Liberian musicians have for the past years worked hard to have themselves marketable at an African level and the global scale. There are mainly two factors that make majority of Liberian musicians different from more established artists. One of these factors is video quality.
Take the example of P-Square. These guys have made themselves a name for having the illest high quality videos in Africa. Even when the audio is not very good, their video keeps you waiting for the song.
In Liberia, it has been very different. A number of musicians usually have good and competitive audios but are betrayed by the video quality. This cuts across all musicians, be it upcoming or the big names. You find a great song but then the video is pathetic.
People raise shortage of funds as one of the main cause of the poor quality videos in Liberia. But wait, who said that to have a good video, you always need to have close to 1 million or more.
Yes, money is paramount but videos don’t only depend on money spent.
Then look at “For Life” by Stunna. I don’t know about its budget but for the fact that it was shot from within, it is not very expensive. But trust me, For Life is one great video. The creativity, the humor and performance are all overwhelming.
“For Life” video is just one of the many examples which explain that creativity is key to having a great video.
I really don’t know who to blame for the lack of creativity. Is it the video directors or the musicians? Fact is that many musicians are unruly and usually don’t give directors the chance to come up with best ideas.
The musicians simply base on the saying that ‘the one who pays the instrumentalist sets the rythm’. This is wrong. At the global level, directors come up with more than 70% of the concepts to be used in the video. In Liberia, the musicians turn into video directors and end up messing their videos.
But then musicians are not the only group to blame. Some so called video directors are totally short of ideas. The only thing they know is to focus and shoot a video.
One time I attended a video shooting but to my surprise, the so called video director was telling the musician to “stand there and begin dancing” as they shoot. Hell no, what do you expect from such a shooting, poor video.
I believe that while the musicians should leave the directors to professionally play their part, directors should also take some time and learn about the basics of directing videos.