By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
The Oxford Dictionary defines respect as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements.
The inspiration for today’s write-up was motivated by events and declarations by some high profile entertainers within the last couple of days and we need to address it.
Over the weekend, award-winning musician, Stonebwoy, was guest on Nana Ama McBrown’s ‘United Showbiz’ on UTV and he made some interesting revelations on his life and career. What piqued the interest of many was his assessment of Artiste Managers in relation to the personalities that have managed his career over the period.
In that evaluation, he questioned the certification of Artiste Managers, the fact that nobody holds a certificate as an Artiste Manager to be able to boldly declare his/her expertise in that field. His posture and commentary seemed like an affront to every Artiste Manager that worked with him and to an extent, all Artiste Managers in the trade.
Hours after the show, popular Artiste Manager, Nana Asiamah Hanson, popularly known as Bulldog, offered a rebuttal to Stonebwoy’s comment, demanding for some form of respect for the role of Artiste Managers.
Generally, there must be the exhibition of respect in life, in every regard, every endeavor and in all spheres of life – unfortunately, there seem to be less or nothing in our arts industry.
The fact is; morally, respect must be held in high regard in our trade where young artistes respect the elderly, where entertainers respect their fans and colleagues, where legends and pacesetters are respected, where leaders of various associations are accorded the necessary respect and most importantly, where laws, directives and agreements are respected. There must also be that respect for the creative works or intellectual properties.
There ought to be respect for roles within the industry and the purveyors of such roles that a make the creative industry.
The irony of Stonebwoy’s Claim
On UTV’s ‘United Showbiz’, Stonebwoy, in giving account of how far he’s come in the industry and responding to a question of the Artiste Managers he’s worked with, stated that, no Manager comes into the field with a certificate and that, every personnel who worked with him got popular via his influence.
That statement about Artiste Managers not having certification was factual but also came across as an affront to all Managers, including those he’s worked with over the period of his stellar career.
One won’t be wrong to even say that the statement, albeit true, was disrespectful to Managers, who did not require any form of certificate to operate, but utilized dedication, hard work, experience and commitment in projecting artistes.
The irony of Stonebwoy’s slur on Artiste Managers was manifested on the same show where he almost seethed with rage over what he called disrespect by his former protégé, Kelyvnboy.
He expressed disdain for the actions of Kelyvnboy who has been throwing subtle jabs at him since he was sacked from his (Stonebwoy) label.
Stonebwoy was demanding respect from young artistes via Kelynboy but failed to accord the utmost respect to the gentlemen and ladies who have managed the lives and careers of these artistes over the years.
The irony of Bulldog’s Claim
It came as little surprise when acclaimed Artiste Manager, Bulldog, responded to Stonebwoy in a long rebuttal, frowning on the call for certification for the Artiste Manager.
He expressed the level of sacrifice and toil these Managers go through to ensure that these acts attain the necessary popularity, fame and financial freedom. He also talked about how Managers do not need certificates to operate but expertise, dedicated and commitment.
However, here lies the irony in his complaint;
Consistently, Bulldog has questioned the role of the media in the success story of his artiste, Shatta Wale. He’s hardly accorded the media the necessary respect in whatever role it has played in the career of his artiste.
Recently, he sat on ‘Prime Morning’ show on Joy Prime and pooh-poohed the role of the media in Shatta Wale’s a career.
On the same show on UTV, Bulldog, as a panel member has consistently sought to shut me down as a fellow panelist on the show – claiming that I have no experience in Artiste Management, so, I have no right to have a say in any related topic on Artiste Management.
Bulldog demands respect from Stonebwoy on the recognition of the role of Artiste Managers in the creative industry but fails to accord the same form of respect for the media on the projection of Shatta Wale’s career.
He fails to extend the same recognition he expects from Stonebwoy to me, as having the requisite skill and knowledge to pass commentary on the topic of Artiste Management regardless of whether I hold a certificate of experience in that field or not.
Every Role Counts; Respect It
In Bulldog’s rejoinder, he made a statement that is poignant; the fact that, we should respect the role of others in the space. That sums up the situation in our entertainment industry with regard to respect.
The role of the label executives is crucial and must be respected. The roles of the sound engineer and the producer who record the artistes must be respected. The role of that fellow that cleans the recording studio every day to make it clean and conducive for recording must be respected.
The role of the Artiste Manager, even if his role is to carry bags, clothing and chains of the artiste and also to buy food for the artistes – must be respected. The roles of the journalist, the radio presenter, the blogger and the DJ, in projecting the songs and brand positioning of the artiste must be respected.
Most importantly, the role of the ordinary fan in patronizing the works of the artiste; buying CDs, buying tickets for concerts and buying merchandise of the artistes – must be respected.
Respect is key in the industry; accord it when and where necessary before you can also demand same.