M.anifest

Musician Manifest has weighed in on the difficulties brought by the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that creatives, in general, have had to do a lot of soul-searching.

With live entertainment shows worldwide hit hard by restrictions of movement, it’s become common for artistes to employ virtual alternatives.

“You’ve to re-evaluate your model as an artiste and as a musician,” he told JoyNews’ Beyond the Lockdown program.

The show was a coming together of industry players from the arts with the aim of scheming through various ways to beat the problems the pandemic has brought creatives.

“Let me give the lay of the land. Streaming figures worldwide have gone down by about 11%. People’s incomes everywhere have taken a hit, so they aren’t streaming as they normally would,” the ‘Me Ne Woa’ singer noted.

Also on the show were fellow musicians Diana Hamilton, Stonebwoy, Trigmatic and Preye from Nigeria. They all agreed with Manifest on this point.

Veteran actor David Dontoh and CEO of events company CharterHouse, Theresa Ayoade were also part of the program, offering perspective on their areas of specialty.

Sadiq Abdulai Abu, CEO of the 3Music Awards project, was the studio guest on the night, while all the others joined remotely via video call.

Manifest, whose social media engagement with his fans has noticeably increased during this period, admitted to having more time to interact on a personal level.

“I like to use my music to engage and don’t [usually] want to do any gimmicks, but sometimes you want to have organic and authentic interactions and foster that bond.”

On utilizing the proliferation of virtual concerts, Manifested identified the recent gathering of African stars under the umbrella of media giant MTV Base as “one of the best virtual concerts and it was very well put together.”

A fan of his sent a message to show host Emefa Apawu, asking if Manifest’s frequent personal interactions will become ‘the new normal’.

He quipped: “I think if I get a penny from the phrase ‘the new normal,’ I will be rich!”, before switching immediately to a serious tone.

“I think we have been hit hard and there is a need for us to restrategize.”

Indeed, that refrain is being heard all over the world.