“There is a price to pay for being successful….”
Clarence Peters has shared some interesting thoughts on the effect of being successful in the music industry and its weight on Nigerian artistes.
The Popular music video director, filmmaker and cinematographer spoke on how the expectations from being famous could make it look like its not financially rewarding.
Speaking with Joey Akan on the latest Afro-Intelligence series, the 36-year-old said people have abused the word ‘Standard’, adding that the way we have given it a variation to different meaning have screwed up a lot of people from growing.
According to him, being tagged a ‘standard music video director’ has stopped him from growing in the past four years because he can’t make mistakes: “If I can’t make mistakes, I can’t learn,” he said.
Clarence stated that he used to like making mistakes so he can understand why that particular thing shouldn’t happen again. As long as you can do better than or as good as a person, you’re regarded as a standard — something Clarence doesn’t like for himself.
“When I was put on that pedestal, I know, I did not like it at all. I didn’t think that I was ready to be put in that place.”
Speaking on if it’s financially rewarding, the CEO of Capital Dreams Pictures with the likes of Wizkid, Burna Boy and Davido.
According to him, he has known Wizkid for a while even long before he became a household name, so he believes he knows where he’s coming from.
We as music lovers mostly just want to enjoy the good music our favourite artiste dishes out, but we never really care how they do it especially when they’re consistent.
Most of these artistes have been tagged as ‘standard’, so they have to work thrice as hard to meet up with the expectations without making mistakes.
“Two years ago, I sat down with Ayo to have a conversation and I felt my boy drained,” Clarence told Joey. I felt the weight on his shoulders. When we shot ‘FIA’, I had conversations with David. I felt it. And David is…when he’s feeling anyway and you have a conversation with him, even when he’s trying to mask it, you can almost feel it. Same thing with Burna. This is Burna before the Grammys.”
He continued to state that what people have tagged money has become a big issue because one has to be constantly involved and locked up to enjoy the money that comes from all those hardwork.
“The money becomes the enemy. Not the money itself but the perception. When they say money isn’t everything, well money is a lot of things. But there’s a core, that for you to enjoy money, you have to unlock that core and be in zen mode with yourself to be able to enjoy that money.”
Clarence believes that as long as you’re seen as a ‘standard’, you will be forced to work more to maintain it. And that’s one of the major reason why you will have no time to enjoy the money you make from it as much as you’d want.
“I haven’t enjoyed whatever financial success that I have gotten because I have put everything back into the work. I think I bought a car once, and gave it to my mom. Hence why I don’t even go out. I don’t have a car.”
He however noted that him not being able to afford a car only means that he has so much things to handle.
According to Clarence, he lives at his work and he’s available 24/7 just to balance everything out. This he knows is not healthy, but he has to continue meeting the expectations of the ‘Standards’.
“You expect that the audience, the people should be able to give you some slack at some point if you don’t get one right. You deserve that. You’ve worked hard enough for you to be able to earn it. But you find out that you don’t. So you start to ask yourself, it’s a loop. So you have to do it over and over and over again and then you get tired.”
Wizkid and Davido have been holding down the torch for the last ten years, and people are continuously still expecting more hits from them
“I think it was Wiz that said to me, “baba I don try, I don try.” Yes, he’s tried. What do they want from him again? Year in, year out for the past 10 years, the kid has given you hits. David too, the same thing, hits!”
He spoke further:
“Look at the Burna situation, everybody’s criticizing him. The ‘Jerusalema’ track drops and everyone is like ‘we don’t care, we are taking him like that.’ So as long as you are fed. When you’ve gone long into it, you start asking yourself ‘what the fuck did I get myself into?’ You start doing the math. If I was in another profession, I wouldn’t be used to a certain lifestyle. So you would be a place where this is what you know, this is what you do and you’d be able to cut your coat according to your size. And yes, it would come with its own problems, but would its own problems involve being locked up?”
Despite being birthed by famous celebrities, Shina Peters and Clarion Chukwura, Clarence Peters said he never wanted anyone to know his name because once people start to know you, you start to get the perks of being known.
“It starts off with the perks and your like ‘okay, maybe it’s not that bad. I need to be careful though.’ Then you now start getting used to being known, so your ego—there’s no way your ego is not going to be stroked at some point. People know you, but then artists and your colleagues are starting to say that you’re the best.”
He noted that it was one of his guys who edited a music video for him back in 2006 that first included his name tag.
In a nutshell, if you’re on the path of being a successful person in the Nigerian music industry, you need to make sure the fame and attentions doesn’t get to your head.
Let me know what you think in the comment section below….
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