There are a group of artistes that reside in the ‘hole’ of industry ratings. They exist in the in-between; that place behind the top shining stars, but are successful enough to not be classed as ‘just a celebrity’.
Although they are great at their craft, and make music that connects with millions of people, they never get the best slots at great concerts, neither are they considered for the biggest deals on the table.
Their artistry is not in doubt, neither is their ability to pull crowds and command a strong following, but they just about fail to grab the elite spot. The number one position in the land.
Sound Sultan and Banky W are in this league; insanely talented and gifted at their work, these two artistes built a career as being just slightly less adored than the best. They had all the love, the fans and a huge amount of the money, but they failed to take the leap into being the number one star in the country, although they deserve it.
Their songs and albums were rated, their music was loved by fans and connected with many, but it never ever became the hottest song on radio, or the most banging hit out there.
In this generation of new stars, one man officially occupies that position. His name is
Falz the Bahd Guy is known, loved and respected by everybody (except for the archaic Hip-hop heads who believe that his art is watered). His net worth continues to increase, and his talent wows on many fronts. But he isn’t an A-list artiste.
Falz has never had the number one hit song in the country, such as the Runtown ‘Mad over you’, the Wizkid ‘Jaiye Jaiye’ , the Mavins
‘Dorobucci’, or more. But he maintains his position on the charts by his string of hit songs. These songs never grow to become number 1s, but they just about get there.
Checkout Falz’s hits. ‘ Karashika’, ‘Soft work’, ‘Soldier’, ‘Bahd Baddo Baddest’, ‘Ello bae’, ‘Marry me’, and more. These songs never became the greatest in their spaces, but it affected the culture, and influenced the charts. People loved them, and became fans of the Falz.
This is not a bad thing. Being in this position is not a place of shame or regret. In fact, there is plenty of beauty in this position.
While these sort of artistes might never become the hottest in the land, they do possess some of the longest careers at the peak. They avoid the extra scrutiny and pressure to deliver that comes with superstardom, and this aids their longevity in the game. Each new song becomes a staple, and lasts longer than the number 1 hit song, which sparks, blows hot and fizzles out from ‘over-playing’.
These stars are generally considered as ‘relevant’, even long after they stop operating behind the leaders. In 2015 alone, almost every top concert in the country had a Falz performance. Compare that with Wizkid and Davido, who got less engagements, although, more money.
These ‘in-between’ artistes are for the people. Relatable, and loved, but slightly less adored than the truly greats. It’s an enviable position to be in. It’s a place where there is more freedom to operate and create your best art, knowing that you will not be haunted by criticism and profound attention.
Falz is in that second-best position right now, but that in itself is an advantage.