The idea of a fan base for every artiste has been a part of music legend since leaves sprouted from trees. Artiste-fan relationships over the years have also followed in the same manner. Many a time, these relationships are characterised by a talented artiste being placed on a pedestal with adoring fans below, gazing at them from a distance.
This mode of relation between artistes and the people who pay for music has become such a norm, some artistes even actively encourage their fans to view them as larger than life as possible. This model may have worked for the last 20 or more years in entertainment, but the spread of technology and communication has led to an information explosion such that there now exists dire consequences for keeping some distance between fans and the music.
We are all part of a world that feeds us more information than we need, hence, we get distracted so easily and as a result, many so-called “celebrities” get lost in the din. Therefore, any moderately successful artiste should move closer to fans as one would a friend. Essentially, entertainers don’t need to be super famous celebrities with fans, they need to be relatable models with a community following.
The difference between a community following and a mere fanbase is dedication. Fans listen to the music, the sound and texture. A community, however, are a group of people who share certain ideals, beliefs and understanding of the artist and their music. This is usually because, instead of traditional celebrity-fan relationships, communities are built from an active communication channel between the artiste and the people who pay for the music.
Artists who go beyond retweeting their own praises or adopting one-liner social media posts that require neither response to kick start conversation will reap the benefits in ways which no amount of PR or publicity can. These are no longer mere fans, they are members of a society of like minds bonded by the love for your music.
Many artistes have successfully merged themselves into becoming a part of their listener’s mind. A great example is the Mavin family. Label boss, Don Jazzy must have first discovered the benefits of an active community of supporters via Twitter. Ever since, all label mates have followed suit by starting conversations on social media with their community or even getting involved in their real lives. Tiwa Savage and Korrede Bello notably have made surprise appearances and given free performances at weddings and parties of their fans with very little publicity. Such acts keep fans personally in the loop of events in the artiste’s often private life and state of mind, hence even if the music suffers a critical blow in the near future, the support will continue forever.
The bottom line of artiste-listener relationships in this information age is that it is no longer acceptable for entertainers to declare themselves false gods in a world where new idols are birthed on a daily basis.
Get creative and get personal.