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How my childhood influence my love for Afrobeat -Mide SF

……Germany based Mide SF speaks on music career, Nigeria music industry

Agunbiade Joseph Temidayo is a Germany-based Nigerian artist. The fastest growing hip-hop singer, whose stage name is Mide SF, has gradually change the landscape of the music industry with his songs. Mide SF, in a chat from his base in Munich, Germany, recounts his childhood days on the streets of Agege and how growing up has made him tick. He also explained his plan for the music industry and passion for Afrobeat…excerpt

How long have you been doing music professionally, how did you get into the trade?
I have been doing music since I was a kind, from the children group to the teenage group, but professionally, I would say I started in 2015.

Your genre of music is afro-beat, what inspire your genre of music?
I would say my growing up has greatly influenced me a lot. Growing up in Nigeria, mainstream radio stations were playing either Afrobeat or R&B.  There was no other thing, except reggae. The clubs was completely taken over by Afrobeat and R&B from Psquare to D’Banj etc… I will say that it has really been a lot easier for me to be versatile with style and my writing. I know that if I didn’t have such exposure from a young age, it would have been very difficult for me to write song in Afro-Pop.

What message does your music preach as we are aware of the negative ones most songs give today?
My music passes so many positive messages, message that motivate, inspire, that gives hope to the hopeless and love. Everybody have their choice but my kind of music have a message to try and inspire people mostly the youth to be focus, to show love around the world regardless of the age, tribe and language.

Tell us your childhood experience and how it has shaped you?
I was born in Ondo State, grew up in a rural area in Ifon, before I relocate to Lagos. As a child, I engaged in various sporting activities. Always involve in music –these were the two most popular activities in rural areas. Soccer was to socialize with your friends while music was more of a passion.
When I became a teenager, I wanted more, so I found my way out of the remote area. At a very young age I was taught to be responsible, accountable and respectful.
I was brought up on the music of Tuface, Dbanji, Fela etc, so that was like an elementary education for me. I was quite adventurous as a young boy (or some might say rascally) but all I learnt being always on the streets playing football all over Agege (despite serious beating from my parents) moulded me into the man I’ve become.

What should your fans across the continent expect from you?
I don’t want to raise their hopes, so they should not expect anything because I don’t know what my plans are. I don’t structure my creativity, I let it flow and I think that is different about artistes. The only thing I will allow them to expect from me is the truth, honesty in my work, which I’m sure they love.

What is your view of the continent’s sounds and which of these do you find more appealing?
I’m a fan of Nigerian music, and I’m very happy that we are still being influenced by our cultures from a long time ago. So, I’m very pleased that we are able to keep our identity, preserve and let it grow for musical artiste to find inspiration from. Now, we are beginning to go back into the communities to find out what makes music in their culture. So, I’m just very happy that African music is now greatly appreciated across the world compared to the past. I don’t really like any kind of African music specifically. I have a heart for all of them but I really find a piece of comfort listening to artistes themselves not just about the sound but the message they are trying to deliver. We can consider music in genres but it must not be that one genre is more appealing or superior than the other in my eyes. For me it’s about the artiste and how they are delivering their message.

Talking about Afro-Pop and Afrobeat, particularly Afrobeat, how much has this genre influenced your style as an artiste?
Afrobeat I would say has greatly influence today music, the younger artiste have realize that way to go is Afrobeat, just look at likes of Burna Boy, Wizkid, Davido you see a lot of Afrobeat in their songs. But, my sound is quite different because the way I arrange, compose and pass message is a little different in my way, my own style.

What influenced your decision to go into music professionally?
Well, my family is not musically talented. So, sometimes I think that my music is a gift to me by accident. Well, it’s a gift, perhaps I need to go back and find out where it came from. At a younger age I just realise my love for music, yes it’s not been easy but music is what I want to do professionally in my life because I have fallen in love with it and here, we are.

What was your parents’ reaction the first time you told them music is what you want to do professionally?
Well, I didn’t tell them I want to do music because my parents are uniquely different from a lot of parents. You know when you are young and still under the guidance of your parents they can stop you from certain things, but I am adult now and can decide what is good for myself.

Who is your role model in the industry? Why?
Tuface has been an inspiration, the guy has been there for years. Dbanji too is one big artiste a look up to. Going back the years, as a young boy my mom will always playing the songs of Sunny Ade, Ebeneze Obey, Fela Kuti I think those guys where genius.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Winning Grammy Award! Yes, is good to dream big and while not, I see myself conquering the world musically, doing collaboration with the finest in the industry both foreign artistes etc.

Upcoming artistes have always had issues with their female fans. How do you plan to handle these issues?
Yes, as an artist you will definitely go through lot because most ladies listen to music more than guys because they give more vibes. So, an artiste needs to be calm to them all. Of course, my fans are the reason I am been recognize and I hope they keep loving and appreciating my music. The beautiful thing is that we both know when to draw the lines.

The crave for sex, drugs and crime among the youth seems to be on the increase, can you talk about this as it relate to the entertainment industry
It is a challenge for the society at large. It happens among bankers, lawyers, politicians and the rest. But it may be more pronounced among entertainers because we are in the public eye. When bankers and lawyers are not on duty, nobody cares what they do, but as an entertainer, whether you are on duty or not, people are always interested in knowing what you do behind closed doors. We don’t have privacy.

What is your impression about the Nigerian music industry?
I love Nigerian music as it is. What I want to do is take African music to the rest of the world. Right now, Afro music is one of the best trending and most welcomed genre all over the world with foreign artistes infusing Afro sounds in their music.
The Nigeria music industry is one to reckon with in the world right now, we just need to explore the industry more to the world all over the world because the world needs to know Nigeria music industry has so much talents and has so much to offer. In the 19s we could hardly see where the play Nigeria songs, but the reverse is what we have today, every nook and cronies, you see people dancing to our music. So, I am very impress I hope to contribute my quota to the industry.

As a Germany base artiste, how do you intend to penetrate the Nigeria music industry?
I have never been in a hurry to get things done. I just want to contribute my quota, I believe if you are doing something right, naturally people will recognize you, you don’t have to force anything. I want to produce evergreen songs, songs that touch the heart, that connect with today reality, songs that heal the world and give hope to the hopeless. The success will come by God grace.

What lessons do you think the Nigeria music industry could learn from its foreign counterparts?
The question should be what lessons can the government learn from other countries, because the Nigeria music industry is bigger than most of its neighboring countries and they should understudy how the industry became large in the world without the support of the government.
Our government should learn about how other countries are using music to create employment and how this can help improve the economy. Nigerian music can compete globally with their knowledge if given adequate support. Of course the Burna Boy case is an example for us all to see.

Any plan to have collaboration with any Nigerian artiste?
Of course that will come, like I said earlier I am not rushing things, I want the best in everything I do. When the right time come collaboration, me and my team will look at the opportunity before us and take that decision.

Burna Boy winning the Grammy Award, how do you think this has affected our music?
Definitely, Burna Boy rang among Nigerian greatest artiste of this generation. I have watch him and I can tell you he’s extremely talented, has a very strong stage presence. He has show to this generation that we can believe in work and ourselves hard to achieve the ultimate goal. But, I am not boast or trying to woo you, I believe I myself and I can tell you that I am better than Burn Boy, just watch out.

Do you think the Nigeria government has done enough for the creative industry?
Sadly, the answer is No! When we talk about genuine support, I don’t think they have done well, but I stand to be corrected.

How do you unwind?
I am always very busy, but in-between I have to find time to relax with my family and sometime I go to the club too.

What’s your greatest fear in life?
Getting to the end of life and realizing I didn’t touch the things I was meant to have achieved. So, I would say my fear is a driving force to ensure I get to the finish line. I hope to keep growing and improving myself and ensure I become a bigger and a better person.

What is your life philosophy?
Be deliberate, be positive and never take a no for an answer. This is in the Bible; so most importantly is the G-factor which is God. Say no to bad energy and keep pushing!

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