Kaka Empire, yes, that’s one of the names that most aspiring musicians easily utter when they’re wishfully talking about their future in showbiz. They want to work under –read signed to— the brand. There’s plenty of proof to this demand in this 2015 Aipate article that has received wide readership due to the label’s lack of an official website. We should be glad, right? The comments indicate that these new artists want to enjoy the visible success experienced by the likes of Timmy, Femi One and the others. A deal with the King Kaka-led stable is like a ticket to fame. But that’s just that, if you were to think long-term, say 10 years, you’ll find out otherwise.
Well, personally, I believe Kaka Empire is a very good booking agency. Yes, they will get you performing in (and earning from) a string of corporate-sponsored shows. My concern, is the talent management aspect, the part that would help an artist record and release good and relevant music. Maybe the industry is accustomed to “hit artists” whose influence rarely go beyond five years. Does that make it right though?
Let’s take a look at Avril‘s case. Being one of the top female artist names around, she still looks clueless, considering her music direction. But that is okay because she she has endorsement deals, right? What happens when, hypothetically, she wakes up and there is a hotter, more dramatic and more vocally gifted singer. The companies will definitely jump ship to this more buzz-worthy act. Sooner, she realises that none of her records is ‘real’ enough to sustain her in the next five years, leave alone supporting her (future) family. You see, I insist that these corporate entities do not care about the song or individual artist or talent but only the fans who are prospective customers to their growing list of products. Problem is, these fans are easily swayed away.
Without proper creative direction, even a very talented musician will fade artistically. The only guys who won’t be affected much are the Empire deejays and comedian Owago Onyiro. Femi One may never make music worth listening to while sober or, Timmy may never break through the ceiling and go regional/international. In fact, even the more talented and highly funded Arrow Boy may never achieve his full potential.
My unsolicited advice to them is to employ a very experienced, passionate and visionary person as an Artist & Repertoire (A&R) manager. This executive would oversee the creative component of the artists’ careers. The effect, I believe, is that, as these artists will be receiving increased bookings and endorsements, their talent will never depreciate but rather flourish.