6 Lessons Nigerian Entertainers Can Learn From Beyonce
So Beyonce broke the internet - again.
It was going to be just another Friday - social media would be filled with the usual TGIF posts, there'd be the occasional #flashback images, maybe possibly a celeb gaffe or two we'd laugh over. Just same ol', same ol'.
Then Beyonce decided to post a photo on Instagram.
The new mum of three shared a photo of herself and her twins, and effectively owned the internet - yet again.
The question now is - how does one woman with the same number of hours as the rest of us consistently manage to dominate cyber space with her moves every.single.time?
More importantly, how has she gone from the green-eyed teenager we met in 1999 to the musical powerhouse she is right now?
Truth is, quite a lot has gone into the making of Queen B, ranging from a rock solid team to a ruthless attention to detail.
Back home, while many of our entertainers are now beginning to aspire to international standards, there's still a long way to go.
So, what is it about Beyonce that makes her so bankable and what can our artistes learn from the mistress of the Beyhive?
Let's attempt to deconstruct this.
1. Mystery is an asset...USE IT: In a world of real-time social media updates and information overload, celebs are now more accessible than they've ever been before in history. While this can be a good thing, it can also be very damaging (cue in Kim K and the case of the stolen jewelry). Beyonce has however successfully managed to build an aura of mystery around her, keeping her secrets secret, only letting them out when it suits her (like when she or husband, Jay Z have an album dropping). So dear Nigerian celebrity, while it's okay to share your life with your fans, remember to hold back more than you reveal. Think of it in terms of demand and supply, the more you give of yourself, the less value/appeal you have. If it still doesn't resonate, remember how Banky W and Adesua's shocking engagement announcement trended for days in Nigerian cyber space. Then ask yourself if it would have been as news-worthy if they'd been frolicking all over our faces this whole time.
2. Hone your craft: Beyonce has admitted in interviews that when she was younger, her father used to make her run in heels while singing to help with breath control. Today, she's known for her show-stopping stage performances. Many Nigerian artistes can barely get through the first verse of a song before running out of breath. Not good enough. Take the time to master your craft, it'll keep you ahead of your peers.
3. Your support system will make, or break you: Team work makes the dream work, and no one knows this better than Beyonce. In 2010, upon firing her father, the "Lemonade" singer founded Parkwood, a management and entertainment company which has, among other leaders in their field, Steven Pammon, a former JP Morgan Chase executive as its COO. Beyonce is known to hire the best choreographers, dancers etc to work with her. But above all, Beyonce sticks close to her family, which is how she's largely able to keep her private affairs out of the limelight.
4. Invest in your craft: Queen B is known to pore over every detail from costume to choreography and even lighting, before every stage performance. So, it's not enough to get on stage and just lip sync to a song, your looks, moves and vocals equally contribute to your artistry, so pay attention to every last detail.
5. Think outside the box: In 2014, Beyonce spear-headed a new trend by dropping a surprise visual album with absolutely no notice or promotions. She went on to do same with her "Lemonade" project. She's also constantly making a statement with her fashion choices. Nigerian celebs seem to champion the band wagon mentality, never really thinking outside the box. To stay ahead of the game, you must constantly up your game.
6. You're influential..lend your voice to a good cause: Beyonce is a firm believer of using one's craft to pass a message. Following the wave of black killings in the United States, her "Lemonade" album and stage performances pointedly addressed the killings, even drawing criticism in some quarters. She also worked alongside former US First Lady, Michelle Obama on her anti-obesity campaign, amongst others. But asides using her voice to draw attention to causes that matter, she's also donated extensively to various causes and unveiled the Formation Scholars awards, a scholarship program aimed towards young women to follow their passions and dreams through education earlier in the year. In December 2016, Beyoncé was also named the Most Charitable Celebrity of the year. Back home in Nigeria, there are a host of burning issues which desperately require the attention of the relevant authorities, something Nigerian celebrities can use their influence to achieve, but never seem to do. Take a cue from the Queen B guys, it's cool to give back.