I Believed In Yemi Alade’s Talent From The Start – Taiye Aliyu CEO Effyzzie Group

Bayo Ajibola

Taiye Aliyu, CEO of Effyzzie Group and manager to singer Yemi Alade, has opened up on how the label started.

In the interview with Tribuneonline, Aliyu, revealed that the label had to drop a lot of artistes to focus solely on Yemi Alade’s career.

Read interview below:

You are one of the most successful CEOs / artiste managers in Africa. How did you discover Yemi Alade?

I met her when I was working with my first artiste, Dipp. We met at Surulere to record a song that was produced by E kelly, called ‘Rock my body’ and by the time we finished the song, I knew in my mind that she was a natural talent/star bound to excel in whatever she did.


You invested quite a lot of effort into her project, even dropping the other artistes on your label for her. Why?

Now I won’t say the label dropped everybody, I will say we lightened the load. This is because in between 2013 and 2014, it was particularly trying times for Effyzzie Music limited. So, we had no choice but to focus and had to let some of the artistes on the label go.


Rumours say you even sold your car? Is it natural to you to always give your best no matter what or was it that Yemi Alade convinced you that much?

I never had a car to start with, Yemi and I were steady riders on okadas and Yellow buses. It was the quickest way to get us from point A to B. To the part B of your question, yes, as long as I have a good feeling about any project I am doing, I try to put in my all. Yemi Alade is a hustler, goal getter and I respect her a lot for that.


You started your label/fashion outfit when not many could venture into it solo. Where did you get funding?

We started the Effyzzie Music limited/Effyzzie clothing on a zero budget. Along the way, in 2013, God blessed me with an amazing business partner in Mr Harrison, he changed my life. The rest, they say, is history.


Critics say record labels in Nigeria really have no structure. Your say?

I would say put your money where your mouth is. People will always talk; I give a shout out to Chocolate City, Mavin, YBNL etc. It is not easy to manage artistes/intellectual property. Labels and management outfits are the block to make a structured industry.

Now that your artiste is one of the most successful in Africa, how do you feel?

I feel so humbled and blessed, most times when we are at sold out venues of over 100,000 capacities. I just smile and thank God. The journey has been a steady rise and it has been God all the way up.


You have remained the manager of your most successful act despite being a label owner. Why?

Well, in Nigeria/Africa, businesses fall apart because of the lack of consistency. Trying to grow brands are the hardest especially when it’s all with your finances. We must be very careful, so in Effyzzie Music limited, we grow gradually. Now, we have two more growing artistes in the label in Geniuzz and Soti. So, we are growing.


Any fears that she may leave the label upon contract expiration?

Well, we are all human, change is constant. We will always hope and pray for the best.


Do you have any other projects/businesses?

For the music arm, which is Effyzzie Music, we have two new signed acts, Geniuzz, whose EP, ‘A Slice of Geniuzz’ will be out in March. Also, Soti is releasing two new singles ‘I Pray’ and ‘Ekelebe’. There are also so many projects that the Effyzzie Group is going into; one major project is real estate and then our clothing line.


At what point did the idea of translating Yemi’s music to french and other world languages come to your team?

Yemi has always loved languages so when she asked for permission to release some songs in other languages, we all were too happy.


Having travelled the world, what lessons has life taught you?

No excuses, Consistency is key, Never give up. These are my guiding principles.


Do you sometimes find the responsibility associated with success burdensome? If yes, some examples…

It’s a big burden because everyone wants a piece of the song called cake.


Do you agree that artistes have to do popular music to be accepted in the Nigerian music industry?

I don’t think so, I believe if you promote your music no matter the genre, and it’s real, people will definitely gravitate towards it.


Rate the music scene at the moment?

That’s tough but I will sit between a 3-4 over 10. We have so much to learn about the music business.


What do you feel is missing in our music to enable Nigerian acts win world awards?

If I start to talk… There are too many things but for now, it has to be ‘music publishing’.


What do you feel is missing in our music to enable Nigerian acts win world awards?

More grind and more originality.


What ethics guide you daily?

It has to be God first and then ‘Do onto others, what you want done to you’.


How have you managed to stay scandal free…You/Yemi

Focus on the process and on what brought the company this far, that’s the music.


You are also a fitness addict. Has this helped your daily routine schedule?

Definitely. The mind and body needs to be kept healthy.


Tell us something not many know about you?

I love to help people as much as I can.


Most memorable moments?

The Journey is always the most memorable.

What is next for you?

More success while changing the world positively, one day at a time.

Bayo Ajibola

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