Magnito is a fast-rising rapper
Magnito is a Lagos based rapper, who has released two singles, Kaka and Medicine girl. The upcoming star recently penned a N20 million brand ambassador contract with Tingo Mobile.
Magnito, whose real name is Mohammed Adamu, was born in Abuja but moved to Lagos to pursue his dream of being a rapper. A Business Management graduate from the University of Jos, he discovered his talent for rap at school.
He is signed to Big E Music, owned by Eddie Winebar in Port- Harcourt. The other artiste on the label is Tkon.
His moniker, Magnito, is inspired by the character from the X-Men series.
Magnito speaks to PREMIUM TIMES about his dream and plan for his music.
Journey to music
I figured I had talent in rap while I was in the university. I had a friend called Philosophy back in school. I would sit and listen to him rap and try to imitate him. It did not work out at first but all of a sudden I got the zeal to write my lines and people liked it. I was listening to other rap artistes like Jay Z, Busta Rhymes, 2pac and Biggy and tried to imitate them as well. Later, Philosophy and I started a group called Mic Checkers. In Jos, MI used to organise rap battles called Jam session and I was always there. The rap battles were put online for everyone to see so everyone tried to be on top of their game.
The first song I ever recorded was Tele Mi. When I recorded it, I loved it. I didn’t know it was “wack” (rubbish). It was horrible. It was produced by DaCapo. The studio session was N25, 000 and I didn’t have enough money so I sold my deck for N15, 000 in the University for that studio session in Abuja.
I faced challenges from my family in the early stages of my music career. They wanted me to have a degree which is very important. They also wanted me to work with FCDA and start selling land in Abuja. But because of what I wanted to do, after my graduation from University of Jos, instead of going home, I left to Lagos. In the process, I met a friend called Mohammed Basia. We invested our money into my music. I stayed in Lagos for a while to focus on my music career. When I returned to Abuja my family realised I was taking it seriously and had no choice but to support me. My mum even called my grandparents to talk me out of music. I had to beg and preach before it happened. My dad and siblings have always had my back from the first day.
Another challenge was financial problems. Capital is always the biggest problem in the music industry. We always have to look for someone or people to sponsor the whole movement. Your sponsor could be a company, an individual, or even your parents. This aspect is always very difficult. So you would need to get someone that is really interested in your music and not trying to make money off your music. If you get someone who just simply wants to make money off your music, when they put in 0ne or two million and do not get the money back immediately, they give up. So you have to get someone who has your back and you keep pushing till you hit the g-spot. By the whole movement, I mean the album, videos, shows etc. That is why sometimes you hear songs that you like but the person is not popular. It is because the person does not have enough money to push himself. For example, when Davido started, he blew because there was in flow of money but there are so many Davido’s in Agege, Ogba etc but they do not have funds to push them to be popular.
Past and future collaborations
I have done collaborations with Goldie. May her soul rest in peace. I have two songs with Duncan Mighty: Hustle and untitled one. I have also worked with Durella and Rayce. I have a new song with Phyno which would be out very soon and Kaka Remix with Timaya is ready but it’s not out yet because we want to drop it with the video. We would be shooting that video in Johannesburg in two weeks .I am working on something with Tuface and Oritsafemi. I would love to work with Wizkid too. But the international artistes I would like to do collaborations with are Nas, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Movado and Rihanna. I love Beyoncé as a human being and like Rihanna’s songs. Tuface is my only mentor in the Nigerian industry, Oh my God! I love Tuface. I love Tuface! His delivery is unique. He does not follow trends. I follow the trend because I want to make money off of music but Tuface does what he likes. I like Don Jazzy, Wande Coal and Wizkid as well.
The content of my music
For now, because of the type of music we make in Nigeria, I mostly sing about the beauty of women. I would like to sing about my persona and who I am about, where I grew up etc. I am not a freedom fighter, I cannot sing about peace. I know we need to sing about things like that but in this country, if I sang those types of song, no one would be there to promote the music for me. I would rather do that when I am more popular.
Thoughts on contemporary Nigerian music
I think it has improved tremendously. It is the biggest in Africa. If you see the old musicians now, yes they were famous and know how to make good music but they are still broke. Now, we are facing piracy but people are getting paid. People are beginning to appreciate Nigerian musicians. Now, your son can gladly tell you he wants to go into music and you would not have a problem with it. But it was difficult in those days as they were seen as hoodlums. But now, Wizkid is building a mansion, P-square is building houses and buying nice cars with legitimate money derived from music. Now, we get our money from endorsements and shows. When I left Abuja for Lagos, I was discouraged by people telling me that my music was not good enough. They said rap music would not sell in Nigeria until M.I proved everyone wrong and made so much money off rap music. Then Ice Prince came into the picture as well. These are my guys from University of Jos. So it’s my turn now.
Shooting videos in South Africa
There are a lot of professionals In South Africa and it’s cheaper there than in Nigeria. You can shoot a good video with N600, 000, but in Nigeria, you need about N2 million. You still have to pay for the promotion after the video is done which amounts to a lot of money. For example, Patrick Elis shoots for nothing less than a million. He made the beat and the video for Kaka and it was a huge success.
On my new found success
I signed $120, 000 contract with Tingo Mobile which is renewable each year. I was very happy when I found out I got the endorsement deal. I felt like I won Big Brother Africa. I would invest the money in my music and so many people I want to support but I would start with Tkon. I would pay my tithes by going to see the motherless babies. I am hoping to get more endorsements. This is the biggest step-up I have had in my life.
I do not have a girlfriend. I fell in love with one girl in the university but she is married with kids. I have too many girlfriends. Don’t mind me, jo!
Advice to upcoming artistes