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Step into the world of the Visionary, George Aririguzo

 

It was just some minutes after 4:00 pm when George Aririguzo jumped on our scheduled Zoom call. Bristling with confidence which he expresses by laughing, George had just exited a studio session to attend our agreed meeting. Donning a green plain tee, George informs me it’s been a hectic day so far.

His daily dealings are understandable; George is currently oscillating his new life phase as a record label owner after creating 11:59 records last year. Haven signed a quartet of artists to his imprint, he has spent most of the past 12 months aiding in the nurturing of his signed acts.

11:59 Records marks a shift for George. Before the decision he took last year, he had been a profound music lover but at the same time he had been finding out ways to play a role other than being an active music listener. “I’m a great fan of Nigerian music,” says George. “I kind of found out that the state of music now, I can do more apart from loving music. I can invest in music.” There were more motivations though. One that hinged mainly on beaming attention on underrated talents. “I know a lot of upcoming talents that are actually good. I was like I can actually show them to the world so that people can see their talent.”

 

 

A year into setting up the label, 11:59 Records boasts of a quartet of artists and are about to introduce the industry to one of its impressive talents: MicTick. George effuses about him, describing him as one of the best intriguing artists he’s ever seen. MicTick warmed his way into George’s heart after thrilling him with an enthralling freestyle the first day they met. Infatuated, he offered MicTick a recording deal on the spot. “I told him I was ready to invest in him,” George conjures up the scenes of that particular day. “He was like wow, that nobody has actually given him that chance before. I was like, I’ll be the first person to do that.”

Prior before harvesting his dreams of elevating talents, George himself had tried as a rapper while growing up. Being influenced by the music of 2Baba, Psquare and Banky W, he was fascinated by what he heard from these music legends. Their music aided his introspection. “I felt inspired listening to them.” It’s why years after his erstwhile music career, his songwriting side still thrives. “Sometimes I can give you some lines,” he explains. “I have some songs I’ve written down. If I see a good artist that can really do good with the song, I’ll give it to him.”

The next five years represent an important phase for George’s new imprint. He’s emphatic about the success of 11:59 Records that he’s eliminated anything that might serve as a source of distraction to him. This means even shelving his other businesses aside, giving the reins to someone else to handle its operations. “In the next five years, I’m looking forward to winning a Grammy,” George boldly blurts out. MicTick’s first EP is on its way, with George describing it as a “dope project”. “There’s no collaboration, it’s just listeners getting to know and fully experience who MicTick is.”

 

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