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Mr. Superstar Howz about being Mr. Professional first

March 2, 2017

 

 

This article was written by a friend who has been in the events business for a long time and he approached me to ask if it would be ok to post an article he has put together... The views expressed in the article below are solely his views and I really hope you guys read with an open mind and discuss it... 

Enjoy... 

I am writing this simply to address one pretty annoying trend in the music industry - live performances by Nigerian artistes, or the lack of it.  So I want to have an event and I feel the need to include some form of entertainment so I contract an artiste.  Negotiation comes and the artiste says he wants x millions despite him not being Tuface, Psquare or D'banj. He isn't timaya or Wande coal. Definitely isn't Wizkid, Davido, Terry G, Phyno, Olamide, 9ice, Omawunmi, tiwa savage, Waje or any of the more established artistes in Nigeria.  This is an artiste who has 2 singles that sound like all the other songs out there, so he really has no edge per se. Yet he wants x millions. So u give him a reduced part of this x million, contract signed, date sealed. You tell him what you want since you hate and detest the ordinary prance & sing that Nigerian artistes enjoy doing. You explain to him that its a corporate gig with the CEO and a lot of senior managers so he should dress a bit corporate. Something an x million artiste should know.  In his contract is clearly stipulated date, fee and performance time with other key deliverables like punitive measures for defaulting. But he only reads the page that has the agreed x million and signs together with his manager who is only to happy to tag along.  Event day arrives and you call artiste manager in the morning to remind him of performance again even though he should have marked it in his calendar. This is necessary because he could be playing Fifa with his manager and forget all about the performance and advance fee paid. Event kicks off and you place another call to manager reminding him that it is imperative that artiste comes in as agreed in the plan. A minute too early or late and it ruins the wow effect U want to create for the audience who are tired of the regular prance & sing that Nigerian artistes love and enjoy. Few minutes to performance, you are told that he is 2 minutes from the venue even though the contract says he should be backstage 30 minutes to performing. 25 minutes after he was meant to b on stage, artiste & mgr comes in like they are doing you a favour & expecting you to apologize for his lateness.  You restrain yourself from slapping them and signal the MC that artiste is here. MC gives a rollicking introduction and artiste jumps on stage. Artiste prances up & down lazily miming to his song with his voice barely audible panting breathlessly only after 3 minutes. He stops the music and goes on to discuss irrelevant nonsense with the uninterested audience for all of 2 minutes, then goes "DJ track 2". He does some more lazy prancing & miming and after d 2nd song, walks off the stage and straight into the car with mgr and drives off. The idiot forgot that in his contract he is expected to do a photo op with CEO and senior managers of the brand team; he just drives off. You are left wondering what the hell just happened while artiste goes off happy at his mediocre performance & waits for the next phone call.  You have decided to make this a career so why not bloody well do it professionally?  This can be achieved by doing the following; 1. Practice! Practice!! Practice!!! It's not rocket science. Instead of playing Fifa just do some voice exercises. 2. Hit the gym or jog. If you do not have the stamina to perform 2 songs what will you do when your album comes out? Faint after every show? 3. Learn how to sing to a backing track. Get a back up singer if you want but it is fraudulent to mime your songs to an audience. 4. Read the fine prints of every contract before signing and not just where the amount to be paid is printed. Read man, READ. 5. Surround yourself with people that will actually help build your career & not just 'your boys'. Your boys don't know shit & just want to tag along.  Lastly be a bloody professional about timing and the performance generally. Give people value for that money you think you are worth. This is why Psquare is able to charge N10 million per performance and are paid. Why Tuface can get N6-N8 million and D'banj (as much as we all think his career is spiraling down) can still reject N4 million for a live band performance. Nuff said.

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