Fame is the most conceited and exhausting path you can embark on especially in this age of social media where a story can be carried, without being verified by an underaged who feels some type of way, your life is basically not yours, your business is not yours, in fact the society legit wants to predict the next step you take.
It is not all cynical there are the perks too, it comes with a lot of yes men, opportunities, favours, groupies, traveling, gifts, free stuffs and yes of course MONEY which actually brings everything. A lot of celebrities handle this with fake humility, others blantantly call every other person/persons “poor and unprogresive fools” and then there are those that are genuinely modest and handling their busines professionally.
The exhausion that comes with the celebrity status is why Kanye West is suffering from a mental disorder, why Kurt Cobaine pulled the trigger, why Mac Miller died from drug over dose, why Brymo thinks it is cool to walk around almost nude and also why Speed Darlington thinks he is one of the best artiste in the country. There is a every possibility for you to lose your soul. The simple truth of the celebrity life is everybody wants a piece of you, it is hard to keep a low head, you always have to look over your shoulder before you take any action and even when you do, it ends up making the news.
One valuable lesson i have learnt on being a creative is – START , this is the best thing you might hear anyone tell you because the moment you put those thoughts into actions, that transition, you are just a few steps away from execution. This must have been the thoughts that ran through the mind of Maleek Shoyebi popularly known as Maleek Berry when Wizkid told him to make his own music not just produce beats for others.
Don’t forget at some point he was signed to Star Boy records as it’s in-house producer alongside Legendury Beats. He is one of the few people instrumental to independent Wizkid’s success churning out banger beats upon beats to the ever hungry Wizkid. Like they say the rest is history.
The producer cum singer is also a sound engineer, recording/performing artiste, song writer and all round entertainer. Breaking from the London scene to the Nigerian market, he has maintained his relevance by releasing productions that would stand the test of time. It is no wonder why he doesnt release too often because masterpieces take time.
The 31 year old afro pop British Nigerian who became mainstream in 2012 has since not dropped a bad song though not very prolific with his release , Maleek Berry has solidified himself as a force to reckon with among his peers and proper listeners at large; as a observer of the culture, i can categorically tell you your favorites go to him for melodies ; ask Seyi Shay, Ycee, Iyanya to mention a few.
Vibes come to him naturally, his beats are inherent, he is the original sound god but the main question is; why isnt he seated amongst the greats?
With two compilations to his credit – Last Daze of Summer (2016) and First Daze of Winter (2018) – with relatively less songs on both albums for a man of such excellence, it isnt surprising he is one of the most underrated artiste in the country.
The compilations which hosts one of the finest mixed songs the country has ever had, Maleek Berry has steady maintaned that level of composition and delivery.
Perfection – the highest degree of excellence – is something a lot of Nigerian artistes aspire to reach but one of the few acts that have gotten there is PAPITO , the once producer has mastered all it has to do with vibes. It is appalling to see such a great musician not get enough kudos which is entirely not the audience fault because we only appreciate what we can consume and our man here hasnt left us much options.
2018 wasnt that much of a quiet year for the act, as he dropped – First Daze of Winter – in January which was nominated by City People Music Award for Album of the year. This album had the same problem as his first album, Less songs, thus exposing his productive side; but that album is arguably one of the best yet underrated projects out there production wise, i guess less is more.
Before I get all in my feelings, underrated simply means not getting enough recognition for its quality.
Lets decipher this; who gives the recognition ? the consumers and who rates the quality, that should be the “proper listeners”, two different markets i tell you.
With this analogy, it is easier to tell the consumers outnumber the proper listeners by over 100:1 and there you have it , another reason why Maleek Berry isnt at the helm of music affairs in Nigeria. There isnt a lot of proper listeners , most music lovers are stuck in the box of mediocrity that perfection sounds so foreign to them. When you take out time to listen to Maleek Berry with proper headsets or on that evening drive back from work or just hanging out with a spouse you would appreciate how much work he puts into his production. Being underrated isnt such a bad idea if you are making all the money ; In the words of the great Shawn Corey Carter ” Would you rather be underpaid or overrated?”
What baffles me the most is how he is able to stay lowkey, avoid drama, stress, bad press and social media shenanigans in the world consumed by it,to me he should collaborate with Patoranking and release a book called ” How to stay lowkey and handle business”. It is easy to tell he handles business properly as no one from the media/his camp as come to dirt his white suit.
2019 is another year for him to prove his worth and take the centre stage as Burna boy as did from the shackles of Wizkid, Davido and Olamide. It won’t be easy but it’d be worth it as he has what it takes to be the new face of Afro-pop culture.