Universal Music trains its sights on Kenya
Posted Sunday, July 1 2012 at 01:00
“We have spotted a few talents that we think we can work with but we need to be honest that we cannot sign up everyone since it will not make business sense,” he says.
But for you to be among the lucky few, Foster says you need a good work ethic, professionalism and understand your market and voice. The rest will follow.
“There is no real formula to success really but if you are a professional and have a good work ethic, then you are on the right path. Many people think that when they are signed is when they stop working, that is when the crazy schedules begin, that is when I come on board and demand to see your work because if we are investing Sh10 million on you, then you need to know we will expect returns.”
But in an industry where album sales are dipping faster than the Titanic, how does Foster and Universal Music expect to get returns on their investment?
“There are many avenues like getting them endorsements, live performances, digital downloads and advertisement. The opportunities are not as they used to be years back but we have to think of many ways to market the brands we make.”
The production label giant heavily invests in all the artistes they sign through getting them the right producers, song writers and even publicists.
“Making a star is work and we try to get all the right people together at the right time to work on and create the brand that is our artiste. We do a lot of things to make them better even if it’s getting Camp Mulla’s producer Marcus working with some of the best producers in the business, getting Miss Karun the best voice training in the world, it is work and the results are amazing.”
But Universal is not here to just make money off you, they want to build brands that can be marketed around the world as is the case with P-Square and D’Banj.
“Look at Rihanna. For her last album, she had over 20 writers and they were all taken on a writing retreat for days and she would show up, listen to what they have and choose, that is how much we work on our brands and Kenyan artistes will get the same treatment,” he says.
So all you Kenyan acts, get your act together, do not try to sound like another star because probably Universal already has signed them, just be you and watch you touch the sky.