It’s no longer news that the COVID 19 pandemic affected businesses all over the world. While some managed to get by on a reduced income, those in the creative industry took a major hit.
However, popular musicians simply doubled down on getting more fans to stream their music, thus making extra income. But for upcoming stars that do not have such luxury, things have been hard.
In this interview with Abisola Alawode, rising singer Slikish explains how he has managed to survive in this period. As well as why he decided to feature a Tanzanian artiste in his latest song.
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1. As a rising musician, how has the COVID 19 pandemic affected you and your art?
The pandemic has affected me in many ways; first, like many entertainers, it has been a closed period. I was supposed to perform in Kenya and do a tour of Ghana the same period but the lockdown pinned me down. Businesses were shut down, my main financier was greatly affected and there has been no active source of income! Money is only going out and it's not coming in and everything is just expensive right now.
Second, international flights are still banned, so I just can't shoot the video to my new collaboration with Platform who is a Tanzanian based there.
Last: No social gathering right now! I released a new project recently but I can’t engage my music lovers with a mini-tour and proper physical promo push. It's been hellish for me!
2. Not many musicians from Benue state have managed to become mainstream successes. What do you plan on doing differently?
I believe I have come with something new! Something different in the sense that; I often get people asking who is this guy? Where is he from and what language is that he speaks? and that's me being original to myself. My blend of Tiv and English or Pidgin has brought a different unusual vibe to my gig and that gets people’s attention because it's not the regular Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa they are used to.
Most importantly, I have come with a different strategy. By the grace of God, I have not been relying 100% on other people to support me financially. My family has been a pillar and I feel if I was banking on outside sources, it wouldn't be as smooth as it has been. This has been the major issue with Benue Artiste. Make no mistake about it, the best Musicians are born in Benue.
3. You collaborated with a Tanzanian singer in your latest single, what led to that decision?
We all have visions. I personally act local but think global so, one of my plans for 2020 was to embark on a mini African tour, so working with some artiste outside Nigeria not just in Tanzania was part of the plan and it just played out. Plus, I want to connect and expand my fan base as wide as I can, by the grace of God.
4. Having worked with an artist from outside Nigeria, did you notice any difference with how foreign acts work compared to Nigerian artists?
When it comes to Africa entertainment-wise; Nigeria is the standard for them all and I think me coming from here has actually made it easy for me to have international collaborations, some more will be released soon, watch out. It's easier than even working with Nigerian entertainers. All over the world, I feel other musicians are finding ways into our market. It's a cool feeling and I feel they are much more humble with the bigger picture in focus.
5. Which Nigerian musicians do you look up to?
I look up to Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy, Kizz Daniel, in short, every artiste that does good music in Nigeria.
6: So what should we expect from Slikish going forward?
Expect the unexpected! Watch out for my collaborative Video with Platform, a different vibe of songs to come, and some mind-blowing collaborations from top to the drop.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that popular musician Burna Boy is set to release a new album executively produced by American music mogul P. Diddy.
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