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Coming from a strict Muslim home, my parents opposed my musical career

Published by The Nation on Sat, 18 May 2019

Notorious for his sleek Hausa-infused rap songs, Magnito, in this interview with SAMPSON UNAMKA speaks about the need for love in the Nigeria entertainment industry, his ongoing Relationship Be Like series and other projects. Excerpts TELL us about your back ground and growing up'My real name is Mohammed Usman Adamu. I am from Benue state, Idoma to be precise. I grew up in Abuja. That was where I attended my primary and secondary school and I schooled in University of Jos and my parents did not really support my music at first but when they started seeing all the positive changes that I was making they started taking it seriously. And I am from a very strict Muslim family, so it wasnt easy; so we thank God today we are here and its happening.How was growing up in the north'It was very easy I wouldnt say anything happened just that my father was a civil servant, a police officer to be precise. He is retired now. So I grew up in Wuse zone 1 officers quarters. I graduated from the department of Business Management, University of Jos.How long did it take them to accept and support your music'I started doing this music since I was in the university, so they thought it was going to distract me from schooling; so I had to wait until I finished with my degree before I took it seriously.So you started music professionally in what year'Professionally, in 2010. That was when I took it professionally. If not, I was just rapping for the heck of it. At first, before I took it serious; I was just rapping to be the best rapper around my metropolis but I took it seriously when I started seeing that I could make ends meet from music.You started music while schooling in Jos, how was the music business in Jos'So many people came out of Jos, people like MI, Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz, Yung L, Endia. We were all in Jos together; we all knew ourselves because we were the future, then we were very young but we knew that okay in the end we were all going to venture into music. So Jos, has brought out so many people even Efe from Big brother, Kelvin pam and so many others.Where did you get the name from Magnito'I got the name Magnito from Xmen. I liked the Magnito powers. If you follow Xmen very well, I like professor X, I like wolverine but Magnito is like my favourite character. Generally Magnito is just one guy that controls all the metals, so I want to control all the music in the industry.What kind of rap do you do'I used to rap normal hardcore Rap before. Then, when I saw that wouldnt pay my bills I now had to switch to the mainstream kind of music. That is exactly what Im doing now, the feel good music and everybody likes it.What year did you drop your first song and the song that got you out there'I dropped my first song in Jos which was in year 2005, and then dropped which kind kaka you never see.Youre notorious for using Hausa in your raps, can you tell us why'I am Idoma by tribe but I know how to speak Hausa more because I grew up among the Hausa people. So, I just took it upon myself to be the first person to reach out to everybody via Hausa rap so I started and its working.Are you married, do you have kids'No, I have a girlfriend.How do you ensure your female fans dont rock the boat or is your girlfriend not bothered about that part of your life'We keep our lives private and we try our best possible to respect one another thats the priority. The music industry is different from my personal life and I like to keep it like that.What inspires your song about women and other of your songs generally'I like to speak about whats happening about me so anytime you hear me say If I get money eh, (it) is because I know about people talking about money up and down. If I say girls (it) is because I look at how girls behave and interact, what is the meaning of love, na money, something must have happened to someone around me and I will put it in a song. Thats how I get inspiration.What made you dwell into relationship issues with your latest series Relationship be like'I used to listen to R Kellys Trapped in a closet and when I saw that whole series, it blew my mind. So, since then, I have been nursing that and thinking to try something like that and God just inspired me last year and I started and now its the talk of the industry.How has the journey with the series been'Its been the biggest thing that has ever happened to me in the music industry because big names want to be part of it. Everybody is coming on it nowactors, comedians, everyone.You sang a song if you get money which in the lyrics you promised to do so many things including help some less privileged, and then you made a remix of the song As I get money when the money came in. How have you been able to fulfil your promise of reaching out'If I get money was when we didnt have money. As I get money, we now had some money so I featured Patoranking, For the things wey I say I go do, I never get the complete money yet.What are we expecting from you soon'We are dropping more series from relationship be like, then I am dropping some couple of singles this year and I might end up dropping my album before the end of the year.Some people are of the opinion girls take advantage of their sex to exploit men'Men take their advantage of their money to exploit the girls too. So people just use what they have to get what they want so you cant blame it on sex alone.Who produces your songs'I have a producer his name is Juwiz, he is in my in-house producer, he does all the work. I have WizzyPro too. Sometimes, we get beats from people like MasterKraft.You were in Abuja and relocated to Lagos why is that'Lagos is the centre of the entertainment in Africa so we want to be closer to the music industry, closer to everything that we need and the market thats why people move to Lagos.Any upcoming concerts'I was about to start our Fresh out concert, so next weekend I would be leaving for Cyprus, when I come back we are going tom Dubai, Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt.With all this digital distribution networks and streaming sites, where do you see the music industry in the next 10 years'In the next ten years more things are going to come, artist would now be able to sell their music without any middle man, so its a win for the artiste.What would you like to see done differently in the Nigerian music industry'They should reduce the money on music videos. Its too expensive to shoot a video and to promote the music. Nigerian musicians need to love one another, do collaborations.Are you saying they should shoot videos for free'Not free videos o. As in, they over-hype the money they use to make music videos, I mean the Video directors. Apart from that, artists need to come together as one and make collaborations and make money. You can see in our industry like this, where we have the biggest artistes in AfricaWizkid and Davido. They have not been able to record a song together to put out there, thats not good for the industry. We need love in the industry thats just it, we need to live one another. Of recent, Meekmill just recorded a song with Drake.Do you hope for any international collaborations'I want to feature Jay-Z, Beyonce, Lil Wayne. I have plenty people.
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