Tag Archives: Music industry

Happy 2016!

I know I’ve been a bit of a stranger recently. I always have these incentives to blog regularly, but something always comes up.

Anyways, let me start by wishing you all a happy 2016. May this New Year be the year where your goals are reached and your dreams come to pass.

2015 was a great year for me. Though mostly the exciting stuff happened in the first 9 months of the year. After the NEA in September where I didn’t won my category, but still had a great time and learned a lot, and till new-years-eve, I was just in Norway working on the business side of my music career and my Forever Living business.

But at the start of this year, I went back to Nigeria again and being back was lovely. I’ve done what I think is my best project yet. A song featuring Chidinma, a very sought after female singer in the Nigerian music industry for those who’re not too familiar with afrobeat and produced by DJ Coublon, producer of the year. The video was shot by my team member and friend Hg2films. The song will soon be released and I just can’t wait to share it with you!

What I think made this project so good, was both the fact that I now have a lot more experience and better self-esteem and, in the case of the video, I had my own personal stylist, who is practically like my sister. She didn’t dress me up in anything until I understood what kind of look and style it was and she kept a very sharp eye on the make-up artists, so I got the look I wanted. And so I felt I looked better and had more control.

Having the right team around you is extremely important for everyone. But for me as a blind artist, it’s especially important because I need to have that extra level of trust. My opinions on how something looks only goes as far as what I can feel myself and that isn’t always enough in an industry where appearance is so important.

I am back in Norway now, dealing with the cold harsh winter. But though I’m known for hating snow and the cold, I’m feeling really positive right now. Spring isn’t that far away and with spring comes my birthday. And I’ll soon be travelling again for shows and promos.

I also need to work on my other business this year. And I need to focus on recruiting which I’m terrified of. But I believe in having many things going at the same time and if I want to succeed, I need to step out of my comfort zone. Easier said than done though. But I’m ready for the challenge. Hey, it’s nearly spring! The Lioness is rising!

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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!