By Chux Odoh
A former Talent manager and PR consultant, Mr Olayinka Babawale, known popularly as Wale Applause today penned down a long letter, addressed to young Nigerians who are currently working as or looking to chase a career in talent management.
Wale, who has worked with YBNL boss, Olamide, as a PR rep and later managed Lil Kesh who was signed to the label at that time wrote the letter as his way of official exiting the Nigerian Entertainment industry where he was an active player for 11 years.
In the letter titled TRUE LIFE STORY OF AN ARTISTE MANAGER 1(Lessons for all aspiring Talent managers), made an attempt to educate aspiring talent managers of the challenges and realities that come with the role of being a talent manager in a music industry such as Nigeria’s.
“Let me start by saying Talent Management is not a Job, IT IS A CALLING. Maybe Promotions is a job, but I repeat, Talent Management is not a job”, Wale says in the opening paragraph of his letter.
Using his personal decade-long experience as reference, he chronicled his journey as a talent manager, who worked to help grow the career of Lil Kesh in the early years of the former YBNL artiste’s career.
Wale tells a tale of betrayal and breach of trust between him and his former client. This he suggested is rampant in the Nigeria music industry.
Also advising Nigerian artistes, especially those who are just at the twilight of their careers, the former Magazine publisher had his to say: ‘Over time I have seen artiste rise and fall and rise again to fall again. I have seen artists grow from baby to Giant, at least I created one ‘Lil Kesh’ myself before he thought I was no longer of use to him. He already became a star, I guess his career can tell the story now.
‘Why did I say this’, Mr Applause continues, ‘it is because I am trying to pass a message to all new artistes, Never bite the hand that fed you. You see the thing about that manager that helped you ‘blow’ like we call it, NEVER EVER LET HIM GO IF YOU ARE NOT DOUBLE SURE OF A REPLACEMENT.’
Also in his letter, Mr Wale Applause also made very strong allegations against some notable media personalities, both on radio and on TV. For some, he accused of collecting money from artistes to play their content but end up doing little or nothing to benefit the artiste. His list included top Nigerian DJs, radio broadcasters in some of the most prominent radio stations in the country.
Back to the upcoming managers and artistes, Mr Wale shared some free advice on how they can navigate through the music gatekeepers industry, going as far as recommending specific personalities he described as ‘Real ones’. He also offered insight into the process of music distribution in Nigeria and the most effective channels which budding musicians and their managers can explore.
The former industry player while revealing his path in life revealed he has left the country to chase the dream of becoming a medical doctor. However, he is still open to consulting when and where necessary.