Me­di­ocrity is Cel­e­brated in Nige­ria’s Mu­sic In­dus­try

THISDAY - - SHOWBIZFLAIR -

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.

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