A few days ago, Veteran rapper, Ruggedman was selected as the Chairman of media for the Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria, PMAN, after an election was conducted.
The election also saw Pretty Okafor emerge as the president of the association and according to Ruggedman, change is about to take place in the music association.
When asked why the selection process was carried out at night, Ruggedman said it was safe and for the best.
“Why do they have soldiers around polling stations when they are having elections?” he asked. “For the fact that you need to elect somebody, it means it is a position of power. It automatically means that there is always someone that would want to oppose the election.
“There would always be someone who wants to stop it. So to be on the safe side, we just wanted to do it in a safe environment. If you check the pictures of the event, you would see that we had delegates from almost 24 states. So it was not only Pretty and his executives that were there and we held the election. Also, I think it was just the hotel security men that were there. Nobody carried guns,” he said.
“So because your father is old does not mean he is no longer your father,” he said defending Pretty, who most people said was not qualified to head the association. Do they want Wizkid or Davido to become PMAN president?
“To me, you don’t have to be an active musician to head PMAN. Is Buhari one of the soldiers fighting in Sambisa? But he is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. It is not about being an active musician but what you have to offer. It is about you being a musician and understanding the art of making music. You need to know what royalty and intellectual property is about.
“I don’t know how vibrant the association was in the 90s but one thing I know they did not have is a proper structure. The structure I am talking about is the one that makes music pay, one that makes music interesting. It is a way to track downloads and airplay and make artistes get their royalties. If you keep working without being paid, you will not be happy. I know they do not have that type of structure in the 90s.
“Right now, PMAN is bringing in that structure. We have got the Federal Government, Microsoft, Airtel, NIPOST and other organisations involved. The reason Airtel and NIPOST were involved is simply for distribution purposes. When you register as a member, you register your songs as well. Each track would be encoded and the album would be bar coded.
“Then NIPOST would send it to all the states it covers for distribution. Marketers who want to get the album just need to know your release date; they just need to stroll to NIPOST to pick the album. Imagine a situation where you can walk up to any Airtel kiosk to buy an album. That is why we brought Airtel on board. This is what Pretty is bringing in,” he said.
This sounds interesting and new in the Nigerian music scene. Nigerian entertainers now have something to look forward to that protects their interest in the art market.