Interview

It’s A New Dawn for Young Jonn

Young Jonn tells us why he switched to singing, dishes on his relationship with Olamide and provides all the details about his debut project Love Is Not Enough.

For years, Young Jonn crafted several of the ear-gripping tracks that dominated music-consuming hubs across Nigeria. His potent beats, manufactured and readymade for Olamide, saw the Nigerian star rapper unleash neck craning flows over them, painting real life scenes. The two became an errorless combo, making tracks certain to transform into monster hits. Young Jonn’s production handiwork includes the snappy drums and twinkling synths of Lil Kesh’s “Gbese,” the booming percussion of Olamide’s “Science Student” and the blend of muffled drums and keyboard drones on Olamide’s behemoth hit, “Wo.”

But in the last two years, Young Jonn’s production credits slowed as he focused on honing a different part of his artistry: singing. The evolution was complete this year as the sonic polymath unveiled his debut project, Love Is Not Enough. At just five tracks and less than 15 minutes in length, the record is skinny, but it provides Young Jonn ample time to brood about his own delicate feelings. All five tracks share the same sonic fingerprint of chilly vocals, sticky hooks and melodic, gummy beats. “Dada” shines as a favorite, with Young Jonn lacing the track with calmly measured verses, and the chanting hook, the highlight of the song.

Love Is Not Enough in all its dimension is filled and padded with layers of expressions about how doubtful love can be, how much we want to relive those blissful memories and about how attached we can be to someone. Young Jonn seems to have gone round those stages and becomes vulnerable in his songs, his creations revolving around these relatable experiences.

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Interview

How Women Are Becoming Decision Makers In Nigerian Music

We speak to five Nigerian music executives who are showing the way forward for women in the industry.

I’m about thirty minutes deep into my conversation with Tosin Sorinola on a Tuesday night in March when the Boomplay Director of Artist & Media Relations tells me something that spikes our conversation.

“Back then you could walk into a meeting with a male colleague and everyone there only wants to talk to the guy. They would ignore you and shelve you aside. The meeting starts and, as a lady, when you speak, the men in the room are shocked, nodding their heads like ‘oh, she’s smart’.”

She’s not the only one saying that. Days later that same week, while speaking to Osagie Osarenz, Director of A&R/Operations (Africa) at ONErpm, she mentions a similar thing. Osagie alludes to making suggestions in a meeting and nobody paying attention.

Talking to Mavin Records’ Director of A&R Rima Tahini, lawyer and entertainment executive Oyinkansola "Foza" Fawehinmi, and Chocolate City Music’s Executive Vice President Aibee Abidoye—they all signal towards a lack of recognition for women in the Nigerian music industry.

What went wrong a decade ago?

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