This morning I turned on my television and I landed on a show discussing the role of musicians. Unfortunately, nothing that was said was new or news; it was the usual repeated talk that is yet to be actioned.
It is wonderful that art in all its forms has come a long way and an income earner to most of its partakers. But now, the industry needs to move to the next level. Over and over again there has been the discussion of forming an artist association. But to date, it is just a concept.
From the interview, it was obvious that there is a realization of the importance of the establishment of this association and its benefits. However, the chief weakness is the segregation among our artists. They are busy dividing themselves into mainstream artists, gospel artists, river road artists and other classes. For an association to be effective and have legal standing, it must represent a majority of the key players in the industry and have a unified voice.
The issue of collective bargain agreements also came up as well. Something which will be achievable with the creation of this association. It is also through this body artists will be able to push for legislation that protects and speaks to the industry’s challenges as well.
However, this will only succeed if it is an initiative by the artists themselves. It does not require government to be its backbone, not at all. Only the wearer of the shoe knows where it pinches most. The government will not proactively decide what is good for the industry. The artists should drive this movement and set precedence and call the shots. Just like any movement, organization and structure is important.
Get organized people and walk the talk!