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How I Set Timaya Up- Minjin



Adewale Lawson, is more popular as Minjin. The Swaga Records and ex-Kennis Music act in this interview with spoke about his music career and working with Timaya on the song ‘Baby Kojo’.

Your new song ‘Baby Kojo’ is currently receiving rave reviews, what inspired it?

It was the beat that inspired the song. I never really had any song like ‘Baby Kojo’ or its rhythm written down. It was simply the beat that inspired the song. I went to the producer, he played the beat and I was just freestyling and just like that ‘Baby Kojo’ was born.

Your response gives the impression that the song is not deep, as it wasn’t planned for.

Sometimes, music inspires the beat and at other times it is the other way round. The beat can call something out of you and in this case it called ‘Baby Kojo’. ‘Baby Kojo’ is not a serious song that you sit down and want to listen to the lyrics, it’s a song that the first day you hear it you already know how to sing it. It is a happy song. Anything Timaya is on is a happy song. He knows that a lot of people are going through stress and the only way you can help them is by giving them good music, a song that they can listen to. You know that music is a universal language. ‘Baby Kojo’ can bring us out of the recession mood to have fun. At the end of the day, we can only do what we can to have fun. Even if the government can’t be there for us, artistes are trying to do their best. How many government body is sponsoring our music? We sponsor our music ourselves; I am talking about private label owners. My ‘Baby Kojo’ is just to make people happy, forget about their sorrows and have fun.

‘Baby Kojo’ also had Timaya on it, did he influence you in the studio?

I get a lot of experience from a lot of musicians and Timaya is one of them. I am a person who likes to work with different sounds. You can’t continue to sing different songs on the same kind of beats. You have to be able to blend. So when Orbeat called me and said let’s work I listened to the beat and I flowed on it. Later, he said Timaya would love this beat. He spoke with Timaya and having listened to the song he decided to jump on it. it was more like setting Timaya up.

How much did you pay Timaya to collaborate on the song ‘Baby Kojo’?

I didn’t pay him a dime.

That is hard to believe knowing what is obtainable in the music industry.

Well, I know that it is hard to believe, but that is the truth. Besides, there are still good people in the industry.

And you consider Timaya to be one of them?

To me, but maybe not to everybody. You know that someone can be good to a person and yet be bad to another. The same rain which falls on maize making it to grow also causes flood which kills the chicken’s chick. Basically, on this song he has done a lot for me and I am grateful.

Why the choice of Orbeat as the producer of this song, you could have used any other person?

From the start of the song, I had wished that Timaya would work on it. So I thought maybe working with Orbeat will speed up that experience. So, one day I was at home and Orbeat called me to come to the studio because Timaya was on his way. I was so happy.

Tell us about your record label Swaga Records, it is quite an unknown brand.

Working with Swaga Records started more like friendship. Even when I was at Kennis Music he was supporting me. Often times, he would call me and say Minjin I heard that you are shooting your video, let me come and support you. He is a Malaysian-based promoter who has a label.  After my deal with Kennis Music ended, we had been working without any contract, but I told him that you can’t be doing this for me without making money. Start something up, I might not be your artiste for the next five to 10 years, but if you build this brand Swaga Records we can build something. You support me and I support the label and it grows big and we all have a beautiful relationship afterwards. So, we came together and he said let’s sign and we did that. And now we are doing bigger projects because we have signed documents.

Most artistes are only interested in getting their songs and videos out there and when it is not happening they begin to complain, what has made you different?
I think that it was my school, Kennis Music, because Baba Keke will teach you everything. An investor who is putting money on you is not your father or mother he is just believing in you. All you need is to appreciate him because if he puts a million on you, he can also invest 10 million if he has. You have to be concerned about how he will make his money back. A person who is spending money and making it back will be happy to spend more. Most artistes are more concerned about the label not giving them a house or a car, but what you should be more concerned about is the music because at the end of the day, all the houses and cars are things that you can buy for yourself. Artistes have bought houses for themselves, the label won’t buy you a house they will only rent you one. So if you want to complain about your label, it should be about promoting your songs. Complain about how your music will be known. When it is known and you get your percentage you can now use it to do what you like.

What inspires your fashion?

Sometimes, I don’t get the combination and at other times I do. Sometimes, I wear something I don’t really like and people see it and say you look good. However, to answer your question I think it is my body because I work out. If you have a good physique, what will appear ordinary on other people will look good on you.

Have you thought about modeling?

I used to model, but I am now more concerned about endorsement. I have a body that can do any kind of endorsement. It is just for the music to be there and people can relate the music to the person. So, I can’t wait for all the big endorsements.

Are you saying that your music is a means to an end?

Yes, sometimes you see artistes on billboards and you wonder how they ended up there because they are not cute. But the truth is that they have perfected their brand and it is bringing a lot of fan base. Every product that wants to sign you will want you to acquaint people with their brand. So, if my music is where it should be all the endorsements will come.

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