My Pivot Journal is a Ventures Africa weekly series documenting people’s career transitions from one industry to another, especially to tech.
Mosanya Abiodun was born with rhythm in his veins. He could swear his love for music was from birth and so he wanted to seal it with a degree. As his mother could not have him do that, Omosayan travelled to neighbouring Benin Republic to bag a degree in History and International Relations, to please her. A degree he later forsook for a career in music production. Here is his pivot journal:
How it started
I have always loved music as far as I can remember. Music is all I know. So growing up, I learnt how to play some instruments like drums and piano in church and I enjoyed playing them. That drive made me want to study music so I wrote JAMB and was offered admission at the Lagos State University for a degree in music.
But my mother would not hear of it. So, when I presented my offer letter to her, she rejected it, and in 2012, she enrolled me at Houdegbe North American University, Benin Republic, to study History and International Studies. To please her, I took the admission and travelled to the neighbouring country to do so. To be honest, I was just going to school, but my mind wasn’t there.
As I sat through the classes for four years, I wondered what I was doing there in the first place. I never liked the course. Deep down, I knew I wanted more out of life- and that was music. But I was not brave enough to assert my choices to my parent. So, I struggled to go through school each day for a course I detested. I resumed in 2012, and by 2016, I had graduated.
As of 2012, music production didn’t look as lucrative as it is today, so my mother had her fears. I guess she was just looking out for me as much as she could.
My resolve to go back to music came while in school. One day, one of my good friends, Victor, who was visiting Nigeria from London, invited me over. I was on my 200-level holiday then, and we were hanging out at his place. He was going into music production, so he came into the country with a production device.
While we were catching up, he brought out the music production gadget from his room. I didn’t know what a production gadget looked like back then, but he explained and asked me to mount his piano. While Victor produced beats with his device, I played the piano on the beat.
That was my first and most defining moment in music production. I found purpose. That experience was all I needed to determine whether to follow through with my passion or not. So, it became quite easy for me to wait patiently till 2016 when I graduated from school to pursue music.
For me, moving fully into music production in 2016 was difficult. One of the first steps I took while transitioning fully to music was to get a production software I could work with. Victor used a software called Ableton which I found a bit hard to understand. Like, I didn’t have the crack for that so I had to install Fruity Loops, a different production software.
But downloading the software was not all there was to my journey. It took another 6 months to fully understand, and confidently use the software. I spent endless days and nights on YouTube watching videos and practicing.
My journey into music production was rough at the beginning because I was self-taught. I didn’t have any experience or anyone to teach me. Victor had long returned to London then. There was no one to as much as introduce me to the music industry, brief me on the modus operandi or guide me on how to sell me beats.
I met many artists in my earliest days as a producer. I would even chase after some and plead with them to sing to my beats for free. In fact, I sold my first beat for N5,000. Those days were quite rough. But I knew that if I could put in more hard work and consistency in mastering my craft, I was going to be better at it. So, I did just that. The process was more of a cut-and-try for me but I’m glad it is paying off now.
How it’s going
Now, I am the Founder of Mysteeriouz Beats, a music production company based in Lagos. I have worked with a great number of artists and have truly lost count. I have once worked on beats for Afro Beats stars like Vector and Joe Boy. But our work did not make it through for release with their A&R teams.
Unlike before when I chased after artists, I no longer do so. Now, I first listen to an artist’s works before deciding whether to work with them or not. I’m now at the phase where I am building a reputation for my own brand because this is my craft and my brand’s image has to be carefully prioritised.
Consistency. Be consistent with your passion. Don’t think that the journey would be fast and easy from the start. Some people are graced to make it immediately after they start. If that doesn’t happen to you, just be consistent. You may not be recognised initially but stay there.
Believe in yourself. Never stop believing. There would be days where you would doubt yourself but keep hope alive and never stop believing in yourself.