When it comes to movies/the silver screen, youths on the continent have people like Lupita Nyong’O, Trevor Noah and in sports there’s people like Stephen Kiprotich the Olympic golden medal winner but when it comes to music (hip-hop/RnB) there’s people like Brian Soko, these are people whose success stories will make you to continue holding on to your dream till you’ve an Oscar or Grammy like Brian Soko sitting somewhere in your crib.Brian is a 24 year old from Zimbabwe whom after 8 years of production and almost after making 1500+ beats, his hustle has started making sense like the way he puts though to some of us with his Grammy he seems to have gotten it all.
In case you’re hearing/reading the name “Brian Soko” for the first time, thank me later after reading the interview below. Brian & his team (The Order) are responsible for some dopest music that you might be vibing to on your playlist like Beyoncé’s Drunk in love, Lil Wayne’s No Worries,100 Favours , Rich Gang’s Tap Out, Tyga‘s Show Youand back here on the continent production on Caspper Nyovets’ Phumakin, K.O’s mission statement, Dj Vigilante’s Sgelekeqe and Chad da Don’s EFT are all credited to Brian Soko.
I managed to chop it up with the Tampa, Florida based producer and we discussed a couple of topics like the challenges in the music business, how he stays motivated (hungry) even after achieving all those awards, how his company “Anashe Media Group” handles music business on the continent among other things as you can read below.
Thanks a lot for doing this. First who is Brian Soko before the music and how did you start out in the music business?
My name is Brian Soko, I am a Grammy award winning music producer from Zimbabwe. I got into music by rapping at a young age and one day I experimented with making beat and never looked back from that.
Is there any point in your music journey where you felt giving up or switching careers because we all know this business is tricky and sometimes it’s hard to earn a living off it?
At no point in my career have I even entertained the thought of quitting, i have invested too much time and hard work into my music to switch to any other career. Even if I had to do something else for money I would still be making music, I did not get paid for the first five years of my career so that’s nothing new to me.
There are a lot of challenges in the in the music business and as you shift from one level to the other there’s a lot of change in the process. How do you deal with all these challenges and the change?
My team, The Order and my family help me to deal with the various difficulties that come with industry. Mostly when things aren’t going my way I try to focus on the music and I believe your are always one hit away from the top of the world.
There’s a lot of awards to your name and the entire team (It’s the Order) you work with, are you at a level you want to be? Are you still hungry like the day you started out on your music journey?
The Order definitely is still hungry, we keep each other motivated and on our toes all the time. We want to be the best and to have longevity in this industry.
Do you have any special techniques that make a “Brian Soko” beat different from others? Briefly how is a Brian Soko studio session?
I like to think my studio sessions are fun and energetic. I don’t think I am the right person to answer what makes my music different. I think maybe an artist would answer that better but generally my music focuses on the energy more than the emotion.
You’ve ventured into management with your company “ANASHE Media Group” while you are a part of “The Order”. Tell us briefly about these two ventures and how they all fall in line to contribute to your growth?
‘The Order Music’ is my company with my partners Rasool and Dre, we are all producers and focus on the US music market, we’ve been together since 2009, have over 10million albums sold and of course we won a 3 Grammys together for our work with Beyonce. We just opened our own studio in North Hollywood and this represents a new chapter in expanding our brand in the US and making more hit records with the biggest artists in the world.
Anashe Media Group is a company I started in 2013 to capture opportunities in the African music markets. Anashe focuses on management and marketing of primarily producers and allows me to work with artists from across Africa, so far we do work in South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe (where I am from) and hopefully soon Kenya and Angola. Anashe allows me to introduce talented producers to the US music industry.
You’ve experienced both the African music market and the west (United states) which offer different opportunities. Are there any differences that you fill need to be exploited or gaps that need to be filled in both markets?
In the U.S. I try to add an African element to my music as its very different from them and is considered “Exotic”, when I work in Africa I try to take my experience from the States and incorporate some of the structure and methods in making music. I try to get the songs I do in Africa mixed and mastered in the states and also incorporate some of the marketing schemes I see major labels using in America. In Africa I think we need to improve how we track and pay music royalties to our artists and producers.
What’s next for you and your team in relation to taking over the African continent? Are you crossing over to the East & Western part of Africa anytime soon?
I have just released a single in South Africa called “EFT” with my friend Chad. The video recently dropped on Channel O, MTV Base & Trace TV. I have other songs featuring myself coming out this year in that market. I have been working towards crossing over into the East and West African music market soon and I’m sure you will be hearing music from me in that market in early 2016. “If you want to check out “EFT” check outwww.IJustGotAnEFT.com“
Any last words for an upcoming producer or rapper reading this interview who also wants to have a Grammy on his/her trophy cabinet?
Work hard, find some like minded people and team up so you can keep each other improving. Also focus on the music and progress and not on the money, the money will come eventually if you work hard and put your music first.