Rotimi Akinfenwa is no newbie in the music industry. With over a decade of experience in music production, it is safe to say he’s a veteran in his own right. Rotimi was behind Nikki Laoye’s hit single, ‘Only You’, and also produced the theme song for APC, Nigeria’s ruling party 2015 gubernatorial election campaign in Lagos State. Let’s hear from him on his journey to entrepreneurship so far:
Tell us about yourself and the inspiration behind SonG23 Productions
My name is Rotimi Akinfenwa (AKA Rotimikeys) and my company is SonG23 Productions. I’m a music producer and businessman with experience spanning over 15 years. SonG23 Productions is a Premium and Complete Music/Audio solutions company. We are music consultants that create and produce music for various uses including writing and producing music for artistes, Jingles and TV Commercial Sound Design for Brands. We also craft sound design and post production for documentaries and movies. This company was borne out of desire to produce world class music out of Nigeria across all these platforms. I know how I feel when I hear substandard music on the above platforms and know that better music can come out of Nigeria.
What opportunities did you see before taking a decision to this path?
I saw a dearth of great music playing on the radio and at events. Nigerian music is amazing but the execution – quality of writing, instrumentation and delivery can still be greatly improved upon. This, I saw as an opportunity to share my vision for improved standards in the industry with a few other like-minded individuals.
At what point did you decide to take the bold step into entrepreneurship?
I had worked for over 7 years with the biggest Advertising Agency in West Africa and worked on a number of music projects for brands that caused me to explore and expand my production prowess. I observed that there was a high demand for my skills, even beyond the Agency and the industry . I thus took the decision in 2013 to start off.
How do you balance running a business and other personal responsibilities?
Well, I have a supportive family who understand that a creative career such as this requires long, irregular hours. I also ensure I schedule family time and time for other obligations weekly.
Describe the challenges you face regularly as young entrepreneur and how you manage them?
Funding remains a challenge. Music production can be quite capital intensive, if you must use state-of-art equipment like I do. Equipment and accessories are imported and with the Forex rates, it can be challenging. Finding investors for other legs of the business can be quite an adventure.
Tell us how you have harnessed social media in creating brand awareness for your business.
Selling your brand on social media is about telling stories. I got quite active on social media in 2016, selling my personal brand and the business on respective handles especially on Instagram and Facebook and a lot of people who love my work have been able to follow it. I’ve also been found on those platforms by some clients.
How have you increased your clientele base overtime?
I have done a bit of networking. Referrals have also been a huge contributor to my clientèle base.
What mantra do you live by that motivates you as an entrepreneur?
Being popular is not the same as being successful.
Tell us about your future plans for your business.
We plan to expand the business so we are not only creating music, we also seek to create audio-visual that is entertaining and marketable.
Can you offer any advice to budding entrepreneurs?
Don’t seek the glamour, seek instead to influence your industry. Building a great brand takes time, so don’t try to rush ahead of yourself. Keep at it diligently and you’ll surely get there.