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Sikiru Adepoju: The Only Nigerian Ever to Win a Grammy

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The Grammys, over the years, has seen many Nigerians being nominated in various categories but none except Sikiru Adepoju has ever gone home with the award. He remains Nigeria’s one and only Grammy Award winner.

You may be wondering who Adepoju is as not a few Nigerians will readily recall who he is. Adepoju is a Nigerian percussionist and recording artiste who at various times in his career worked and toured with likes of Sir Shina Peters, Orlando Julius, Commander Ebenezer Obey and the Inter-Reformers band in the 80’s before meeting American artistes, Mickey Hart, Carlos Santana and so forth with whom he won the Grammys. He worked with Orlando Julius from 1985 till 1992.

He pulled out of Orlando Julius’s band because the crew moved from California to Tennessee. The now US-based percussionist sometimes forgets he is a recipient of the Gramophone Award as it’s originally called. “Sometimes, I just forget that I’ve won a Grammy,” he gladly revealed during a recent interview. He had won it for an album titled Global Drum Project at the 2009 Grammy Awards, alongside Mickey Hart, Giovanni Hidalgo and Zakir Hussein, a group he met through Babatunde Olatunji; a Morehouse educated Nigerian drummer who had carved a niche music of the African brand in America. Adepoju could have had his first Grammy awards with Mickey Hart in 1991 as a part of Mickey Hart’s group Planet Drum, whose title album won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album. That was the first time there was a Grammy in that category.

However, they didn’t realize that they all had to be named the primary makers of the album to get Grammy gongs. Mickey Hart was the only one named as owner of Planet Drum. Instead of getting nine gongs, they got one gong and eight certificates. Adepoju got a certificate because he was only named as a collaborator and not a primary creator.

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That changed in 2009 when Adepoju walked onto the biggest stage in global music with his longtime friend and collaborator, Mickey Hart to get presented with the famous gramophone. He said: “It’s the Grammys – everything changed.

The fees changed, the perception changed, life changed and even the way I walked changed. I will never forget that night.”
A master of the talking drum, Adepoju comes from a musical family from Eruwa in western Nigeria. He was born into a lineage of drummers on November 10, 1952. His great-great-grandfather down to his father (Chief Ayanleke Adepoju) all carried the name, ‘Ayan’ which means descendants of drummers.

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Spotify to finally launch in Nigeria and 80+ more countries worldwide

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Most foremost music streaming platform, Spotify finally to launch their ever evolving market in Nigeria and this can only mean better exposure and more revenue (income wise) to artistes in Nigeria.

Spotify which launched in Sweden on the 7th of October 2008 offers customers a 6-month trial (with ads) before they (the customers) begin paying for ads-free streaming and downloading of music contents and podcasts.

Although as at right now, Spotify cost a jaw-dropping $9.99 per month (in the country where it exists) which equals a sum of almost ₦4,000 (3,800) but that might get reduced in order for them to compete with the most favoured music streaming platform in Nigeria – Apple Music – which charges just ₦900 per month for an individual subscription.

Spotify’s PR had Mr. Eazi and Burna Boy run the advertisement and social media awareness on their soon to launch app for the Nigerian market launch.

Spotify also offers artiste the cpm range value between $3 to $5 which approximately lies between ₦1,400 to ₦1, 900 per 1000 streams, giving artistes the option of generating income as they release music for listener’s pleasure.

Nigeria will not be the only African country benefitting from Spotify launching in new countries as Mali, Niger, Togo, Zimbabwe, Uganda and many more.

A date is not set for the launch of Spotify in Nigeria but according to the information put out in social media, we know it is only going to take “few days” before the dream becomes a reality.

Additional, Spotify gives podcasters the opportunity to make a living by uploading such contents on the streaming service. Spotify does this through Anchor, the most used podcast app, acquired by Spotify in 2019 for an estimated amount of $14M.

Spotify not only comes with an easy to use user interface but helps in distributing audio contents uploading on it to other streaming services, thereby making it easier for content creators to have a wide range of audience while providing a personal monthly and a year-round wrapped breakdown of music listened to by a customer.

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Burna Boy’s “Ye” gets gold certification in Canada

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“Ye”, the Afrobeat single by Nigerian musician – Burna Boy – has been certified gold by Music Canda — an organisation responsible for collating numbers in the music world and dishing out certifications like gold, platinum etc. They are the Candian equivalent of America’s RIAA.

“Ye” is certified gold by Music Canada| PC: musiccanada.com (website)

For a record to become certified as gold by Music Canada standard, it must have moved at least 40,000 units in sales including digital downloads, physical sales, streams and ringtone downloads.

“Ye” which can be considered as the single or song that gave Burna Boy his first major international recognition, got a major growth spurt in streams and downloads in June 2018 due to it coincidentally having the same title as Kanye West eight-studio album (Ye).

“Ye” is sixth track off of Burna Boy’s third-studio album ‘Outside’. The music video which was directed by Nigerian renowed videographer – Clarence Peters – has amasassed over 116 million streams since its release two years ago, August 2018.

Burna Boy joins fellow Nigerian music compatriots in Wizkid and Davido to get certifications for their music from Music Canada.

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Mr. Eazi gives fans opportunity to earn monetarily by streaming his songs with “equity” option

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Mr Eazi is in the Christmas mood already with his latest branch of business, aimed at allowing fans who stream his songs, (starting from his next single), benefit by earning monetarily according to the percentage they contribute to it.

Mr. Eazi who acknowledged he will not be this big of an artistes, if not for fans constant streaming of his music and in recent years, this has made him one of the most streamed African artistes.

Fans are about to reap just according to what they sow, if they show interest in Mr.Eazi’s new monetizing scheme. He explains through the tweet: “Gonna try an experiment on my next release where you guys the fans will be able to buy shares on My song! Meaning you will own an equity % on the song! As u stream & give me $ some goes back to You!!!”

This scheme not only gives fans the option to make money from streaming his music, it also allows them a percentage ownership of the single. Mr Eazi continues: “Imagine you had a % of my last song with Nicki or my new single “LENTO “ with Jbalvin!!! As u stream u make it a hit, some of the $ comes to you! But most importantly you are a true part of the Global Smash Hit you helped create.”

This is tagged an “experiment” by Mr. Eazi, so it is quite clear everyone will be eager to see how fruitful it turns out to be. The registration for the experimental equity option is ongoing on Mr. Eazi owned Empawa Africa website.

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