“We don’t know if his song is good”, “how big is his fan base?”, “who knows him?”
These are the nature of statements and questions that are heaped on managers as well as the artists themselves when they meet event organizers, sponsors, promoters, radio stations etc. but how will people know their songs if you don’t play them on the radio? How will he/she build or improve their fan base if they don’t perform at events? Who will know them if they aren’t allowed to showcase? Every artiste at some point was “upcoming”, and if there was no support from different areas, they would have remained stagnant. It may sound unreasonable and might be contended by the already established artistes but, this is my candid opinion. Upcoming artiste should be paid considerable amounts, almost even more than the already established artistes. Why?
Let me answer it like this. Of course the big artistes are worth the pay because they have a fan base that and would attract people to the show, which means more ticket money for the organizers, and a larger crowd. They very much deserve their pay, that I do not dispute but in comparison to the upcoming artistes, they should stop paying them peanuts! which most times they expect that they perform for free.
After paying for recording session, writing songs, paying transportation to the event venue, living off 18k minimum wage, that is if they have a job, while some are even students and others are jobless, you totally would be comfortable asking them to perform for free and maybe offering them a drink? That is wickedness. These big artistes have endorsements, some are ambassadors, some are record label owners, some are rich kids, own cars and mansions. They still need the pay of course, but compared to an upcoming artiste who is still building his career, shouldn’t he be encouraged with incentives? But you prefer to pay millions to the ones that are doing perfectly well, they aren’t surviving like the others, they are living large! They need also to stop taking advantage of the fact that upcoming artistes are in their building stage, therefore they use them to open shows, use their music without their consent or without due recognition, or use them as errands boys, and pay them little or nothing; therefore creating an exploitative relationship not just with the big artistes and upcoming artistes but with promoters, event organizers, radio stations and even the general society. This is an aspect of underdevelopment and a case of Karl Marx’s bourgeoisie and proletariat exploitative relationship. Although it’s not an employer-employee relationship but one side of the rich is getting richer and the other of the poor is getting poorer. The society is encouraging this, because we cannot alleviate poverty if we do not engage in practical things that can ameliorate people’s situation. In every aspect of life, we need to encourage ourselves, some of these upcoming artistes have major potential, and if there are no incentives, some of them will lose hope and begin to think that entertainment is not for them.
Whether we like it or not, they are the future of music, and the present needs to begin now to build the future to make sure we continue to have new, fresh music and that we won’t have to recycle old ones.
This article was written by Aruchi Thompson; connect with her on IG here