A few days ago, members of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, held their election where they picked their president and other executives. In the just concluded election, Pretty Okafor, emerged as president while popular rapper, Ruggedman, emerged as the Chairman of media.
In a chat with Saturday Beats, the rap artiste explained why the election was held at night amidst tight security.
“Why do they have soldiers around polling stations when they are having elections? For the fact that you need to elect somebody, it means it is a position of power. It automatically means that there is always someone that would want to oppose the election. There would always be someone who wants to stop it. So to be on the safe side, we just wanted to do it in a safe environment. If you check the pictures of the event, you would see that we had delegates from almost 24 states. So it was not only Pretty and his executives that were there and we held the election. Also, I think it was just the hotel security men that were there. Nobody carried guns,” he said.
The rapper told Saturday Beats that it was laughable that people say Pretty is not qualified to be the president because he is not a performing musician. He said that what mattered was that he had something to offer the music body.
Ruggedman said, “So because your father is old does not mean he is no longer your father. Do they want Wizkid or Davido to become PMAN president? To me, you don’t have to be an active musician to head PMAN. Is Buhari one of the soldiers fighting in Sambisa? But he is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. It is not about being an active musician but what you have to offer. It is about you being a musician and understanding the art of making music. You need to know what royalty and intellectual property is about.”
The rapper added that with the new excos in PMAN, the sky is the limit for the association as measures have been put in place for artistes to earn money from their intellectual property.
“I don’t know how vibrant the association was in the 90s but one thing I know they did not have is a proper structure. The structure I am talking about is the one that makes music pay, one that makes music interesting. It is a way to track downloads and airplay and make artistes get their royalties. If you keep working without being paid, you will not be happy. I know they do not have that type of structure in the 90s. Right now, PMAN is bringing in that structure. We have got the Federal Government, Microsoft, Airtel, NIPOST and other organisations involved.
“The reason Airtel and NIPOST were involved is simply for distribution purposes. When you register as a member, you register your songs as well. Each track would be encoded and the album would be bar coded. Then NIPOST would send it to all the states it covers for distribution. Marketers who want to get the album just need to know your release date; they just need to stroll to NIPOST to pick the album. Imagine a situation where you can walk up to any Airtel kiosk to buy an album. That is why we brought Airtel on board. This is what Pretty is bringing in,” he said.