Nigeria’s music industry has been in the news for all the right reasons in the past few years. The explosive burst to fame of the likes of Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, Phyno, Falz, Tekno, not forgetting legends likes of Tuface, Banky W, D’banj and others has made pursuing a music career very attractive to young talented Nigerians.
Jude Chinedu caught up with one of Nigeria’s most promising talents, Jhasings (Sadiq Adebowale Oluwasheun), De Castle Hotel & Resort Enugu over the weekend while formalizing a music contract agreement with a South Africa based record label, Hillbank Music.
In this chat, the artiste talks about his music career, the challenges faced by upcoming artists in Nigeria and what he aims to be in the next four years.
What’s your name and how long have you been in the music industry?
My name is Sadiq Adebowale Oluwasheun. My stage name is Jhasings. I’m a recording artist. My genre of music is Afro beats, Afro Soul, Afro R&B. I’ve been doing music for over 8 years now.
This would be my second professional contract. I had one as far back as 2012/2013 with Great Records. My contract expired in 2015.
How do you feel signing this contract in Enugu today?
I feel good. This is a very good opportunity that every other artist pray for. I feel privileged, I feel lucky. Buts by God’s grace.
Who are you mentors and how have they been able to influence your music?
I have four mentors. First is Asa. I love her voice texture, I love her content and I like the fact that she plays guitar as well. She inspired me to play guitar too. I like Tuface. I like his content and his delivery of his songs. I like Wande Cole. I love his voice. He has a superb voice. I like Kiss Daniel too. I like his choice of sounds, his music and his content too. Basically those are the people I listen to.
How sure are you that you will not run into problems with this record label?
Mr. Geoffrey Kenez Onyema, the CEO of the record label is a great guy. He is a fine gentleman. I believe he will stick with the contents of the agreement and if he does that, I don’t think we will have any problems in the future. Though the record label is based in South Africa, he is from Enugu State, that’s why he decided that we meet here for the signing of the contract.
What do you think is the major challenge facing up and coming artists in Nigeria?
Major problem is finding sponsorship. Secondly is having good songs, that’s lack of content. Nobody wants to reckon with you if you don’t have anything to bring to the table. You song must have good content and should equally be marketable. It should be appealing to the ears of the people. So I believe the first issue up and coming artists face is sponsorship. So many artists out there are good. They have good content but they lack people to back them up financially. Exposure is another thing that is also a problem.
Aside the private sector, is there a way the government can come in to help solve these problems?
I believe that government should have a budget for entertainment. Music can grow a country too. There should be Ministry of Entertainment that should focus on harnessing the artistic prowess of Nigerians. The government should support entertainment. If you walk our streets you see so many talented young men and women roaming the streets. That alone should call the attention of government to create a ministry of entertainment. Talents are wasting in Nigeria. I know friends that are very good but because they don’t have funds or sponsors they back out from music. Most of them are not happy where they are now. I urge the government to do something about it.
In the next four years, I expect Jhasings’ songs to be accepted everywhere. I’m not looking at Nigeria alone. I expect Jhasings to be holding concerts in Nigeria and everywhere in the world. I expect to win awards. I expect to have a large fan base. I expect to be a brand to reckon with. I will keep on working to give out good content for people to listen to and to encourage people. My songs have deep moral contents which addresses some life issues that people face on a daily basis. I believe that my song had good content that will appeal to people. I will keep on dreaming and I believe people will like what I do.
Are you challenged by what Wizkid and Davido have been able to achieve in the music industry?
I would be disappointed if they are not doing what they are doing now because they are good. They are talented. They are just being themselves but I believe Jhasings will get to that stage and even be better someday.
What are your plans for the future?
I wish to have my own record label but I know that’s not going to be anytime soon. I will need to financially stable first. In as much as I want fame, my main aim is to churn out good songs. I want to be an icon in the music industry. I am not looking just at the money at the moment. I want my songs everywhere. I want God to bless me and I want it to be something big.