You’ve probably heard that artists pay for collaborations, especially when it’s an upcoming artist (or even one that’s trying to widen their fan base), collaborating with an already established artist. This is because of the value added to a song with the already established artist, who also brings in their wide fan base, adding exposure to the song. What an artist will be paid for a collaboration is dependent on them and how they negotiate for it, but it’s some good money for sure. Now when it’s an African artist collaborating with an international star, the figures could even run into millions. Case in point,it’s alleged that M.I Abaga paid $50, 000 to Nas, for him to deliver a verse (just a verse, not two) on his song.
However, during an interview with Dizzim Online, Diamond revealed that he hasn’t paid for any of his collaborations with artists from the U.S. This includes Ne-Yo, Rick Ross (which is yet to be released officially) and Omarion, (we are also still waiting on this one to drop).
I’ve seen such big stars jumping on a track by a less known artist or even an artist that is already popular but trying to widen their fan base. I have to be real, most are not always the best of works from either of the artists. Most are mere business transactions, where an artist was paid for a collaboration and just has to deliver for the sake of avoiding a lawsuit.
I want to be real for a minute. I loved PSquare. I admired their contribution to Nigeria’s Music industry. However, I wasn’t such a fan of their collaboration with Rick Ross. Not that it was a whack song, some people loved it, but I felt that they had done better songs on their own, just like Rick Ross has as well. I might be wrong, but that’s my honest opinion.
From Diamond, I think we should learn to build our own brands for ourselves, to a point where other artists are able to appreciate our work and even want to work with us at no cost.
Collaborations should be a smart move with intention. I watched an interview on Vanessa Mdee (can’t really remember on which platform), on which she says that she does not charge for international interviews conventionally, but instead has an agreement with an artist to earn royalties for the collaboration.
I hope for a music industry that will not just have artists collaborating for the sake of being associated with big names, but because of adding value to what they already have to offer the music industry.