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 services.
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 high.