Khalid – Talk (Official Video)
Khalid’s Talk is a single off his recently released second album Free Spirit. You can find a bit more news about it here and all sorts of other places as well. What you won’t find is information on the choreographer or the awesome dancers including the lead, Idaliz Cristian.
I found out that Cristian is the lead dancer through a Google search that didn’t lead me to anybody else. An article from her high school district discussed her participation in the video and as a tour dancer for Khalid. An article from the district’s blog pointed to her appearance at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards as seen in the below video starring Khalid. Except for a couple of social media shoutouts, that’s the most visible press she seems to have gotten to date. And that’s a shame though I feel worse for the choreographer. But, you know what? That’s on them and I’ll explain why below for those who are interested.
Khalid – “Talk” & “Better” (Live at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards)
Idaliz Cristian is repped by a serious dance agency, Clear Talent Group, and I assume they’re getting her additional work as well. But she’s not mentioned on the website. They may shout her out on social media but, honestly, that’s no big thing. Though they should list her on the site if she’s still a client, it’s not an agent’s job to provide publicity. That’s what a publicist does and you have to pay them. So, many people who are getting work from their agents and don’t see themselves as a brand just leave it at that.
This approach is a huge mistake in my opinion. I went through this issue with my nephew who is an actor in LA and is getting work through his agents in both film and tv. Small but significant roles. He may well become a true star in his own right. But, when he does, other people will control his image because he hasn’t done the most basic thing any artist in any field should do, start and promote his own website featuring his work.
I talked to him about providing that service for free and he balked because he thought he wasn’t ready for a “fan site” and didn’t seem to understand anything else I said. So much for millennials understanding online media just cause social media is second nature. Musicians, writers and visual artists seem to be figuring this out more than other artistic professions. They recognize that their names are their brands though backup musicians still need to get a clue.
Having your own website means coming up first in search results for your name. When someone asks Google, “who is the dancer in Talk?,” Google will send them to your site especially if there isn’t much media coverage. So rather than a third party defining your image, you’re defining it. Rather than limiting your connections to social media, which is on a platform you don’t own, your connection to people interested in your work is through your site.
Sure, you may and should connect via social media and you can promote those accounts via your website. But, in the long term, if you don’t own your presence online, you don’t own your image online. And that will always make you dependent on what others decide to say about you and what online platforms allow you to do. That also means other people will be monetizing your work.
Get your own website before you’re a star. And get a publicist if you want to be a star. If you’re strapped for funds, websites are cheap. There is no excuse for not having one. Like Shia LaBeouf says: “Do It!”