Talent and brand manager, Taiwo Adeyemi is wrapping up with his new and intriguing documentary titled Road2Blow. It chronicles the journeys of some of Nigeria’s emerging talents, who have gone through the difficult realities of becoming famous and successful in the Nigerian entertainment industry.
Taiwo, who earlier announced that the documentary will be distributed by FilmOne Entertainment, said that he and his team have been working on the project for over a year. With contributions from established names like Don Jazzy, Shaffy Bello, Bizzle Osikoya, Peedi Picasso and others, Road2Blow does not only want to change the lives of the talents whose stories it spotlights but also be a platform of inspiration for everyone on similar journeys.
We caught up with Taiwo to talk about the documentary, his inspiration, his process and more:
What inspired your documentary, Road2Blow?
We were all locked up in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic and for the entertainment industry where I primarily function, there was a complete halt. I figured it was time to explore my storytelling interest and create something that will stand the test of time. Also, coming from my experience as a talent manager, I meet talented people every day who are trying to be famous. I have been there myself and I thought it was important to give this set of people some form of attention. Road2Blow is a product of these things.
You said you have been there. How do you mean?
Well, I like to think that I’m a failed artist. Before my foray into media and marketing, I tried music during university. So, I can relate to what it means to believe you can do something and not be recognized for it, despite putting in hours of hard work.
Is this what fueled your interest in talent management?
I’m not sure. I’ve had quite an interesting career path. I dropped out of university to study advertising. I worked in advertising agencies and interacted with a lot of brands. That was how my first talent reached out to me for representation. He believed I could sell talents the way I sold brands and I never saw myself in that light. I took the opportunity and realized it was something I could enjoy. After leaving the agency life, I worked as a creative director at the Africa Movie Academy Awards and I met more talents. One of which is veteran Nollywood actress Nse Ikpe-Etim, who I also took on as a client and I later decided to set up a proper agency that will create opportunities for these talents.
What can we expect to see in this documentary?
You will be getting an insight into what talents encounter in their attempts to build a successful career in Nigerian entertainment. From music to film to fashion and comedy, everybody has a story to tell. The sacrifices, compromises, ups and downs of becoming a superstar were brought to light with this documentary. It’s an unending story but for the purpose of this project, we followed the lives of 10 talents across different career paths in the entertainment industry. It also features a number of industry professionals who provided perspective to the overarching theme.
Why documentary? Is it a genre that Nigerians warm up to?
That’s a good question. I believe we are all storytellers in different forms. There are podcasters, there are writers, there are artists and there are filmmakers who bring entertainment value to the audience. For me, I am fascinated by real stories of real people and their issues. I knew I would retire as a documentary and biopic filmmaker. Luckily for me, it is starting earlier than I imagine. Mostly because I live in a part of the world where we hardly document anything. So, someone has to step in to contribute their quota. People should not die with their stories untold. As to whether Nigerians warm up to it, I will admit that documentaries are not the first choice of content for the vast majority in any part of the world. However, this does not mean important stories should not be told. We will keep finding ways to make it more relatable, popular and acceptable.
What was it like sourcing for subjects and getting them to speak on this topic?
For a story like Road2Blow, there are countless talents who fit into the subject, but convincing them to be vulnerable on camera was a very difficult thing to do. Some of these talents have never sat in front of a professional camera to say anything, not to talk of sharing personal stories. It took a lot of empathy and despite that, some people pulled out at the last minute for understandable reasons. It was hard but we winged it.
What do you want viewers to take away from this documentary?
First of all, I want it to change the lives of the featured talents. I want their stories to be heard and their talents discovered by people who can catapult their careers. I want every talented and creative person who watches this documentary to see that they are not alone on this journey.
What is next for you?
A project like Road2Blow does not really end. It’s not just a documentary. It is evolving into other aspects of transmedia. There is a university tour coming. There is a game show coming. There is a thriving online community with thousands of active members. The expressions are limitless and I am here to make the most of them because it’s the inspiration every hustler needs on this grind.
Watch Road2Blow teaser here: