How being a rapper helped me in my entrepreneurship journey…
First of all, am like The rapper, the one, the whole world need to hear these gems I got. And yes this is the kind of attitude I use when building up my ideas. Not even once have I ever sat down and thought am the weakest rapper.
There is nothing like a bad ideas.
I take time by myself, in a dark corner, wrestling with words, rhythms, sounds and Finally The image of this is like Moses when coming down with the ten commandments. I lift my latest album up like the whole world needs it more than a pack of Unga!
( Btw, should we be worried that there is no Unga or be actually pleased that there is money to buy the product it’s only that it’s ain’t in the supermarket shelfs)
The people who know me actually knows that I can have a million ideas in one sitting. Just Like writing a song, creativity doesn’t come from a vacuum it is a result of connecting ordinary ideas to make them work. My biggest strengths and weakness is I always think I have solution for everything.
Developing an MVP
Once I have the song/album and ready for the people. I have to perform it or introduce it amongst the other song which are familiar to the public. The peoples reaction will further let me know on whether to take it further or make some changes. I seem to have forgotten this rule BTW.
I will keep my eyes open for the kind of reaction, from who, where and later see how different I can do it. So the song need to take a few runs in different crowds to finally be sure of it. I have to have a pre determined reaction so that I can measure against it and improve accordingly.
The good thing about running it through a crowd first is that if it’s that good the people will automatically spread the word. I mean, how do you think a rapper from deep corners of Dandora came to be a familiar face in your screens. It took consistently and people’s referrals.
All is not enough without patience.
How do I know my ideas is working or has traction? After sharing with people, I depend on small consistent responses to know if am making steps. Same as being a rapper, it took one scream over there, one request for autograph here and one day somebody apologizing for giving me three thousand shillings to perform, thinking I deserve more. I was like Ching! Ching! Time to start charging.
If only he knew that money sorted me out for weeks.
Patience is not being passive but being observant and waiting on the process, it only bearable if you know you did anything and everything you had in mind and in your power.
Appreciating milestones and small landmarks gets you going during the tough times. I remember, as an artist I was always waiting for that one phone call, it finally came and never stoped after that But what kept me going is small victories.
Know your strengths and be different;
Yes am different, if you see me perform in a roaster of artist you will notice me. Guys in business call it “value preposition” I realised that I had good lyrics and people liked me for such. though it only worked when I wasn’t known. Now am a familiar face and the reaction is “budah, you can’t freestyle for a whole one hour, you know!..”.
So I invested in a band when I paid kes 30,000, 25000 was for the band. ask I around I was one of the Kenyan artist to be playing a live band during shows. It was difficult but people toed the line later.
Playing a band was unique, yes but I needed to be entirely different. I included a lil rock in my set, head shaking, a bit of jumping the rest as they say is history and thank God I had a good band that walked with me.
At the end of the day the question I asked myself is why should they choose me in a banquet of all this amazing talented artist?
Hence my journey to identifying my value proposition.
The above point has really help me in focusing on what am good at. Am a creative; i can create, I can tell a story, I can connect things, I can have a bird’s eye view on process. Implementation is something else so I stick to my lane and sharpen what am good at. Get people to help In the rest of the stuff (almost there)
Enjoy the process..
Am often asked which is my favourite line or song in all my three albums. Honestly I don’t have, all I know is I am my biggest fan and biggest critic. If something goes through me and I like it. Am sure that majority of people will feel the same. If it doesn’t keep me smiling when I think of it or have an out of me experience like
“budah, Huyo ni wewe??” then it won’t see the light of day.
I enjoy the toil, the hard work, the sleepless nights because I know what will come out of it.
I have called people in the middle of the night, extra excited about an idea I just had. Hope they forgive me.
I always put my money first before even talking to anyone…
Seeing is believing and many people don’t get it. If they see it they might be convinced. I have always realised people will come when they see something or the potential not when you are starting out.
I thank God, that I have been lucky and blessed that people have come through for me in the initial stages.
What am working on is how To attract and keep those partnerships so that we realise the full potential of our ideas which bring me to my last thought.
It doesn’t matter how I was talented, how the people loved my music. It all made sense the day I got a phone call from Emmanuel Jal to sign me into his recording company. It helped me scale from a good rapper in the mtaas to award winning artist because there was resources, team around me. Jal, spent millions in production of my album, setting up a team.
We signed a letter of intent and immediately I got a phone call from my bank wanting me to explain why the sudden swelling of my account and if am doing music or “music"
An entrepreneur needs resources to experiment, fail, try until it works.
Just like my career. It took time before I even found my niche, build an audience and see returns.
If you are out there and have money to give. Believe in somebody, trust them.
You can start with me.