His very first label – Bodyshaker Music apparently tried doing that, but Tekno had to leave the label to pursue working with folks that will get him to the place he needed to be musically. That’s where Kay Money Entertainment stepped in. His second label made every effort to go the extra mile with Tekno because they believed in his talent and future. It was under them, he released two amazing singles (Onyenekwu and Holiday featuring Davido). Even with a very successful ride with Kay Money Entertainment, Tekno’s sight was still fixated on conquering Nigeria and Africa as a continent. Thanks to then part-owner of Triple MG –Iyanya, and his partner Ubi Frankin, Tekno’s career kicked into turbo speed. He got signed to the Made Men Music towards the end of 2013, and was given the freedom to express himself, in whatever form that was. With his new found freedom to express his creativeness, the music industry, as we know it, has never been the same ever since.
You are probably wondering by now (you impatient son of a gun), why I am giving you Tekno’s history and beginnings instead of sticking to the topic that got you here in the first place. Well to answer your question, I thought a little background about the artiste in question will give some perceptive as to how he started in comparison to where he is at the moment.
Remember y’all, this is an opinion piece, and solely my personal observation of what I have clearly seen Tekno do over the years that brought him this far in his career that we all celebrate. So don’t shoot the messenger 😉. Also feel very free to share your own opinion(s) in the comment section below.
By using Tekno as a template, I have a strong feeling this article is going to help an artiste or two out there.
Now lets dive into the “10 Things TEKNO, “The Hit Maker”, Does to Stay Relevant in the Music Industry“.
1. Stay Good Looking
You must have heard the popular saying, “looking good is good for business”. I don’t know about you, but that statement holds very true in all life situations especially if you are an entertainer. Nobody really want to associate themselves with an artiste that doesn’t take good care of their image. Therefore as an artiste, you have to make a deliberate and conscious effort to look your best at all times. From your hair, to your skin, to what you wear and how you wear them. Tekno checks out all these boxes! When you look good like Tekno, people will want to watch you on TV, see you perform on stage, have you for interviews, and make you brand ambassador to their products and services.
2. Understand Your Craft
Are you aware that Tekno is capable of playing 3 major instruments – the guitar, drums and the piano? Well if you weren’t aware, now you are. At the moment in our industry, you can count how may artistes who can actually play one musical instrument, not to talk of reading musical notations. The act of understanding how music ought to sound in this part of the world and the world in general, has been mastered by Tekno, to say the very least. When we all marvel at the ease at which the Hit songs keep on coming, we first need to understand that from the pre-production to the post-production/completion of any song, Tekno’s thought process is wired in such a way that he thinks with three distinct musical brains.
The term used to properly define this type of phenomenon is called – Musical Intelligence (which is one of the 9 types of intelligences a human can have in his or her life-time). I want to assume he is constantly thinking like this, “what cord progression will a guitarist strum here, what type of groove/kick/snare/percussion would a drummer use here, and what notes would a pianist play here?” Imagine all these processes going on in his musical brain all at the same time, no wonder the final product we hear is usually a fantastic one.
If you call yourself a musician, learn to play atleast one instrument, it would go a long way to make you more musically inclined. We should be thankful to our remarkable music producers in Africa who use their individual DAWs to produce unimaginable music that keeps us all dancing and grooving as a continent. Above all, my candid opinion will be to understand and Master your Kraft…see what I did there? 😜 Once that is done, making outstanding music will come with ease.
3. Your Showmanship Must Be 100%
Making amazing music and putting up a less-than-amazing show is definitely not an option for Tekno, that’s why he comes 100% with his performances every single time. By performances, I mean, both on stage and in his music videos.
As a matter of fact, for those of you who have either seen Tekno perform live or on TV, you can attest to the fact that he’s got dance locked down and swag pumped up to the fullest. That’s because Tekno probably realized, a very long time ago, that nobody wants to watch a boring music video, or watch an artiste’s performance on stage bore them to death…certainly not me 😏.
4. Threaten/Intimidate Your Competition
One of the rules of war, even before fighting in one, is to intimidate your opposition. I am using the art of war analogy because if you think about it, the music industry is quite saturated with all types of artistes right, left and center and it’s a jungle out there. To survive and be above the competition, one has to be smart, proactive and musically intimidating!
5. Release/Create Hit Songs For Other Artistes
Generally speaking, how do you think success is measured? Amongst the billions of quotes out there about success, I would pick this one by Confucius which says, “success isn’t measured by how much you own, but by how much more you make others become”. I am definitely not saying been successful yourself is a totally terrible idea, but true success, fulfillment, and greatness comes when you derive pleasure in making others succeed.
We have seen this practice evidently in Tekno’s career over the years. Any song he features on has been a hit and the beat he produces for other acts have also become hits. So on a record when you hear, “it’s your favorite boy, Tekno on the beat”, just forget it…you already know the song isaaaa Jammm! As Tekno keeps on adding value to our music space, the ripple effect in-turn makes his public image look great.
6. Stay Humble, Loyal And Patient
Hold your horses ✋🏽🐴! For those of you about to sky-dive me for adding this point to my piece, feel very free to counter me in the comment section below. Pop-quiz: Who do we refer to as the most humble music artiste in Nigeria? If your answer was 2Face Idibia a.k.a 2Baba, then you were right! Under normal circumstances, to be humble like 2Baba when you have money, status, girls, and pretty much anything you can think off, is a daunting task if you ask me, especially with this generation of artistes. Fortunately, for some reason, Tekno seems to be a little level-headed while others who might nibble on his status will go all out with pride (what the Yorubas call igberaga a.k.a raising shoulder). He is seen to have a very healthy relationship with other artistes out there by sampling their music on his Social Media pages, getting on collaborations, or even posting artwork of other artistes to show support. What Tekno does, is also reciprocated, so you see, it’s a win-win situation. Furthermore, in as much as we all know his outburst on Social Media atimes, you can always count on Tekno to be there to show support to his fellow colleagues in the music industry.
7. Connect And Engage With Fans On Social Media
Tekno is one artiste that does not fail to engage heavily with his fans through his social media pages. He makes this connection with his fans the very premise of his career, after the music, that is. Tekno can even be guffy atimes, go all out on a topic that’s dare to him, whatever the case may be, his followers can’t get enough of it. If people feel they can connect with you on a personal level via social media, then you have won their heart and it doesn’t matter what you do afterwards, they will always support you without thinking twice about it. Connecting with your fans is the way to go, after all, they buy your singles, albums, attend your concerts, and generally support your music career. With a combined followership of a little over 2.5 Million followers on all social media accounts, in Tekno’s case, it pays big time!
8. Work With The Best In The Industry
If you want to be the absolute best, you have to work with the best in show-business. Believe it or not, most artiste out there are short-changing their future by “managing” a little too much. Granted, not everyone has millions in their bank accounts or are privileged to have an able sponsor/label to pull off all the necessary processes to maintain an effective and consistent music career, but if investment is not made on the brightest of minds surrounding the artiste then her or she is automatically setting themselves up for a premature career. You can always tell when an artiste has a fantastic team around them by measuring their success. Needless to say, Tekno and his internal and external team are doing a fabulous job!
9. Don’t Record On Your Own Beat Often
I can’t actually remember the last time Tekno made a record on a self-produced beat. That must have happened at the very beginning of his music career, maybe. We all know that he is a formidable and quite talented music producer and has made amazing instrumentals that made some artistes in our industry more famous than they were originally. So why doesn’t he use his own beats? Well, take for example, this article you are reading. After typing it up and reading it couple of times back to back, automatically I would think everything is okay when infact it is not. The reason is because since I am the one typing it up, my brain automatically thinks all is okay with article. The best thing will be to have a fresh set of eyes go through it. The fresh set of eyes will find mistakes and grammatical error I thought was okay…you get the gist, right?
Back to the beat thing I was talking about earlier. Though you are the original owner of the concept, you might need a fresh perspective to help you create the masterpiece you seek. Now ask yourself, how are those that produce their own beat and then sing on it doing on their career path? Woss…woss..wobi, your guess is as good as mine. And for those of you out there that produce your own beats, record on it, mix and master it yourselves, rent camera and direct the video, even edit the video, all in the name of “I can do it all”, remember “Jack of all trade, master of none”, that’s exactly who you are. Continue o….just continue (in PJ’s voice 🤣).
10. Use Female Names/Short Words As Song Titles
Finally, you must have noticed the recent trend in song titles these days by our beloved musicians all over Nigeria. Song titles like DODO, DURO, PANA, WASH, BE, PANYA, IF, FALL, SOFA, YAWA, RARA, DIANA, SAMANTHA and soon to come is GO by yours truly – Tekno. The truth is, nowadays, nobody has time to be spending 5 seconds remembering your song title that’s why these artistes have devised a means to keep it SIMPLE. You can tell, Tekno is one of those that really likes to keep it simple and short. You may have also noticed that naming a song with a popular female name or just mere mention of a female name in your song, causes the song to increase in likeability? Imagine the names Genevieve, Caro, Julie, Falila e.t.c right? Using these female names increases likeability and love from female fans automatically love him by now. Remember, it’s still the femail fans that will make their boyfriend buy a ticket for two and drag them to your concert, so use your head 🤓. By using short, catchy words not more than 3 syllables and also using female names, you increase the retention of you song title and the likeability of your songs.
For those of you still waiting for GO, the single he was promoting on his Instagram page before he then dropped BE on us, you might have to wait a little longer. My thought process behind the delay would be the 50 Cent voice sample in the track. Since Tekno signed with Sony Music late last year, the right thing would be to pay and clear 50cent for the use of that sample, if not, that might just invite a lawsuit. That’s just my own thought process, but who knows, Tekno might just decide to release both at once. He can be crazy like that…good crazy! 😎