The Music Business Academy for Africa is a platform dedicated to developing a more informed and empowered workforce for the African Music and Entertainment industry. It was established in 2020, and is prominent for breeding and building an army of informed, empowered and competent people ready to function within the African creative industries.
Below is a conversation with five Artistes from this year’s class of the Academy in which they share insights into their journey with the MBA Talent Project, their recently released joint E.P under the academy titled Heart On A Sleeve, and their prospective hopes for the future after their courses are completed.
Good evening AB Amarii, Philip Dobson, Glowin Ed, Maestrum and Brum3h. How are you all feeling tonight?
Brum3h: Good evening guys. I’m feeling pumped. What’s happening?
Glowin: I’m feeling vibes on vibes.
Amarii: It’s a good evening at my end.
Dobson: I’m feeling great.
Maestrum: Yo, I’m feeling great.
You know some say chivalry is dead and some still maintain that ladies should go first? let’s begin with a lady – so AB Amarii, how has your experience been so far with the Music Business Academy Africa Talent Project? How has it developed your art?
Amarii: The Music Business Academy Africa is thorough in its approach to educating African industry players who would love to learn and better their craft. To learn that the music industry in real life is legit playing out in class. It’s an experience in one word. I dey follow who know road, so i no go lost.
Okay, so as someone who has been singing since childhood, can you tell us one of your fondest musical memories? From your house? neighborhood or an event?
Amarii: That would be singing to a song by Oliver De Coque, “mbiri ka miri”- omo I loved it growing up.
A classic, that one.
Your featured track ‘Butterfly’ on the Music Business Academy Africa Project ‘Heart On A Sleeve’ sounds like a colourful expression of love. Was that truly what you were expressing? Or is there a deeper meaning to the song that we haven’t scratched?
Amarii: I lost a friend in 2017. It legit bruised me. There’s a particular line off it that goes: “what kan fa“, it is a Lagos slang. Gotta let go, but I wish I didn’t have to. That’s the message.
Hmm, so it’s quite evident that your personality reflects in your music…
Amarii: Yes, I have conversations in them songs. Yes!! yes!!! A hundred. You’d legit hear my (life) stories in my songs.
That is true art, if I must say. Finally, as a part of Music Business Academy Africa, what do you hope to achieve with your music in the coming year?
Amarii: I hope to build a community of music lovers who are willing to collect the vibe that I’m giving. In outstanding live performances, songs and me in all my artistic glory
We wish you the best as you keep it moving…
Over to you, Philip Dobson.
Kindly tell us, how did you get started in music and what gave you the motivation to stay with it?
Dobson: To be honest, it was the only thing that made sense to me when growing up as a kid. It completes me, it puts a smile on my face. So as long as I can remember, it was always in build. Also what motivated me was the response I got during my secondary school days, the attention, the girls at first.
Hahaha! the girls at first!
Now let’s talk about your featured track “Love For You” on Music Business Academy Africa’s E.P ‘Heart On A Sleeve’. What did you plan to achieve with the song?
Dobson: To make love look beautiful, it’s not as complicated as some people think it is. Love is love, you can’t twist it. It’s either you love or you don’t. So get that perfect condition and be truthful about that one person that makes you feel complete. That’s what I want to achieve.
Hmm, that’s profound – so tell us, which artistes do you consider your biggest musical inspirations?
Dobson: I won’t lie I have a world full of them. It’s not a one artist thing. I learn from rappers, singers, but some people that I listen to a lot are John legend, Asa, Bruno Mars and Jon Bellion. I grew up listening to Michael Jackson, Jay Z, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Tupac, the list goes on and on.
Now that you are creating your own path, walk us through your experience at Music Business Academy Africa. How has it helped you develop as an artist?
Dobson: Got me more exposed to new challenges, also to the real music professionalism. I am more confident. I’ve learnt the language of the music industry.
So after you are done, what is next for you?
Dobson: I’m taking the music to the next level. Work harder and harder and harder. I’m looking forward to working with great minds and with the new family Music Business Academy Africa gave me.
We hope that you would find all that you need to succeed in this your chosen path.
Hello Glowin Ed, can you tell us if you remember when you wrote your first song? when did you start taking music seriously?
Glowin Ed: Haha, my first song? That would be in 2012, it was titled ‘Breathe Life Into Me’. I know, I know, I’m obsessed with ‘breathing’ *laughs* I started taking music seriously in my early teens.
Funny how your song on MBA’s ‘Heart On A Sleeve’, is also titled Breathe. It kind of possesses a very therapeutic aura. Was it inspired from a personal life experience or another story?
Glowin Ed: Personal experience actually, it was written for a friend of mine, who had thoughts of suicide. That was my way of showing her she is loved
Hmmm.. that’s kind of deeply thoughtful of you.
How do you separate yourself from other artists and how would you describe your own style of music?
Glowin: My kind of music is the Glowin Ed kind actually, You can’t find it anywhere else. Pure and relatable.
That’s nice. Off the top of your head, who are your top three female Artistes in Africa?
Glowin: Tiwa Savage, Asa and Koffee.
Finally, as you have had an experience with the Music Business Academy Africa, what should we expect from your music in the coming future?
Glowin: Greatness nothing less. Thank you for having me
Hello Maestrum. May you please tell us how you get started in the music industry and what gave you the motivation to stay with it?
Maestrum: I started doing music from college where i went for shows, performed at school cinemas and dinners with my guitar. I derive motivation from the fact that, you can achieve anything you set your heart to, it only depends on how bad you want it. I also have a good level of self belief.
That’s quite interesting. Walk us through the creative process of your featured song ‘Liana’ on Music Business Academy Africa’s E.P ‘Heart On A Sleeve’?
Maestrum: So I was with my guitar one evening, during the lockdown at my favourite spot where I rehearse, thinking about the girl I liked who had said she couldn’t date me but gave no reason as to why. I just kept strumming and Liana was born that night.
hahaha! straight from the frustrated heart!
What’s one thing you’ve struggled with in your musical career that Music Business Academy Africa has helped you work on?
Maestrum: The academy has helped me gain more knowledge in the business aspect of music.
“Heart On A Sleeve” is a masterpiece! Does that put some pressure on your shoulders as an artiste to do even more with your future releases?
Maestrum: Definitely, we have to meet fire with more fire *chuckles*.
Finally, as you prepare for the future. What are your dream collaborations?
Maestrum: I have a whole lot of them, but let me mention a few. Burna boy, brymo, Asa, Davido, Johnny Drille, Wizkid, Nonso Amadi, Chike, Tems, Ric Hassani, Maleek Berry, Post Malone, Russ, Childish Gambino, Rihanna, Nasty C, James Arthur, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Giveon, and Rotimi.
We hope that you would take your music to that point where you can work with these amazing acts.
Hello Brum3h, we’ve heard so much about you.
Your featured song ‘Hit Me Up’ on Music Business Academy Africa’s E.P ‘Heart On A Sleeve’ is a passionately warm and euphonious song. How did this record come about? What inspired it?
Brum3h: It was a funny story actually. I was in the studio with my guys. Then someone spammed Ruoiz’s phone. The notification tone sounded kind of cool and we decided to make a song about unanswered text messages and how it feels to be left on read. That was the genesis of the record.
It really is the little things eh? since you joined Music Business Academy Africa and released this project. How has the reception been so far from your fans and followers?
Brum3h: Pretty good to be honest. I’ve had people waiting for new music for a while. It feels nice to put music out again.
What philosophy guides your creative work?
Brum3h: It’s not so much a philosophy as much as it is a need. I NEED to create. For my own sanity. Expression is therapy for me before anything else. That’s why I create.
So Brum3h, If you could have your fans remember you for one thing in the future, what would it be?
Brum3h: I want to be remembered for giving my fans unforgettable live experiences. I want people to leave my headline shows and feel like their lives changed.
Hmm, just like the greats. Are you currently working on any project and generally, should we expect much from you in the short and distant future?
Brum3h: Yeah I am. I have a project ready. I’m currently working on another. It’s back to back singles till the year runs out. A video or two as well this year.
It was exciting, having these conversations with AB Amarii, Philip Dobson, Glowin Ed, Maestrum and Brum3h. We hope that through the knowledge and technicalities that they are being taught at the Academy they would be able to forge careers so beautiful to watch in the coming future. Also, big shout-out to Godwin Tom, founder of Music Business Academy Africa and the entire team who worked on the ‘Heart On A Sleeve’ E.P. A sensational and exceedingly impressive work of art was delivered through that project.
This conversation was powered by Maxtreme Hq
I wasn’t able to participate live, so thanks for this!