It’s that time of the year where almost every hangout and locality has an event with artiste performances as an attraction. It is also that time for artistes to ‘make a killing’ as the year ends. We have lost a couple of artistes during such times as they moved from one place to another to perform, mainly because they were in-demand; Rest in Peace Menton Summer.
As a musician, you’re always hunting for the next opportunity to hit the stage for some money, some more exposure and of course a good time; mbu because an artiste ‘feels life’ while on stage performing. My friend, every once in a while, you need to learn to say “NO” to a gig and below are some of the incidents when you should turn down a gig offer.
1. Brand vs Big Money!
Can you risk your brand for huge sums of money to perform? You might get a chance for a fat paycheck but hey, ask yourself, is it good for your brand! An artiste like Isaiah Katumwa will not perform at a show organized ku mwalo (at a landing site)! So, ask yourself, “Is it good for my brand?”
2. You are contacted by a promoter with a bad reputation!
At any given time, avoid dealing with any promoter with a bad reputation. Do some research about these people and the planned venue, see whether the past history is good or bad before you say yes to any gig.
In checking these out, make sure the promoter and venue are legit ethical. In this social media age, if you affiliate yourself with an irresponsible person or venue that supports a political view, racism, sexism etcetera, you’re bound to run into severe problems with your fans especially because they (your fans) come from different factions and you’re aligning yourself with a particular faction. So, choose wisely as you say yes to that next gig.
3. Are you scarce or you’re too common?
‘Law 16’ in Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power states: Use absence to increase respect and honor. The judgment is “Too much circulation makes the price go down: the more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value through scarcity.”
Case in point, artistes like Julian and Maddox have this law as a routine. Figure this out, how many times does Juliana appear at shows? When was the last time Maddox played at an open event? Use this to your advantage and you will keep your price and reputation up.
“You really need to take your career seriously, invest massively in it as a business and also as a brand…”
4. Are you prepared to perform?
Buddy, if you’re not prepared or cannot get prepared in time to take a gig, please don’t it. Period. If you’re having problems with your voice, don’t take the gig. If you’re having some kind of senyiga (cold), minor cough etcetera, don’t take the gig.
You just simply have to say “NO” to a gig for one or all of the above reasons and any unpreparedness BUT, if all is good enough, you’re good to go; say YES and go blow up that stage. The promoter and the venue will definitely call you up for more gigs. You really need to take your career seriously, invest massively in it as a business and also as a brand. This builds reliability, confidence and trust with various promoters/venues.
I always love to hear your feedback. Drop it in the comments and tell me some of other reasons I might have left out. Till then, Merry Christmas to you. Let’s meet next week.