The question seems mundane, banal and even stupid. What’s in a name? A candid overview of the cameroonian music scene and you discover that some artists generate hype not from the number of hits they spin but from their name. That should give a new perspective to the question. Nobody is saying that fetters should be put on artists’ freedom in choosing their names. Somebody is simply saying that artists should be conscious that choosing a stage name is no simple exercise but one that demands deep thought. Some names come with a certain connotational load that either imputes something to the artist who chooses it or implies something about the said artist. When an artist decides to choose a name like Cathy La “Chatte” (translation Cathy “The pussy” both words in French and English have the same connotational load) does the artist mean that she has cat qualities or they are the other meaning of the word. What’s then is in a name. A name is a public statement of who we think we are or how we want to be perceived. So when an artist chooses a name like Fifi “Negresse” do they want they want to share in the adjectives that come with the word “negresse”. Choosing a name at the oneset of a carrier is a decision that should be carefully considered. Some names have antecedents that most people usually don’t want to identify with or perpetuate. Despite our noblest intentions the public tends to focus on the negative side of an ambiguous name. In my humble opinion even if these names are intentional (for marketing purposes) artists by choosing them become unwilling participants in impeding their popularity from reaching new frontiers. When you watch music videos from Nigerian artist Nigga Raw meant for the Nigerian market his full names are written but watch his name on the MTV-broadcast of his “In love with an angel” song, the name is Raw ft. T.J. Where the “Nigga” chunk at? Artists should beware of the names they ascribe to themselves. Wrong name and you’re shooting your brand in the foot. Just saying. Feel free to think otherwise or disagree.
Apologies for the use of the “N” word. Explicitaion constraint.
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