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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.

A quick-fire chat with Chief Oladele Fajemirokun

My first guest of 2020 is Chief (Dr.) Oladele Fajemirokun. Chief Fajemirokun is a Nigerian businessman, investor, and venture capitalist. He has more than 42 years of extensive experience in building businesses and creating wealth.

On the 15th of July 2019, he released his book “The Making of Me: My Odyssey in Business”, which chronicles his life, his business war stories, and strategies for growing his companies and achieving success.

Our discussion revolved around applying his business principles and philosophies to the Nigerian music industry and life in general.

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!