360Submission: The perils of naming a music album

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I sat down at my computer a few days back, not doing anything actually, just staring at my blank screen and reminiscing on how the Nigerian music industry has evolved over the years. Personally, judging by the kind of music floating around now, I think it has become relatively easy to do a song; after all, the only thing you need is a beat by Terry-G and a chant. But that’s not what this article is about. One issue that I think most artists are overlooking when making an album is the naming of the album.

Naming an album is like titling a book; you don’t just take any title and slap it on a book. The title of the book has to be an embodiment of the whole content of the book; it must carry a hint of the storyline or purpose of the book. So also naming album shouldn’t just be some random act, it has to be a mental or emotional exercise meant to transfer the motive behind making the album to the listeners. There should always be a purpose for giving a particular name. It’s like naming a child, you don’t just give the child any name, you have to actually think and pray (well for those that do that as some just do the naming based on many other factors these days) because you know once the child gets that name it’s never going change.

There are a few things you have to actually consider when naming album. First you think about the genre of music you do; that’s why Bez idakula (who is one of my favorite artists right now), judging by the kind of song he does should not name an album ‘Catastrophe or Danger’, that’s why Mode9 can’t have an album with the name ‘Love Boat’ except he’s doing what we don’t know him to do…sing. So when naming, understand the kind of music you do.

Secondly you must think of the songs that made the final cut; the songs that are actually going to be on the album. When you have an album with most of the songs talking about love gone sour, “Heartbreak hotel” is not too bad a name for that kind of album. Your songs must always stem from something, and that something originates the reason for wanting to make the album in the first place. Jay-z and Kanye named their recent album “Watch the throne” which is a pretty normal name for an album with more songs about bragging rights than any other thing.

Most importantly, you the artist. It’s you who’s making the album, you know why or what message you’re trying to pass across or memory or experience you’re trying to preserve. So as an artist, think about the circumstances that surrounded you prompting you to make the album, that should be a guide on what you should name your album.

Like I said earlier, this article is directed mainly at those who do conscious music; those who actually sit down to write songs and plan an album. So if you can’t name your album properly, outsource it, that way your fans will be happy, the kid you gave the job to will be happy and the government will be happy with you too for reducing the amount of unemployed youths by 1. Ultimately, it’s your choice whatever you choose to name your album, just be careful when doing it, am sure nobody wants to walk to a music store only to buy a an album titled “Blue love”with a flower album cover design that starts spewing out gangster rap when thrown into a player.




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1 comment

  1. Thank you so much for such an enlightening perspective, before this I never was aware of how many aspects that needed to be taken under consideration before naming a music album. I also completely agree with you, too many artists these days take this process for granted and come up with names for their albums that often does not have any connection to the content and message of the album. As for any aspiring artists out there, think carefully before naming your album as who you are as an artist can be defined by just a simple title.

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