Ms. Uduak the fashion lawyer is here to have a talk with you all AML artists.
At this point, artists, you know or should know your value and the tremendous influence you wield as artists, especially if you are a very successful artist like Davido. You must fully understand this whether you are visiting in the USA, UK, Ghana, Malaysia, Spain or wherever, really.
Indeed, the likes of Kanye West, who I would argue Davido comes close to being on par with, in terms of influence, understand this.
As loud as Kanye gets, he understands if he walks into a Gap store, for example, and purchases a piece of clothing and then wears such clothing, Gap retail stores, globally, will be bombarded with his fans wanting that exact same clothing he was wearing.
Indeed, the fashion industry and fashion luxury brands recognize the immense power such celebrities like Kanye West have and actively seek and sign these celebrities for a wider reach and to increase their bottom lines.
Also, within the music industry, historically, record labels slept on the fashion merchandising arm of the artist’s business. This is no longer the case as 360 deals have become the order of the day; and labels exceed the scope of traditional streams of income to include that of the the artist’s merchandising income.
Putting all of the above in context, it honestly baffled me when I saw Davido, Nigeria and Africa’s award winning artist, post during the just concluded BET Awards weekend, a picture of himself completely decked out in Diddy’s REVOLT TV gear. I made a mental note there and then to discuss the topic with you all.
First, doesn’t Davido know his value? Why is he a (free) walking billboard advertisement for Diddy’s REVOLT TV?
Second, he was there for an interview like the other acts such as Tiwa Savage, Mafikizolo and Sarkodie. Why exactly did he choose to convert his time there to a walking free advertisement for REVOLT TV, unlike his colleagues?
Third, did he get paid to do so? You’ve got a young and very successful artist-entrepreneur who happens to be the son of a billionaire (US dollars) in Nigeria. What exactly is he doing promoting the REVOLT brand for free when he was just there to make a TV appearance and be interviewed? Didn’t he learn a thing or two from his pops about business? His colleague Wizkid was there a couple of weeks ago, you didn’t see Wizkid doing that?
Fourth, on his own merits, Davido has earned his way as a producer, a label executive (one he co-founded) and a very hard working artist who many respect for his work/work ethics. He has been winning awards left, right and center and while it is cool that he won the BET Awards for Best International Act (Africa), and Diddy had the sense to feature him on REVOLT TV, it is very uncool that he is diluting his brand by providing such free advertisement for Diddy’s REVOLT to the West and the entire continent of almost 800 million. Why Davido? “Na only you waka come?”
This is unacceptable for a business man such as Davido and his own brand HKN. Even more so, it is unacceptable for a self proclaimed ‘Omo Baba Olowo’ (the son of a filthy rich father). No ego here. It is just about Davido knowing his value. No one is saying he should pull a “do you know who my fada is?” But we are saying he should know his value as a business man, a successful artist and one whose father and wealth attained by his family far exceeds that of Diddy’s 100 times over.
African artists, if you want to be taken seriously as you attempt to penetrate the US market, you must at all times know your value and worth and come to the table ready to do business on that level. Be strategic, be purposeful and don’t go selling yourself (for free, a bad deal to begin with), just because you want some American media attention. It’s a bad look.
By the way, raise your cyber hands if you believe that, but for Diddy being a global successful business man, if he showed up on Davido’s turf i.e. in Nigeria to visit Davido, he would have a hard time even getting access through Davido’s gatemen/women.
My hands are up!
African artists, we can do better. Step up your music business swag and stay on it while you are at it.
p.s Diddy just launched Revolt TV, like any new business, it still has to gain traction and we see it become profitable. So, the more reason why Davido and any artists, especially successful ones, need to have a strategy on business when approached by that network for any kind of endorsement.
(5million + hits on You Tube and counting)
(4million + hits on You Tube and counting)
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