Entertainers are today being urged to put plans in motion to ensure they remain relevant when the spotlight is no longer on them.
This comes after dancehall artiste Gully Bop revealed last week that disc jocks are no longer playing his songs, and he feels ‘forgotten’.
The entertainer, who catapulted to fame in 2015, had the perfect ‘rags to riches’ story, literally moving from the ‘gully’ to the pinnacle of the entertainment industry. A homeless man at the time, Bop was videotaped deejaying an original song. That video went viral, and the rest, as they say, ‘is history’.
Gully Bop’s music dominated the airwaves, and he was one of the most in-demand artistes for 2015. But, his fame was short-lived. Bop struggled to find the right management team, and that, coupled with a number of tumultuous relationships, caused the deejay’s ‘fall from grace’.
Industry experts say artistes should make note of what has happened to Bop and ensure plans are in place to cushion their ‘fall’ should things get to that point.
Ronnie Tomlinson, CEO of Destine Media and public relations specialist, told THE WEEKEND STAR that artistes have to start recognising that long-lasting careers are built on a strong foundation. She said that too many artistes still fail to realise the importance of gathering a team of persons to assist in laying the blocks of said foundation.
“Our culture embraces ‘new talent’. There is always a hype or someone new who will attain the attention of people. But, as an artiste, you have to grow and engage your fan base. Turn your likes and follows into fans. Fans spend money – they buy music, they buy merchandise, they want to emulate you. That’s what a good team will help you to create.”
In addition, she said that artistes need to hire competent people who can handle your business.
“Get a booking agent. A booking agent is not someone who can just answer the phone and write a contract. A booking agent is someone who has relationships with promoters and festivals and knows how to find the right gigs for their artistes/clients,” she said.
“Get yourself a manager. And a manager is not a family member who you trust to go on the road and collect your money. A manager is someone who is knowledgeable and able to make decisions on your behalf. They must be able to map out the plan and execute, while having the right persons and relationships to make it happen.”
While having a strong team in place is important, Tomlinson said that a good attitude is vital to surviving in the entertainment business.
“Everyone is different and no matter how talented one person is, he or she may not be fit for what comes with stardom. They have to be willing to be an artiste and ‘take telling’. Too many artistes are managing themselves, and if they have a manager, they do not listen or allow them to manage,” she told THE WEEKEND STAR.
Cara Vickers, creative consultant and public relations manager, shared similar views.
Vickers, who was once involved in Bop’s career through her Frenz For Real Record label, said that there are many factors that can contribute to an artiste’s downfall.
“It’s not just talent that sustains creativity or keeps you in the business. That has a lot to do with packaging and mechanics and staying relevant. What it boils down to is management really. If you as an artiste don’t understand the importance of having a team around you that can guide you in the things you need to do to stay relevant in the industry, then you will struggle,” she said.
“In the case of Gully Bop, he just got misled. If he had stuck to the plan, maybe things would have been different for him. He just got the whole thing confused, and that was due in part to him not being able to maintain any kind of structure.”