Agunbiade Joseph Temidayo is a Germany-based Nigerian artiste. The fast-growing hip-hop singer, whose stage name is Mide SF, is gradually influencing the landscape of the music industry with his songs. Mide SF, in a chat with ADEGBEMISOLA BASIT, from his base in Munich, recounts his childhood days on the streets of Agege and how growing up there has helped him. He also explains his plan for the music industry and passion for Afrobeat. Excerpt…
How long have you been into music professionally, and how did you get into the trade?
I have been doing music since I was a kid, from the children group to the teenage group, but professionally, I would say I started in 2015.
What was your parents’ reaction the first time you told them music is what you want to do professionally?
Well, I didn’t tell them I want to do music because my parents are uniquely different from a lot of parents. You know when you are young and still under the guidance of your parents they can stop you from certain things, but I am an adult now and can decide what is good for myself.
Tell us your childhood experience and how it has shaped you?
I was born in Ondo State, and I grew up in a rural area in Ifon, before I relocated to Lagos. As a child, I engaged in various sporting activities. I was always involved in music – these were the two most popular activities in rural areas. Soccer was to socialize with your friends while music was more of a passion. When I became a teenager, I wanted more, so I found my way out of the remote area. At a very young age, I was taught to be responsible, accountable and respectful. I was brought up on the music of Tuface, Dbanji, Fela etc, so that was like an elementary education for me. I was quite adventurous as a young boy (or some might say rascally) but all I learnt being always on the streets playing football all over Agege (despite serious beating from my parents) moulded me into the man I’ve become.
Your genre of music is Afro-beat, why Afrobeat?
I would say my growing up has greatly influenced me a lot. Growing up in Nigeria, mainstream radio stations were playing either Afrobeat or R&B. There was no other thing, except reggae. The clubs were completely taken over by Afrobeat and R&B, from Psquare to D’Banj etc… I will say that it has been a lot easier for me to be versatile with my style and writing. I know that if I didn’t have such exposure from a young age, it would have been very difficult for me to write songs in Afro-Pop.
What message does your music preach?
My music passes so many positive messages, message that motivates, inspires, that gives hope to the hopeless and love. Everybody has their choice but my kind of music has a message to try and inspire people, mostly the youth to be focused, to show love around the world regardless of age, tribe and language.
Talking about Afrobeat, how much has it influenced your style as an artiste?
Afrobeat I would say has greatly influenced today music, the younger artists have realized that way to go is Afrobeat, just look at the likes of Burna Boy, Wizkid, Davido you see a lot of Afrobeat in their songs. But, my sound is quite different because the way I arrange, compose and pass messages is a little different in my way, my style.
Who are your role models in the industry? Why?
Tuface has been an inspiration; he has been there for years. Dbanji too is one big artiste I look up to. Going back the years, as a young boy my mom will always play the songs of Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Fela Kuti I think those guys were genius.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Winning Grammy Award! Yes, is good to dream big and while not, I see myself conquering the world musically, collaborating with the finest in the industry both foreign artists etc.
Upcoming artists have always had issues with their female fans. How do you plan to handle these issues?
Yes, as an artist you will go through a lot because most ladies listen to music more than guys. After all, they give more vibes. So, an artist needs to be calm to them all. Of course, my fans are the reason I am being recognized and I hope they keep loving and appreciating my music. The beautiful thing is that we both know when to draw the lines.
The craving for sex, drugs and crime among the youth seems to be on the increase. What is your opinion about this as it relates to the entertainment industry?
It is a challenge for society at large. It happens among bankers, lawyers, politicians and the rest. But it may be more pronounced among entertainers because we are in the public eye. When bankers and lawyers are not on duty, nobody cares what they do, but as an entertainer, whether you are on duty or not, people are always interested in knowing what you do behind closed doors. We don’t have privacy.
What is your impression of the Nigerian music industry?
I love Nigerian music as it is. What I want to do is take African music to the rest of the world. Right now, Afro music is one of the best trending and most welcomed genres all over the world with foreign artistes infusing Afro sounds in their music. The Nigeria music industry is one to reckon with in the world right now. We just need to explore the industry more all over the world because the world needs to know that the Nigerian music industry has so many talents and has so much to offer. In the 90s we could hardly see where they played Nigerian songs, but the reverse is what we have today, every nook and cranny, you see people dancing to our music. So, I am very impressed. I hope to contribute my quota to the industry.
As a Germany-based artiste, how do you intend to penetrate the Nigerian music industry?
I have never been in a hurry to get things done; I just want to contribute my quota. I believe if you are doing something right, naturally, people will recognise you. You don’t have to force anything. I want to produce evergreen songs, songs that touch the heart; songs that connect with today’s reality; songs that heal the world and give hope to the hopeless. The success will come by God’s grace.
Any plan for collaboration with any Nigerian artiste?
Of course, that will come. Like I said ear- lier, I am not rushing things; I want the best in everything I do. When the right time comes for collaboration, I and my team will look at the opportunity before us and take that decision.
In your opinion, how has Burna Boy winning the Grammy Award affected our music industry?
Burna Boy ranks among the Nigerian greatest artistes of this generation. I have watched him and I can tell you he’s extremely talented and has a very strong stage presence. He has shown to this generation that we can believe in hard work and ourselves to achieve the ultimate goal. But, I am not boasting or trying to woo you, I believe in myself and I can tell you that I am better than Burn Boy, just watch out.
Do you think the Nigerian government has done enough for the creative industry?
Sadly, the answer is No. When we talk about genuine support, I don’t think they have done well, but I stand to be corrected.
How do you unwind?
I am always very busy, but in-between I have to find time to relax with my family and sometimes I go to the club too.
What’s your greatest fear in life?
Getting to the end of life and realizing I didn’t touch the things I was meant to have achieved. So, I would say my fear is a driving force to ensure I get to the finish line. I hope to keep growing and improving myself and ensure I become a bigger and better person.
What is your life philosophy?
Be deliberate, be positive and never take a ‘no’ for an answer. This is in the Bible; so most importantly is the G-factor which is God. Say no to bad energy and keep pushing!