As musicians and as a person it’s crucial to know
your purpose. Purpose is all about your meaning,
knowing what motivates you, why you want what
you want. Purpose gives you a direction for your
career, it helps you to stand out.
Musicians need a purpose. They need something
to drive them, some sort of continuous end and
meaning to their craft.
The music business is an ever changing
business. Look at the last 150 years and how
technical developments have pushed creative
developments in the music industry to come from
operas with 400 visitors to stadia-capacity
concerts with 40,000 audience. Consider the
development in instruments, from acoustic guitar
to electronic loops. Look at the ever changing
musical hypes. In the last couple of years it has
been mid-tempo again in Nigeria, with Kiss
Daniel, Tekno and many more acts that blend
mindless radio sounds with a little bit more
singing. Look at the development from LP through
CD and USB stick to the fast-catching streaming
How can you have a purpose on one hand, and
marry it to flexibility on the other side?
Having a purposes makes it even easier for you to
be flexible. Purpose is about the why. If you know
the why, you can express is in various forms.
Purpose gives you the solid basis you need to be
flexible, like the roots give a solid basis to an
Iroko tree. The wind will bend the branches but
can’t dislocate or break the tree.
If you know the WHY, you can adjust the WHAT to
the circumstances and become even more flexible
without losing your authenticity.
Check out DJ Jimmy Jatt, Africa’s premier disc
jockeying legend who had a purpose 26 years
ago. He started out by packing so much gear,
through to cassettes, discs, USBs and now having
MP3 files on clouds and others. His purpose
drove him all through the years, as he played a
huge role in the different eras of the Nigerian
entertainment music industry, staying relevant by
his flexibility, and being at the top of the game.
That’s what Nigerian music needs. With how rare
real consistent longevity is in music, it is a
combination of these two attributes that would
help an artiste continue his work irrespective of
how the industry becomes disrupted by new
technology and systemic changes. Purpose costs
no money, but flexibility can be a bit expensive.
But cost does not matter when the rewards are