Scaling the subject of relationships in the entertainment industry, Nigeria in particular, is a hard one to dissect these days. As we have seen the rise and fall of empires, social connections and overall strain in public relationships.
Industry practitioners are dragged over wanting more and better for themselves, others are getting trolled for being complacent and indifferent as regards their relationships, but what then can we make of these dramas?
Through the phases of artistic ascension and dominance, we have witnessed the birth and deaths of business and creative unions, Mohits became defunct, Timaya and Patoranking, Psquare decided they wanted out, Reekado banks left Mavin, Ycee divorced with Tinny, Runtown and Dilly, Olamide and Lyta, and more recent King Patrick and Peruzzi.
Prolific hit maker Samklef who’s production reserve birthed some of the careers of our beloved artists has something to say. In a post he shared via his social media platforms, Samklef expressed thus;
In the same thread, Talent Manager and A&R consultant Bizzle Osikoya also pushed further saying;
“I no longer manage creatives. The hardest thing about managing artists is that artists are divas. When they start they re humble, once they get the money they change. A lot of them will tell you that they won’t be like others but I have worked with a lot of people so I know better. All the top guys right now Davido and Wizkid, I ‘ve seen them when they didn’t have money and when they got money. So trust me I can tell you money changes people”
This is a handpick of industry practitioners that have also shared their views on dealing with emerging and existing Nigerian artists. Now whether it is peculiar to just the Nigerian biome is a question of what these artists have up in their head.
The problem with these takes is that the so-called key players are never the cause in these conversations and sometimes the split can be an offshoot of a character deficit in the relationship that never comes to light. We have had cases of contract and relationship splits but these decision-makers are never held accountable for anything. It is always one flaw or negligence of an artiste that breaks the damn table.
There’s also the argument that the so-called financiers and label owners are also part of the problem. Theirs is a function of leveraging on the resource of creatives with entitlement. In the words of a popular artiste “They want to own you” give shitty contracts and incredulous buy-out clauses, that leave the artiste stranded, left to keep head above water.
Amidst the many angles to the debate of creatives and their humility to stay the course and not act out, one thing remains obvious, that though “artists may be divas”, change is inevitable, whether spiked by money or just growth. Sometimes, it comes with the cross of creativity, the arrogance of knowing that nobody can ever be like you, but producers and label owners should calm down and be humble too.
“Artists are Idiots” and they will do anything to go up the ladder, but key players are not transparent enough and will never own a part of being humble and that’s not okay, this writer will never understand the insistence on why they should be made to remain at the state they were when they started.
The deficit is not too far fetched, it’s all in a fold of second party independence synonymous with the Nigerian character, it is in our blood, the idea of God-fatherism reeks high in every conversation and relations. People want to play “God” in the lives of others, label owners and producers too.
The blame games don’t do anything but the solution here boils down to understanding that there are two sides to the entertainment industry, the business and the creative side. There has to be a balance to create an equal weight, it is a give and take thing. The only way to getting a head start is proper education and orientation that will leave everybody on the table making informed decisions.