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.
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.
People say Wizkid has been blocking people who don't agree he is bigger than Abel.
Frankly, I just think we should let Wizkid have it.
Bobo yen ti try, if we are going to be honest.
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.