How important is it to trademark an entity? The reaction to The Weeknd’s next album and the sense of vulnerability Wizkid feels right now should give you an idea.
Over the last few months, the name Starboy has become synonymous with Wizkid. Although music heads have rightly pointed out the name was originally attributed to Movado, Wizkid fanatics have taken to twitter to express their distaste over Abel Tesfaye’s decision to title his Album Starboy.
Let’s back it up a bit, shall we?
I suppose this is as good a point as any to start.
The announcement by The Weeknd to call his album Starboy came as a surprise to the entire Nigerian music community and not just because we’re all too familiar with the Real Starboy but because we know the reverberations this could have on our beloved Wizkid’s career.
You know how International artistes are with merchandising, yes.
There is Wizkid who has worked so hard to get his name out there and has perhaps gone a step ahead of the likes of D’banj. And there is The Weeknd who arguably had quite a similar rise to success.
A lot of people see this and ask What harm could an album name possibly cause? I’ll answer that for you… You know how International artistes are with merchandising, yes. What happens if Abel copyrights the Starboy brand because I’m sure as hell Wizkid hasn’t – Not in Nigeria and not in the U.S.
When an international artiste takes a step like this, what usually follows are loads and loads of celebrity merchandise… Take for example Kanye west and Pablo and that doesn’t just happen, it usually comes with a lot of paperwork reserving the rights to use the name for commercial purposes.
Perhaps the album announcement should have spurred Wizkid to seek legal counsel but shouldn’t that have happened a long time ago If under proper guidance?
Certainly some people see it that way.
@ToluDerp My fear is when The Weeknd decides to release Merch with the Starboy imprint . It's all over.— ÌFĘ (@Ife_ID_) October 11, 2016
He would surely trademark it .
I hope Whizkid had registered his Starboy brand cos next they are going to release merchandise and The Weeknd will get richer— Imoh Umoren (@ImohUmoren) October 11, 2016
If this eventually happens, this could potentially put a halt in Wizkid’s steady progress as he might be unable to commercially use the Starboy brand in the U.S. and that includes album, concert and merchandise sales.
This should serve as a wakeup call for Nigerian artistes and music management agencies. If it can happen to Wizkid, how much more a Sina Rambo… or a Dammy Krane.
Now there is the Who actually deserves to be called Starboy talk which just disgusts me to be honest.
He is not the real Starboy?— Tolu. (@ToluDerp) October 11, 2016
Wizkid hustled his way to the top, carried his brand to the obodo, now you want to give his name to fidodido?
Star boy is just an album's name. It will pass. Weeknd will drop another album.— Ibe (@I_pissVodka) October 11, 2016
Wizkid Star boy the name, the brand stays forever
Wizkid. The real star boy for me— Ibe (@I_pissVodka) October 11, 2016
Some of you are dense— Frodo (@Eoghan_0) October 11, 2016
Wizkid has been calling himself star boy for a while so he should relinquish the name because someone of from Yankee
S/O to The Week(e)nd, but Wizkid IS the real Starboy.— Övie (@OvieO) October 11, 2016
The only starboy we know is Wizkid. https://t.co/TC6DRcaxN4— Iseunife The First (@Shawnife_) October 11, 2016
Mr Wizkid did not copyright the name now man wants to come and claim real? Clown— Ife (@IfedayoEsq) October 11, 2016
People say Wizkid has been blocking people who don't agree he is bigger than Abel.
Wizkid out here blocking people that don't agree he's bigger than Theweeknd.— ✨•Doyin Maya Pope•✨ (@Tygaresss1) October 11, 2016
LMAOOO. WIZKID BLOCKED ME. Smh, small criticism, your MCM cannot handle.— Ife (@IfedayoEsq) October 11, 2016
When you people are shouting Wizkid is bigger that the Weeknd— Ife (@IfedayoEsq) October 11, 2016
Remember the Weeknd has 5 grammys, 8 billboard awards and one Oscar nomination
Frankly, I just think we should let Wizkid have it.
Bobo yen ti try, if we are going to be honest.
The Weeknd to change his album title because Kayode from egbeda thinks he's jacking Wizkid's brand.— Frank Abagnale. (@PyjamasRich) October 11, 2016
The Original Star boy is WizKid, the weeknd can be moon boy , Sun boy, Satelite boy or something...he is sha not star boi! His album can be.— IBU OWO OKO MONIKA (@lyricalsaint1) October 12, 2016
Light humour aside, there is still another problem here.
The industry isn’t kind to Wannabes. If The Weeknd decides to go ahead with the album – which he will, the Starboy brand will over the course of months become more and more synonymous with his name – that will happen too. Pretty soon, Americans when they look up Wizkid would sum him up as a second rate The Weeknd and that is bad for business…. You know, what PES is to FIFA and what Honeywell Noodles is to Indomie. So this period between now and the release of the Starboy album is very crucial for Wizkid as he has to somehow remind people who he is before he is long forgotten…. His tweet already shows the fear, the tension and the realisation of what could happen if he doesn’t act fast.
Read our post on Proper music management.
6god x Real Starboy about to school everybody!! 🌊🌊🌊🔥🔥🔥— Wizkid (@wizkidayo) October 11, 2016