Publisher of Hip Hop World magazine and the CEO of Smooth Promotions, Ayo Animashaun has no doubt taken the Nigeria entertainment industry to another level for artistes. His contribution to the success of the music business cannot be over emphasized as many music artists and celebrities has benefited from his initiative.
The just concluded Headies 2016 Award recorded a huge success. Smooth Promotions boss, an entertainment firm that organizes the Headies Award admits in an interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly’s Oluwafemi Soewu that the Headies 2016 recorded the highest turnout so far. Also, Ayo talked about how the issue of time factor has been a burden over the years in the history of Headies and how it has been checked, among other issues.
Congratulations on the success of the Headies 2016.
How would you describe Headies 2016 despite the economic situation of the country? Would you say the recession affected the planning?
Headies is in its 11th year. So, things are not supposed to be getting harder but easier. As we all know the current state of the country, things just work the other way round. I just try to do what we have been doing before but in a different way this time. In ensuring that we manage cost, we do things differently and we look for cost effective options.
Tell us about the challenges in staging Headies 2016?
Everything is a challenge in Nigeria. For people who really want to make things happen, you just have to be able to be ready to just do it despite the situation or circumstance around it. I mean it’s always very tough. It’s either result in A, B, C or D. there’s always a challenge in one way or the other.
Were your expectations met?
Largely. We achieved what we aimed.
Looking at the issue of time factor, why has it not been checked?
In the last six years, we struggled with starting on time which seems to be the burden we have carried. For us, we have been able to check that a bit. Previous years, we started at least 3 hours late but this year though we started one hour late.
We have to start with missing some winners which wasn’t good for the award but it’s a statement we have to make. We had to cancel the red carpet because people started coming to the red carpet that was meant to end by 9pm at 8.30pm. then we had to start the show by 10pm because at 9pm that we are supposed to start the hall was still empty and we needed some people at least in the hall to start the show.
We started before many people got in. this are reasons why some of the artistes which are announced winners came late. Even those who got up to 2 or 3 awards missed the first one because they were not there early enough. And some people could not make it at all because by the time they were heading down to the award, they heard it was almost over. So, yes, we did much better with timing.
If we do the same thing next Headies, they will show up on time because they have learnt from what we did this just concluded edition. And if they don’t, we will go ahead again.
Is it possible to shift Headies away from the festive period because activities during this period might affect attendance?
I think so. We are considering that because a lot of artistes had shows during the week and weekends, especially in December when it gets to the peak period of the activities. Some of the organizers, participants even some jury member couldn’t make it because they were engaged with other activities. So, we are looking out options of moving it off the peak period. It’s a valid option on the table for us.
Would you tell us how much it gulped and how much you get in return staging Headies 2016?
We don’t ever go into figures from day one. There is no need for that. It’s not necessary for us to announce the amount we spend on the Headies excerpt you are giving us back our money.
Tell us about the Headies screening process for nominees and how winners emerged?
We have said it several times and you can also find it on our website. You will submit your entry to stand a chance. Your material must be in the year under review. We have a screening team made up of Djs, journalists, music industry bosses and top record label executives who screen for nomination. Out of the 21 categories of Headies, 9 are voting categories. The other categories are screened by the judges.
Fans and lovers of the Headies Award lament low turnout of the Headies 2016. What do you have to say to this?
Low turnout? What do you mean low turnout? People didn’t come or what? No, that’s not true. This is a year that we had the highest turnout. The hall was filled to the brim. If you’ve watched it on television, you will see, pictures don’t lie. Low turn-out? Not the Headies, maybe another show.
There’s nothing like low or poor turnout in Headies 2016. Check the internet and other social media platform, click the pictures and video. The highest turnout of the Headies was 2016 Headies. Even the nominees, out of 16 winners, 10 were present at the event. Some of those that were not there won twice. So, it made it look like they were more than that.
Even those that were not there already shoot acceptance speeches that we put on television. Even those that are yet to shot the acceptance speech will sort out time this January to do that. Those that were not present to receive the award have spoken on why they couldn’t make it.
What plan have you had to strengthen Headies and make the next Headies 2017 better?
It’s a new year. We are having strategic sessions and we are having a lot of big plans. It’s a year we want to do things differently. So, fingers crossed. We don’t like to talk much.
LIST OF WINNERS
BEST RECORDING OF THE YEAR
PRAY FOR ME – Darey feat. Soweto Choir
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
YOUNG JOHN ‘Mama’ – Kiss Daniel
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
SOLDIER (Falz Tha Bad Guy) – Clarence Peters
BEST R&B/POP ALBUM
NEW ERA – Kiss Daniel
BEST R&B SINGLE
PRAY FOR ME – Darey
BEST POP SINGLE
REGGAE BLUES – Harrysong feat. Orezi, Iyanya, Olamide, Kcee
BEST REGGAE/DANCEHALL SINGLE
‘NO KISSING’ – Patoranking ft Sarkodie
BEST RAP ALBUM
POWERFUL – Ill Bliss
SOLDIER – Falz feat. Simi
BEST RAP SINGLE
EYAN MAYWEATHER – Olamide
BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE (MALE)
Shaydee – ‘SMILE’
BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE (FEMALE)
Simi – LOVE DON’T CARE
HIP HOP WORLD REVELATION
Kiss Daniel – NEW ERA
LYRICIST ON THE ROLL
Ill Bliss – CHUKWU AGOZI GOGI
BEST STREET-HOP ARTISTE
Olamide – ‘WHO YOU EPP’
BEST ‘ALTERNATIVE’ SONG
YOU SUPPOSE KNOW – Bez
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
NEW ERA – Kiss Daniel
ARTISTE OF THE YEAR
SONG OF THE YEAR
FADA FADA – Phyno feat. Olamide
HALL OF FAME
Music producer, Laolu ‘Akins’ Akintobi
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD