Split over Creative Conflict

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2015 ain’t gone nowhere yet and some things are already falling apart.  Actually, it’s really not so bad.  It’s just another one of those teething moments of the Liberian entertainment industry.  Recently, rumor circulated on Takun J’s 1.4.6 Block that one of LIB’s hottest rising artist and his manager split, and LIB Life had to get the juice.

According to reports, Lil Beshop, the Hip-Co hit maker behind the famous track ‘Human Being’, and his manager Marie Collins, have split.

“I no longer mange Lil Beshop, he didn’t fully understand my role as his manager and refused that I partake in the creative process of his song, ‘Let’s Party’, which I sponsored and provided the beat for,” Chic Collins posted on facebook.

After seeing her post, we immediately contacted Lil Beshop to hear what he had to say on the matter.

“The contract Marie and I signed didn’t include her being involved in such activities,” Beshop stated. “In Liberia, there is a certain type of music my fans are used to hearing, but Marie wanted me to do the ‘let’s party’ song in a way I knew my fans wouldn’t agree on.  Though Marie has helped me tremendously in the recent part of my career, she has stopped contacting me and other things, which indicates she is no longer my manager,” he adds.

Collins says she came up with the beat to ‘Let’s Party’ in hopes of promoting it in the UK where she lives. “The beat is a replica of a hit song here in the UK.  I wanted Beshop to nail [it] so that I can promote it here,” she stated.  “I messaged him a chorus I felt will make the track a hit, he agreed via text but wasn’t giving me updates on the song. I had enough and told him that I couldn’t manage him anymore.”

According to Collins, she began managing the popular star after he approached her to manage him on the social site facebook

“I have sent Beshop money on several occasions to record. I paid an online press kit monthly and boosted post on his facebook page. I also promoted his songs as well as doing my managerial duties,” she added.

Meanwhile, Collins says Beshop hasn’t disputed her decision to split from his team and feels they both agree on the decision.  But on the other hand, according to Lil Beshop, a contract was signed between the two parties that expire in five years.

“Marie has been managing me for less than year. As for me, I never said I didn’t want her to be my manager but will agree on whatever she wants to do.  Signed a contract sheet for three years, she wrote on my page and her page that she’s no longer managing me. She breached the contract.”

These are some of the teething experiences of the Liberian entertainment industry, where the terms of reference for some artists and their managers appear not so clearly defined.  And even with crystal clear terms, the conflict over the creative process, however, is always a sticky issue no matter who the artist is.  The real conflict may be between the artist’s creative autonomy and his manager’s interpretation of what the audience expects, on the one hand; and the fact that artist and manager are not targeting the same audiences, on the other hand.  Is this a conflict that a remix cannot fix?

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