State Of The Music: Award shows should not hold in December or any other festive season
Awards need to hold earlier or after December. No artiste should be forced to trade one gain for another.
Don’t we love award show? That 2 hours of intense activity that hold the key in deciding which and what artiste has been outstanding, towering over their peers by the works of their hands, voices and money. These award shows are always the thing of much joy to winners, and a very good source of banter and analysis for the press and the public who would invest emotionally in these stars and expect their investment to be validated.
That’s why there’s always a clash online, and sometimes offline, when a contentious decision plays itself out. (Like Aramide winning the AFRIMA over Yemi Alade and Tiwa Savage, Illbliss picking up Headies ‘Lyricist on the Roll’, or Shaydee going home with a trophy for Best Vocal Performance).
This year, fans have pointed out, often with anger and disappointment that their most prized stars are not attending the award shows. Two of Nigeria’s most watched award shows of 2016 – The Headies and Soundcity MVP Awards – contained holes in them because the artistes who were awarded failed to turn up. How disheartening.
For an award show to be a complete spectacle, a number of things have to be in place. If an organizer does manage to go through all those hurdles, and finally put things together to the point where an artiste is announced as the winner of a category, then it’s a kick in the balls for that artiste to not show up. For many fans, it feels like a betrayal. They want to see you hold the award up high, and give a speech. They want to be a part of your triumph, knowing well that they were a part of the reason why that honor was given to you.
All you have is just one job: show up and collect the trophy. That’s all. Shikena.
The Headies and Sound City MVPs had a number of awardees fail to turn up and collect their awards. And although, many of them can be blamed for being disrespectful and a tad ungrateful, there may be one valid reason why these guys fail to show up.
December is the festive season, where a record number of private gigs hold. These star artistes, who have been voted as the best in the business are in huge demand by promoters and event organizers. They are booked excessively, and flown to different parts of the world, where they perform, pick up their appearance and performance fees. This is the season where they make the most money and time is of the essence for them. They need to maximize their earning capabilities and these concerts give them the opportunity to do so.
In December, it comes down to the artiste making a choice between the awards and money. And frankly, music is a business, and no matter how the artistes tend to hypocritically say they are in it to express themselves and bless their fans, the truth remains that they are in it for the money. The cash validates their existence as an entity in business, and it is that money that keeps the music flowing.
Many artistes choose this money over the chance to posture at award ceremonies. They choose to improve their bottom line, over getting an intangible honor which truly holds little value for their business.
Check the US, how many award shows hold in December? How many would want to fight for the demands on the artistes’ time, in a season where the money is supposed to rain? No major one!
Awards need to hold earlier or after December. No artiste should be forced to trade one gain for another. The first three months of a year are the best times to hold an award show. There are less commitments and bookings, and less events also, giving your show the prominence it deserves to attract awardees.
That’s the simple solution.