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‘Lagos provides better opportunities for artistes to flourish’

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Usegbe

Having been in the music industry for over a decade and worked with several emerging and upcoming artists, Ode Paul Usegbe, also known as Paul Trend or Manager with Swag, Lagos based artists flourish more and will continue to flourish ahead of artistes based in other states.

He stated that as a management and content person, “every day I take time to study activities in the industry. With the impressions being recorded and my experience working with talented acts from different parts of Nigeria.”

According to him, the Nigerian music industry has evolved and is still evolving but needs a lot of hard work and funding.
“Music, unlike many other careers, requires huge expenses from the onset. I have seen so many people who don’t want to spend or invest in themselves, hoping a record label will emerge from somewhere to a striking deal and take care of them.

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“Yes, Lagos based artistes will continue to flourish ahead of others in the industry. And like I often say, it is common sense. An average upcoming artiste in Lagos, despite all hardships, will struggle to devote money and time for music production and promotion. Also, they make efforts to sponsor their content across different social media platforms and digital stores.

“When favour finally finds this hardworking artist who has put in so much, people begin to marvel at the breakthrough. I have seen some upcoming artists who continue to prefer to pray without making any effort. Tell me how someone who spends time and money will not continue to flourish ahead of others who sit somewhere and pray for favor?” he stated.

Comparing Lagos based acts to their counterparts in other parts of the country, Usegbe said, “the difference like I said earlier is very clear. Artistes from other regions no matter the difficult conditions have to learn and inculcate the attitude of Lagos based acts by nurturing their talents to build standards.

He noted that in the music business, nothing goes for nothing and money brings more money. He added that as the industry evolves every day, the challenges heighten daily as well.

“The entertainment industry generally has a process, from the production to promotion and distribution stage. Every stage has its own issues. Asides the usual brazen embezzlement by assigned promotion and distribution chain, funding is also a major problem,” Usegbe said.

While calling for support stakeholders, the manager with a different as close associates call him said, “in this industry, real support for one another is very scarce and the struggle to deliver at each stage is also a major problem.

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“The government needs to do more for the entertainment industry beyond lip service. Entertainers and investors need a viable environment to carry out projects. If you ask me, our entertainment industry is an immense money-spinner that can contribute immensely to the government’s revenue.

“The Nigerian music industry as it is now has gotten to its peak. I would also like to point out that it required so much sacrifice and capital to make the industry what it is today.

“Though many would say it is grace. Much grace is needed, that should not be an excuse; blood and sweat have gone in and continues to go into the industry. Sadly, a lot of talents and management neglect what they are supposed to do, hoping to reap where they haven’t sown,” he stated.

Usegbe further explained that in the manager-artiste relationship, patience, tolerance is required and key to the success of the relationship. “Until your artiste begins to make wave, it is a big-time struggle. However, Rome was not built in a day and I strongly believe my work will speak for me over time.”

Asked if he is satisfied with the way the industry is being run and managed, the talent manager said, “I’m happy and unhappy in equal measures. A lot of stakeholders and lovers of the industry put in so much effort and capital to keep it alive.

“However, the industry also contains people who just talk with no action, they make mouth but fail to put their money where their mouth is. The media is a powerful tool and must checkmate the activities of music administrators.

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