A backup singer to a very prominent musician recently slid into my DM. I know what you are thinking, that something popped off and we hit it off right? Nah.
She slid into my DM to highlight deplorable working conditions backup singers work in. How musicians treat back-up singers and how they literally never are paid! If they are paid, they are paid close to nothing or with beer. It will be very wrong of me to assume that that is how all backup singers are treated. I mean, that was just one DM. However, what I could not do is ignore his plea to me to place a spotlight on backup singers and their working conditions. That is why we do this every week with Industry Loop.
What that DM exposed was simply unbelievable! How do you expect your backup singer to make it to rehearsals if you do not pay them? How do you expect your backup singer to deliver the vocals you need when they are hungry? How do you expect your backup singer to look good for a show if you do not pay them? How do you expect your backup vocalist to back you up vocally when you are paying them with alcohol? Is not that the one thing that will definitely mess up their cords?
A backup singer is an extension of your brand as a musician. You cannot want to look all fly, drive the nicest cars and flaunt your Katti lifestyle if your backup singer is white lipped. Your fans know who your backup singers are. They consider that backup singer to be part and parcel of your package. So how do you allow your backup singer to look and live like shxt while you raking it in?
It makes no freaking sense. I do not understand musicians who do not remunerate their backup singers. You think they are backing you up for fun poh? Like they spend hours rehearsing and showing up for gigs on empty stomachs just because they like you poh?
Come on man. When you mess up, your backup singers’ got your back. In my time in this industry, I have seen backup singers stretched to the core by doubling up as backup dancers, tripling up as security, quadrupling as errand pets, etc.
It is just crazy how backup singers have no respect, prestige and celebrity status! Calculate a fee for your backup singer when you quote. When you negotiate your endorsement deals, include your whole team with your backup singer high up on that list. It makes no sense to score an endorsement deal from Nike but Nike only dresses you. Your team moves with you. Your team performs with you. You all ought to look uniformed in that Nike fam! Treat your backup singer’s right. Remunerate them for their work. Because that is exactly what it is…its work!
Until the next loop, we say “GMTM”!
NSK is a professional MC. For bookings, email email@example.com
New Era Reporter
2019-03-08 11:08:24 6 months ago