Business Interviews Iyanya – “I was doing a lot of R&B and all I was getting was “Hey bros… Nice voice, bros… Nice one.”

M.I Abaga launched his website sometime last year. The site has since evolved into an online blog/magazine of some sorts. I am not sure M.I Abaga authors all of the interviews on his website. It sounds like there might very well be a ghost writer/blogger. As a practical matter, it would seem very hard to work as a producer, run a new label with three (3-6) Loopy Artists, work with Chocolate City as an artist, tour etc. and then have time to create quality and consistent content about fellow artists etc. E no easy.  So, I believe he has help from staff.

I like the idea of a magazine and can totally see M.I’s website being quite successful in the nearest future; and generating revenue much the same way Linda Ikeji does. I especially see his one on one interviews with fellow colleagues being a hit. It’s like inviting them into his studio and having the public peek in on issues/topics  typically discussed behind closed doors.  Speaking of success, I enjoyed his interview with Iyanya. AML artists this is a good read for you all. Check on  excerpts below:

19.09.12 /
His songs are played on every radio frequency. His videos are on every TV station. Heck, he probably performs at every show. He’s the man with the monster hit “Kukere” and the party banger “Your waist“. He’s one of the hottest artistes right now.

He’s also the winner of the 2008 MTN Project Fame and the guy who spent 4 years after that pursuing a career as an R&B singer.

But what do you do when you’ve spent 4 years of your life trying to get people to listen, and all they want to do is dance? What do you do when you’re tired of trying and seemingly on your way to being forgotten?

You “Give the people what they want,” he says. had this very honest interview with him. Turns out he needed to talk. .  .

How long did it take for you to figure out your music style?

Me, I’m a Soul singer. If you let me, I’d just do Soul. I’ve been singing R&B for the last 4 years and it was like people were not listening. In Nigeria if you’re a singer, it’s like you don’t have talent. Some people try to brand it, calling it ‘good music’, but you end up broke, and you’ll die broke, you know what I’m saying?

But if you give the people what they want. You’ll stay. You’ll eat. You’ll survive.

About a year ago, me and my manager, we just sat and said “You know what? We’ve been doing this R&B thing and it’s not working. Let’s look for a producer who can give us a sound that’s just different.” And then we met DTunes. We made ‘Kukere’. It took us three months to complete it. Because I was still struggling. Still thinking: “Shit mehn, I’m an R&B artiste, how will people see this?” So when I did the song I didn’t even mention my name in it. I didn’t want anybody to know it was me. And I remember when we dropped the song on the internet, some people were dissing it. They were like: “Bullshit! Crap! I’m disappointed in this guy, he’s joined the band wagon.” And mehn we just kept pushing, we just kept pushing. And it’s a blessing right now to see people have accepted it.

What was it like being an R&B singer at the time?

I was doing a lot of R&B and all I was getting was “Hey bros… Nice voice, bros… Nice one.” And even when I go: “Can I be on your show?”, they’d go “Ahn ahn… For what now? What can you sing?”. Sometimes they’d say, “You’ll perform oh but I won’t pay you.”

And I was tired of just being a show starter. I craved for headlines. I craved for… You know when you walk into a crowd… And you see the place full…and they’re waiting for you, anticipating. I wanted that to be me. I was tired of just going upstage with a guitarist and having girls just scream…and then that’s all. And even while you’re still trying to sing and run scales you can see the show organizer back there signaling you to cut it short and get off.  .  .” has the full story.

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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