Artists blast ‘ex­ploit­ing’ pro­mot­ers

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - News - Kyle Zee­man and Athena O’Reilly

Mu­si­cian and ac­tor Phila Madlin­gozi is wag­ing war on dodgy pro­mot­ers who he claims are ex­ploit­ing artists.

The for­mer Idols SA top 16 fi­nal­ist and In­ter­sex­ions ac­tor has never been shy about blast­ing the pit­falls of the in­dus­try.

He took to so­cial me­dia on Wed­nes­day to at­tack pro­mot­ers for of­fer­ing “trash fees” and ex­pect­ing a world-class show.

“Stop of­fer­ing us trash fees when you want us to give you our best per­for­mances.

“If you can’t af­ford top-class acts, don’t book them.”

He went on to warn artists to “wake up” and not get used by “crooks”. He claimed the so­lu­tion was to cre­ate your own hus­tle.

The ad­vice comes only days af­ter he crit­i­cised artists for not speak­ing up about any­thing “real”‚ claim­ing they were too wor­ried about their image.

Bay poet Lelethu “Poet­icSoul” Ma­ham­behlala weighed in on Madlin­gozi’s sen­ti­ments

“In some sit­u­a­tions you find out af­ter the fact that you were sup­posed to have made a cer­tain amount of money, but that the pro­mot­ers took a big chunk of it for them­selves. But what I try to do is con­tract ev­ery­thing for my­self.

“An­other im­por­tant thing is to be aware of my worth and ta­lent. I only give what I am be­ing paid for, so if some­one pays me this much – and wants the work that will cost a lot more – I don’t do it.

“It is frus­trat­ing that even to­day there are artists who go home with less than R1,000 from a per­for­mance be­cause pro­mot­ers al­ways try to take big chunks of money and yes, a pro­moter is sup­posed to get a fee for man­ag­ing but they can’t then want ex­tra.

“There are a lot of dis­crep­an­cies in our in­dus­try and I am say­ing ‘yay’ for peo­ple stand­ing up and call­ing those who take artists money out,” she said.

Ma­ham­behlala said she was hope­ful that more artists would speak out.

“We don’t have a reg­u­la­tory body where we can lodge a com­plaint or cry, so we have to do it for our­selves and call those peo­ple out.”

Bay artist Earl Swartz, bet­ter known as Early B, who started his ca­reer record­ing mu­sic from his bed­room in Bloe­men­dal and is now a record la­bel artist, said this prac­tice was com­mon in the in­dus­try.

“This is usu­ally the case with up-and-com­ing artists and pro-

Lelethu Ma­ham­behlala BAY POET

mot­ers nor­mally see the po­ten­tial and then ex­ploit that artist by telling them they will be given ex­po­sure.

“Ev­ery artist is hun­gry for ex­po­sure, es­pe­cially in the be­gin­ning and they would then play on that vul­ner­a­bil­ity.”

Speak­ing from Jo­han­nes­burg, Swartz said: “I have been ex­ploited like that when I just started out in the in­dus­try, and you grow tired of it. But it comes down to the artist and what they see as be­ing fair for them­selves or when to put their foot down.

“As an artist I stopped per­form­ing when peo­ple ap­proached me with that kind of mind­set be­cause this is a busi­ness at the end of the day,” he said.

Swartz said so­cial me­dia pro­vided artists with the op­por­tu­nity to do with­out a pro­moter.

We don’t have a reg­u­la­tory body where we can lodge a com­plaint or cry

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