I am insistent that Nigerian artists who get in front of a camera for “press conferences” or “campaigns” think through the platforms they are using to sell their personal brands and definitely think through their message. Anything less is unacceptable.
In furtherance of media business, I had the opportunity to watch Ice Prince’s exclusive behind the scenes interview with Fusionme.tv. The staff at Fusionme.tv essentially went behind the scenes to capture Ice prince, as part of a Chocolate City and Fusionme.tv marketing/publicity campaign; leading up to Ice Prince’s album release party scheduled for October 9th, 2011. Ice Prince drops his freshman album titled ‘Everybody Loves Ice Prince (ELI)’ on the aforementioned date.
Overall, the clip was good. I had never really paid attention to Ice Prince beyond his song ‘Oleku’ and so it was interesting to learn about him as an artist. Halfway through the second clip, however, he totally ruined it for me when he began discussing his fashion style and more specifically delivered one of those painful suck the life out of you blows to Nigeria’s fashion industry’s gut. I felt it as I am actively involved in Nigeria’s fashion, film and music industries.
In the video clip I watched which just had the “K leg” that really bothered me, Ice Prince gives a shout out to all of his crew down to his cook. How nice. But when he got to the styling part, he introduced Seyi aka Snickerboy, his stylist; and as I was enjoying the whole thing, he had to spoil it with the following:
“Oh by the way, if you see me dress fly ever, if you think Ice Prince is . . . this is the guy that hooks me up. If you see me dress fly, holla at your boy (He sings Wizkid’s song and points to Seyi). Snickerboy, this is the guy that brings all of my clothes. And we hardly buy clothes from around here but shout out to all the producers of clothes in Nigeria, but we just don’t think, we just buy clothe s from Yankee. Sorry. And this is the guy that brings it. (He returns to eating.))”
REWIND. HOLD UP. COME AGAIN. NO. I SAID REWIND THE CLIP! Mr. ELI did I just hear what I think I heard? To improvise the lines of one of the smartest lyricists I know, X.O Senavoe, in a recent feature on A.Q’s song ‘Ginjah,’ “we (Nigeria’s fashion industry and industry professionals) push the envelope so watch how you address us” Mr. ELI, especially to a global attentive audience.
Did you just tell me and the rest of the world that you consciously and intentionally do not buy Nigerian? You ought to have given an explanation since you took the time to volunteer information we never asked for.
I am appalled at this statement.
Let’s get a few facts straight:
- When you, the artist, make a video clip, especially at a press conference like D’Banj did or a campaign as in Ice Prince’s situation, and place it online, you are not marketing exclusively to Nigerians. You are marketing to the world.
- Nigerians, both abroad and locally, have a vested interest in seeing you portray i.e. market us positively, especially when you represent on a global platform.
- Ice Prince, you are a Nigerian brand. If Nigerians had the same attitude towards your songs, you won’t be climbing up the ladder the way you have and will continue to, God willing.
- The Western designers who you so proudly rock, have probably never even heard of you, no insult in any way meant. Just stating what is most likely a fact. In addition, these Western designers and brands are yet to even spend their pound or dollar to purchase your music much less contribute to your economic success, unlike Nigerians in Nigeria who have spent and will spend even more to make you rich.
Again, as I have said many times and remain vocal about this specific issue, the idea of many Nigerians thinking all things Western is more superior than made in Nigeria products is a serious problem and hindrance to our growth. We must all work very very hard to kick this mental slavery. It is an absurd mentality. Ice Prince has a large following both on and off line. What do you suppose the message is to his fans after they hear such statement he made?
Every Nigerian citizen, abroad and locally, has a responsibility to invest in the country and its people to make it better. It is not enough to go on about all the problems in Nigeria. What are you doing to make things better in your corner? If Ice Prince and many artists like him #Buy Nigerian, what would that do to our local economy? If they #buyNigerian, their fans will most likely do the same. Our artists should be rocking red carpets nationally and internationally in Nigerian designs. Our fashion industry has made tremendous strides much the same way the music industry is making.
Artists, if you want to spend all of your Nigerian earned Naira overseas on Western brands, no problem. Do you. But, don’t pull the rug underneath the rest of us Nigerians both locally and internationally, especially in the fashion industry, who are working tirelessly to help re-brand our image through fashion, among many mediums. Nigerian artists should buy Nigerian local products so we can help revive our economy, create employment opportunities for our youths, especially our young women, and build a sense of pride in who we are as Nigerians, wherever we may be.
You know what is so interesting, Ice Prince underscores my point with a story in the clip belowof how he was treated at the airport in New York by an American Homeland Security Employee who was so ignorant about Nigeria. In contrast, he said, if you ask Nigerians about Americans, they know everything. He said he felt so sad when he was in the USA because Nigerians do not promote their culture. In fact, they come to America for two days and they return speaking serious fone. Ironically, he is guilty of what he accuses others of doing and exemplifies the same ignorance and lack of promotion of Nigerian culture.
“Everybody Loves Ice Prince?” I don’t think so . . .
Ice Prince ELI Exclusive Fusionme.tv
More #BuyNigerian Initiative