Mediocrity is Celebrated in Nigeria’s Music Industry
Aisha Odey is an artiste manager and PR Consultant who helps talents grow. Over the years, she has carved a niche for herself in the industry, working with Reminisce, Minjin, MC Galaxy, Toby Grey, Teddy A and a host of others. She discusses with
Tosin Clegg her struggle to prevent artistes from sounding alike
How did your journey into Music begin?
My journey into the music business started in 2008 but it was actually a diversion from my initial goal of being a career dancer. It happened that I had been to a couple of music video auditions and was turned down because of the uniqueness of my skin and how small minded people react to what they don’t understand. Thankfully, I saw beyond my dancing, an ambitious and passionate lover of great music. This was a cue to put aside my love for dancing as a profession.
How has it been, working with all these artist es?
I met Reminisce that same year and we bonded, he invited me to his video shoot (Kako bi Chicken) and also assigned me the role of selecting the vixens for the shoot. In the course of 10 years, I have had the opportunity to work with YQ, Tinny Entertainment, Pepenazi, Bukky Wright, Oneplus (sound engineer) Oludare (director), among others. I have activated engagements for Bovi, Ycee, Reekado Banks, Lil Kesh, Runtown, 9ice, Falz, Francis Odega, BOJ and some pro bono for budding artistes. I have also done media strategies for BEZ & Kayswitch. Currently, I’m the Artiste Manager to McGalaxy, Minjin & Toby Grey, and Public Relations Manager to Teddy-A.
What’ s the most challenging thing about managing?
The most difficult thing about managing talents in Nigeria is that mediocrity is widely celebrated and the talented ones are ignored or not accorded befitting audience. If there’s no result or encouragement for these talents, it also affects their performance and there’s no impetus to even be a better version of themselves. Rather, they are pressured to sound like the next artiste making waves at the moment, sacrificing their authenticity for fame they may or may not get. So, a talent manager who can’t properly advice and influence the artiste would perceive him/herself as incompetent, if they give in to the whims of the panicked artiste.
How do you perceive the state of music business in Nigeria?
The music business in Nigeria is steadily improving each day and becoming the best in Africa but with more genuine support of each other, we will grow even bigger, rather than compete for the top alone. Important values of love, fairness and kinship need to be promoted in the industry, rather than hoarding opportunities from underground talents.
What are the costly mistakes artist es make?
The most costly mistake artistes make is when they get carried by the moment of grace and limelight; when they throw humility outside the window for shiny new fame, forgetting that more work is needed to maintain that status. Too easily, a new talent emerges every day and in little time, they fade into insignificance while their managers, promoters with better insight wax on stronger.