For underground rappers, coming up on stage at a show in Nigeria could be really difficult. The crowd could be quite tough and unforgiving. But you can overcome stage fright in Nigeria.
There are moments before you step out when you feel so tense that you just want to run away from performing, wishing none of it never happened. But this is perfectly normal, you’re not alone. You can beat that spine wrecking vibe on your own.
Its simply a stage fright, psychologists would prefer to call it pre performance anxiety. So when it hits you, just remember that almost all great performers felt it too at one stage in their careers. Confidence is the key to succeeding in the face of this challenge, this article will focus in how you can build yours.
1. Focus on your act
One mistake a lot of young and inexperienced rappers make is to pay too much attention to what the audience may or may not think.
Sometimes you get tempted to start creating scenarios in your head, these images you play is a major distraction to you.
In local Nigerian shows the crowd is usually critical so there’s very little need to spend your precious mental energy visualizing what they might think of you. Look at it this way, they are already not impressed by you so what’s the least that could happen?
If you have this mindset, you already know that it can’t get any worse before you even step on stage. Now you know that its all about you cos the others don’t care.
2. Put on your best clothes and look great
Putting on your best clothes to perform at a show is not just a thing you do because its normal. this is a big step towards beating stage fright. It’s got very extensive psychological implications especially for an underground guy. Firstly, your best clothes might not be your finest clothes.
Your best clothes are the clothes you feel most confident and comfortable in. What you’re wearing can affect your confidence especially when you’re going to be around other impressive people. Trust Nigerians, we slay for a living!
You need to impress yourself first before you can impress anyone on stage.
Have you ever discovered your hairy armpit was oozing smell while you were on transit in a bus. It takes a toll on you, you become insecure as though the other passengers are secretly hating on you.
But they probably aren’t even aware of your presence, its just the symptoms of your own smell eating up your confidence. So clean up and have no doubts about yourself.
3. Don’t miss the sound check
At local Nigerian shows, you just have to be on time meet the sound check. Your confidence can take a blow when you’re not sure about how you’ll sound when you eventually step up in front of the crowd.
So when you’re doing a mic check with the sound gadget guys hours before the show, you can kick a little 16 bars in front of the empty seats just to hear yourself. This will help you know how to hold the microphone for your best voice, make sure you navigate around the stage to avoid areas where your mic could pick up an interference.
If you’re not going to perform live, all the better for you. What you need to do now is to make sure you’re CD or mp3 is playing well without delay. It’s very embarrassing if your song doesn’t play when you’re ready up on stage, in front of the all the eyes.
You really don’t want that. You can fill the vacuum by doing other things since your microphone still works but it takes skill and experience to keep the crowd engaged while the sound guys figure out how to fix the situation…and they might never fix it till you’re time is up.
Anyway do all you can to ensure your song plays, except you’re good at coming up with a plan B on the spot.
4. Disregard your previous bad experiences
Every artiste has had one or many bad days, this can really mess with your head and make you feel inferior. You probably haven’t moved on from your last disaster but now is the right time for you to ignore it.
Frankly the audience don’t care about what happened before, they just want to have a good time and all that matters to them is what you’re offering today. You’re not the first to have a bad stage experience, you won’t be the last so get on with your act.
5. Practice your act till you know it like your name
The importance of rehearsal in stage performance cannot be overstated, you get very insecure when there is a possibility that you might forget your verse halfway. Except you’re Vector the viper who can step on any show and murder it with a freestyle, I suggest you take this seriously to overcome stage fright.
You need to put your act on a table and pick out all the errors one after the other till its perfect. You wouldn’t stutter if I wake you up and ask your name, it wont matter if your were too sleepy or too whatever. You wouldn’t make a mistake.
That’s the way it should be, your performance should go above distraction so you don’t get knocked off your stride when a couple of punks in the audience start jeering.
Nobody knows your rap like you do, you’re the best rapper of your verses so its time for you to perform with that same recklessness you use when you’re busting in your bathroom.
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