I was at Eko Hotels & Suites yesterday for a big industry event Gala Night. The live band was really good, and then this guest musician stole the show, without singing at all.
I don’t know his name, but he had long dreadlocks and seem like he’s been in the industry for a while. For the purpose of this story, let’s call him John the veteran singer. He was sitting at the galleria when the compere recognized celebrities that graced the occasion.
The compere mentioned John the veteran singer, he stood up and waved to the crowd, but the compere requested that he come to the stage downstairs that people may recognize him. He obliged. On his way down, the compere added, oh, people are requesting that you sing for us. You can do a number when you get to the stage.
When John the veteran singer got to the stage and took the mic, the sounds that came out of his mouth made my ears tingle. He greeted everyone with a gentle and calm voice, but instead of singing, he simply spoke words. Words that revealed something deeper, something I believe we can all learn from.
He said (fully paraphrased and I am not quoting him)
I AM A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN. I AM PAID TO SING. YOU DID NOT PAY ME. IF YOU WANT ME TO SING, YOU’LL HAVE TO PAY ME. YOU ARE PROFESSIONALS HERE TOO. IF I GO TO A LAWYER FOR A SERVICE, HE WILL DEMAND PAYMENT. IF I TRY TO SEE A DOCTOR, THEY’LL ASK THAT I PAY FIRST FOR CONSULTATION. IT’S THE SAME HERE. IF YOU PAY ME, I WILL SING.
John the veteran singer handed the mic back and graciously took his seat.
My Jaw DROPPED!
He was not fazed by the occasion, he sounded like he was extremely prepared for that request, he held his own and hammered his worth into the minds of everyone listening.
But the faces of many people revealed shock, and somewhat disappointment at his ‘pride’.
I learnt 3 lessons from that incident and I will share them to you in my next post.
But I want to get your opinion. What are your thoughts regarding what John the veteran singer did?
Was he being proud? Could he have simply done a song without making a meal out of the entire thing? I mean, we are just appreciating who he is.
Is he right to let us know that his services are worth a price and it won’t go for free?
Share your thoughts in the comments