Reading Books Would Help Musicians Write Better Music

Imagine yourself in a college speech course. Your assignment: a brief speech on “the importance of reading music articles as an artist.” Over late-night cups of coffee, you outline the music industry and what it means to you.

You devote a lot of time to this assignment – _ all, this speech might be the only clear expression of the knowledge of music journalist your classmate will ever hear.

But what if you were asked to write up the speech for your local paper/blog? Instead of a few dozen listeners, you would have thousands of readers. Undoubtedly, you would devote even more time and care to prepare.

Let your imagination run even further. How6 86t would you react if you were asked to adopt this same speech for a front-page story on a world-known digital distribution platform? This platform has sophisticated, demanding readers. In writing for them you would meticulously pore over every word, polishing phrases and making sure your thoughts were complete and well-expressed.

There are many ways a musician can hone their skills and get inspired, and reading books can stimulate a creative mind, and lead to creative breakthroughs.

The relationship between music and books isn’t an immediately obvious one. However, the more musicians I converse with about the relationship with books; the clearer it becomes. For one, inspiration can be drawn from many mediums; but books seem to be of specific importance to musicians. Perhaps it’s the demand for conciseness of the narrative of each song, or the searching for rhythm in the use of words in songwriting that mirrors putting pen to page. Whatever it is; I was excited to have another opportunity to talk books with some incredible people from the world of music and ask them about the importance of reading books show it contributes to their art of music-making.


The importance of reading books and other materials cannot be overstated. Irrespective of whatever profession you practice, if you don’t read and expand your knowledge base, you are inadvertently setting yourself up for a crash; one you may not be able to recover from.
In the world of today, information goes obsolete at the speed of light. That means what was hot, trending gist this morning is already stale, boring news by midday.

Having said that, writers, more than any other professionals, need to read to survive. The best way to build one’s vocabulary is by reading books. Books help to broaden one’s horizon and gives one a more holistic world view. So, it actually goes without saying that musicians would definitely write better songs with more engaging and in-depth lyrics, if only they read more.

It is common knowledge that the quality of lyrics of Nigerian songs these days is nothing to write home about. They are mostly shallow and mundane, betraying the fact that our musicians are not readers and invariably don’t have the capacity to write lyrics that could last ‘forever’ and be referred to as classics (evergreen). To improve their craft, Nigerian artistes have to lay off Instagram and Facebook for a while and read real books.

– Tofarati Ige
Lifestyle Editor, Punch Newspaper


Bro, only those who have knowledge will share knowledge. I will give you an instance, Harrysong is one of the best songwriters to come out of this clime, but all his records are mostly melody, slangs they just coin to fit in without brilliance. You can’t share what you don’t have or know
Jesse Jags, on the other hand, might not be as successful but every line, every track he ever laced has brilliance all over it. Music is poetry, art and to write intelligent metaphors and all, to tell stories and educate you to need to read, you need to acquire knowledge, especially if you are a rapper. So yes sir!

To write good you need to read, you need to study, you need to be knowledgeable to teach. Writing and making music is more than the art it is art + teaching, unlike painting or drawing, what you see impacts more than what people see.

– Mazi Kaycee Ichie Oguejiofor
Talent Manager/A&R/International Journalist

People, who love to read are often asked questions like this: “What one book would you most want along if you were stranded on a deserted island?” If it were you been asked, what would your answer be?

Let’s discuss in the comment section below.

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