Music Business

Where is M.I Abaga at the United Sounds of Africa USA Tour?? Plus, Ethiopia’s Zewdy Performs Tonight in New York!

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I shared with you guys, late last week, the upcoming United Sounds of Africa event in New York. Prior to that, I shared in general, the event, which would be taking place here in the USA. I also shared the news on my other platforms and endorsed attendance and free tickets contest to the New York event. I am still onboard. However, news reaching me is that M.I Abaga is yet to show up to perform at any of the shows. He missed the Houston and DC events/shows and there is no confirmation that he will show up for New York. Terrible.

I am not feeling it at all, especially since I was under the impression he would show, which was one incentive for supporting knowing that my Ladybrille audience likes M.I, a lot. Just learning about this, I am not thrilled, at all , at all.

Now for the record, in case some of you wonder. There are so many amazing labels in Nigeria: EME is killing the game, you got Storm 360, Kennis Music, Knighthouse, Mavin Records, Syndicate Records and so many more really respectable labels. But, make no mistake about it, I am a Chocolate City gal. I know I probably shock them when they read this. I really like the brand and the people behind it, a lot. It is my personal preference. Nevertheless, common! M.I Abaga, seriously? Can we get notice of your non-appearance? Even TuFace made the flight. You had the time to prepare, you attended the press conference and never objected to not appearing, your name is all over every flyer, you are a headliner, there is mad advertising locally in Nigeria, you got Jason Njoku and IROKO even trying to do some mixtape and sponsoring the event. What’s good? You couldn’t plan your time to honor the fans here in the USA? Asin can we at least get notice rather than people show up and be disappointed?

I really hope this news changes and M.I gets on the next Arik flight or what have you and shows up to perform tonight. Although, it is not very pragmatic given how late it is in the game. Independent of M.I, what’s with this complacency I keep hearing some of our artists are doing these days?

A few more things before I get to the AMAZING ZEWDY who will be performing tonight.

Efe Omoregbe, your idea for a United Sounds of Africa is FANTASTIC. I am however a bit concerned about the execution.

1. Getting on two huge buses to tour the USA is not enough. Please call the EME crew to see how they do things. They kick it out of the ball park everytime. I believe their USA tour that just wrapped up was a success story. Correct me if I am wrong.

2. Getting a LIVE Nation venue does not immediately bring people. LIVE nation is selling (renting) venues. It does not mean they do (your) requisite marketing and promotions /lifting (that) you all are required to do. If you are performing in the USA, a heavy part of that (marketing and promotions) should be happening in the USA (in conjunction with what you are doing in Nigeria).

3. It is absolutely ridiculous that local artists in the cities you all are touring are not included, marketed and presented well. Zewdy appears to have been a last minute addition. (Terrible marketing of Zewdy by the way. A young girl getting over 145,000 hits on YouTube for some of her videos  and this is the best you can do i.e. non-existent marketing and promotions? Nah).

I am yet to hear about other local artists being added. I heard about Zara (gretti) but I have not seen anything yet. If they are, there should have been advance marketing and promotions. Local artists have the fan base and you cannot come to the USA and disrespect our local talents. That is like our local talents going to Nigeria, getting a tour bus and saying they will tour Nigeria with no true connections and familiarity with the music landscape, industry people and fans. It is lame. The rules do not change because you are visiting us here in America. You work with our local communities, we work with you. Got it? There are some amazing talents (of African heritage) across the USA with a solid local following. Do your research and connect with them.

4. Whose idea was it to have shows on a weekday? Do y’all know Americans (Nigerians and other African groups included) work? We are in a recession. Are Americans trying to loose their jobs just to go see your artists perform? Shows on Mondays, Wednesdays? Really? You are yet to build your fan base in the USA. If you did, you can get away with a weekday show in the summer where students/youths  out of school can come. Barring that, it is problematic to have an event of this magnitude in the early part of the week. “Asin” who thought of this?

5. What’s with the USA marketing and promotions on this one? Highly disappointed. IROKOING, what’s up? About the only marketing, really, is the mixtape on IROKO’s website, which does not count. Where is the real promotions? DJ Mighty Mike and a few others have shared the news here in the USA but again, common now? African owned radio stations, local television stations etc. How do we even begin to achieve the goal of getting our music everywhere with this kind of planning and execution?

6. I keep hearing of artists showing up late and some not showing up at all, with the exception of TuFace and a few other artists maintaining consistency. Can y’all just get this part tight? Artists, common.

7. Finally, Audu Maikori, Chocolate City and United Sounds of Africa organizers, I think there might be an overexposure of the Chocolate City artists in the USA market (the Nigerian focused audience), with the exception of Brymo. It is almost like every event, they are always there performing. It kills the freshness and is not very exciting incentive to go watch them. Clearly, my opinion. I’d like to see Choc Boyz break out of the usual mostly Nigerian crowd and diversify their appearances and performances. If we are about taking Nigerian music everywhere, there has to be a more aggressive well thought out and executed plan. There also has to be an ability to curtail what I deem over-exposure of the guys including M.I and Ice Prince to the same circle here in the USA.

My two cents for all it is worth.

NOW ON TO ZEWDY!!!!

I am very excited that Efe and the rest of the United Sounds of Africa thought to pull this young woman into the mix. She is so talented. The DC/New York area has a very strong Habesha (Ethiopian) community and this is great.

Her talent speaks for itself so y’all just take a listen.

Signing off.

Yeah. It’s me again.
-Uduak
@uduaklaw

ZEWDY IS HILARIOUS – she role plays so well. Loooooool!

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email (africamusiclaw@gmail.com). Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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