Monthly Archives: November 2015

Age has got nothing to do With it

Does age really matter?
When I was 18, I had it all planned. I was going to start recording music, become a great singer, achieve global fame and become an icon for all young women around the world. Whilst doing all that, I was going to get my degree. A bA and a master. I was then going to get married and have my first baby after graduating and all this before I was 25. Oh and somewhere in all of this, I was going to get my first novel published and it was going to become a NY Times best seller.
I don’t know about you, but just writing that list, I felt my blood pressure skyrocket and my breath come out in gasps. LOL

Needless to say, I am not where I wanted myself to be at 18. But I’m not disappointed. In fact I’m quite ok with it.

On bad days it’s hard not to send envious thoughts to successful business women who have their successful businesses and their own families before they’re 30. Or to people who achieve global recognition in their teens or early 20s for a great album, book or other good deed.

But on good days and that’s most days for me, I am grateful things didn’t turn out like 18-years-old me would have wanted them too.

First of all, I didn’t know Afrobeat at 18. I supposed back then I wanted to do pop music, whatever that meant. I wanted to be like avril Lavigne or Rihanna. But does the world need a copy of those?

As for my novel, I couldn’t have written one that young. I tried, but it wasn’t the right time for me to do it. You need to be in a certain state of mind to manage to undertake such a big project. Sure, I had a lot of stories bubbling in my head and I tried to put them down on paper, but I didn’t have the patience, and more importantly, the right story in my head to keep me glued to my writing.

As for being globally famous at a really young age, it may not be a bad thing, but you only need to go to social media to see what kind of pressure teen music stars are under. I also know that am in a better position to take criticism now than when I was younger. Then, I would have cried if someone said they didn’t like address I war in a video. Now, I’m happy because nobody at least has yet questioned my vocal abilities.

I wish things had happened for me earlier. But having gone through two cycles of terminally ill parents, I had to put my life on hold for five years. Not that I never had fun, but I could not really do what I wanted and feel relaxed about it, because at any time I could be called to a death bed.

But now I am free. I didn’t get my first hit until I was in my late 20s, but I am doing the genre of music I really like and I’m not a copy of anybody else in the industry. My voice and confidence is also mature so I can handle bad or unconstructive criticism much better as well as the good and constructive one.

I have not yet published my first novel, but I have improved and upgraded the story line of the mid-summer serial I published on this blog and I’m soon ready to give it to an agent. And now that I have managed to sit down and write a full length novel, I have more stories itching to come out.

I will soon have a family. No, I’m not pregnant yet, or have a wedding ring on my finger, but it will come soon. I just know it.And I have started my own business. I even have two degrees. So even though I didn’t do things how Linn 18 wanted, I’ve still done them and I’m in the process of completing the rest.

It shouldn’t matter how old you are when you complete your goals as long as you fulfill what you want for yourself. And just because you start young, doesn’t mean you’ll be more successful than if you achieve it when you’re older. Things just happen differently for all of us and for different reasons.

So, if you’re 63 and dream of becoming a body builder, or 80 and want to learn Russian, it’s not too late. It only is too late if you say so.

What’s up With this auto-tune?

One thing that really frustrates me about African pop music is the auto-tune. That’s not just used in Africa, but since this is the industry I’m part of, it annoys me more in African music. Auto-tune isn’t necessarily always a bad thing and when used correctly it can create some nice effects. But the way some producers and sound engineers are slapping it on today, you do start to wonder whether a lot of artists are capable of singing at all.

I know I’m harsh. But nothing saddens me more than hearing a great banger of a beat accompanying voices that are so auto-tuned and stripped of personality that they sound like singing screen reading software for the blind. And especially if I like the artist and know they can sing. Why do they accept sounding like that?

I don’t know how many times I switch off songs half way through because the auto-tune is making my ears hurt and how many times I’ve been on YouTube looking for accappella and acoustic performances of A-listers to see whether they actually can sing.

I have always admired African singers for their strong powerful voices and I myself learned a lot of good singing techniques when I sang with a majority black choir.

I know I’m not alone in my opinion of auto-tune. Gramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage is saying that “Auto-tune is destroying black African artists”. And apparently Jay Z has said that it destroys creativity…

Everyone who’s making music is responsible for the good sound. Artists who cannot sing have no business in the industry for starters. And if someone can sing well, it’s the producers and sound engineers job to make them sound as organic as possible. Or is it a whole trend that needs to change?

I’m not sure. But I really pray auto-tune usage, as heavy as it is today, will turn into a non-trend. Let’s instead focus on vocal training for artists and get those beautiful organic voices out there!

Side Business

OMG! What have I done?

I’ve been asking myself this question constantly for the past two weeks and I guess only time will give me the answer.

So what have I done?

I always talk to young artists about the importance of doing something besides music. Especially when you’re up and coming and don’t have a stable income from your music. But having a side hustle is also good because it gives your mind fresh impulses and you can use the inspiration for your music.

I was in the situation where I needed to find that side hustle. I write. But like music, it takes time and establishing to make an income from writing. Many other artists I know work in shops or cafes to finance their music career. But because there’s a lack of these opportunities for blind people, I have never seen this as something I can do.

Then, I came across a company called Forever Living. I was initially extremely skeptical, because I’ve known people who sell products from home before to usually give up on these things because the initial investments and the constant need to recruit people for them to make any profit have exhausted them. But after some extensive research, I found that Forever Living is slightly different in this regard.

First of all, let me tell you what Forever Living actually is. It is a company founded in 1978 in Scottsdale Arizona by Rex Maughan. It sells health, wellness and beauty products based on Aloe Vera and it has a presence in over 155 countries on five continents and it’s growing.

Apart from really liking the products, I liked the fact that it was free to join, that there was no pressure to recruit people and that I can do this in any country in the world. So if I move to the UK or Nigeria full time, I can still sell these products just like I do in Norway.

The ethics of Forever Living is also one I support. For example it helps disabled people through the charity Forever Giving. And on both a local and global level, there is great network support and I am already making new friends.

Since Forever Living buys your products back for 90% of the retail price should you regret your decision to join, I figured that I really had nothing to lose from trying. And when I see people have success with it, it encourages me to want to work hard.

I have already had 2 customers in my first week and I’m having a business launch in two weeks. I really hope people will show up! I soon even qualify to have my own online retail shop.

I have had some really crass negative response to my new venture, but mostly people are positive. And I hope and feel Forever Living can empower and enrich my life.