Lanre Lawal: Thinker. Learner. Doer.
”Growing up as Lanre Lawal was fun and interesting. i grew up in a slum called Isale Oja in Agege. We did not have a lot growing up, but we were genuinely happy. I was close to my dad and he tried as much as possible to spend time with us (the children).
The first form of formal education i got was Arabic school. I can remember i was already going to Arabic school or Ile Kewu as its fondly called in these parts from as early as age 1. I picked up so fast and i excelled above my contemporaries even at that early age. It was June 12 1993, i was supposed to be graduating from Arabic school i can remember vividly; but due to the whole Abiola election Saga, it was postponed to the next graduation set.
Thus i was slated to graduate with my younger sister’s set. However, with the new date approaching, my dad could not afford our graduation (Myself and my younger sister.) I was on the graduation ground seeing kids i was better off having their final graduation recitals. I Felt really bad that day and i made a promise to myself that i would do whatever it takes to provide for my Kids. The funny thing is that i never graduated from Arabic school because of that incident.
My Quest for knowledge has brought me this far. I tell people, if you do not read how do you know? As an Artiste manager, i read a lot of books on management and other stuff; But what you must know is that i was not always a reader.
I wasn’t bothered about books that were not for my school subjects. All through primary school i came first. when i got to Secondary school, my first position was 5th. I was scared my Dad would be mad, but to my greatest surprise, he patted me on the back and told me that i had done well. However, it was not my dad that i had to contend with, it was Myself; My battle against the girl who came first. I still remember her name Sade Akingbade. I disliked her; In my mind, she had taken what was mine. I made up my mind to beat her in the next term, but all through secondary school, she beat me hands down.
We later became friends, close friends. She introduced me to books first hand. My elder brother was also a reader, i admired that about him, so i too picked it up.
After Secondary school i had a conversation with my dad. An honest conversation about finances. From that day, i knew my life was in my hands. The first line of action for me was to leave the ghetto. I had to hustle. My first job ever was shoemaking. Yes I was a shoemaker. Then i got a teaching job in a nursery school earning 1,500. In fact, at this time i was going to school(Lagos city Polytechnic) I struck a deal with the school so i was paying a thousand naira per month out of my 1,500 salary. This means that i had to pay for food, transport and other things with the extra 500 naira from my salary.
The Artiste Manager
I never planned to be an Artiste Manager from the onset. I eventually got a job at a cyber cafe. Meanwhile i had always loved music but i knew i couldn’t sing, but i wanted to be in the music space. I started reading up on artiste management and gaining knowledge on it. I did this until a friend introduced me to Mr. Efe Omorogbe. That was the beginning of my Managerial journey. At first we were just friends but when plantashun boys broke up, he begun managing tuface and that was when he called me up to come work for him since things had gotten really busy. So i begun working at NOW Muzik.
Lanre Lawal Memories
I had so much memories at Now Musik. Both good and bad. There was a time i took Eedris Abdulkareem to a show at French village in Cotonou. The students lodged us, but failed to pay for the hotel. In the Morning, i told the management of the hotel that they could not keep Eedris and so i stayed back to bear the burden while He left. I had to make a few calls for people to send me recharge card to sell just to offset the bills. I settled the bills to an extent and left my bag there. My bag is still there till today.
There were good times too. I enjoyed my time working with Nigga raw, and Ruggedman. They are really nice and professional artistes.
The real deal
People think Artiste management is all rosy. There were times i trekked long distances just to learn the ropes. In fact, there was a time i slept at an event just because i did not have transport money to go back home. Most Managers are not resilient and professional. Most Managers now do not even know how to take the hit for their artistes. They do not even know the basics in management. It’s not always about the shows and parties; There is actual work to be done. Most artiste managers are glorified PAs and they do not even know it.”
~ Lanre Lawal: Thinker. Learner. Doer.