All Posts By

Shade Anozie

Blaqbonez: Music, Marketing, & Social Media

The health pandemic has upended the global economy. No industry has been spared including the live entertainment industry.

There’s also a steady glut of music and content that is being released by the second which has made it challenging for artists and creatives alike to stay relevant.

But Blaqbonez, a Nigerian rapper, seems to understand how to market and thrive in this new normal. I reached out to him to get some insights.

My time with Oliver Enwonwu

The last week in March and the entire month of April 2020 have been unreal. First, I hope everyone reading this is well and staying safe. It’s unfathomable (probably not for scientists and others who have been giving warnings about the real threat of a global pandemic in the 21st century) how this global pandemic has suppressed life as we know it. My thoughts and prayers remain with everyone who has lost loved ones to COVID-19. Hats off to all the essential and healthcare workers here in Nigeria and around the world who continue to go above and beyond. There are no words. Thank you. Hoping that a vaccine for this virus is found soon.

On Thursday, March 12, I arrived at the spa 45 minutes early to my appointment to avoid getting stuck in traffic due to numerous ongoing road maintenance in Lagos. My interview with Oliver Enwonwu was scheduled for 1:00pm at Omenka Gallery.

By 11:30am I was done with my makeup. I left the mainland with 1 hour and 30 minutes to spare. I put on my GPS in case I needed it and proceeded to the 3rd mainland bridge. But as I kept driving, the GPS kept redirecting me to Ikorodu Road. I found it quite odd and I wanted to ignore it because the 3rd mainland bridge usually had less traffic at this time. Furthermore, Ikorodu Road was one of the roads under maintenance which in tandem had led to absurd gridlock around that area. 

Thankfully, I decided to follow the route the GPS recommended. Saved my head! Unknown to me, the traffic on the 3rd mainland bridge was out of this world, not sure if this was due to a major accident or traffic spillover [I only got to know about the traffic when I arrived at Omenka Gallery].

After navigating Ikorodu traffic, narrowly avoiding getting apprehended by some suspicious looking plain clothes men for making a legal turn, I arrived at Omenka Gallery with 5 minutes to spare. My video editor/audio engineer and my video director immediately got out of the car to set up for the interview. 30 minutes later we were ready to go.

When Oliver came down from his office, I apologised profusely but he was kind and pleasant. Apparently some friends who were making their way to the island informed him that there was diabolical traffic on the 3rd mainland bridge. 

Sans an issue with the studio light going off for a few seconds and barking dogs interrupting the recording, the interview went well. We talked about politics, art valuation, his famous father, merchandising, and lots more. I am glad I had the opportunity to talk with him. As someone who has a limited knowledge of the art industry, the conversation was insightful and I learned a lot.

You can listen to the interview here on wherever you listen to your podcasts (Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Spotify, iHeartRadio).

I will be back with new interviews once I have transitioned to a safer recording schedule.

Be kind and stay safe.

Otunba Dayo Adeneye

Hi,

First off, I hope all is well with you and your family and you are doing your best to stay safe in these trying times like billions of people around the world. Life as we know it has changed and it is quite challenging to comprehend at times. My thoughts and prayers are with all those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, all those who have become sick with COVID-19, and all the health professionals and experts all around the world doing their absolute best to end this pandemic.

In adherence with my new year resolution, below is a brief summary of my interview with my 3rd guest of the year, Otunba Dayo Adeneye.

Otunba Adeneye is a music executive, investor, politician, entertainment and hospitality consultant, and motivational speaker. He, alongside Mr Kenny Ogungbe, was instrumental in not only transforming Nigerian radio and TV but also contributing immense value to the Nigerian music and entertainment industry. He is someone that I grew up watching on TV and listening to on radio so interviewing him was one of my 2020 goals.

In late January, I contacted him about the possibility of interviewing him on my podcast. He was initially hesitant to do the interview but an amazing family friend, Mr Juwon Osibanjo, put in a good word for me and he agreed to do the interview. My plan was to conduct the interview the second week in February. But he informed me that he would be travelling to Los Angeles for the Grammys and would be available to speak with me when he returned.

Throughout the first two weeks in February, I felt blue and low. It also didn’t help matters that my birthday was coming up (February 26th). My mother could sense my mood and she kept asking what I would like as a gift and if I would like to go out to eat and celebrate on my birthday. I told her I didn’t want any gifts and I wanted to stay home to work.

A week after Otunba Adeneye returned from Los Angeles, I contacted him and, after confirming with my team, we set a date for Tuesday, February 25th at 1:00pm. I was excited.

The day of the interview, I left home early to get my makeup done so that I could arrive at Otunba Adeneye’s office on time. For reasons best known to me, I ignored my mother’s advice on the best route to take and followed the GPS route. Let’s just say the phrase “Sometimes it’s best to listen to your elders” rang loudly in my ears for the 1 hour and 30 minutes that I was stuck in traffic. Sensibly, the moment that I had seen that Lagos traffic was going to finish me, I called my makeup artist to inform her and apologise for running late. I used my time in traffic to coordinate with my director who had arrived and was setting up at the location. My audio engineer was also on his way to the location. My “smart tush” was the lone ranger who was yet to be on her way.

Eventually, by 12pm my makeup was done. I changed clothes and dashed over to Otunba Adeneye’s office using my Lagos Janet Bond navigation moves (I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice). I arrived at his office at exactly 12.59pm. I apologised profusely and he was courteous and understanding but firm. The interview kicked off at 1.10pm and it was a pleasure talking with him.

When we were done, he took me around and showed me some pictures and awards that he and Mr Kenny Ogungbe had received over the years (a lot of them were surprisingly still in unpacked boxes). It was such a great moment. Once we had all the necessary footage and pictures, I thanked him for his time and we cleared up and left. 

The drive home with my team was joyful. The entire day turned out to be a great unexpected birthday present!

To listen to the interview, visit Audiomack, Podbean, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or iHeartRADIO. You can also watch the video version on Youtube. Simply search for ‘thesncpodcast’ [1 word]. You can follow the pod on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at the same name -> @thesncpodcast

Ps: My mother did get me a birthday gift after all. She got me a lovely birthday card and a small pink teddy bear.  🙂

Chief [Dr.] Oladele Fajemirokun

Hello! I’m Folashade Anozie.

Late last year, I made a commitment to myself to do my best to give listeners of my podcast some insight into what goes on behind the scenes.

So, here goes.

My first guest of 2020 is Chief Oladele Fajemirokun. Chief Fajemirokun is a Nigerian venture capitalist, businessman, and angel investor. His business investment cuts across companies such as AIICO Plc, Food Concepts Ltd, Kings Guards, to name a few.

In July 2019, he released his book, “The making of me: My odyssey in business.” I was unable to attend the launch of the book because, at the time, I was living in the United States.

When I subsequently moved back to Nigeria, I went to a bookstore and purchased a copy of the book. I read a couple of pages and a couple of days later had the chance to visit Chief. I informed him that I would love to interview him because, in my opinion, there are lessons from his business principles, philosophies, and life experience that can be applied to the Nigerian music industry and life in general. However, I needed to finish reading the book. He agreed that when I was done reading the book, I should get in touch with him.

A couple of weeks flew by as I juggled going on job interviews, reading the book, and recording other interviews for the podcast. Eventually, I was ready to interview Chief the week before Christmas. However, things do not go as planned and he had to reschedule with me in early January 2020. The stars eventually aligned and he carved out some time in the middle of his busy January to talk with me.

On Friday, January 17th, 2020, my team and I arrived at Chief’s home an hour before the interview was scheduled to commence. A friend, Niyi Faleyimu, scouted Chief’s house for the optimal recording location. Eventually, he settled on Chief’s office. We set up all the equipment and tested the levels on the microphone and my recording device.

Over the past couple of months, I have been using the Rode pod microphone for myself and my guest. However, because Chief is older and for ease of movement, I opted to use the Sony ECM-55B microphone for him. Niyi and I tested out the sound levels on the Sony ECM-55B and it worked fine. But I noticed that at certain moments, the audio kept cutting out as Niyi spoke. I thought it had to do with the distance of the microphone to Niyi’s mouth so we placed it higher and the audio became audible and clear. We were ready to roll!

At 1pm, Chief promptly walks in to his office to start the interview. As I tested his audio levels, I thanked him for his time and patience. Everything sounded fine and we began to record. A minute into the recording, I notice that the audio from Chief’s microphone keeps cutting out when he speaks. I stop him and politely ask him to speak up, which he does. We resume recording.

2 minutes in to the interview, I ask Nìyí to reposition the microphone higher on Chief’s scarf in order for the audio to be more audible. I listen again and as Chief speaks, the microphone continues to cut out. I do my best not to get stressed. As a podcast listener, I am keenly aware that bad audio makes the listener experience dissatisfying and unbearable and it can cause you to lose subscribers.

As the seconds keep ticking, I think to myself “should I set up my spare Rode microphone for Chief to use, which would solve my problem but cut into my alloted time with him and undoubtedly make him uncomfortable because of how he’d have to sit?”

I grit my teeth and make the tough choice to keep on recording and hope that everything works out fine. 30 minutes later, the interview was over. We cleared up and left.

Driving home, I was upset with myself for, again, having issues with my audio recording. The drive home also finally dawned on me that serving as the host, producer, editor, and audio engineer requires that I juggle numerous balls. And sometimes it can be challenging to balance all these balls seamlessly. So, if you’re reading this and you are, or you know any great person who might be interested in interning with me, do let know.

Invariably, the issue with Chief’s audio reminded me that you have to learn to roll with the punches when recording (for a type A individual like myself this can be very challenging) and do your absolute best to correct the problematic audio in post production.

Mishap aside, I am glad I was able to make this interview happen. I am even more grateful to Chief for his time and graciousness. Equally grateful to and appreciate of my team for being so dogged.

If you listened to the interview, audio challenges and all, thank you so much for listening. I hope that you learned a thing or two about persistence, life, and business. If you haven’t listened to the interview, you can do so on Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or Audiomack. Simply search for ‘thesncpodcast‘ [which is all 1 word]. You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at the same name -> @thesncpodcast.

I appreciate every single person who continues to support me and the podcast. I am eternally grateful. 2020 is definitely the year that I make things right!

I lost one of my heroes

My spirit is broken.

Yesterday, I lost one of my heroes and favorite people in the world – Kobe Bean Bryant.

Last night, I was busy in my mum’s room putting the finishing touches to my first interview of 2020 when I heard my phone ping in my room. I went over to check and it was a message on Instagram from my secondary school classmate, Odunayo Balogun. Her message read, “Shade, is it true what happened to Kobe?” I was confused. What could have happened to Kobe? Maybe it had to do with something he said in the media, I thought. For a split second, I was going to ignore the message but I decided to hop on Twitter to find out what could have happened (the possibility of death being the furthest thing from my mind).

I typed Kobe in the search bar and the first thing that I saw (I will never forget this moment) was “Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash.” I dropped my phone, screamed, and began to cry. My mum asked what happened and I told her. A couple of minutes later, my father called to inform me and I just sobbed like a baby and have not stopped. People who know me well know that Kobe Bryant was one of my heroes. Whenever I feel discouraged or blue I always ask myself, “what would Kobe do?” Besides my parents, he taught me so much about life, the importance of intensity, being fallible, having a killer instinct, persistence, curiosity, focus, and excellence. Kobe taught millions of people and fans, like myself, about the Mamba Mentality and the importance of living your life to the best of your ability.

I barely slept last night. Today has just been a daze. Not sure what tomorrow or the rest of the year (or years) will feel like.

I am struggling to place Kobe Bryant in past tense. It simply does not make any sense to me that the amazing Black Mamba is gone. Worse is the fact that his 13 year old daughter and 7 other amazing individuals also died in the crash. I hate death! I have always hated the fact that when amazing people die, famous or not, the world does not stop and life goes on. That really sucks! It sucks even more that those that have been left behind must find a way to keep on forging ahead and hold on to memories.

I am so sad and heartbroken. There are no words.

May the souls of all the departed rest in peace (Kobe Bryant, Gianna Byrant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan) and I pray that God will wrap his precious arms around all the loved ones that they left behind and drown them in his love and comfort.

Thank you for an amazing, inspiring life Kobe Bean Bryant! Thank you for inspiring me to be and live the best version of myself everyday. I’ll do my best to make you proud. Love and respect legend.

Black Mamba forever!

Oye Akideinde: The Music Man

We caught up with Oye Akideinde, the newly appointed Head of Over the Top (OTT) music services at MTN Group.

The cross-section of topics discussed: his journey into music and technology, the importance of strategy when it comes to the business of music, streaming services, payola, and more.