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“Most young artiste will exploit you, rush to social media to play the victim” – Music Executive Olaide Lawal

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Idol Record Label’s CEO, Lawal Olaide, spoke on issues ranging from record labels and artists rifts, his new undertakings and his plans for his Record Label. Excerpts

THE NEW MUSIC INDUSTRY

We can’t appreciate our artists, producers, video directors, A & R’s, Deejays, OAP’s, Music Ex and more. The industry has grown in leaps and bounds and it’s a goldmine that we have just started reaping from. Nigeria has Grammy, MOBO, MAMA, MTV EMA and all other kind of awards you can even think. Our artistes numbers can favorable stand side by side with foreign artistes that we used to be crazy about and that’s a great development. I came in to add value to the industry by discovering, mentoring, nurturing and managing new talents and that’s why we launched IDOL RECORDS in 2018. It’s been a good and tough ride but we thankful for all we have achieved, lost, learnt and won. There is no plans to back out and we are cooking great stuff already.

RECORD LABELS & ARTISTE RIFT

This is an issue that can’t be addressed in just few minutes of an interview. It’s a virus that is as deadly as Corona honestly. Someone works hard to raise millions then raises the millions and invests in you, out of the love of the business or the love of your person. Sponsors your music videos, fashion needs, mobility and accommodation demands, tours within and even beyond the country and you wake up to offer dramas and make them feel stupid; maligning them and thinking you’ve arrived and can be alone. It is sheer wickedness. I see Showbiz and Entertainment investment as a blind business venture where success can only be achieved with the stubbornness of a goat! There are good and bankable artists for sure. See how Legendary 2face Idibia left Kennis Music. There was no dragging, nor hassles. But all these new boys just want to leave your label with a fight and rush to social media to scream blue murder. I have been there and I have learnt greatly. That’s why I said we’d be back in 2022, reworked, recharged and refreshed to take the industry by storm as we have always hoped. And I’m confident that we will have a great outing. I signed 3 artists and I know how it ended with them on individual notes. We went as far as shooting videos for each and every one of them! They had access to cars and free house and yet they will always still make moves behind the label like the label are some charity vehicle and that’s why we took a break off.

THE NEW VISION

I grew up in a tough environment. My mum raised me as a single parent and she went through lots of hardships to make sure I was fine. She got pregnant as an apprentice with no home of hers yet operating on zero income. She used to squat in the shop where she was training. She worked as a personal washwoman to a particular woman those years just to earn a bowl of soup. When she gets the soup, she now goes about again to hustle for maybe cassava flakes (gaari) or similar products just to keep life moving. I have always hoped and prayed that someday in my life, I want to be able to support people in similar situations. I witnessed these hardships on a first-hand basis so I know to a large extent how tough it is. I’ve seen people lose their kids, parents and family to death, drugs, crime and many other vices solely because of our start and it makes me emotional always. I would have even done this for a while before now but I had to wait on it a bit for me to fix my record label and transportation business, to a sustainable level. And I’m glad we have kicked off. I tagged the project “Raising The New Deborahs” and it’s just an avenue for us to raise our sisters, mothers, daughters to be new queens.

Lawal Olaide

THE ESSENCE OF THE PROJECT

For me, it’s more of charity than anything else. We complain all the time about the government, the society, the this and that. And interestingly we all are parts of the government, society and even the problems. I opine that if I as a business person should pick some 10, 20 people to support and establish and another person that’s blessed and rich does similar before you know it, 2 people have raised 20 to 40 business owners. With joint efforts, we will reduce unemployment and that will, in turn, revitalize our economy. I am not doing this for political or business gains. Although I have friends and family around the world, supporting my movement and we know we’d push it to be bigger, heavier and richer than what it is now. I’ve had this ministry for over 7 years. I do always organize periodic events in March and December but this year, I broke the roles to strike a balance beyond the typical revival, crusade settings. Go to any church, it’s almost 80% of them being women. Always praying and hardly in work or job. So now we’d start empowering our women in Lagos and next stop us Ogun and Oyo and we move like that across till we are everywhere. We’d be giving out cash grants to 30 women and we have a partnership with a global brand to have them train another 20 and we’d finance their start-up. So basically we have a great intention and we are hopeful it goes as planned.

MOVING FORWARD

I didn’t abandon any of my businesses for ministry/charity work. I’m just taking up the work of the ministry to make life better for more people. This is what I was born to do and that’s what has always been my goal since I was a kid. It’s just some form of fulfillment of destiny so that God’s will manifests. I’m a spiritual man and I don’t let my Showbiz interest take over that. D’Banj a few days ago, openly confessed to being born Again”. This is to let us all remember that no matter how hard, crazy or fun-filled it is, heaven should be the goal. For now, there is no activity going on for IDOL RECORDS, but God’s willing in 2022, we’d open our new studio and headquarters and sign one or two artists and a producer too. Nigerian music industry felt our arrival in 2018 and our comeback after a hiatus will definitely be mind-blowing.

FINAL NOTE

One, make sure you have money. It’s a policy of after money, it’s still money, here. These people don’t love you and don’t have loyalty because you are you. Where there is a carcass, vultures will gather. So once you are rich, everyone wants to associate with you. Whether your sound is good or bad, you must have money to push and promote your content. That’s the pushing factor. You must be ready to sacrifice some millions and you must be patient, for the process to get completed. Secondly, have the right team that understands your yearnings not those who want to just milk you off and act unbothered when the chips are down. And lastly, don’t think because it’s blinking, it’s all pure gold and diamonds. It’s not always smooth on the inside so get in and understudy people and situations before taking a side. It’s not an easy ride but so many people have had successful outings so it’s sure that success is possible.

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Opinion

Sesan Adeniji: We Won The Grammy Awards, But What’s Next Nigerian Artistes To Do And Conquer?

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It has been months since the news of Burna Boy and Wizkid winning the Grammy Awards, which made both the first homegrown Nigerian artists to win the most coveted prize in world music, the Holy Grail legends before them could not attain. With such massive achievements in the bag, the nagging question now is, what’s next for Naija musicians to do and conquer?

 

The answer to that specific question will determine if we will dominate the world music scene for a long time or become a flash in the pan. Burna Boy and Wizkid will push the envelope, but they can’t rule forever. I also know that in this country, we have a culture of Me Alone. But the only way we can maintain this recent world recognition/commendation and conquer more territory is to have a concerted effort to seed more talents into the international entertainment market.

 

Like in football, the earlier a country exposes and exports a stream of young talents into international competition, the earlier they will put together a chunk of experienced players to dominate and reach the finals of countries’ tournaments. Likewise, in the music industry, the earlier we discover and shine enough spotlights on young talents by exporting their music to the world, the earlier we stand a chance to dominate world music.

 

Nowadays, the music business is more than just musicians, so the narrative should be about exporting the content of Nigerian artists, dancers, models, entertainment writers, music producers, video directors, OAPs, and A&Rs. The more music and music-related content creators we seed, the more we will positively shape our Afrobeats narratives, conquer the music corridors and have corner offices in the world music market.

 

Sesan Adeniji: Entertainment Journalist | A&R

Instgaram- @sesanadeniji

 

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Entertainment

Society Reporters Excellence Leadership Awards Set To Reward Ingenuity, Hardwork

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As the countdown to the talk of the town Society Reporters Excellence Leadership Award (SRELA) begins, some high-profile personalities and captains of industry are getting set to be rewarded for their ingenuity and hard work over the years. The award presentation packaged by society reporters will kick off in August 2021. Society Reporters, a reputable news platform that serves as the watchdog of society; bringing to the fore pertinent issues into limelight. 

The debut edition of SRELA is special recognition excellence and leadership award that will add value to the carefully selected awardees and recipients for the year. It will also enhance their credibility, and reinforce the leadership stance of recipients in their field of endeavors.

Over the years, the platform has broken top society stories and other grand breaking scoops and jist within the elites. Staging Society Reporters Excellence Leadership Awards (SRELA) is another feat for the online platform that stands out amongst its contemporaries.

“Society Reporters Excellence Leadership Award (SRELA) is positioned to be an epoch-making event in the society like no other to celebrate and honor those that deserve the crest and creating unity in various industries across the board” disclosed an associate.

Checks also revealed that Society Reporters is a reputable platform that shines the light on elite society members, and the organizers have concluded plans to use this opportunity to stage an excellent award and throw even more of the spotlight on those who have made a difference in society regardless of the sector.

No doubt, Society Reporters Excellence Leadership Awards (SRELA) is an exclusive annual event to honor excellence and leadership with limitless imagination and bold execution to foster unity among the top players in various sectors at large, said the Publisher, Mr. Sunday Adebayo.

More so, the Awards aim to celebrate the commendable feats that define the personality of awardees/recipients; feats that have secured their position as high flyers with excellent perception and outstanding ratings in their respective categories.

The industry watchers also squealed that Society Reporters Excellence Leadership Awards is a good platform for the Recognition for Your Achievements, Exposure for You And Your Organization, and Access to Industry Leaders. And they wish to advise any prospective recipients not to miss this golden opportunity from Society Reporters.

The Governing Board of the Society Reporters Excellence Leadership Awards (SRELA)  headed by the Publisher Sunday Adebayo, and the Selection Panel for the SRELA 2021 edition has jointly ratified the selection of reputable recipients for the maiden edition that would be unveiled officially soon.

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Opinion

Sound Sultan: The Poetic Ambassador on Migration UN never had

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‘Motherland’, referring to Nigeria in his song, at the time of its release, was so timely and its messages even till the present day is rich and timeless as it could be passed off as an Immigrant travel guide. The early part of the song had reminded us about how Chinedu had borrowed some money to fund his trip to Chicago. It further adds: how Nnamdi had also sold off his car to facilitate the trip of a beloved to America. In the middle of it all is also the emotionally drained lover or spouse left behind, whose wellbeing and fragile mind is left hanging in the balance, sadly in some instance, some partner never returns.
The song perhaps appears to have critically observed the obsession of many immigrants whose inordinate or misplaced quest for survival believes that immigrating to the West or other European countries is a critical means by which survival is sought, hence Sound Sultan’s ‘Motherland’ came in handy: offering some counsel, suggesting that sometimes, a sojourner may have to beat a retreat by returning to his ancestral home, Motherland, given the fact that sometimes, in a bid to survive in a foreign land, the unpredictability of such adventures may unavoidably require one to do so.
As often the case with many immigrants from Nigeria and by extension many others from African countries, who had at one time or the other undertaken such adventurous trips in search of greener pasture abroad, even the period leading to their departure also comes at a great cost and sacrifices as some families sell off assets and other prized possessions to fund such trips, unsure whether the risk would eventually pay off or not.
While the craze in search of the golden fleece rage on, some Africans in their desperation may have also thrown caution in the air, leading to situations where thousands have reportedly died in the wake of risky voyages across Mediterranean or Sahara wastelands, as hundreds have also fallen prey to wild beasts, transnational armed syndicate and human traffickers who deal in drugs and sex slaves, having promised many unsuspecting victims an elusive eldorado life, waiting for them in Europe. Many African households have believed some of these false narratives built into their psyche for many years and it has become so difficult to undo.
The Late singer was never opposed to the idea of people seeking better opportunities or greener pastures outside the country, but rather also reminds them about home and the need for them to apply cautious optimism where applicable, in their quest to traveling overseas.
Notwithstanding, the home would still be home regardless of the prevailing circumstance which may have forcibly led to one’s uneventful return.
This writer believes, Late Olarewaju Fasasi fondly called Sound Sultan, as a social crusader, an iconic singer using his musical crafts as a vehicle to remind us about the need to be introspective, also feels compelled to note that ‘Motherland,’ mirroring the life of most Immigrants and some of the challenges often associated with it, brings to the fore also a social problem and the need for concerned International Organizations like UN and its relevant agencies to do more in terms of advocacy and policies in reversing the tales of woes of many migrants.
Though UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes for the first time the contribution of migration to its sustainable development, thus, 11 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) contain targets and indicators relevant to migration or mobility for which parts of its Agenda’s core principle is to “leave no one behind,” not even migrants.
The SDGs’ central reference to migration is made in some of its major targets, which is to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies. Other targets directly related to migration mention trafficking, remittances, international student mobility, and more. Moreover, migration is indirectly relevant to many more cross-cutting targets.
UN, more recently, through International Organization on Migration, a leading partner on the inter-governmental organization in the field of migration works to ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.
In 2016, IOM entered into an agreement with the United Nations, becoming one of its specialized agencies.
However, the above plans and efforts of UN appear commendable but today’s realities in some part of Europe and other Asian countries, judging by their immigration policies at present largely remains a far cry from the much advertised SDG’s policies.
While many Africans battle so hard to grapple with harsh realities and hostilities of their host countries ranging from racism, prejudice, little or too rigid legal documentation processes for immigrants, and biting chances of economic survival, many have also become susceptible to illegal drug dealings which in most cases often result in cruel fate or even avoidable deaths.
The sad news on the passing of Sound Sultan, one of Nigeria’s notable songwriter, artist, producer, and comedian, who few days ago was reported to have lost the battle to a cancerous related aliment around the throat, brings with it feelings of pain, grief, and national loss. By national loss, Nigeria just lost a voice and a social crusader reputed for his numerous campaigns against bad governance, injustice, corruption, and bad leadership a major clog in the wheel of Nigeria’s progress. He will fondly be remembered for his many statesmanly roles towards mobilizing the citizens through his several songs on how to constructively hold them accountable to their constitutional functions.
To the memory of the Late Singer, President Muhammadu Buhari also pen a glowing tribute to him for his contribution to basketball development in Nigeria. He was even reported to have co-owned a basketball team. D’ Tigers, Nigerian Men Basketball National team would also honor the late singer by wearing T-shirts bearing the late singer’s name and image on it, for his roles in promoting the sports. Coincidentally, his death would also leave a lasting memory following D’Tiger’s phenomenal triumph over the US Men Basketball National team, a feat no African team had ever done, the same day he was said to have died.
The Motherland crooner died at age 44 in the US and his remains have since been buried in the US, same day, according to Islamic rites, leaving behind his three kids and his beloved wife.
By Segun Adesokan

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