Comedian and actor Akunyota Akpobome, popularly known as Alibaba, on Friday, claimed that aspiring artistes partake in occultic practices prior to getting signed by a record label.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, Alibaba claimed that these traditions are just one of many things that cause young artists to have blind spots.
His comments come amid growing public outrage over the allegations of abuse suffered by the late 27-year-old singer Ilerioluwa Olademeji, also known as Mohbad, until his demise on September 12.
“For me, there are some things that you would not want to do, and you must stick with it. It is the same thing with some of these artists — some of them do rituals now,” said Alibaba.
“As an artiste, you must define your purpose, you must hold on to some strong values you’ve been brought up with.
“If you are someone who is in a position with your creative abilities, you don’t need that kind of pressure. You don’t need somebody making you sign or take an oath for you to be creative.”
According to the performer, there is a strong desire to become well-known and successful that is displacing some artistes’ core principles and “this is where peer pressure sets in”.
“People just want to blow; they want to be seen, they want to be heard, they want to make money, they want to belong. And because of that, they step back from the values they have been brought up with and do what they shouldn’t do,” he said.
Alibaba argued that certain artistes are surviving and thriving despite the pressures of the entertainment industry.
“They don’t smoke, they don’t hold cigars, they don’t hold the glass cup and drink whiskey in their [music videos], and they insist on it,” he said.
“Even if the choreography says it would add colour to the video, they would say no.”
‘Signed By Initiation’
An artiste and producer, Olawale Luqman, who was also a guest on the show, claimed that when young upcoming artistes get contracts, they get really hyped and are under pressure to sign contracts.
“They don’t even think about what exactly they are trying to do with this contract – they just want to sign it. They see the big numbers because the labels know how to structure a contract. They just put the big numbers,” Luqman said.
“They just make sure you see you are getting $100,000 in advance but they don’t know that the $100,000 is a loan. By sweat or anything, you have to pay that loan.
“That’s why so many of these artists get trapped in record labels, and they can’t do anything about it. Some people don’t even get signed with a contract; some people get signed by initiation: ‘Yo, we are cult members now, this is what it is.’ Some people don’t even sign a contract.”