When Kanye West stood on the VMA Awards stage to give his speech after Taylor Swift presented him with the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award some years ago. He didn’t only sound contradicted, he looked contradicted. Because he didn’t understand why an artist would release an album, go on a sold-out tour worldwide, win and touch many people with his or her music. And for the first time get to be called a loser on the night of an awards show. It’s rather unfortunate that’s just the politics of the game.
Drake said if you have people who come out in the cold to buy tickets with their hard-earned money to watch you perform. You have won. You don’t need this (a grammy award) right here. From Drake’s point of view, the plague is just a plus but not the real ‘win’. Sadly, in our part of the world, it’s the other way round. Where most artists pride themselves in the number of plagues that are gathering dust in their houses.
Winning an award or getting nominated is a plus and also an opportunity. An opportunity to enter new markets, to capitalize on the attention and brand recognition to make exploits. Plagues don’t sustain artists. The fans do. And the only way to have real connections with your fans is by going on tour.
As an artist, you need to ask yourself which one really matters to me more? Going on tour and giving your fans the chance to experience your artistry first hand or just sitting home and counting plagues? Because if you don’t draw the line, the shock, and depression that comes with publicly being declared a loser may go against you. For the record, let me be very clear, you can tread on both paths successfully.
The brand recognition and personal fulfillment that comes with mounting the stage and receiving an award can never be overrated. But our question is, should that be all that matters to you as an artist in a year under review? Most award shows have a history of getting it wrong year after year. Most award shows have made more headlines by just snubbing the public’s favorite consistently. From the likes of Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, Medical and Pappy Kojo to mention a few. On the flip side, it’s business for these award shows and their sponsors. So why should you revolve your career around someone’s business in a whole year as an artist?
The business of every artist is in making music and touring. Don’t leave the touring out.