I was just visited by an upcoming local artist a couple of moments ago, an earnest young man who brandished his CD at me in a way that seemed both deferential and aggressive– he kept calling me “sir” (as he very well should) but his manner showed that, if he wasn’t satisfied that our meeting was fruitful, he would be back.
Usually I deal with ULAs in the same way: polite and professional. I ask for a contact number and a copy of their music, then thank them for dropping by. When they are gone, I listen to it with my colleagues. If it is good, we wait for it to become a hit, then activate the hype machine—we hunt the ULA down and proceed to overexpose him with flurries of cliché and jargon and airbrushed Megapix photospreads. It is how we keep our bread buttered.
The rule is never be rude. Because, after all,
I remember very well — I was at my desk in the middle of a Yahoo Game when the receptionists called me and told me a man with dreadlocks wanted to speak to me about this song of his called Akagoma.
The dude who was just here today may turn into a future Bobi Wine, but I hope not. It’s nothing personal, but I don’t want to see him ever ever again.
Well, I wouldn’t mind actually seeing him– What I don’t want to experience is to smell him again.
Because the man stinks. The man stinks with an excruciating and intense potency. The man stinks to make capillaries burst open and die. The man stinks as if his underarms were infested with the souls of dead witchdoctors. The smell is not just bad, it is evil and malicious. It is aggressive. It pounces on you and tries to ravage you like a large angry dog.
While he approached I nodded and smiled and uttered meaningless niceties (all the time trying not to inhale) and I kept inching away. But the further I retreated, the more he approached until… well, let me illustrate: When he arrived I was at my desk, front and centre, in front of my computer. By the time he finally left, I had inched and inched and inched away so much that I found I had rolled my chair all the way past the edge of the desk and was sitting in the corridor.