The entertainment industry is a funny world, and though I may not be a musician I would like to explain a few things from my understanding.
When the news first broke that Starboy Nathan was on X-Factor I remember a barrage tweets mocking this man for a supposed fall from grace.
“I swear he’s already had his break!”
“I swear he’s signed already”
The first thing you must realise about being a black entertainer is that being known in the black community doesn’t necessarily make you rich and famous. Most of us entertainers term this “hood fame” or “hood rich”. Basically, it means little in the grand scheme of things until you are accepted outside your race which only accounts for about 2% of the population. So thinking, because we all knew Nathan, he should be beyond X-Factor is a misconception. A misconception that favours some who like to appear bigger than they are. However, anyone who wants to be successful on a grand scale will tell you, you need a diverse fan base.
Secondly, a lot of those who mocked Nathan never spent their money on his product. Somehow we all have this misconception that Fame=Money. If people know you, you can just somehow convert that to money. Yes it works in terms of increased bookings, however, you still need to spend money. Promoters will book an act they feel will sell tickets. So unless you say, “wow Nathan is going to be at XYZ, let’s go and buy a ticket” the artist cannot continue to make their money. Getting your hookup to let you in for free does very little to actually put money in an artist’s pocket. There’s no need to go into the demerits of free downloads.
Thirdly, I once met Nathan at the penultimate stage for Celebrity Big Brother: Hijack, a spin off series showing young talents receiving instructions from established talents. That series never got remade, I guess because it actually featured talented people and that’s not what the public wants to see. Let’s put aside the fact that I answered a request to tryout for a show associated with Big Brother, and let me point out that Nathan was one of the nicest and most humble dudes I ever met. He even introduced himself without the belief that I should know who he is (even though I did). It takes real humility to go from where he was to entering X-Factor, something a lot of today’s artists don’t have, and a lot of young people don’t respect. To humble yourself is to keep the big picture in your sights and to forget the pettiness that comes with “hood fame”.
So in Conclusion, to all those who mocked Nathan for chasing his dream, I can assure you, your life is way more meaningless than his grind. Unfortunately, he’s no longer in the competition, but he did what he set out to do, which is highlight his talent to a wider crowd. For us young black people, lets stop pulling our own people down with venomous words on Twitter. Why didn’t we just all rally around him and praise his humility and hard work over the past 8 years? If anything, to me, those are the qualities of a Starboy.