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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.

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Music

An African Giant

Hamid Ayodeji

A true legacy dies when it is about to birth a younger tribe, sprung from freedom seeking energy and spirits. As this is the time to be alive as a Nigerian and African, considering how African art is at its peak whilst being exported to the rest of the world for consumption once again, talking about ancient and modern art without looking at what Nigerian artists brought and are still bringing to the artistic world cannot hold much water.

Hence, taking a peek at the booming musical culture of the continent, it can be pointed out that Afro-beat has earned its place on the global stage, anchored by Nigerian artist such as, Fela Anikulapo Kuti whose era of Afro-beat sound spreading like wild fire globally, coupled with powerful sounds and lyrics showed the universe that Africa had a lot to teach and influence using art as the medium of expression.

Show casing a vibe that was not heard of or experienced yet as at that time; with his Instruments, dance, lifestyle, as well as passion he educated the world on the depth of which corruption had eaten its way down to the roots of the country and how the Armed forces harassed civilians who spoke up against the wrong doings of the government, at that time.

The phase of his physical assaults by the Armed Forces is in line with a cruel government that thinks not the social development and well being of its citizens which eventually led to a platoon of soldiers storming his Resident at Ojuelegba, (the first Kalakuta Republic) in order to brutalize the people they met.

This operation by the Nigerian Armed Forces that very day as far as history is concerned, recorded the death of Mrs Funmilayo Ransom Kuti, who leaped to the Heavens after she was thrown from the balcony of the building by soldiers.

“Zombie, oh, zombie, Zombie no go go unless you tell am to go, Zombie no go stop unless you tell am to stop. No brake, no jam, no sense,” he sang on his 1976 song titled, Zombie.

Funmilayo Ransom Kuti

The departure of Mrs Funmilayo Ransom Kuti from our world, during the 1978 military regime, at Felas’s Kalakuta Republic, took a part of him that could never be entirely replaced by any other feeling creating music and illuminating the world with his sound could ever offer.

Officially nobody was held accountable for this gruesome act. However, this did not stop the music god from searching for inner peace and clarity as shortly after, Fela was known to be affiliated with a Ghanaian sorcerer, Professor Hindu, who acted as his spiritual adviser.

According to his son, Femi Kuti, in Veal’s book, “Fela changed when Hindu came into his life. Everyone now got worried because Fela wouldn’t listen to anyone except for Hindu.

“My mother said I should come out of it because it was getting too diabolical and deceitful. But I told her ‘If I leave him now, it is possible he will get killed and we will lose him forever.’

I felt this because Hindu once told Fela that if he wore a special African bulletproof vest, they could shoot him and he wouldn’t die. To prove it, Hindu got a gun and put the jacket on a goat and fired six shots to show it really worked. Later, we found out he had used blanks. But my father thought this was wonderful and he wanted to put the jacket on himself. Luckily, his elder brother said “Let’s try it on another goat, just in case. So they took this double-barreled gun–and the goat died. And Fela cried and cried. Obviously, they were cheating him”

Fela Anikulapo kuti was not just any other musical genius; he always looked for perfection and justice in everything he was conscious of, which birth an evergreen culture that can never leave those it came in contact with.

 

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Music

SpotLight: Jinmi Abduls Sets the Tone for a Golden Career

Emmanuel Obokoh

Jinmi Abduls is a Nigerian singer- song writer and producer. The self titled Jinmi of Lagos was born in Victoria Island, Lagos on the 27th August 1997. He started his music career by setting up a production and distribution outfit called Chase music. Jinmi Abduls is signed to his own chase music label. His first single, Long distance dropped in late 2016 and was followed by Golden in the following month.

Our correspondent spoke to him about his second single, which he says is a favorite of his. In his words, “Golden is a very personal song, it came as a follow up to long distance, golden is a song of prophecy, the song was about letting my lover know that even though the puzzle of my life might not be fixed at the moment, sooner than later everything would fall in place and be better”.

Also, he expressed that though his golden dreams have not yet been entirely materialized as he feels he has so much more to offer his numerous loyal fans, he is definitely on his way there, and by the grace of God, someday everything is going to be golden.

The singer, who is identified for infusing his core R&B/Pop sound with high life, released his first body of work, “JOLAG” (Jinmi of lagos) in 2017. The greed crooner has grown quite tremendously in such a short time as he has managed to garner a few thousand fans while creatively weaving his stories through music, warming his way into the hearts of listeners. Abduls has a management deal with THE PLUG, who he acknowledges has played a big role in the growth of his music and brand.

Via @jinmiabduls

He says that: “Working with the plug has been so amazing, so far we have done a whole lot within the few months we have been working together and we have a lot in store for everyone”.

The digital distribution platforms have no doubt played a major role towards easing music distribution for young talents like Jinmi. When he was asked about his perspective on the situation of the current music scene compared to what it was like a decade ago. He pointed out piracy as being less of a problem since online buying and streaming is now the mainstream method of music distribution.

According to him, artists are accorded more value now and monetizing music is much easier, also courtesy of the internet.

On his sophomore project, JOLAG 2 released in 2018, Jinmi Abduls explores a unique fusion of genres which paved the way to his sound we are more conversant with today. The EP featured 2018 rookie of the year, Teni on one of the tracks that made the compilation.

Via @jinmiabduls

Whilst explaining how the song came about, he recalled, “Teni… that’s my G from way back, when Teni came back from the U.S we basically made music together all day, we were in the studio like five times a week.

“We have recorded a lot of songs together, so when I was putting out my E.P… l just had to go through the songs we had done and I felt that once twice was the most suitable for the project to give it some sort of variety.”

Briefly after the release of JOLAG 2, Jinmi headlined his first show in Lagos, Jinmi Of Lagos Live! (JOLAG Live) in 2018, which he described as a wonderful experience for his careers and fans.

In his words as he could barely hide his excitement, “It was so fantastic connecting with my fans one-on-one, on my own headline show just after the release of Jinmi of Lagos 2, I am so grateful for everyone that came to support me, it was wonderful.

“It was a paid show and people were ready to pay for regular tickets; VIP tickets; it was packed at the entrance… I’m so grateful”.

In addition to an eventful 2018, Jinmi also got two nominations the same year at the Nigerian Teens Choice Awards for choice fast rising artist and choice male artist.

The title of the greatest story teller is another title Jinmi Abduls bestowed on himself as a pun for the narrative pattern of his music. When our correspondent asked him which was his greatest story ever told, he said he had already made a song about it which would be in his album.

In May 2019, he released an Afro RnB song titled Abena, currently available on all digital platforms for streaming, purchase and download.

“I did some experimenting on Abena , and it turned out good” is his response to how the song is fairing. Jinmi Abdul’s has since added a single, Greed with Oxlade, which is a banger.

Jinmi Abduls is a talent we’re looking forward to hearing from more often this year and in the years to come.

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Music

Artist Spotlight: Reeplay

Seun Osho

Popularly known as Reeplay, Jibril Adeiza Omaki hails from Nasarawa and was born in Ikeja, Lagos in 1991. He is the first child of his parents and an older brother to 2 siblings. Reeplay attended Thomas Adewumi International College, Ilorin in Kwara state for his secondary school education and University of Abuja for tertiary studies in sociology. When asked why music? He replied “Why not music, it is life”. The hip-hop artiste who started to rap in junior secondary class 3, boasts of his undeniable versatility, listing multiple genres; “Hip-hop/grime/pop/afro pop anywhere the spirit leads” when asked about his sound. He attributes his initial musical influences to 50 cent, Lil Wayne initially and more recently, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Skepta to name a few.

Reeplay has earned himself a spot on the roaster of top Abuja based artists gracing some of the biggest stages the capital has ever seen like the ‘Buj concert, Hennessy artistry, Davido’s concert, Choc boys nation tour, the Caribbean Concert and many more

@reeplaysumtin

With a series of singles, three collaborative mix tapes, four music videos and one solo E.P under his belt, Reeplay doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. According to sources, the rapper is currently working on a collective project called GANG BUSINESS. The collective; ANTIWORLD GANGSTERS, is named after his last collaborative mixtape with Odumodublvck, who’s also a member. The collective is made up of Reeplay’s independent label, IZGAAJU and affiliated label BLVCKSHEEP to which Odumodu belongs. Other members include Ekizzy J, Agunnabueze and ace producer, Cross.

I was opportuned to listen to some of the unreleased music at a makeshift studio, and I must say, I’m anxious for the rollout.

Reeplay says his vision for now is to just keep evolving as an artist, continue making great music and by God’s grace headline his own shows for his ever growing loyal fans with a team he is currently pulling together.

Reeplay’s social media handle is the same across all platforms; @reeplaysumtin. Go follow him, and follow us too @theparakeetshow on all social media platforms.