I wrote this blog post a while back and didn’t know where to put it. The reason is because I write for a number of online platforms and I wasn’t sure I wanted to be the one saying these things since I double as artiste, blogger and generally a critic. Well, thanks to #UGBlogWeek, I get to say these ten things I find annoying while working behind the scenes at events, or in interpersonal communications with my artiste friends.
Let’s get straight to the real reason you are reading this post.
1. Coming Late for concerts: Definitely, this had to be number one on this list. I have been at so many events and even when the show or concert producers ensure that every artiste knows when they should get onto stage, many prefer to come late. Do you want to know the reason why they do this? Well, some have confessed that they wish to be among the last performers before the main act. Being an opening act is viewed by them as devaluing. To that I say, your value and esteem as well as ego should not be affected by what slot you get in the show. Look at it this way; the glory must be given to God and you have a part to play.
2. Fighting to perform: Leave alone wanting to be among the last performers who are often viewed as the ‘most important,’ some musicians and artistes fight for the stage. What we mean is, they ‘fight’ their way onto the rostar. As much as the musician should look for every opportunity to minister, do it gracefully. Be calm, don’t force your way onto the list. Let God open the doors for you.
3. Throwing tantrums: Yes, I mean tantrums, those things that kids do when you have either delayed their satisfaction or denied it. Have you ever been to an event and things don’t go as planned. Let’s say, there is poor time management on the organiser’s side or a power cut that halted the smooth running of the event. The times that these things have happened, I have seen ‘mature’ musicians throw a huge tantrum and claim they have not been respected or that their ministry has been undermined. Well, as much as the event organisers need to work on the stage and time management, you our dear artistes need to work on being a minister who doesn’t throw fits of anger.
4. Artistes Who Refuse To Perform For A Small Audience: This habit by some of our artistes is really annoying. Let us forget about things like concert promotion and focus on why you are a musician. Let’s say you are a Christian musician. Do you remember that David’s audience was only Saul. One person. Well, you may say that Saul was a king and so David had to be proud of singing for a king. If you say that, you should note that that appeals to your feelings only. If God opens doors for you to minister before crowds, don’t start worshiping the crowd, huge numbers and the thrill. Do you know that one soul in the audience may be all that God wanted you to reach out to? Do you even care that the small numbers could be a test from God to see whether you look at His people with compassion? Who then are you to withhold such ministry from people simply because they are fewer in number?
5. Proud Artistes/Musicians: This one is inspired by a comment a fan made to a certain friend of mine during an event. They said, “You see, I love that artistes’ music (I avoided mentioning the name here), but their lifestyle I don’t like.” When we probed a little further, what this fan was actually saying was that the artiste was proud. According to them, many times after events – during the time when fans have time to mingle with musicians – this particular artist did not even respond to a greeting let alone shake their hands. I won’t say more to this except a question. Does being a ‘celebrated’ musician make you unable to relate to God’s people at a human level? Be human. Be humble.
6. Self praising Singers: For the sake of emphasising the previous point, I must say, there’s a thin line between having a high self esteem and being proud. Although I have already mentioned pride in the above point, this is slightly different. Have you seen musicians who make it a point to remind you of their accolades and exploits whether on stage before performances, or in almost every interview. Well, in some cases especially in interviews, the interviewers usually want to know what you have achieved as a minister. It is very easy to tell when someone is merely stating what they have achieved by God’s grace and when one is leaning on those achievements to give them self importance. I say, try as much as possible to let others ‘praising’ you but don’t let it come from you. Don’t let the strides that God allows you to make define who you are.
7. Failure to honor their word: For lack of better words, some Gospel artistes and musicians are dishonest people. You make an agreement and think things are settled, you will be in for a shock when the artiste doesn’t honor their part of the bargain or worse still ignores the existence of this agreement. Be honest. It makes it easier to deal with you next time. Don’t assume that once you have got what you want from someone that’s the end of their role in you music career.
8. Failure to follow protocol: Here I speak from experience as one who sits on a team that has run a number of New Media platforms. You have artiste A. He or she has a new song. You tell artiste A, please do this and that and we will be ready to work with you. Let’s say, we have requested for Artworks or high quality pictures or have simply determined that a certain song may not work for our platform. Not only will the artiste ignore the process and assume that we must work on their terms but, they will often claim you are making their lives hard. Every radio, just like online media has rules (whether written down or boldly stated by their brand and content). These rules govern what will be accepted or rejected. Your hate for the system won’t change it and neither will calling a blogger, presenter or entire media house ‘haters’ do anything good to you. In fact, if anything, this will merely make them give you time to grow up and be ready to understand why your music has been ignored.
Back to speaking as myself; know that you take a long and often painful time with your music and usually believe it is the best. That’s good for. Being rejected by a platform may simply mean they are not reaching your target audience or sometimes, they are indirectly telling you that your artistry is as important as you heart.
9. Making their names more than almost a quarter of the song lyrics: It is good to make an introduction of who you are as a singer at the beginning of the song (intro) or at end as a passive reminder. The problem and I find this sad, if not annoying that some artistes look for every excuse to insert their ‘cool’ name in the song lyrics to the point that it becomes even painful. Why must you burden us like this and prevent us from focusing on your message. If your message is yourself and introducing your personal brand and what you like, get one song and do exactly that.
10. Finally, GROW UP: Well, a lot of these annoying things that artists do stem from immaturity both spiritually, emotionally or even physically. What I mean is be mature spiritually. Hopefully this is quite obvious. Read your Bible, pray, get a mentor etc. Secondly, grow in knowledge. Don’t be a Christian who is highly knowledgeable in Christian doctrine and devoid of earthly knowledge. Here I mean, study the industry, and know how to deal with people. If unsure ask. Ask why things are done the way they are done and how you can work with the different platforms.
We are taking part in a #UGBlogWeek challenge. Being a traditionally blogging platform, we will present you with seven bloggers for a week. Each blog post will have an introduction to the bloggers at the end and links to their private blogs. Benjaah Edwards is both Artiste and Blogger. He has written for many online platforms including Ug Gospel Life, The Royals Ug, Proggie Ug, wemixent, Glow Magazine and his private blog, Son Of Olwa.