Categories
Music

Rising Music Sensation, Dark Ruby Reveals Career Scoops

Following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the creative industry has been left to evolve into a survival nature and style of operation, whereby Artists have had to depend heavily on generating revenue as well as reach to their audience via online music streaming and purchasing platforms. Thus, ensuring digitalisation emerging as the new order of the day for content distribution and consumption due to the lockdown which has hindered Artists from the avenue to perform their Art live on stage, at shows, in front of cheering fanatics.  Many have had to resort to live performances via their social media pages. Although, everyone can tell it doesn’t come close to the feeling and energy both sides let off at live shows. 

Meanwhile, in the Nigerian music industry, Lagos based singer and song writer, Dark Ruby’s case is as peculiar, as she is confident and gives off an energetic vibe. For a Female indie Artist, she had the ability to express herself, thus portraying an underlying intelligence.

Also, anyone who understands the game knows becoming and sustaining a career as an independent music Artist is no piece of cake. To begin with, self-determination to push one’s career without any major label/corporation’s financial backing with contracts, or a long network of marketing and promotional strategies is a journey for only those who dare. 

 

Speaking to her exclusively for theparakeetshow.com was as interesting as it was eye opening, as she let us into her personal life, how covid-19 affected her career as a musician and what she thinks of Afro beat’s evolution in Nigeria.

According to her, “ Wizkid, Burnaboy and other Afro beat Artists opened an avenue for the Afro beat Sound to the world”. Damilola Fakomi presents the excerpts. 

Dark Ruby

Hi, can we meet you? 

Hi, I am Dark Ruby, a musician and a song writer. I started singing professionally in 2019 with my first single titled,  ‘Girl’ and then dropped my second single, ‘On You’ this year. 

What first got you into music? 

I will say I have always loved writing music from way back Primary school, which was when I started writing music and composing songs. Also, I come from a family of music, and my dad was a musician, my sisters love music, so I basically just got into music.

Which Artists would you love to collaborate with internationally and locally?

 Internationally I’ll love to collaborate with Kali Uchis, Kanye West, Jhene Aiko, Erykah Badu, Teyana Taylor, Rihanna, The Weekend ; whilst Locally, the likes of Burnaboy, Odunsi, Wande Coal, Niniola, Tiwa Savage 

If you could go open a show for any Artist who would it be, and why?

Rihanna, Rihanna because she gives us a good time and shows us that she is having fun on stage. Her energy is amazing.

Dark Ruby

What kind of songs do you sing in the shower if you do sing in there?

Singing in the shower is like a ritual for me, I sing soothing songs like Kali Uchis, Erykah Badu  and The Weekend

What would you have loved to do if not music?

I will be an Arts Teacher, as I love performing Arts. If it’s not music, it’s definitely something related to that, if I’m not dancing, I’m painting or doing something art related, a teacher or an OAP because I love conversing with people

At what events have you performed your music?

Medfest, at Freedom Park and Chums and friends

How would you describe and evaluate the emergence of Afro beat in Nigeria?

For a very long time Afro beat has been underrated. But, then with the arrival of Fela unto the scene, he shed more light on the sound. Wizkid, Burnaboy and other Afro beat Artists opened an avenue for the Sound to the world. And now international acts want to collaborate with us and want to work with the African Sound.

Dark Ruby, Lagos, August, 2020

What is your greatest motivation towards creating music?

I will say ‘feelings’’, it all depends on my mood, and experiences I have had with people generally.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an indie Artist?

Promotion, promoting music is a completely different thing. It is one thing to make music, it is another thing to promote the music as you have to push and make people listen to your music.

How has Covid-19 affected your career, negatively and positively?

 Negatively with the fact that I can’t produce my own music as I don’t have a home studio. Trust me, it is very frustrating when beats are available and you can’t get out to produce with the beats. 

Positively, it helped my writings as a song writer, I improved. I spent enough time in my room to compose and wrote a lot of songs while at home; Covid-19 showed me that I am really ready to do this music.

Dark Ruby

What legacy do you tend to leave behind for music?

My legacy is not to follow the crowd, I want people to listen to my music and know that this is something different; this is Dark Ruby from the moment they listen to the beats of my songs. I want to take people on a journey with my music.

How effective has social media been towards boosting your creativity and reach?

Social media has been positively effective as you can now promote your music yourself, and all you need is just to make the music, post it on different platforms and use social media to promote it for certain amount of money, and then friends help by reposting.

How responsible has the society been towards your latest single; “On You”?

The society has surprised me as right now I am seeing a star on my song and it is really overwhelming and I don’t expect my songs to be popular the way they are now as I have my doubts because RnB in Nigeria is somehow. The love and stream has been overwhelming. 

What message would you love to send across to your fans?

To my fans, no matter how absurd your dreams are even if it sounds crazy to you and others just do it, because our dreams are valid and we were brought into this world for a purpose , so no matter how crazy or scary it is, do it. Believe in yourself chase your dreams and don’t stop for anyone no matter what. For days when you feel down pick up from where you left and re-evaluate yourself.

Categories
Music

The Emergence of a Vibrant Generation Z Tribe of Abuja Based Hip-hop Artists

As an expressive Art and one of the fastest growing youth driven popular cultures in the globe, Hip-hop has been able to influence a modern vibration and energy into the music space and lifestyle of listeners.

The Nigerian Hip-hop scene over the past couple of decades has witnessed immense growth, as its vibrancy has kept Fans appetite wet and clamoring for more. The emergence of a generation z set of Artists upon the scene gave it the diversity and pop it needed to captivate listeners. Asides the regular household acts; the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, Abuja can boast of a vibrant cluster of generation z Hip-hop Artists with the likes of Tochukwu Gbubemi Ojogwu, aka Odumodu Blvck, Psycho YP, Reeplay, Hotyce, Zilla Oaks, Pretty boy D-o have emerged upon the niches territory within the , with what feels and sounds like an unstoppable unique energy.

However, despite such boom there still exists an underpinning argument as to whether there is a music industry in Nigeria that caters for the myriads of the Hip-hop niches talents. If there is such an industry it is apparent that there is still a lot to be done in terms of quality control, based on the concerns and expressions of listeners and stakeholders.

According to Odumodu Blvck, a talented inspirational musician whose lyrics are quite different from other music Artists, as he is on the verge of pioneering Afro-Grime into the music space; during an interview with theparakeetshow.com, “There are so many problems facing the Nigerian music industry. But, I’ll settle for 3. First being the KABALS. Like my friend Pretty boy d-o says “THE INDUSTRY KABALS”. These people control almost everything and you know what happens when you give people so much power to control a particular sector or section of life.

“For example, take a look at the Nigerian government, due to their incompetence the poor suffers a whole lot. Look at the police force, both here and abroad, Police brutality is constant. Regardless, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are all bad people because there are a lot of good people in these KABALS. The ones I am referring to are the ones who get drunk on power and influence. The ones who feel that if they don’t like or understand you then your chances of making it out the jungle becomes slimmer. The ones who feel that you must bow to their ways of going about things. It doesn’t happen only in the music industry but also in every aspect of life where there’s an organization. They go out of their way to make life difficult for you but what they do not understand is the GOD facto. When God says yes then no man made of flesh can stop you. The solution for this particular problem is for the Artist to work harder till his or her enemies becomes his or her assistant like my mother says, and this can be done with the help of prayers. Citing Joseph in the Bible as an example; destiny can only be delayed not denied.  The same people who will condemn you will assist you. That was some long talk innit? HAHAHAHAHA!”

Oluwateniola Ruth Obilade presents the excerpts:

 How’s life going?

I thank God for life. This Pandemic hasn’t really affected me. I have been able to go about my business as usual. Thank God for the Internet I have been able to complete the final stages of my Mix tape which drops soon titled (VLADIMIR). I just really pity the people who have to feed from hand to mouth, the individuals who have to come out every day to earn a living for their family and themselves. It’s really a mess for them.

What is your aspiration in life?

To say that I wanna be one of the greatest Artist of all time would be stale cause I am already one of the Greatest. Time will tell. My main aspiration is to liberate my people (AFRICANS) from mental slavery, both men and women. Then let the world know that there is a God cause nowadays people feel they can do what they wanna do at their own will.

Confusing freewill for freedom, winning souls for the Devil all in the name of woke. This is what the Bible calls wisdom of the world also known as FOOLISHNESS. That’s why you see people say “ITS MY BODY SO THEREFORE I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT WITH IT” whereas in actual sense it’s not their body. The body is for God. It’s like your friend giving you his car to cater for but because you are driving it you start claiming ownership. Please abeg, when caretaker turn to owner?  So I aspire to get myself to the point whereby I can speak and be considered. I said considered not accepted because even Jesus wasn’t fully accepted. I’m more than an artist so I plan on establishing myself through my music till I achieve what I mapped out at the beginning for this Journey which is to LIBERATE THE PEOPLE.

How did you start music career?

Omo I was meant to manage my guy o. AGUNNA BU EZE (co-founder) BLVCKSHEEP music, big shout out to our Manager Gustavo, also part of the founders. We went to the studio and my mans was like “Guy I don tell you make you dey write raps, you fit run am o, run am now, jump in this tune” And that was it o. Before the music I was an activist. So God just used this music to help me speak my mind to a larger audience. Naso e start o.

How do you get your inspiration to write lyrics of your song?

I get inspired by my surroundings, the realities of life. If you listen closely you’ll find out that you can literally picture my lyrics playing out. That’s why it’s hard for me to write a love song because I’m not in love and if I eventually do write a love song and it sounds nice I won’t really feel it because I’m not feeling it. You feel me?! Hahahaha!!

Secondly, GOD, he inspires me so much in the Sense that a lot of times I’m speaking from an ideology that’s based on his word. Abeg no vex. God comes first. Reality comes after.

How do you combine being a producer, content creator and a music Artist together? 

If I tell you it’s not stressful then I’ll be lying. It is, but, since it’s what I have decided to do I have embraced the stress. I love the stress. If I am to be stressed out then it should be from doing all these things I have decided to do. To add to these things I am also an activist, which makes it more than music for me. It’s a journey that I enjoy so much so combining it is not a problem because they go hand in hand. It’s not like I am trynna fly a plane and open a bakery at the same time. So at the end of the day it’s a beautiful experience that God has blessed me with.

Odumodu Blvck, Photographed by:Igbokwe Visuals

 

What do you think are the major challenges the music industry is facing recently and what are the solutions you would proffer?

 Hmmmm!! This one go long o.

Secondly, a lot of Artist does not believe in themselves. They look up to other people’s achievements. They look up to people for validation when the only validation they should seek is from the most high and within. I mean, why should you try to seek validation from someone who doesn’t understand you or someone who doesn’t fuck with your sound and vision. It’s your vision, God gave you not them. Imagine meeting a two year old to explain to you the concept of metabolism? Will you ever get what you’re seeking? Never, so believe in yourself immensely.

Finally, the numbers game. A lot of Artists think that their greatness is based on numbers. Like SKEPTA Will say “QUIT TALKING NUMBERS”. I know a lot of nice songs from underground artist that do not even have up to 500 plays. Whereas there are songs that are not better than these songs that have over 500,000 thousand plays. The ones with 500 plays now tend to feel like they are not doing enough with their sound whereas it’s in their promotion.

I personally don’t post up my numbers because I have figured that it does more harm and fucks with their mentality. They might feel I am doing better and be pressured to sound like me cause they think “O! If I don’t sound like ODUMODUBLVCK I won’t get listeners” whereas that’s not the case. Solution? They should focus on improving their sound like every other artist and promote it well with the help of social media which is now the most instrumental tool for promotion in this digital age. Saying this with my chest because I’m a graduate of mass communication from the University of Lagos.

Who do you see yourself collaborating with in the next few years to come?

Omooooo! A lot oooo but let me just stick to these three. Number one, Skepta. Cause he’s my Icon and role model. He has taught me how to navigate through the jungle, there’s no Skepta interview I haven’t watched. He says it how it is.

Burna Boy, because his sound is out of this world and he has a coconut head, hahahahaha ….that guy head too strong I swear. He has this BLVCKSHEEP mentality within his soul.

Finally, the Kuti family. Be it Femi Seun or Made. Cause they represent the struggle.

Who are your top 5 favorite Artists of all time?

Yekparikpa! This one go tough o.

Make I just talk my top three first before I talk the remaining two.

Fela. Skepta. Kendrick Lamar.

OYAAAA time for the remaining two. Hmmmmmmmmm! Burna Boy. Would have said Tupac But he’s already living through Kendrick so I’ll just go for ODUMODUBLVCK.

Odumodu Blvck, Photographed by: @amazingklef

 

When you eventually settle down and have your own family, do you think you would still go on with music?

Nobody knows tomorrow but left to me I’ll drop tunes till I die. You get me!

 

Odumodu Blvck, Photographed by: Amazingklef

 

When are you dropping a new song?

This question don cause plenty wahala for street o. My first solo Project titled VLADIMIR Meaning (ruler of the world) (ruler of peace) drops soon. This is after 3 previous projects from 2017 (TABS) meaning (TO ALL BLVCKSHEEP) with AGUNNA by eze. ANTIWORLDGANGSTARS 2018 with Reeplay. And GANG BUSINESS with the ANTIWORLDGANGSTARS. I have no specific date cause I don’t want to rush it since it’s the only project I’m dropping this year. It is a Grime and Drill tape. Something that’s not really common in Africa. I see myself as a pioneer of that particular genre here in Africa. In addition to that I infused a lot of Africanism into the sound so it doesn’t complete sound like the man dem in the UK. It has the street sound mashed up in it. To everyone who has waited patiently, trust me it’s worth the wait.

What are your advice to young upcoming artistes and how can they promote their music?

First of all if they do not believe there’s a God they should start believing right now cause he is the only one that guarantees success without sorrows. So if they are smart they should stay close to him through prayers. Then hard work. Then back to prayers cause trust me you need that bit of luck to breakthrough. As I said earlier there are a lot of talented people that will never get exposed unless God intervenes. So you gotta keep disturbing him and that can only be done with hard work, working smart, faith and prayers. To promote their stuff they gotta use social media. We are in a digital age. That’s the first step. The rest can come after that. Stage performances, radio and TV tours. Much love to everyone. ODUMODUBLVCK IS HERE TO STAY FOREVER. I AM UNSTOPPABLE. BLVCKSHEEP FOREVER BLVCKSHEEP FOR LIFE. IZGAJUU TILL WE KPEME. TWI TWI TWI KPO!!

Categories
Fashion

Be Dazzled, the Online Boutique Serving a Vintage Allure

The fashion space and technology have been in sync year on year; thus, today it is impossible to discuss about the fashion retail sector without pointing out the crucial role digitalization is playing towards the growth and sustainability of e-clothing stores across the globe.

Digitalization is transforming the way fashion brands operate and transact with the application of digital marketing tools, Websites, Social media, data analytics, artificial intelligence, virtual technology which generates enhanced streamlined and efficient processes that caters to all their needs and concerns. This, has led to the emergence of various brands establishing their brand online without having to own and manage physical stores at any location, thereby effectively reducing their cost of operation and sustainability. Today, customers can now make purchases of items via the brand’s website and social media pages seamlessly as they adapt to the new landscape and embrace the turning point of the fashion world.

Meanwhile, back home in Nigeria Fashion franchises have been enforcing great strides to improve the standard of clothing for the day to day activities of its consumers. We have witnessed it go as far as influencing how we experience our surroundings, interact with others and our bodies; hence, giving comfort a whole new refreshing narrative.

A Nigerian e-boutique, Be Dazzled is one of the various online owned enterprises which are harnessing the essentials of Earth’s digital era as it provides an avenue for customers to purchase clothings and accessories from other fashion houses online, seamlessly.

It’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Phoebe Braimoh Ihade, a graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Lagos speaks with Theparakeetshow.com regarding the journey towards setting up and sustaining a successful online clothing and accessories store. Regina Ogwuche presents the excerpts:

What inspired you to set up such a franchise?

I have always had great love and passion for fashion so I mean, why not?

How has the journey towards owning an online clothing and accessories store in Nigeria being thus far?

It has not been the easiest thing to be honest. But, I derive joy from this which has been my driving force.

How much of Made in Nigeria products do you have stocked for sale to consumers compared to foreign made goods?

Most of the items up for sale on Be Dazzled Boutique are Made in Nigeria. The handbags that were available for sale in February and March were 100% Nigerian & straight from the factory. The maker is a young woman whose works I had seen on Instagram, I sent her a direct message and we partnered up from there.

What sets your enterprise apart from others?

Every business organization aims to make money and that’s great. However, what sets my store apart is customer satisfaction, we thrive on feedback and how we can be better for our customers.

What work ethics or strategies have you developed and implemented towards catering to your customers effectively?

As cliche as it may sound, your customer is always right. Their feelings are valid, even the ones that may be a little difficult to deal with. So, I try as much as possible to treat them specially while being professional at the same time. I am open to listening to whatever complaints my customers may have, I believe it is not the time to get impatient and defensive. I can pass a message across firmly without being rude. Also, I ensure that their packages get to them on time and in a hassle free manner, this involves making a lot of phone calls to track the deliveries of each package sent out. I also deal specifically with a certain delivery company that has earned my trust over time to reduce stress on my clients and other parties involved.

Some say access to capital is a hindrance towards entrepreneurial endeavors, what’s your take on this and how were you able to over come it?

Capital plays a huge role in any business venture. If capital is not sufficient one may not be able to provide clothes in various sizes. We all look different and cannot wear the same size of clothing. It is imperative to have adequate savings to invest in your business before it kicks off.

What are your best-selling products so far?

So far, the best sellers have been the mini handbags, which is not surprising, every woman needs at least one of these. It can accommodate your phone, debit cards and your purse.

How has the recent Covid-19 pandemic affected the sales of your product and your method of delivering services to customers?

Due to the global pandemic we have postponed sales for a while, however customers can pre-order if they wish and we would deliver when this situation fizzles out.

Also, what measures are you enforcing to ensure you come out of the crises stronger?

As an entrepreneur you need to make the best out of situations you may find yourself in. I keep in touch with my customers to make sure there is still some sort of relationship, people would not just send money for goods to a franchise they do not have any form of trust for.

What do you do for fun in your spare time?

In my free time, I love to hang with my girlfriends, get cute and go out to have a good time, I also enjoy listening to music and reading.
Categories
Fashion

The Crotchet & Knitting Brand Influencing a Fresh Narrative Upon Nigeria’s Fashion Scene

Crotchet is the procedure of creating textiles with a crochet hook in order to interlock loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials. The name is derived from the French term crochet, meaning ‘small hook’. The key difference between crochet and knitting, beyond the implements used for their production, is that each stitch in crochet is completed before the next one is begun, while knitting keeps many stitches open at a time.

A Nigerian, Ibadan based Crotchet and Knitting brand, Modhan is introducing a new fashion narrative with its wool Crotchet and Knitting clothings, interior decoration pieces and accessories one collection at a time.

It’s Founder, Modupe Olakanye sheds light during an interview with Theparakeetshow.com , regarding the birth and survival of her brand amid a Covid-19 outbreak as well as the Uniqueness of her Empire. Happiness Irabor provides the excerpts:

What brought about the birth of Modhan crochet & knit brand?

Growing up I always knew that I never wanted to be regular. (laughs) It all started from being depressed, then I took it up as an hobby and then professionally. I wanted to do something unique that gives me joy and makes me happy, which is how Modhan came into existence.

 

Why did you choose crochet & knit to create your products?

I choose crochet & knit because it helps with my depression as I find it to be therapeutic. It helps me to be patient, it teaches me a lot of things and it is a very cool and creative aspect of creative designing as well. People think this craft is outdated. But, I wanted to show that there are ways to go about it to modernize it to make it fashionable.

 

What gives you inspiration to create your designs?

A lot of things gives me inspiration to create my designs, like nature. I love Art. I draw my inspiration from Art, nature, colours, watching fashion shows, musicals,yeah. (laughs).

How has your clothing brand been able to survive in a society were people prefer the western mode of dressing to African attires?

My brand has been able to survive in this kind of society because it is not regular. It is very unique and you cannot find it anywhere. It is just unique and very creative. There is a story behind every design and piece I create. I want my client to be confident in whatever they put on so by being creative and innovative, we have been able to survive in this society and people really love and admire that about us.

 

Does getting the actual and quality textile for your designs form a kind of challenge to Modhan’s crochet & knit clothing brand and how have you been able to overcome such challenges if it has?

Yes I would say the challenges facing the brand right now pertaining to the materials being used for production is the quality of the yarn. Yes I make use of yarn produced in Nigeria but they are not 100% cotton and a lot of my clients do appreciate the one in cotton wool material. But, the ones produced in Nigeria are not 100% cotton, they are acrylic so to overcome that challenge we have to make use of foreign product and a lot of people don’t want to pay extra for that because we are making use of foreign product and foreign products are quite expensive.
You can Imagine a bundle of wool produced in Nigeria is around 200 naira. But, for foreign it ranges, say from 1,500 naira or more. The least you can get it for is 1,250 naira, of which, that is for just one bundle. So you can imagine. If I am to make use of 10 wools of Nigeria’s product to make a piece that’s like #2000 and our clients wants quality material and I need 10 pieces, at the rate of 1000 naira that is 20,000 naira. That’s just for materials, so, how much am I going to sell it? Thus, I hope that our country produces better quality cotton wool material so it will be very good and our client will be pleased with the outfit at the end of the day.
On our part as a brand, we talk the clients into us using available materials for such production if they can’t afford the foreign material because the local material are very good, durable and long lasting. All we just have to do is to educate them on how best to take care of such materials.

 

How accessible are the materials and textiles you use to create your clothings?

They are very accessible, I make use of majorly the local yarn produced here in Nigeria so it is readily available and accessible. And of course on some instances I do make use of the foreign yarn. But, I majorly use the yarn we produce in Nigeria.

How has your business been surviving the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic?

This covid-19 pandemic is serious. A lot of people are not finding it funny because its affecting a lot of businesses,including mine. But, we try as much as possible to work and deliver by working remotely. Currently, I have been working from home and paying attention to details because at the end we all have to play safe and be good and alive (laughs).

 

What initiative do you think fashion brands need to implement in order to thrive during these tough times?

I believe the best and safest way to thrive during these tough times as a fashion designer is to work remotely, create new content, Modular your target market, invest in a lot of things that will help the business grow, and create more.

 

If you are to do any other thing asides crochet & knit what will it be?

If I am to do anything aside crochet and knit, that will be photography. I love taking pictures, I love modeling, I just love pictures.
Categories
Music

An Afro Hip-hop Discuss with Nigerian Rap Artist, Hotyce

Finding its way within African shores during the 1980’s, Hip-hop music has been a viable medium for self expression amongst youths in the society; considering how over a period of decades the Nigerian music scene has welcomed and experienced this genre synthesize into one of the most influential and catchy genre of music in the country. It evolving into what is called Afro Hip-hop set the pathway for Nigerian youths to best express themselves, as well as enabling indigenes to be able to vibe to and be moved by its sound. The socio economical and socio political factors which was battling the countries economy and Lifestyle as at the era of the military regime birth a generation that creatively took to this genre of music, thereby making it an entertaining and influential medium of expression.

As at the 21st century the Nigerian Afro Hip-hop scene has seen the likes of Olarewaju Ogunmefun, 35 ( Vector), Jesse Garba Abaga,35( Jesse jagz ), Jude Abaga, 38 ( MI Abaga ) ,Micheal Ugochukwu , 44 ( Ruggedman ), Tobechukwu Melvin Ejiofor, 40 ( iLLBliss ),

Folarin Falana, 29 ( Falz ) Babatunde Olusegun Adewale, 44 ( Modenine ), Elohor Eva Alordiah, 31 ( Eva ), Olamide Adedeji, 31 ( Olamide ), Wale Davies & Olumide Ayeni, 36 ( Show Dem Camp ), Terry Terhemba, 44 ( Terry Tha Rapman ) emerge with their own sensational unique sound.

Also, these past couple of years has seen a younger generation of Afro Hip-hop artists like, Emeka Eyechi, 26 (Hotyce), Aboriomo Feminist Raymond, 26 (Dremo), Adewale Mayowa Emmanuel, 22 (Mayorkun), Nicholas ihua Maduenyi, 21 (Psycho-Yp), Olumilade Martin Alejo, 27 (Ycee) not just emerging unto the mix. But, also going as far as disrupting it.

Thus; taking a peak at the hip-hop project, RedHotyceCold from Nigerian label, K2O entertainment’s signee, Hotyce, it is definitely a breath of fresh air into the Nigerian hip-hop scene as it features hip-hop industry heavyweights like M.I, Jesse Jagz and Waje.

On the album, he delivers classical hip-hop, no mumble jumble rap, giving it refreshing, lyrical, bouncy flows, honest content and little or no vulnerability.

“My eldest brother introduced me to Hiphop and the one experience that stuck with me was seeing the “nuttin but a G thang” video by Dr Dre and snoop Dogg. It was life changing, Hotyce explains, during an interview with Theparakeetshow.com. Seun Osho presents the excerpts:

How is life going?

Not bad at all…taking it a day at a time

How does it feel getting nominated for the headies off your first project?

I feel fantastic. I mean it’s never been about the awards for me but getting the nomination was really Dope.

Redhotycecold made a splash on the hiphop scene, but were you pleased with the numbers?

I feel like we would have done more numbers but i see “RedHOTYCEcold vol1” as my “illmatic” in terms of raising the stakes for lyrical techniques and overall artistic ambition.

Who are your top 5 rappers of all time?

For me it’s really tough answering this type of question but 5 in no particular order Nas Dre/snoop Game, Black thought, Fabolous

Can you share your best moments so far in your career?

One that will always stand out for me is getting a call from Seun Kuti about my music.

How does it feel rapping on the songs with Artists you watched growing up?

In one word, it is “Inspiring”.

By how much do you feel the hiphop industry has grown using streaming numbers and show turnouts as parameters?

It’s easier to put out music these days while watching the back end of everything.

Do you think there’s an international market for African Hip-hop music?

Why not if not. We are as good as it gets.

What infrastructure would facilitate the growth of hiphop in Africa in your opinion?

In my opinion, I would say simply speaking your truth.

How profitable is rap music in Nigeria and what’s your advice for young rappers seeking financial sustainability through music?

Rap in Nigeria could be profitable especially with consistency, banging content and overall proper presentation. But my advice to the younger rappers tryna make a living through their music will be if you’re sure you got it go for it. I mean you have to know that you’re doing the right thing and be all hands on and it’s easier when you have something Lil on the side

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Five years from now i see myself performing in front of larger audiences with everyone chanting the lyrics, and I have built a crazy discography already solidified as one of the greatest to ever do it out of Africa.

When’s your next project set to drop and what are we to expect this year?

Sometime this month we should get an EP…God willing we should get an album this year.

What’s your dream collaboration?

My dream collaboration would be with Dr Dre.

What would be your crowning achievement as a man and as a rapper?

I’ll say the ultimate achievement will be to keep affecting lives positively with my music.
Categories
Fashion

Nigeria is an Apex Source for Quality Leather in the World

Be it men’s or female’s attires, for centuries leather has been a crucial material infused in the creation of artistic fashion content across the universe.

Originating from animal skin and hides that have undergone treatment and refining with the use of chemicals in order to preserve them, thereby making them meet the high standards of mankind regarding what looks they desire to incorporate it into their lifestyle.

Leather is commonly used to produce content such as clothing, footwear, handbags, furniture, tools, and sports equipment.

However, Nigeria has emerged as a consistent apex supplier of leather to European and Asian markets as it ranks amongst the highest quality of leather in the world.

The top two leather processing countries Italy and Spain source their leather hides from Nigeria which highlights the quality and affordability of Nigerian leather. According to experts both countries are the largest destinations of Nigerian leather in total, covering over 71% of total Nigerian exports, which mainly consists of goat leather, while sheep and lamb leather reached larger export values in Asian countries.

Nigeria’s leather comes from free-roaming animals rather than from large scale farming-practices. Thus, ensuring fair treatment of cattle and home to the unique Red Sokoto goat skin leather and Acknowledged for superior quality and high premium in the world market.

In view of this, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, LegendFitz, Precious Aleaji in this interview with The parakeet show speaks on his journey into becoming an innovative entrepreneur and his major motivation for the birth of his shoe making and design brand. Happiness Irabor presents the excerpts:

Precious Aleaji

Can we meet the brain behind Legendfitz?

Legendfitz was founded in 2018 by Aleaji Precious.

Precious is a young innovative entrepreneur with a degree in of business administration.

He also holds a certification in entrepreneurship from Microsoft and the future project.As a fashion creative, Precious has built his experience in the Nigerian creative industry through multiple industry programs including the British Council’s Nigerian creative enterprise program delivered by fashion foundry Scotland and the Assembly Nigeria, the Orange Corners Nigeria program facilitated by Fate foundation and the Netherlands enterprise agency. With internships at prestigious organisations like AFA sports, Nigeria’s leading sports apparel company and sponsors of the National basketball team and Ruff’n’tumble, Nigeria’s leading children dressmaking company.Precious is passionate about the progress of humanity and sees business not just as a means for making money but as a necessary tool to make the world a better place.He subscribes to Michael Porter’s concept of creating shared value, which states that “businesses acting as businesses, not as charitable donors, are the most powerful force for addressing the pressing issues society faces.”

 

What made you go into leather shoe making and design?

When I was younger, before the age of 10, I used to watch my dad polish our shoes. We always had polish and brushes and touchers at home. Soon enough, I assumed the task of polishing everyone’s shoes on Saturdays while we were preparing to go to church. At about the age of 12 to 14 thereabout, I visited a friend and he was mending a footwear with a stitching awl and a thread, and I asked him if he could teach me and he obliged. On getting home, I told my mother about it, the next day while coming back from work, she got me an awl and some thread. That was the start of it all.In no time, I was making money mending shoes in our neighborhood. Once I was done from secondary school I went on to learn the skill properly and soon enough, I started out as a business.

 

What will you say is unique about Legendfitz?

What sets Legendfitz apart is that it’s not just a business, it’s a tool for social change. We go broader and deeper to solve social challenges than most businesses even bother to give thought to.For example, in the first quarter of 2019, we eliminated the use of single-use plastics from our packaging in line with the global climate action.In the 3rd quarter of the same year, we shifted from a linear production model to a circular production model which is in tune with the United Nations sustainable development goal of responsible production and consumption.This allows us to offer better products and services to our customers, increase customer retention and repeat purchase while contributing to the society.Presently, we’re helping solve inequalities and promoting entrepreneurship by pioneering the earn-as-you-learn business model in the creative sector. This allows us solve the problem of access to education for the economically disadvantaged especially, by providing them the skillsets and resources they need to become employers of labour thereby transforming them into economic contributors.

How do you get quality materials you use to make your shoes and how easily accessible and affordable are they?

Nigeria is a blessed nation. We are the source of some of the very best leather used by the top brands in the world. Ironically, the supply chain for the leather industry is broken. There’s a gap between the manufacturers or tanners as we call them and the end users which are the businesses that need them for day to day operations due to lack of proper structure in the leather market. While this can be a cause for concern, and should be addressed, it also offers those who look an opportunity. Most of the leathers and accessories used in our footwear are imported. Sometimes what the importers bring in are the leftovers from big brands. The downside of this is that there’s no consistency in the type of leather that comes in per time, the upside is that as a conscious brand, we can insist on getting leathers that meet the gold standard of the LWG (leather working group).That said, it will only be beneficial to our local economy if the leather industry is integrated and there’s a flow of materials from manufacturers to fashion houses.

 

Considering the outbreak of the Covid-19 incidence, how does your brand intend to come back stronger, thereby harnessing the upside to the global economic stand still?

Well, these are times when we reflect and close up all loose ends. Legendfitz was born digital and we plan to use these times to consolidate and expand our brand digitally. There’s presently a slowdown in the progress of the world economy, but it will pick up again, and it maybe sooner than we expect. And so these are times for planting (using the biblical analogy), very soon, it’ll be harvest season.

 

What has been your major motivation to keep the brand going?

The fact that it’s more than a business to me has been the reason why I keep pushing it forward every day. There’s a work that needs to be done in the world and this business is the vehicle through which I can get it done.Thinking about that helps me do all it takes to move the brand forward, to help it gather momentum and build critical mass. Very soon, it’ll take off and soar high and the impact will reach the ends of the earth.

What advice can you give to the younger generation of entrepreneurs who have interest in leather shoe making?

This is a very amazing industry, especially in Nigeria. The market is untapped and there is so much potential. It doesn’t come without it’s fair share of hard work though, but you’ll be better for it at the end of the day.

How has your journey as an entrepreneur been so far?

It’s been a lot like the typical entrepreneurial journey with its highs and lows.You’ll think it’s all great today until tomorrow brings its sets of challenges and forces you to think and act on your feet.But then, that’s what makes the story interesting, helping us become well rounded out entrepreneurs.
Categories
Fashion

Fashion as a Medium of Self Expression

Regina Ogwuche

Fashion has been one of our oldest ways of self expression, and way of life. Every single human can relate to having a fashion instinct influenced by culture, religion, environment, and a persona. From colors we like, textiles, designs, to our pattern of approach and portrayal of ourselves; fashion and humans cannot be separated.
Fashion is birth from within, before it can be exhibited for others to see just like any other form of Art. Each person has a distinct style of expressing his or her fashion instinct; so do fashion creators while creating and showcasing fashion pieces.
An individual’s fashion sense is usually the first impression the world perceives. It is also a way of survival while walking through the sands of time, and it comes and goes with seasons.
Fashion being a way of expression you will need to follow certain structures in order to achieve a perfect fashion expression like feeling comfortable in whatever you are wearing as well as understanding whatever you are wearing.
Thus, we speak with Nigerian Fashion Stylist Teni Oluwo regarding her journey so far as a Fashion stylist and creative, and the prospects of the global Fashion world.

Via: @styleterritory

Hi, can you tell us a bit about yourself and brand?
My name is Teni Oluwo. I’m a graduate of Mass Communications from Bowen University. But I am now, professionally a Fashion Stylist and a Creative Director for my company, Style Territory
How long have you been a stylist?
I have been a Stylist since 2013 but I started my company, Style Territory in 2016 .
Which current trends would you incorporate into your clothing selections?
I’m more of a classic fashion girl , I don’t really do trends but if there’s any trend that comes and goes that I incorporate, it would be Colour Block and clashing prints.
What are the challenges you usually face when dressing and styling clients and how do you address them?
There are many challenges in my field. One I face continuously would be paying an arm and a leg for unique props or accessories, they I know are far cheaper in other countries.

Via: @styleterritory

How do you determine a client’s personal style?
I determine a client’s personal style by asking the right questions and also do some research on things they’ve tried in the past. Taking into consideration what worked and what didn’t . Thinking about how you can potentially bring out the best in them.
Where do you think the fashion climate of the country is heading to?
Fashion in Nigeria is promising and evolving as it is gradually gaining global recognition and I have no doubts that if we keep up this pace our creativity would overwhelm mediocrity and we would retain the place and respect we deserve.
How much influence has African fashion brands and style had over the fashion global scene?
The African fashion has served as a great source of inspiration to pop culture for such a long time. Our fabrics, Vibrancy among other things. I am glad we are finally getting the recognition we deserve.

Via @styleterritory

What were your biggest fashion moments of the decade?
This is an ambiguous question. I am not sure if you mean personally or just in the fashion world. One of mine, would be when I was one of the duo that won Best Dressed at the Bling Lagosian movie premiere. It was unexpected and another moment of being fearless that paid off. Generally, I look forward to every MET GALA event.
How have you been able to leverage on technology in order to produce better services to your customers?
Technology offers Social Media. A helpful marketing tool and it also offers countless means of research, which has helped my job tremendously.
From your experience what African fashion brands should the global scene look out for?
There are lots of African brands excelling and preserving authenticity. I definitely love Sgtc Clothing for making such desirable styles in African prints and ensuring it’s super affordable. I also love Mazzelle Studios and Weizdhurm Frankyln for making such delicate and Structured master pieces .

Via: @styleterritory

Categories
Visual Art

Influencing Socio-Economical Discuss with Contemporary Realism

Regina Ogwuche

Hyper realism paintings and sculpting create a new sense of reality that acts as a convincing illusion. Hence, it brings to the Artistic scene an embellishing, heightened sense of reality depicted on canvass or paper with acrylic paints, paint brushes, charcoal, to mention a few.
The finalized product of hyper realists often questions our perceptions of reality as it explores the limits of mankind’s conceptualization.
According to Lagos based, Nigerian Hyper realist, Ken Nwadiogbu, his Art is driven towards inspiring and creating change whilst depicting issues relating to African migration, inadequate governance, news and issues relating to Black people, as well as feminism.

Via: Pinterest

“When I began practicing Art, my inspiration came from issues relating to my peers and those around me. Now, I am inspired by recent happenings in the Society. The philosophy that drives my work is simple, I want to inspire and create change everywhere my work is presented. I don’t just want to make works for the sake of it, if you look closely at each piece, I am always trying to say something.
“I am always inspired by issues of those surrounding me and as well as recent happenings in the news. I conceptualize ideas for my work this way and then I pen down the idea and then I start to draw. It sounds really simple, but it is quite complicated, especially in the detailing of each work. It often takes hours just to achieve a particular detail; and, I must admit, I am always happy with the result.”
The 2019 winner of the Future Award Africa which celebrates young people between the ages of 18 to 31 that have made outstanding achievements during the year under consideration, also describes his type of Art as ‘Contemporary-realism’ considering how it is largely centred on the fusion of hyper-realism and contemporary Art, during an interview with theparakeetshow.com.
How would you describe your creative approach towards creating your Art pieces?
Well, I have always experimented with my work. I had no formal training whatsoever but regarding mixed media, I started experimenting a few years ago. I wanted and still want to create works that go beyond hyper-realism. I believe with mixed media, I can pass on my message further.
I describe my style of art as ‘Contemporary-realism ’ and it is largely centred on the fusion of hyper-realism and contemporary Art. It is a welcome deviation from the traditional hyper-realism movement. My work has since evolved from hyper-realism, as I infuse elements from contemporary art in to my work; hence, Contemporary-realism.
These techniques were horned through hours of research and exploration. For instance in my newest body of work titled Headline Series, I knew I wanted to pass on a message about the corrupt news systems in the world. I initially planned to draw the newspaper but I soon realized that it was unauthentic and may water down my message, hence, I decided to use real Nigerian newspapers, paint and charcoal. Each piece (newspaper) depicts an image of a palm trying to break free from behind a tight plastic bag. This represents a metaphor of the society trying to break free from its oppressors. Each piece is a deliberate attempt by the artist to bring to the consciousness of everyone, the corrupt news systems around the world.

Via: @kennwadiogbu

How would you say your Art has been able influence the society?
My Art is a reflection of my society. Through it, I challenge socio-political issues affecting Nigerians, Africans and Black people in diaspora, with the hope of making a change. I create art because I want to inspire people and shape the society, positively, which is why I created works that spotlight issues of Nigerians as in the case of series like ‘King’s Diary’ (2018), ‘Eye Witness’ (2018), ‘The Bad Mentality’ (2018) and ‘The Truth’ (2019).
Beyond the canvas, I am a strong believer in empowering the younger generation. I have taught art and inspired students in Nigerian schools like British International School, Harris Academy South Norwood London, Topgrade Secondary School, and many more. I have also spoken at platforms like TEDX and Child’s Play. My intention is to inspire and encourage young Nigerian creatives, especially with the lack of support in the art industry.
What area of your work or personal development are you working on exploring further?
My Art continues to evolve. I certainly would be exploring it further by experimenting and continuous research.
How would you describe the future of Art on a global scale?
Not to be pompous but, I believe it will be ‘Contemporary-realism’. Because It is largely centred around the fusion of hyper-realism and contemporary art and it is a welcome deviation from the traditional hyper-realism movement. My work has since evolved from hyper-realism, as I infuse elements from contemporary art into my work, hence, “Contemporary-realism.
I think art enthusiasts and collectors are slowly beginning to take notice. For sure, it will change the perception of hyper-realism and how such works are viewed.

Via: @kennwadiogbu

Thus far, what has been your biggest career moment?
So far, my biggest career moment has been presenting my works at my debut solo show ‘Contemporealism’ at Brick Lane Gallery, London last year. I must say, it was dream come true.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
I would say: Art Supplies: any artist living and working in Nigeria realizes the high cost of purchasing Art supplies locally or even importing, as you would have to clear with customs at the border. In order to overcome this, I have focused on the use of locally made materials and materials I can find in my surroundings.
Also, visibility: In the past, I struggled with visibility, not for myself, but for my Art. It is not news that the Art world is not a famous industry. Thus, one of my goals is to make it as big as the music or fashion industry. It is also important to me that as many people as possible see the Art I have created, that way, I am able to influence positive change one Artwork at a time. In order to increase visibility, I set up a small public relations team, that publicizes my latest body of works to new and broader audiences.
What is your greatest strength?
My greatest strength is my team, they inspire to be better and to continuously seek ways of bettering myself and my art. I believe no man is an island, you cannot do it alone, especially in Art and I also believe there is strength in numbers.

@kennwadiogbu

Categories
Visual Art

The Duke of Lens Unfold’s Cinematography Scoops

Nigerian Cinematographer, Michael Shodipe (Duke of lens) in this interview with The Parakeet Show shares vital scoops into the world of a cinematographer, his greatest success so far as well as his goals for the new decade. Emmanuel Obokoh presents the excerpts:

Briefly tell us about yourself?

My name is Michael Sodipe. Also, I go by the Artistic name Duke of Lens; I am a cinematographer and I am from Ishara remo, Ogun State.

How best would you describe what you do?

A cinematographer or director of photography is the boss over the camera and light crews working on a film, television production or other live action pieces. I am responsible for making Artistic and technical decisions related to the image.

How did your begin your journey into cinematography?

I graduated from Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo with a degree in Economics. However, fast forward to a few months later, I got a job with a media firm called IBST Media. Technically, coming from a different background made it quite interesting fitting into the new space. But I was blessed to have learnt from the scratch, from rolling cables, carrying tripods to logging which was how the journey began.

Can you shed more light on what your work entails?

A cinematographer’s job can be quite simple with a good director who knows what visuals he is trying to create. It is crucial for both to be in sync to be able to achieve that.

On the other hand it can be difficult filming under different conditions, especially when it is an outdoor shoot. But, basically it is essential that you have an eye for creativity.

At some point in time, a typical week for me as a cinematographer was working 9-5, of which was tasking with everyday travel trips from one location to another. As a result I have been to thirty four states Nigeria. Thereafter, I made the decision to become a freelance cinematographer of, which can be very quiet at times, but when you have got series of shoots lined up, it could be hectic and again in my line of work there is nothing like Saturday and Sunday being free as we work any day at anytime.

Via @duke_of_lens

How do you plan for a shoot?

Planning for a shoot for me starts with a brief from the client and producer that gives me a guideline of what is expected from me visually.

Also, I analyze the location of the shoot, looking at possible advantages and disadvantages I can encounter. This gives me an idea of the camera setup and equipment needed for my shoot.

What are the things you like and dislike about what you do?

My work definitely has likes and dislikes but once you have passion for what you do you will learn there are likes and dislikes that are important and keep you motivated.

What is most challenging about cinematography?

The most challenging thing for me is in regards to our Nigerian economy; filming on the streets of Lagos; especially with the whole drama of gangsters on the street demanding for settlement or otherwise seizing your camera. I remember getting punched in Festac because the guy wanted to drag my camera. I guess it is part of the job and nothing great comes easy.

Amidst all that, there is a rewarding feeling in seeing your visuals looking crisp and getting positive commendations from different people.

What level of education, schooling or skills is needed to be a successful cinematographer?

In my own case, I studied economics as my first degree before furthering on to get a degree in Cinematography at Mumbai. Although, some people did not go to school to learn, rather they learnt on the job as an assistant.

Nevertheless, I think it is important that you attend a proper film school and learn the basics of filming.

What in your opinion are the most important qualities of a cinematographer?

A cinematographer would require an eye for detail and a mind for fast invention is very important. Also, a thorough understanding of lighting techniques, light color, shade and manipulation as well as a Strong technical knowledge of cameras and the film production process and strong communication skills. However, for me the most important quality for me is a good listening ability.

via: @duke_of_lens

What is a common misconception people have about what you do?

Most people feel we carry a camera and just press record. They should always know we are the brains behind any video they watch on their screens. It is an Art which requires a high level of creativity and intelligence. It is not a roadside thing.

How do you balance work and family?

Well, balancing my family life and work can be tricky, but it is important your partner understands the nature of your work, and can tolerate your travelling and going off for weeks. Fortunately for me, thus far, it has been great.

What has been your greatest moment as a cinematographer?

Greatest success in cinematography is filming for CNN with Zain Aisher on three episodes for CNN Africa and also documentary on Afro Beats the Back Story.

What are your goals and dreams for the future?

My goals for the future would be to impact younger ones with the knowledge I have and also have my own studio in Nigeria like the Tyler Perry studios, whereby people can come in to film without issues.

What advice would you offer someone looking to pursuit this career?

My advice would be, go to a film school. It does not have to be the most expensive but get a proper school, learn the ropes and definitely you would succeed.

What else would you like people to know about your job?

Cinematographers can be weird but we are still one of the coolest people out there.

Categories
Fashion

A Moment with The Style Train

Born and raised in Nigeria, Fashion blogger, stylist, designer and fashionpreneur and the brain behind STYLEDBYBIE STUDIOS, Adedeji Adebidemi easily stands out from the crowd of stylish men without trying.

In this interview he speaks about his break through into the fashion space. He also reveals his fashion highlights for the past years. Seun Osho presents the excerpts.

What course did you read in school? And how was the transition from that into Fashion?

I am a graduate of Information and Technology form Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun State, Whilst still in the university I realized my passion for fashion. ( I have a few awards from school to show it)

Were you given a window into Fashion or did you have to kick down the door?

I will probably say I was given a window judging from the fact that my mum had a textile brand.

What were the hurdles you faced getting your brand and business off the ground? Did family add or reduce the difficulty?

The hurdles were pretty much typical from financing, timing and being seen as a minor in the industry. My family especially mum supported me all the way.

via @thestyle_train

How do you balance managing being a brand, being a business and running a store? Are you ever faced with the dilemma of having to compromise one for the other??

When you realize early enough in life that there isn’t a brand without funds the better for you and the business in general

Who gave you your first big break/paid gig in Fashion

I will say Yemi Alade….

What are your dream jobs or business in and out of fashion?

Will love to open a restaurant in the nearest future (I want to be Professional Chef too)

Via @thestyle_train

You were at NYFW in 2018 year, how was it, how did it happen? What was the highlight of it for you?

My highlight was definitely sitting front row with some fashion kingpins and watch trends walk down the runway.

A lot happened in Nigerian Fashion this year, especially over the summer, what was the highlight of Nigerian Fashion in 2018 in your opinion?

Maybe Ebuka’s Ugo Monye agbada moment

Which Nigerian designers did it for you this year?

Emmy Kasbit, Jzo, Style Temple

Who are your top 5 most stylish personalities in Nigeria?

Genevieve Nnaji

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu

Wizkid Ayo Balogun

Timaya

Toke Makinwa

How many Fashion cities have you been to and which is your favorite so far, including Lagos?

I should have being to over 15 fashion Cities, My favorite will definitely be New York City

Do you think the laid back, draped and over sized skater/ bohemian/ pop-culture themed street style among Nigerian teenagers (popularly called Alté) can become mainstream high fashion in Nigeria?

Absolutely it is gradually taking its place anywaiz

Who would make your dream team for a perfect all Nigerian unisex fashion project if you had to pick 2 designers, a photographer, 2 models, a make up artist and a set designer/location manager?

*Emmy Kasbit

Marvee official

*Tope Hopload

*Tamar Awobutu

* Toyin

*ArabyLaide

* Myself

what do you like to do when you are not working?

Cook….

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your style and who was it from?

Will definitely be from a total stranger on the streets of New York (Times Square precisely) who said I looked like African Royalty

Just how much of a foodie are you? Do you document your dining experience??

I am a Complete foodie, yes I like to document my dinning experience

Do you have time to date and are you seeing anyone?

I like to keep my personal information personal.

Is Moët Abebe’s bum real?

That’s for her to say but to my best knowledge It is 100%

Clearly, you like piercings, how do you feel about tattoos?

I love it from a distance for now

What’s the primary goal for the future?

To be a better version of myself physically, financially and spiritually

Isn’t this the best interview you’ve ever done?

Maybe………..