Monday, 19 July 2010
GT THE GUITARMAN: THE WAY FORWARD.
I feel GT The Guitarman has a lot to offer us. I also believe he needs to leave Storm Records and team up with a Record Label that can manage him properly. I'm not saying Obi Asika [ Storm Records CEO ] is incompetent when it comes to artist management, but GT is a gifted musician that needs special handling. Gbemiro Tokunbo Akingbogun [ He is the cousin of my good friend, Siji Akingbogun ] has not achieved much as an artist since he joined Storm Records in July 2005. Though he has built up a fan base that is really passionate about his music, Storm Records has not been able to capitalize successfully on the momentum built by the Ogun State native. As I write this piece, GT The Guitarman does not have a website of his own. Nigerian artistes need to move beyond being featured on the websites of their Record Labels or having Myspace Pages.
It took Storm Records more than three years to release GT's first album, 'The Truth'. Sometimes, I feel Obi Asika's label cares more about the Hip-Hop and Rap Artists ( who obviously have more commercial appeal and would bring in the bucks ) it manages than deep thinking guys like Gbemiro Akingbogun. I doubt if Asa and Nneka Egbuna would have blown up big time if they were managed by Nigerian Record Labels. Yet GT The Guitarman is in the same class with the two gifted ladies I've mentioned. It is just that he has not been able to record in the western world and perform at concerts in Europe and the United States. This is the same guy that appeared in Akon's 'Mama Africa' video which was shot in Ghana. GT has also performed at a lot of shows including Club Nru in South Africa. He has warmed his way into our hearts with his strong vocal skills and his cute look.
From all indications, it seems GT will leave Storm Records soon. The rumours about his impending severing of ties with Storm Records have been in circulation for some weeks now. Gbemiro himself has admitted that he won't be with Obi Asika's outfit forever. Though Mr Asika insists GT is still with Storm Records, Just like Nas, it ain't hard to tell that GT wants to take his career to the next level. What he needs is an International Music Label that will expose him to the world. He also needs to start playing at music festivals [ And there are loads of them ] in Europe and North America. Besides, GT The Guitar Man needs to write and record new songs that have more depth with universal appeal. This does not mean he has to change his style or sell out to the Commercial Music Labels. Gbemiro needs to start collaborating with western artists. To do this, he has to live in Europe or the States for a while.
GT was born in London in London in 1984 and he grew up in Nigeria. His childhood years were rough with his mother being the sole provider for him and his siblings. He began playing the guitar in 2003 and performed in churches with different groups. He got his breakthrough in 2005 when he was approached by Omobaba, a comedian, who liked his music. Omobaba mentored him and took him to a lot of shows before taking him to Dare Art Alade. Dare was impressed after listening to Gbemiro's material and quickly introduced the singer to Obi Asika who signed him immediately after a brief audition. GT has an album in the market titled 'The Truth'. You need to listen to tracks like 'Hustle' [ Bobby Boulders did a good job on the song's video ], 'Osima Gbomi' [ You'll Still Hear Me ], 'Truly' and other memorable songs. GT was truly amazing on the album. His gifts must not be allowed to waste. He needs to move on to avoid being forgotten in the scheme of things.
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