Learning from SleeQ’s label dramas & complacency – Never mix business and friendship ever

27 08 2009

In the entertainment industry, sometimes you see unfortunate situations happen to deserving talents. Thats why it is necessary to separate friendship and work. This is my personal experience with a group which I almost collaborated with. I tried to support this group because they have been constantly cheated by their own record labels & management for the past 4years and their confidence is heavily shattered due to this. But instead of being appreciated & thanked, I was taunted with racial slurs and got intimidated by them during a local showcase featuring the best of local talents.

After leaving their management and 2nd record label, Labels of Love, Sleeq is branching out indie-style after their label deal gone sour due to money and friendship complication. It is an unfortunate incident given that this is the second time that they left a record label for the same reason as their 1st record label, Beats Society, which was dissolved due to similar and worse reasons.

With already money unaccounted for their sale of their 1st Ep “In the Q”, due to taking things for granted and over-relaying on Beats Society’s management, they made a similar mistake with their 2nd record label/management, for their album, “ClassiQ” when Syariff told me that the consignment for their 1st initial 100 copies went “missing” after leaving this label. The only batch of CDs which they can be accounted for is from Muzika. I thoroughly did not enjoy my working relationship with the reps and the supposed made-believe “Management” of Labels of Love, due to their unreasonable requests as well as being arrogant. But I validate my worth and outdid them as a whole with the Street launch for “ClassiQ” for SleeQ which they couldn’t even pull off by themselves but instead relayed on me to handle.

Sadly, SleeQ are rather ignorant and responsible for their own undoing & downfall. I am very amazed by them in repeating the same mistake for a third time by letting a 19yr old polytechnic law student, who is a friend, to handle their matters once again. Just because a law student from a polytechnic, is your friend, doesn’t mean that he is a qualified paralegal or a lawyer to handle matters professionally because at the end of the day, he is still a student who is relaying on allowance from his parents. It is like asking your friends who is a medic intern to conduct an open-heart surgery on you because he is your friend. To claim that he is some A&R executive in their label when realistic there is no market for it in Singapore. These sort of empty-talking is rather silly.

Lastly, judging from this friend of theirs’ cocky reply for a simple sponsorship deal which I clinched to build SleeQ’s brand and support, I have seen how shallow and conceited some hypocrites are despite being just mere teenagers. These deals doesn’t come by often and to blow off the deal like this is such a waste. I try to ask them to reconsider this during their Esplanade show and eventually things got blown out of proportion with their actions. Instead of SleeQ reconsidering it, they and their friends try to intimidate & threaten me and calling me derogatory terms such as “Chink was such a disgraceful behavior although this would happen in a dogpack mentality and scenario. Typical teenage bravado I suppose. If they were alone, most likely they just give this “tough” look and walk by. It is kinda ironic SleeQ, who were supposed role models for the Malay youths in society, would advocate such disgraceful behavior amongst themselves and their friends, who are in poor taste of character.

All I got to say is somethings will never change with the way SleeQ does certain things, despite being talented. Despite whatever conflict we have, I am always open to working with SleeQ with the deals placed on the table as well as resolving this unfortunate racist taunting incident but I would not deal with this supposed student rep of theirs.

That is the main reason why I separate friendship and work. I would like to talk about the business aspects of matter irregardless whether we are good friends or not. Because once we settle the business and how the rewards of our work should be divided, then we resume our frienship. I sincerely believe if we can maintain an honest business working relationship, it would eventually improve the personal relationship of individuals.

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