Acclaimed artist manager Alex Muyoboke is urging event organizers to balance paychecks for local and foreign artists in the same concert if they really want to boost the local music industry.
Muyoboke questioned the logic of event organizers in paying a Rwandan artist $500 to perform alongside a Nigerian musician, who paid over $20,000, but “Rwandan artists are doing better on stage than foreigners these days. “
Tom Close’s ex-manager spoke his mind live on KT Radio while addressing the ongoing wave of Nigerian artists flying in and out for shows paying fat checks at every musical event.
“I’m not saying they should stop using foreign musicians, but they should at least increase the salaries of local musicians. If a Nigerian musician gets $5000, maybe a local artist should get half the price but not $500. We shouldn’t undermine our own artists,” says Muyoboke.
He went on to say that local artists have proved to them that they have a large audience that loves their music, which can bring in a lot of money for promoters.
“Recently, Bruce Intore, a renowned event organizer, organized the first local musicians’ event, trapish concert and it was a sold out show without a foreign musician. Our musicians can perform better if you give them the chance and the confidence,” Muyoboke continued.
He also warned local artists to stop this nonsense of paying big bucks to foreign collaborations instead of investing the money in producing quality music that would persuade foreign counterparts to come and haggle.
Speaking from experience, Muyoboke revealed that Uganda’s Bebe Cool, while managing Charly Na Nina, charged $5000 for a single song but later ran after them.
“I approached Bebe Cool for a feature with Charly Na Nina. He asked for $5,000 and we couldn’t afford it at the time. So we went on, but after the release of Owooma, Bebe Cool came after us and paid for everything to get the girls in the studio, including a video,” he said.
Since last year, Rwanda has hosted five Nigerian artists, with more to come. Whenever they come they get a lot of money to build their music industry and our own artists struggle to even pay studio fees.
Artists such as Ruger, Oma Lay, Rema, Davido and Ycee have graced Rwandan stages. Timaya is scheduled to fly into the country for a show on Wednesday.
Alex Muyoboke has been in charge of artists since 2008. Local musicians dream of working with him because over these years he has built a network of the best producers, promoters, DJs, presenters and acclaimed artists across the region, making it easier for any artist to sign with in no time time shine.