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Don’t be ‘follow boys’ —Ashes tells artiste managers

BY: Kofi Duah

ARTISTE manager, Ashes has disclosed most of his colleagues in Ghana lack requisite skills of shaping the careers of their clients and has advised them to up their game so they do not end up as ‘follow boys.’

Most artistes in the country have outgrown their managers and that becomes a problem, especially when the manager is not bringing much to the table, resulting in them becoming errand boys(follow boys).

According to Berklee College of Music website, artist managers guide every aspect of their clients' careers, counseling them on professional decisions and opportunities, overseeing their day-to-day schedules and activities and representing their interests within larger productions and teams and gets paid for their work.

“When I started working with Kwabena Kwabena, I realised his brand had become big so I had to also take some courses to upgrade myself. When that happens, the artiste sees the manager at a certain high level and accord him maximum respect. He listens to the manager when he sees the impact you have on their career” Ashes told the Graphic Showbiz in a recent interview.

Ashes, real name Prince Nana Opoku, who has worked with Yaw Sarpong, Ofori Amponsah, Tinny, Nacee, Nana Boroo, Kumi Guitar, Paa Dogo and Nigeria’s 2Baba, said managing an artiste should not be based on friendship.

“Most artistes employ their friends who don’t know anything about artiste management to handle their affairs. In such instances,  the artiste easily fires them when they don’t see any development.”

Talking about artistes parting ways with their managers at the peak of their careers, Ashes, who is also a radio and TV entertainment pundit and a sound engineer, said resentment sets in especially when the manager worked hard and made sacrifices when the artiste was not popular.

“The rejection is always painful, especially when there are no major issues between them. But I can understand the reason some artistes fire their managers. A lot of managers do not grow and at a point in time, the artiste outgrow them, rendering them irrelevant. Any manager who has worked hard will feel the pain when this happens because he is human” Ashes said.

Sharing Ashes’ views, artiste manager Frank Agyekum, who has also worked with Daddy Lumba, Ofori Amponsah, Obrafour, Guru, Buk Bak, Nana Quame, Kurl Songx among others, said a manager’s job is to serve the artiste and project him/her to the world.

GH music industry needs ‘foreign coach’ —Tinny

“I for instance understand the role of a manager, hence the reason all the artistes I have worked with keep coming back even when we go our separate ways. But it is always a difficult task for any manager when the artiste doesn’t listen to anything. But when the artiste understands the manager, both can work for a long time. I have the skill and the artiste has the talent so we both need to understand each other to make it work”, he said.

He said managing artistes “is a calling and if it’s not your work, you will always find it difficult. Daddy Lumba is not a very easy person to work with but I was able to take charge of his affairs and even change his name from Daddy Lumba to DL and that is because I understand him.”