Why Promoters, Artistes Need Each Other?
Last week, Promoter Balaam Barugahara gave Moze Radio 48 hours to apologise to him in pubic (TV, Radio, print media) or be sued for not less than Shs 300 million in damages for insulting him. The country is still shocked. But why would an artiste insult a promoter he has worked with before? Is because of pride, being high on alcohol or lack of respect? It is every artiste’s dream to play for a big crowd or support a big act (that is in the case of budding musicians) but such opportunities are not only expensive but rare to come by.
This is so because promoters though they help artistes develop, they are also into business and need to make money. This is the reason you will notice, that most of the country’s top promoters have a limited number of established brands namely Dr.Jose Chameleone, Bebe Cool, Bobi Wine, Radio & Weasel, Grace Nakimera, Maurice Kirya to mention but a few, that they prefer working with week-in-week-out. The aforementioned musicians provide value, be it for their own gigs or when supporting visiting international artistes. Unfortunate to say, unknown brands add little or no value to a gig; in fact they are a cost to a promoter.
Artistes like Mun G, Zizza Bafana, Aziz Azion etc, play good music that is appreciated by many on radio and in clubs but their shows for varying reasons do not attract healthy crowds. This then creates challenges for promoters when it comes to issues of remuneration. In cases where promoters give artistes a chance to curtain raise for established brands, problems have sprung from the arrangement. Often promoters have been accused of exploiting artistes yet the artistes are the ones that literally beg to perform for little or no payment for exposure.
In showbiz two main options are available for the promoters and musicians. Either the artistes take home all gate takings with the promoter getting his money through beer sales on the show day or the promoter gets both the bar and gate takings but pays an artiste(s) an agreed flat fee. The payment systems are, nonetheless, not limited to the aforesaid. They vary from case-to-case depending on the agreement between the promoter and artistes. But the most important thing is both the promoter and musician should always come up with agreeable contract to both sides.
Song Diva: Juliana Kanyomozi
It is my view though that in dealing, promoters should periodically adjust an artiste’s value both in the negative or positive depending on market response. For example, A-pass started playing almost for nothing but he is now charging millions for his appearance fee, since promoters are appreciating the growth of his brand. A guiding fact is artistes need promoters just as much as promoters need artistes. And the relationship between the two should always border on fairness and ethics for our music industry to grow.
Without promoters artistes will not get any exposure while at the same time the promoters will have nothing to promote. The more stars created or exposed by promoters, the more entertaining our industry becomes. It is boring to have a handful of artistes rotating venues every week around the country.