I’ve been putting off writing this for a month because I’d hoped there would be a way around this disappointing outcome. As many of you know, I put everything into my music. It is a true reflection of myself, my values and my hopes. Due to this, I have a very strong image in my mind of how I want these ideas and messages to be presented and work incredibly hard to make sure the outcomes are authentic and delivered with integrity.
The music video I’d planned has been in mind for years. I wanted it to be a space where black women could be seen and represented in spaces we rarely see ourselves in. I put a shout out for a videographer who understood this message and could work with me to bring that idea to life.
The person who approached me did so with all the understanding and promise in the world. I explained the budget was not large but the vision was and that the message behind the music and the video was the need for black women’s voices to be heard and respected. That I wanted others to see themselves in the video.
I was told I could have all the changes I wanted, the vision was understood as was the importance of the music. They loved the song and just wanted to be a part of the project. So convincing was their enthusiasm that we continued without a contract working, as I tend to, on good faith. What a huge mistake.
The day of the shoot there were red flags everywhere. Despite me providing the storyboard, list of timings and a shot list, nothing had been looked at. Throughout the day his demeanor was awful – loudly telling everyone how wonderful he was and that no one else was working as hard as him. The whole day felt like a power struggle and it took every part of me to try and cancel out his awful vibe through humor.
When it came to receiving the first edit, I replied saying it was beautiful but I had some edits. Suddenly the whole story changed. No, he wouldn’t do any more edits. How dare I be so ungrateful. Pay him his money now. If I’m a videographer show him my work. I’m a joke… In the end, I had to block him. Now, a month later, despite saying he’d send over the footage once he’d been paid he says he’s deleted it all. I can only assume out of spite. I’ve never known someone to act in such an unprofessional manner.
I’ve spent all month feeling ashamed and sick to my stomach for letting down all of the amazing women who donated their time to be in our music video. There was a part of me that thought I should have pandered to his ego but that would go against everything that this song stands for. The whole point of the song and the message behind it was to make black women feel seen and empowered. To have this person attempt to control my narrative only shows how important it is for these songs to be written. It was such a beautiful day with beautiful women which is what I want to remember about the day, but equally damaging behavior such as this has to be called out.
My integrity means everything to me and I would have none if I let this bully silence me. If you value your time and money, I would warn against working with Magnus Magugu of Tab Media. Never have I worked with someone so unprofessional and incapable of collaboration. Of course, after the fact, I start receiving messages from various people telling me how difficult he is to work with. So this is also a plea that if you know someone in the industry who is a headache to work with and potentially untrustworthy – let people know!!! I wish someone had so I hadn’t wasted my time and budget.
However, laziness and disrespect will not overshadow the release which I’m so so proud of. I’m looking into a few different options to try and salvage what’s been done and create a video this song deserves. Thank you to everyone who came to be a part of it, you all look beautiful and I’m so sorry I put my trust in the wrong person. I won’t make this mistake again and please for anyone in the industry, make sure if you’re handing over your work to someone else you really know who that person is and have a contract in place to protect you and your art because I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.
NB: if you see anything on Magnus Magugu’s social media’s regarding this song and project, please know that it is posted without my permission.