Mary Ekah writes on the swelling passion of an intellectually inspired entrepreneur, an architect tuned musician, Oghenemairo Ozah, a.k.a Myro, a graduate of Architecture, whose craze for his creative expressions, singing, stage performance, urban apparel designs and graffiti arts is immeasurable
Myro’s fine blend of architecture, urban designs and music is bespoken. Dedicated to his music career, Oghenemairo Ozah with the stage name Myro, owes his artistic strength and inspiration to the study of architecture at the Caleb University, Lagos.
“Studying architecture is the first best thing that happened to me; architecture is the bedrock for any creative mind. It equips you and launches you out into limitless opportunities,” he said.
Riding to fame with his singles, ‘Ocha’ and ‘Plantain,’ on the platform of Masterpiece label, Myro advocates sound education, as key to taking advantage of the multi-billion dollar entertainment industry. He talks on the importance of discipline, focus and what he considers the ‘non- issues’ in youths pursuing careers in the entertainment industry.
The young wishful entrepreneur believes Nigeria can make the best of its ‘generation next’ by establishing academies to help the bourgeoning youths channel their creative ability into engaging and lucrative businesses capable of employing thousands of people.
On his forms of creative expressions, he said, “At the heart of my creative expressions is architecture, which we often refer to as the ‘Frozen music.’ Architecture is broad and it offers you deep insights into the world of creativity. Its part in interior designs enables you combine colours and guides you through balanced judgement in beautification, which I enjoy doing.”
Speaking further, the young artiste said, “Prior to my studying architecture, I started the graffiti movement in Nigeria, doing graffiti for the British Council ‘Words and Pictures’ project. I also did graffiti for different musical videos then as a teenager.”
Myro’s graffiti arts took centre stage at award ceremonies like the ‘Headies’, much as he did for the Lagos State Government beautification project.
His creative outlook has been expressed in architecture, music, landscaping, interior design, apparel design and merchandising. However, music is his focus right now.
On ‘good music’ and inspiration for creating good music his belief is, first, good music must have a welcoming appeal to the ears and be soothing. “Good music is what people want to listen to, dance to and sing along whenever they hear it”, he added.
“Personally, my songs are inspired by the desire to entertain the target audience, the youths. I try to write it, as I understand it, because I know that music is an art form that is best expressed with the passion you have for it. Remember too, that people have their own story, their own arts as they have experienced it. The inspiration comes at different times and I do that in my own space. Preparedness and utmost discipline are two things a musician who wants to succeed must not play with. You must note down the ideas as they come; melody, tune, the lyrics as they come. You don’t plan to recall an idea later, because you may lose the original idea after all”, he explained.
Myro’s whose daily effort to grow his music career is glaring, noted: “I have my basic activities and other things come in too. Traditionally, I do my voice training, some physical exercise, because it is good to stay in shape as part of what fans see about artistes too. I record for DJs, who have requested for my jingles. Importantly, I listen to beats, songs, and oldies by established artists as well as hit songs from different genres. I listen to radio to know latest trends, check out my schedule, especially when I have to do media rounds, and visit places.”
His music aims to entertain, educate and enlighten the society. “First, there is music for different occasions and different moods. You cannot be doing music only for one reason always. What makes a classical music for me is having songs that will completely entertain people, they listen to the song and they can feel happy. There are songs for entertainment and in that album you have songs that are imparting knowledge, teaching people things they need to know by addressing a societal ill and how to correct them. Music is broad and should not be one-sided. I have songs that are totally entertainment, just for that purpose, yet I have others with messages, shedding light on issues and possible solutions.”
His advice for aspiring youths in music career is that family position and coping with trade demands are important. “Young people must understand that being educated gives you a broader view of the music business. So, it is no longer a fancy to drop out of school to do music. Now, technology has made it possible for people to multi-task and be good at all they are doing if they keep the vision.
“Education taught me from the onset how to manage my music career to remain relevant for as long as the songs are there. Someone like Davido is also a graduate and doing his music. So, pursuing a career in music is no excuse to be out of school. School on its own, impacts discipline because there are things you learn in school that you cannot learn on your own outside, besides getting your first fan from your school. It is no longer an issue that families struggle to endorse their children for a career in music. All they need do is create good space for such a child to confide in the family and get positive support from home.”
He is emphatic that it is a big error for people to think that you must rely on substances simply because you are in music. “You only need to be disciplined and remain focused on your goal, which is part of what going through a formal education helps you do”, he advised.
For him, the music industry is no doubt lucrative. “The music industry is a multi-billion dollar one. There are so many avenues that have not been fully exploited in music in Nigeria. For example, we just know about the online platform that helps you sell music, not necessarily having to perform. The online market is very huge. Other avenues like merchandising are not yet big in Nigeria. The industry is lucrative, employing a lot of people apart from the artistes. There are the producers, sound engineers, the promoters, managers, and others within the value chain that are benefiting from the industry. For me, we have been able to grow my own fan base online and for events and shows where we are commissioned to perform. So far, I have been blessed to harness those platforms.”
Staying connected with his fans is ultimate. “I feel cool about my growing fan base, considering that I started professionally in the last quarter of 2014, and knowing well that the industry is kind of saturated. Staying connected with fans is important to the work I am doing, and the picture gets better when people appreciate your work by singing along at performances”, he said while quickly adding a word of appreciation to Lagos State government for granting him the opportunity to perform at the ‘One Lagos Fiesta’ at Badagry and Epe, in 2015.
Presently Myro is building on the platform, which his last single, ‘Plantain remix’ gave him; a single he did with Oritsefemi. “I also have a new single coming out soon, besides a number of songs am working on. I am keeping a close touch with my promoters and event managers to ensure that I get the right positioning with the right audience”, he added.
On what to do when money starts rolling in. His response: “I am very business inclined. When money starts coming, the basic thing is to grow my little investment and be able to sustain the brand. However, I am not against splendour of pampering yourself if you are working and money comes in.”