Gabaidu Album; An Experiment On Indigenous Digital Musics Marketing
Comfort Eleojo Julius.
Baba Ojonugwa popularly known as JFO, is a households name in the music industry in kogi state and beyond. With a degree in performing arts majoring in Music, he has trained lots of talents in kogi state and beyond.
In this earth shaking interview with Agubasun, Baba Ojonugwa talked about the new generation musics , his decision to stay put in kogi state and not moving to Lagos, the headquarters of show business industry and concluded that “Every generation deserves the kind of Music they get, these and many entertainment issues.
You have just released a new Album, what is it all about.
JFO . The Album is titled GABAIDU’ and it is an experiment music marketing. Since 2012 , I have not dropped any Album, because when you release an Album, you will be amazed that marketers, would sell the CD as low as #100. And when you produce an Album, nobody is talking of paying the instrumentalists, the Sound Engineers, backup personnel and so on . If you mark off the net cost from the marketer”s offering of #100 per CD you are not making profit and every business person want to make profit.
Since 2012 I have been researching into new methods of marketing our works. The world is changing, so we looked into online marketing. However, plethora of online platforms are not really better than the mainstream marketers. Unfortunately, some of these platforms will hand over to you as low as #2000, #3000 as sales after two or three years. I decided that we can do something to help the show business industry.
So, I Assembled some Information Communications IT experts and we came up with an idea of partnering with Paystack . It is an online payment platform to handle our works. The Album is being sold at #1000 instead of the usual #100.
With the Paystack partnership, you are not producing a jacket or a CD. Once the payment is made and an alert is received, we then send the album directly to your emails or WhatsApp. It normally comes with messages as “Do not share. This message is to warn you against piracy. It is to safeguard copy rights infringement. So far, the response from the platform has been very huge.
With this experiment, I have realised that the industry is a major money spinner and location is no barriers as the intent is global.
We are thinking about enlisting more artists on the platform.
It is pathetic to release an album and not make money, despite huge resources commited to its production. Making money should not necessarily be when you stage shows alone. Albums should be able to pay for itself.
The GABAIDU album has eight tracks. We have created an online dance challenge on Instagram with a prize tag of #50,000 . If you dance to” Woluojile” the first track on the album for a minute and get the highest view, you win the money and this has attracted dancers from all over the world . From UK , France, America. You will be surprised at the enthusiasm with which non Africans dance to our music. We have been doing music with out getting much attention, but the Internet has changed all of that. Today, the world is aware of our exploits in music and our products are standing tall in the global music sphere.
What type of music do you Play.
JFO . I play what I call Afrobiased contemporary pop music. If I play Reggae. It is afro bias, We play with talking drums, gongs, whatever is played is rooted in music from Africa.
I studied Music and so, I don’t have to tie my music to a particular style or brand. I can play juju today, Jazz tomorrow, but it has to be African biased. Music is spiritual and as the muse gives I sing.
Your new market strategy, no doubt has helped to curtail the menace of piracy, are you ready to enlist your colleagues on the platform.
JFO . Frankly speaking, I have opened the door for all the artists from kogi state who are interested in making headway in their music career. This experiment is two weeks old . We are sure of breaking even. And with the fabulous results, others would soon be enlisted.
It is assumed that the new generation of artists are singing without meaning. The lyrics worthless and the people are jamming their heads for it. What do you think is responsible for this.
JFO. Although, music is for entertainment, yet , they should be some meanings in the lyrics that will entice the people to listen to the music.
However, every generation get the type of music they deserve. Sociologically, when the society deviates from the right tastes, Music also follow their steps. There was a time James Brown came with his kind of Music in the 70s ” I feel good” to many back then was nonsense but it was the hits at that time. Every season or generation we have people like that. Today, there is a Naira Marley, and when they say he sings nonsense, but his rythm is beautiful, but we have an Adekunle Gold who sings good lyrics . We have Simi who sings good Lyrics .We have Falz , we have Baba Ononugwa and Tuface who sing good lyrics.
So when you look at now and justapose the music of the past, the scenario is the same, unfortunately, some people tends to go towards the dirty lyrics and rythms because , may be , there is so much crises in the country which they needed anything to occupy them. The people just want to dance and forget their sorrows irrespective of the lyrics.
It has been observed that Music, infact show business generally, people from this part of the country seldom make it in quote unless they move to Lagos or Abuja, Why have you not move to Lagos like some of your contemporaries.
JFO . When people say , some of your contemporaries have gone to Lagos and are now making it big, but in actual sense only Tuface Idibia has been greatly rewarded.We are like more than a thousand that began the journey and out of these numbers, at least , when four names are mentioned, Baba Ononugwa will feature. I’m still in Lokoja and I’m not hungry. I have modest blessings of God. It is like , when you are in Lagos and people don’t see you often , they tend to develop larger than life image about you than he that they see everyday. For instance, if you have to climb Okada because of the rush , like I did now, I just left the car in the office to be here, to catch up with the event, they will think you are not moving up the ladder.
But if I needed to stage a show and I come here with retinue of Security personnel, then, they now say , you are successful. In reality we are all not doing badly. The basic thing is to take care of your family and take care of yourself.
Each time, I go to Lagos and they will say something like , bros , we dey hungry oo., I laughed. Must you go to Lagos. yes, Lagos is the show business headquarters of Africa, but you know we can’t all be in Lagos. If we all moved to Lagos, who will be here and like I tell people, God has given me assignments in kogi state and I’m sure I will not die empty until i have deposited all that God has given to me
JFO. I have not done a song without sponsors. Although, I have not had big time sponsors, but in this industry, lots of people have supported me. Like the three albums I ‘ ve done , people are buying and even buy for groups. Somebody would say give hundred, fifty copies to so and so groups. For instance, there is an event coming up at Abuja on the 27/2)2021 and somebody has already paid for a copy for every participant. The kind of music I play, I have a target audience in mind. I’m not really hoping to be like Michael Jackson, but if you listen critically to my music , you will discover this is a bigger Michael Jackson.
Finally, wouldn’t you think of venturing into politics now or in the future.
JFO. In the last Election, I contested for the House of Representatives for Ankpa, Olamaboro and Omala federal Constituency. And was fifth in that ballot after elections, not bad for a first timer. You see I am in politics and will continue to be in politics. For every man is a political animal.