By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
Record labels are very important in the shaping of a music industry. Ideally, they provide that well-needed support every artiste, especially the up and coming needs; so, getting dropped from a label comes with an admixture of outcomes. Either you progress in your career or you slump into oblivion.
Last week was inundated with news about the young, talented musician, Kelyvn Boy, the infamous fall-out with his label, Burnington Music Group and the aftermath.
Some critics and music followers have professed doom for the artiste; others are upbeat about his future prospects while some are simply ambivalent about what the future holds for him.
This situation of the young chap being dropped from his label is a normal phenomenon; an occurrence that persists in the music industry all over the world and I am of the strongest conviction that Kelyvn Boy will survive and be a great artiste in future.
Indisputably, Kelyvn Boy has an inestimable load of talent – an essential tool in becoming successful in the music industry but in this age of commercialization of music, talent is not enough. He has technical musicianship!
His skill set as a vocalist is amazing and his technical proficiency in the rudiments of music is telling.
Talent can offer a good head start and possibly even keep a musician on top for a while, but eventually, someone else will come along who has put in the work. To become a successful musician, you simply need passion to get better – and Kelyvn Boy has, over the period, exhibited that he has that attribute.
In the beginning, his biggest drag was the unpleasant comparison with Nigerian super star, Wizkid, an assertion that was true but thankfully, any ardent listener would attest that, the Ghanaian has been able to stay off sounding like the Nigerian and is now being himself, especially in the last couple of singles released.
What’s even more encouraging is the fact that, at a time when Afrobeat is the most-talked-about genre now, he is the only Ghanaian artiste doing quintessential Afrobeat. The future is bright
Attitude Is Key Too
The narrative, after the news of the fall-out from the label, has hinged on the attitude of Kelyvn Boy; tales that he is arrogant, doesn’t have any respect and being petulant have characterized his persona.
Please, give the young lad a break!
For close to a decade, Shatta Wale has arguably ruled the Ghanaian music scene. Who has attitude, arrogance, lack of respect, is outspoken and cantankerous more than Wale? Yet, his actions and music take center stage all the time.
The point is; every artiste has attitude. What is show business and artistry without attitude? No artiste in the world is a saint; they come with their character shortfalls all the time – from Stonebwoy to Kanye West to Lady Gaga to Efya, they all have attitudinal problem, so the critics making such nuisance about his attitude and all that should just hush it.
What these naysayers also forget is the fact that, the biggest draw in show business for any artiste, is the ability to generate attention and make the news and then fixate that attention to the music. This is basic!
Kelyvn Boy should just be who he is; speak when he has to, shout when necessary and generate whatever controversy is there. He must make the news and direct all the attention to that quality music.
We have and still enduring the attitudes of the likes of Sarkodie, Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, Patapaa and the rest and we are still here – and we want to be quick in demonizing Kelyvn Boy? Leave him alone!
This Is No Big Deal
This guy, just like Stonebwoy, who left High Grade/Samini Music in not so cordial terms, also has what his former boss has; talent, skill and attitude. With such hard work, commitment and dedication, Stonebwoy survived, created his own label and has become one of the biggest acts in Africa.
With the same level of hard work, commitment and knowledge of the industry, Kelyvn Boy will also survive and become one of the biggest acts of his generation.
He should also take consolation and inspiration from the stories of the following international stars that were in a similar situation but were able to surmount the challenges to become some of the best in the business;
A young 50 Cent recorded his debut album for Columbia Records. The album was filled with guest appearances by the hottest rap and R&B artists of the day, including Destiny’s Child, but the label got scared after memorable shooting of the artiste. They dropped him from the label and shelved the album, casting his future in doubt until Dr. Dre and Eminem picked him up on Aftermath/Shady Records for his smash hit official debut.
Katie Perry’s rise to stardom was anything but quick, as she encountered multiple setbacks including being dropped from her label, Colombia Records, after 80% of her debut was done. That album was never released under the label.
Bruno Mars is now a multiple Grammy award laureate but he had roadblocks along his career. As a songwriter and a budding musician, he did not have such an easy ride to prominence. He was actually dropped by Motown Records.
At the start of her career, Lady Gaga was devastatingly dropped from her label, Def Jam. The reason; the label was running on a tight budget so they prioritized spending on other notable acts and had to drop her. L. A. Reid, the then Head of the label stated that, it was the biggest mistake of his career as a Music Executive.