Harrysong tells Pulse about Davido, losing N180 million, why he stopped chasing hit songs, depression and new EP - Nigeria News, Africa News, World News - Nollywood Times


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Friday, March 20, 2020

Harrysong tells Pulse about Davido, losing N180 million, why he stopped chasing hit songs, depression and new EP

Harrysong talks about Davido, losing N180 million, why he stopped chasing hit songs, depression and new EP [Interview]

Since the turn of 2020, Harrysong has taken his Harrysong World Tour to places like London, Paris, Malta and so forth.

Earlier in the month, Nigerian singer and hitmaker, Harrysong visited Pulse Nigeria for a chat. During the interview, he discussed a few topics that mattered to him. Dressed in a pink hoodie and black sweatpants, he was approachable and really calm.
For someone whom the world only hears of when he deems it fit, he looked fly and fresh. For people who were meeting for a first time, there was warmth and calmness between this writer and the singer. Despite having another interview slated for 30 minutes before this chat started, Harrysong was calm.

"We go run am," he says. This was after I asked, "So, how make we do am, baba?" After being back in Nigerian to promote his new singles, 'Bum Bum' and 'Isioma,' he discussed these topics.

Harrysong World Tour

Since the turn of 2020, Harrysong has taken his Harrysong World Tour to places like London, Paris, Malta and so forth. The tour is currently on a break due to Harrysong's birthday and more importantly, his media rounds. The tour will then resume in April 2020 when Ghana, Ethiopia and other African countries will also enjoy it.

Organizing a tour has been made easier these days. Figuring out your tour dates just involves checking the back end of various streaming services to see places where your music is being consumed. That's what Harrysong did.

Harrysong on the importance of media
These days, the internet has taken over a lot of things. One of them is PR - as addressed by this writer in a previous article, Nigerian artists now rely on their star power and internet fame to promote their music. Well, not for Harrysong.

He says, "Media is still as important as it could ever be - it's even more important. When we started, media and press people helped us with profiling and interviews. They also helped us build a brand and sell that brand. Now, the media is even more streety-savvy than we are. It's like a pregnant woman.

"Before you have the baby, you claim you have a lot of work and even shout so you'd sometimes get attention. But when you've given birth, that's when the work starts. You now have to nurture, train and be patient with the child. That's how it is as an artist; when you've 'blown,' that's when the work starts. You need the media to put you out well sou you'd have returns."

Harrysongz and 'The hits' 1

Over the past few years, Harrysong's hits have sort of slowed down. When quizzed about it, he says, "We've grown. It's not that our music doesn't sell anymore. It's just that it doesn't sell as it used to sell. Now that everything has gone digital, there is more money - we still make money. You will only see this if you can 'see through.'

Harrysong opines that music-making is now more about strategy afforded by the accuracy of streaming. He opines that you can always look at your faults, pluses and track your sales. To him, this helps him become a better artist who can make money.

Harrysong and 'The hits' 2

While Harrysong gave an articulate response on the last heading it points to some peoples' fear for Nigerian music.

Nigerian artists now seem to be concerned with successful songs than hit songs. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, it could reduce quality of music. Strategy should never kill the art. Nonetheless, if you are Harrysong, the thoughts of those people don't matter. As much as you need hits, the lust after hits can also kill careers.

During the conversation, this writer then asks Harrysong whether he means that he doesn't need hits anymore, he says, "Don't just chase hits, you need to start thinking strategically. It's literally called the music business. So, you approach it strategically - money has to go in, it has to be structured and money has to come back.

"Creating is different from promotion and monetization. Promotion alone is a lot. If you do a budget of N100 million, to create that content could cost you like $10 million. Now to push can cost you the entire N90 million because you want to push across borders. People who complain that they're not making money are only there because the current reality has left them behind."

"There is more money in this industry that you might not even need shows. The journey starts when you have hits songs and it will get to a point when it won't about hit songs anymore. It's about consistency and that consistency will tell how you an artist is and how ready he is. It's about the strategy and how the music can bring money back."

Harrysong says he came to the realization that hits might not matter as much anymore after he released, 'Samankwe' featuring Timaya. When asked about whether this realization came due to competition and the success of his peers, he says no.

Harrysong says, "There are some people in this industry who are everywhere, but they are broke. Some, you don't hear of everything but they're comfortably rich."

Music promotion in current Nigerian music
On this issue, Harrysong says, "You must have a strategy. First, you must think about the brand of that artist and what the music he's trying to push represents. The perception must be right and the music must be placed in the right hands - hands that will push it right. Then, it must all be paid for because you understand that 'even in friendship, business go well (laughs).'

"My boss used to tell me that, 'Where there is money, there will be no fight. If there is fight, there will be no break-up." It's also important that everyone with an interest in that music should be vested."

Harrysong loses N180 million

On September 6, 2018, Pulse Nigeria reported that, "Harrysong has left a troubling message on his Instagram page, saying his fans should not cry for him, but instead celebrate him when he is gone.

"Singer, Harrysong has shared a post on his social media page, that in this period where depression and suicide is on the front burner of social media discussion, has left many concerned about his state of mind.

"In a message posted on Wednesday, September 5, the 'Arabanko' singer posted his picture alongside the caption;

'"'Dont cry wen i die,celebrate, put up a kingmaker concert,empower more youths,..i have Lived..i have Done my bit,carry on in grace... TEKERO❤ I LOVE YOU ALL.''

"This brief message as it is has left a number of people expressing concerns for his well being."

In one of the few interviews he's given since, Harrysong says, "I know it was everywhere about how down I was. I already had plans for 2020 - I was saving for a business. I'm from Delta State and we have oil. I was saving to get into a major business in oil and gas and I was duped. When I got the news that I had been duped of N180 million, it was almost everything to me at the time.

"When I said I was down, I was really down. But thank God for grace that we're back stronger. Now, there's life and talent - we are ready for the next phase."

Harrysong says that even though he had money at the time, that N180 million was just a lot. He also says that he spoke out because he wanted to free his mind. "People thought I was going to die, but I wasn't (laughs). It's only been a year and some months since then and I have more. While there's life there's hope," he says.

On who checked in on him, Harrysong says, "Almost everybody; those who loved me, those who hated me, the ones that wanted to stand by me, some called to check if I had really died (laughs), but almost everybody reached out."

Harrysongz, 2020 and streaming

In 2020, Harrysong says that we should expect videos for 'Bum Bum' and 'Isioma.' Somehow, we came back to the music business. Harrysong revealed that he actually sees money from his streams. Despite the difference between YouTube payments with Nigerian artists and other artists, Harrysong says, "We will get there, we are not there (where we'd be on the same level) yet."

Nonetheless, Harrysong claims that he does not look out for international collaborations. He says that an artist should keep working till the attention gets to you. He says, "It used to be a dream for me, but now they are looking at us. There's also money in our industry, so it's not a do or die..."

Harrysong on songwriting, new EP and Kingmaker Concert

In 2020, Harrysong will release an EP titled, Right About Now. For it, he's already started recording and writing. Nonetheless, the singer is also still invested in his first love, songwriting. On that, he schools Nigerian acts who feel low about admitting the use of songwriting.

"They need to upgrade their senses and realize that many were called, but few were chosen - you can't have all. I can sing, write, play instrument and perform, but it's a privilege that doesn't mean I'm way higher than the next person.

"When I started in church, I had music directors who could only write music, but can't perform it - yet, they were excellent at that writing. It doesn't mean they are incompetent or incomplete. He nor mean say dem be February.

"If someone writes a song for you, it means singing is your office and songwriting is that other person's office. That is why publishing deals are broken down - division of labour is necessary. If it's about ability, I should be Michael Jackson and R.Kelly should be bigger than Michael Jackson.It's by grace," Harrysong says.

He continues that, "It's not really holding Nigerian music back, it's just holding us back as a force to push together. I know a lot of young amazing writers who only need a platform. Sometimes, when they get a platform to write for others, they are sworn to secrecy. Sometimes, when we sign artists, we need to get them writers."

The singer says he tells his artists these things. Finally, Harrysong also confirms that his Harrysong World Tour will end with a Kingmaker Concert in Lagos. He says, "There is fire in my system for that." Harrysong says he wants Lagos to experience what Zion is with that Kingmaker Concert.

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