Bose Ogulu: Africans should take charge of their creative works
Mother of Africa Giant crooner, Damini Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, Bose Ogulu has disclosed that it is important for Africans to begin being in charge of their creative work and the story they’re telling as the recent interest the world is paying to African sound might not eventually benefit Africans when they lost control of their creative works.
In an interview with an online platform, DW News Africa, Ogulu, who is also Burna Boy’s manager, stated that a lot of artistes are signing deals they don’t understand and with a record label like Spaceship, which she founded and being managed by her son, Burna Boy, she intends to give artistes and creatives the opportunity to have control over their craft because their catalog is still within Africa and Africans who understand the music they’re making.
Popularly known as Mama Burna in music circles, Bose Ogulu is the daughter of music writer, critic and Fela Kuti’s first band manager Benson Idonije. She was one time dancer of the Afrobeat creator, but now the mother of king of Afrobeat.
Asked how she sees the future of Africa music and being the mother of one the most recognised artiste in the world, Ogulu said: “As a manager it’s fulfilling, and just makes you feel that you have done good work. I have been surrounded by a really solid team, and you know, we have the best product to sell.”
“He is one of the most talented artistes I have seen in my life. So having him to work with us as a product is a blessing, and we all feel very fulfilled and proud about him personally, about what we are doing with him, what we are doing for the continent, and just about how we have manage to represent ourselves” she added.
Commenting on the business relationship with Burna Boy as his manger as well as being his mother, the outspoken business manager stated that they both found a formula. She added that it was important that Burna Boy fired her at a time because if it didn’t he would have had time to go without her being a part of his career.
“Though I did let go completely; I still take care of the endorsement and a few things liken that. Yes we both found a formula; he’s grown older, so there is maturity, he gone round the block, seen and circle back. He has a saying that when everything else fails you have to back home and retrace your steps.
“I have also grown and realised that there needs to be boundaries, respect and know where the mother-child relationship stops, and know where the business relationship starts. We respect what we do for each and respect each other space. It is not perfect yet, I guessing it can never be but we are good,” she stated.
On Spaceship Entertainment, the mother of explosive Afro-fusion artiste said, “The Spaceship collectives, which I founded, has a record label and a publishing arm, and it’s driven by Burna and again, I have a beautiful team
“But the idea for me behind it is that Africans should own their catalogs because what I see, my biggest fear is that in 10 years…because the scramble for African music is turning to the scramble for the lands in Africa. I see the same thing happening and people are signing deals that they barely understand and collecting advances and selling their souls.
“So we want to push that at least, let an African be the one to buy your catalog, then it’s easier for you to buy it back; then you don’t have this problem of them telling you what to sing and how you should sound in the next five-ten years, which is bound to happen if the people who own your catalog and own your career don’t understand what you’re about,” she explained.
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