In the List of top 10 managers in music industry who messed over their clients, managers who were greedy and the ones who thought drugs was a good escape for their artistes topped the charts. Yeah! bad managers have their charts too. We are just yet to make a list of them as far as Nigeria and Africa is concerned.
From Colonel Tom Parker who received 50% of Elvis Presley’s earnings to Mathew Knowles who had the habit of stealing his daughter’s money, greed is the known ailment for artiste managers. There is an ailment we all have tolerated and might just be the reason why our favorite artistes end up in rehab.
If you are an artiste manager, I know you are probably angry saying “What more could I do. That is where (s)he gets inspiration from. I also don’t want to lose my job.” Hollup! Hollup! Dear Angry Bird, sorry, manager, have you heard of the terminology called “Duty of Care?” I suggest you read up and learn one or two things.
The deaths of Wacko Jacko, Amy Winehouse and other notable big brand artistes have brought certain hidden questions and consequently managers’ actions and responsibilities. Managers are saddled with the responsibility to ensure their clients are in good health which includes, mental, emotional and psychological health.
I have, on many occasions, witnessed managers being their artistes’ dealers and suppliers of various kind of drugs all in the name of trippy state of mind and getting inspiration. I have also asked some managers if the artiste was their siblings, if they would indulge such – The Layman Test. Most managers failed it.
We will all agree that in Nigeria, substance abuse is prevalent in all sorts of professions (Law and Medicine included) so why do we focus on artistes alone? The answer is embedded in the words of Uncle Ben to Peter Parker “With great power comes great responsibility”.
Some managers are exacerbated by the fear that their client might not be able to perform both literally and creatively without the aid of these “drugs”. In the words of a prolific Hollywood reporter he responded to this saying: “It’s no surprise they choose to ignore the huge amount of time-wasting their addiction is responsible for (let alone how drugs and alcohol can make you think you’re writing something great when it’s actually rubbish).
While we blame managers and also put guns to their hands holding them accountable for the wreckage of their client’s health and career. We all (including fans except Justin Bieber’s. LMAO) become culpable by glorifying drug addiction among artists and praising.
I know some readers also have this to express: “How many artists do you know who created their best work after getting clean?”
So here is a response from another renowned world-class manager to your question: “I know plenty of artists who descended into drug abuse and never created anything worthwhile again, if they created anything. I know plenty of artists hooked on drink and/or drugs who never produced anything worthwhile at all, and I know plenty of artists who never abused drink or drugs – and yet they created great music. Even the greatest artists have only a few truly great albums in them. The ones who have more are usually extremely productive during a relatively short time (Stevie Wonder and David Bowie come to mind).”
Managers need to agree that they carry a responsibility which is the “duty of care” — acknowledging addiction as a disease and how it can back fire on their client. We haven’t really had artistes in Nigeria who have died from overdose but we have a quite alarming number of artistes whom drugs have taken out of their glory. Managers are truly the ones who can save artistes from their destructive lifestyle and they must take it as a responsibility.