By Ezekiel Mutua, CEO of the Music Copyright Society of Kenya(MCSK)
“So you do one dirty song and it gets to your head to the point where you discard advice from elders and accomplished professionals by dismissing them with a cursory wave of a hand “Kaskie Vibaya na huko kwenu?”
Then strangers hype your insults and arrogance on social media and you feel like you are on top of the world. Your dirty song is played on radio stations even during watershed time against the law. It’s the hit in all nightclubs.
But the stations and nightclubs using your song pay you nothing, or if anything, peanuts. Of course, serious corporates don’t associate their brands with vulgarity and indecency so you are clearly cutting yourself off from big money while pleasing strangers on social media.
After the fame hinged on vulgarity and foolishness in the name of creativity, you get broke and you realise you can’t make ends meet. You discarded advice from wise people and from elders. You have no coach, no mentor and no agent to manage your talent. And because you projected an image of a rich and arrogant artist, many people don’t easily come to your aid. You are also afraid to ask for help because you burnt bridges while basking in the vain glory of social media.
So let me talk to you today as a father. Dismissing advice from people who truly love you and want the best out of you is the beginning of the end. Dirty content sells, but only to perverts. The great part of the market, particularly here in Kenya, is composed of decent people who would not want to listen to dirty music, especially in mixed company or where children are likely to be present. Despite all their flaws, most parents care about their children and what they consume. They don’t want their children to be exposed to dirty content.
Many people wouldn’t want their children to listen to your crap about promiscuity and incest. Ati “niko na pesa na ni ya babako.” Really? If that were a true story, the character wouldn’t be proud of herself.
So unless you are creating content for views and likes on social media, you really want to think deeply about the consumer and your target audience and exactly how your talent can make money for you. Products that sell most, in every sector, are those that are consumed by family.
I have always held the view that content doesn’t have to be dirty to sell. Normalizing vulgarity and indecency in the name of fame is a serious deficiency of imagination. I will always be true to my character and will advise the youth with love and honesty. Create content that can be consumed by family. The time span for dirty content is short. In the end, content should translate to money and that is where the consumer comes in. Clean is cool!”