Ayeni Adekunle, one of Africa’s leading reputation managers and founder/CEO of BHMG says there is more to a successful music career than vocal prowess.
“I believe you must have some form of talent to want to claim you can practice music, but I have always held a firm belief that what a 2Baba is selling is beyond the music. What an MI is selling is beyond the music. There was a period where MI did not release a single track for years and he was still busy. 2Baba has been active for over 25 years! We are in a reputation and influence business.”
“What gets you the type of attention you want from your audience? How do you cultivate your audience? How do you attract them? I will pick Adekunle Gold who has been very innovative with building his audience in the past couple of years. It’s not just the music. People see marketing in the broader space as something you use and dump and then pick it up when you need to – when you need to drop an album or when you have a concert but it’s more than that. It’s a tool that everyone always needs.”
Ayeni shared these thoughts during MTN’s Business of the Art Series webinar on Friday, August 28, 2020. The Nigerian entrepreneur was a journalist for many years, covering musicians and record labels for over a decade. He joined a faculty of experts to provide guidance to fresh MTN-MUSON scholars, in a session that has now become popular with everyone interested in navigating the Nigerian music space.
One more thing – music is a service! Yes, a service that needs to be monetized. We can’t be ‘stanning’ our artistes and loving them up on social media. Pay for what you love, we need to do that. Ayeni put it in even better words, “You need to see the music industry as one where you are using talent as a service – that talent should not be limited to just your abilities or production talent. The challenge is that increasingly, it is becoming difficult to monetise these audiences. Just like the media, we give away music for free!”
Other panelists were CEO, Now Muzik, Efe Omorogbe; Country Manager, ViacomCBS Network Africa, Bada Akintunde-Johnson; Vice President, International Strategy & Operations, Warner Music Group, Temi Adeniji and Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Irancell, Larry Annetts. Oyinkansola Fawehinmi, President, Digital Music Commerce and Exchange Limited, expertly moderated all sessions.
In his remarks, Larry Annetts, who was CMO at MTN Nigeria in a period where the ICT firm solidified its dominance as a major music supporter, distributor and aggregator, and now the Chief Marketing Officer at MTN Irancell, said: “Your distribution will only be as good as your marketing plan.” Omorogbe focused on elements required to build a successful career. “The focus should be primarily on the music – the quality; the brand positioning; the type of market targeted; the structure behind the talent.”
MTN Nigeria enabled over 500 aspiring musicians to learn from industry professionals in the intensive three-hour session – the Business of the Art series.