Culture

Behind The Scenes With Moyo Onipede: A Journey In Event Management And Talent Representation

Moyo is a 23 year old, who is actively thriving in the entertainment sphere. She is a project manager for events. Moyo has managed several notable artists, as well as coordinated numerous shows and concerts.

By Oluwajeminipe Fasheun-Motesho

PUBLISHED: January 10, 2024

Behind The Scenes With Moyo Onipede: A Journey In Event Management And Talent Representation

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Can you briefly introduce yourself?

My name is Moyo Onipede, and I’m a project manager for events. I handle floor management, stage management, backstage engineering and sound. I also produce tours. I joined tour party for Ckay’s University Tour in March 2023. I produced Mavins University Tour in September, and I have also produced Bella Shmurda Tension Rave in Ibadan for the past three years. I handle representation for artists.

How did this all happen? Did you just wake up one morning and decide to be a project manager? 

When I was in SS2, I was in drama, literary debating, and spelling club. One time for children’s day, one of the teachers wanted us to do a radio drama in Diamond FM, which is UI’s radio station and I was one of the students that went. 

The station manager heard me read and asked if I would like to work with him. I was ecstatic and said yes because at that point I didn't know what I was going to do with my life. I started working on radio. I was observing and reading news only from 2016 to 2019, then I gained admission in university in 2018, and then I started full-time in 2019. I worked in radio till January 2021. I joined a group chat for music industry updates and from there- I started working for WeTalkSound. I used to host clubhouse and twitter space interviews, but then I realised I liked execution. 

I'm not really one of those people that likes remote work. I rather do mobile work. I can walk around the venue 700 times. I like rigorous work, and that's what makes me enjoy tours. So I started working for Backstage NG. I think my first event with Backstage NG was Rick Ross’ headline show in 2022. 

Then we did Rubi Rose in December. I handled the talent relations management for the show. I handled the logistics welfare and relations with their teams- booking them, putting them into hotels and moving them from the hotel to the venue. I handled talent relations for the INEC/EU youth concert to inspire youth to vote and not fight. Yeah, so I've just done events ever since then. I used to work on film projects, but it's a bit rigorous shuffling film and music. 

I know that you are still in school, so how do you balance what you do with school work? 

There's no balance. Honestly, you'll just have to choose. I was studying European Studies. That was the course I chose to enter university with. I did that up to 300 level before my parents decided that it would be a waste of time when my work life is obviously tending towards communication relations.

I switched to Communication and Language Arts and had to go back to 200 level. And that session was when I was managing Mohbad, The first semester was the worst because I was hardly ever around and because I was new in the class I didn't really know people to help me. 

I’m still struggling a bit, but I have learnt how to balance both in a rational way. I have a friend in my class, his name is Temidayo. Allow me to give him a free shout out because he has been supportive through a lot of things and he has helped me severally in school.  

But like I said, there's no balance. It's like choose where you want to be. And just do your best for the other part. 

As a creative what would you say is like your favourite thing to do in your particular area and what would you say is like your least favourite thing that actually annoys you in doing? 

My favourite thing is going through all the processes to execute a show or a tour. All of the negotiations, picking vendors- all of those things and then now coming on the show and seeing a very satisfied crowd. It's one of the most fulfilling things about working on a show, or working on tours- that type of thing. Same thing as working on a film. You don't know the tiring behind the scenes work or the sleepless nights. 

On the other hand, one of the things that frustrates me is that everyone is always trying to get their opinion in one way or another. It can get over stimulating. And I'm still at that position where I'm trying to streamline that. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but not every opinion is entitled to be chosen or selected as final form. 

That's why I prefer working in small teams. When you have too many people giving instructions, it sort of disrupts the flow of the work. Too many cooks, spoils the meal. I've been in a situation where I'm the project manager, and I'm the producer- and yet there are people forcefully trying to give me advice on how to run my own show. 

I'm like, no, you don't get to do that here. So that kind of thing can be really stressful because while you’re not trying to upset people, you’re also still trying to stand your ground. That's one of the things I don't like too much about about it. 

Which show is your favourite out of all the shows that you've done and you've managed, and which is your biggest? 

I don't know if I have a favourite because I always forget. 

Okay, so like how many shows have you done? Like can you count them? 

About 30. 

So, which is your biggest? And which is the one that may be your favourite so far? 

I would say my biggest independent show is Bella Shmurda’s Concert for 2023 because the crowd was a lot. There were too many people. There are still remarks about how that was like the most amount of people seen in one place. And I remember the planning process. We took a huge risk by going for a place that could house tons of people. I was constantly praying for people to turn up. Even on the day of the event, I was just still walking around because we didn’t use our usual template for promotions this year. 

My favourite event would be Trenchfest by Dapper for December for two entertainment companies. I was the floor manager. It was all Dapper's artists, Shallipopi, Seyi Vibez, and Ice Prince and Skibii were there. I liked the different teams coming around. Everyone's asking, when is my talent going up? How many people can go on stage? How many people can get into the green room? I just like the contact. One thing about me is, I've come to dislike commitments. So I cherish every contact I have with like small teams, you know- just the buzz of this is your call time, this is where you need to be here, this is the flow of things. And then everybody goes home and we sleep in our different beds knowing that we are done. We are not necessarily keeping in touch, we are not talking tomorrow. That’s one thing that makes me enjoy tours. 

You mentioned Bella Shmurda’s Show and I actually want to briefly go into it. How was it? How would you say the experience was? 

This has been my best show so far. We've done it for over the past three years. The first year, I had been working for other people at their own events in like different capacities. Second year, it was a lot more challenging because there were lots of conflicting opinions. It was a real struggle for the second edition. This third edition, conversations started concerning it a bit earlier. I was told I was allowed to use security, if there were unnecessary hits- because you know the thing I mentioned about too many opinions and like the force of it. Everyone wants their opinion to be the one that flies.

This year wasn't like that. The whole team just left me to do my thing and make decisions. And you have to agree with me that as a creative, the work is a lot easier and calmer when you're doing exactly how it is in your mind. Like it's flowing straight from inside you. The event turned out to be more than okay - It was truly great. 

Can you describe your relationship with Mohbad? Did his death affect you? 

I managed Mohbad from October 2022 to March 2023. We became like the best of friends, he was there for me- and I was there for him. Like when you're with someone, and when they are like going through life and it becomes your own struggle. That’s how it was. I would always check up on him whenever I was in school, and go to his side when I was in Lagos. 

We were really really good friends. We were close and it’s different to explain it now- because a lot of time has passed and I’m in the acceptance phase. The memories we had together are embedded in my heart always. I'm happy that it was him that I got to work with, happy that he took a step towards fighting for himself. Yeah, even if it didn't last too long- it showed that there's a reward for resilience. A lot of things were starting to look up for him, and things were falling into place for him. I’m happy that he got to see a tip of the iceberg before he passed 

Yeah, so if he was still alive right now, what would you say to him? 

I don't know what I'll say to him- that’s the funny thing. I would have loved for him to be at a bunch of the shows that I worked on in December. And then it would have been the absolute best to see him perform to the amount of crowd that came out for Bella. He had a bunch of plans. I know that if we were to discuss anything now, it would be where we're at with actualising those plans. And I’d probably just check in on him too, just because I used to gossip with him. I used to force him to eat the types of food that I like. I used to force him to take selfies with me. So that's probably what we'll still be doing. 

So as a creative, what would you say to the other creatives out there that are struggling and trying to be where you are?

I'm going to say you have to take the bull by the horns. There are so many obstacles. People can be obstacles. You'll meet people who will try to talk you down. I know like last year, there was someone who was telling me maybe I shouldn't appear to be as ambitious as I am- just so that other people don't feel threatened or feel like I’m doing more than myself. Be as ambitious as you want to be. Your dreams are your own dreams. And one thing I also found out from last year is like, people want you to be a part in achieving their own dreams. In your own role to helping people achieve their own dreams, don't forget that you have yours as well. 

You have to be very selfish when you try to achieve your own dreams. Because by the time you spend all that you have, all your energy, all your time, your money, your resources, to achieve another person’s dream- You’ll just get home spent feeling empty. You have to start paying attention to your dream. I realised this, and I just took a step back, quit some jobs and decided, you know, I'm facing events squarely now and it's been like the most fulfilling thing. Your dream is waiting for you. So instead of doing a waiting game, why don't you just plunge head first into it and try to achieve it?

This is a who would you kill, marry, and date question. The people that I have are Bella Shmurda, Seyi Vibez, and Ckay- I think you have worked with all these guys at some point. Who would you date, kill and marry? 

I don't send these niggas. I admire all three of them in different capacities, and I won't kill any of them. They're doing well in their own different capacities. 

I liked Seyi Vibes at some point, but I don't know anymore. His music doesn’t really stick for me- but my favourite song from him currently is different pattern. I liked Ckay for about three years, since 2020 till last year. But, he’s resting now- so I have freed him. Bella is my client, and he’s like more like my brother. Truth is- I don't want to marry them. I don't want to date any of them, and I don't want to kill them.

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