DEAR ARTISTE, YOUR TALENT IS NOT ENOUGH

Dear Artiste and indeed all creative hustlers and enthusiast if you are not aware let me break the news to you now in capital letters “YOUR TALENT IS NOT ENOUGH. I repeat “YOUR TALENT IS NOT ENOUGH”. For you to succeed in the entertainment and creative industry you need an army of some sort and a structure. There may be some outliers who defy the norms and are able to pull a solo op as the artiste, producer, marketer, PR, lawyer, gateman, video editor etc. Such artistes are a unicorn. They are few and rare. So, the earlier you realized this sacred fact the better it is for your career trajectory.
The Nigerian music industry (which is the focus of this piece) is arguably one of the biggest in Africa today. According to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), it is suggested that the industry should expect an annual growth rate of 13.4% in 2021 to reach $73m (28.5 Billion Naira) in revenue. Now think about that for a minute. As an individual, you cannot drive that value chain with just only you no matter how talented you think you are.
Yes, the industry is plagued with challenges like piracy, illegal distribution etc. I think one of the biggest challenges for our dear artiste today is ignorance and apathy to a gentleman agreement. I think the primary job of every artist is to focus on the “creative juice” and the numbers (Numbers don’t lie). Yes, you should ask questions about the numbers but that isn’t your primary job. See eh, once the well dry. E don red is that. Before you hit diminishing returns don’t you want to maximize and get the best ROI? From the word go you must be aware and understand the value chain of this industry and how each player complements each other.
If I will recommend two key professionals aside a versatile producer as you start up your career, I will recommend a lawyer and a Publicist. I cannot overemphasize the importance of having a lawyer on your team. You wouldn’t need to cry foul over a “slave contract” or a ‘360’contract if you had a trained entertainment lawyer to peruse and dissect the details (the devil is in the details) of the contract before you append your signature. And of course, you can’t do without publicity. Hire a personal PR/Publicist to laud your image and blow your trumpet.
The Nigerian afrobeat sound is a delight globally now and we can’t afford to sleep on it. It is high time we created the enabling environment for our dear artiste to flourish and serenades us with the beauty of their talent. It is time to collaborate and create a structure that will benefit all players in the value chain. We must adhere to global best practices if the industry will be taken seriously.


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