By Ayo Onikoyi
He was born Azeez Olanrewaju Adenekan but in the entertainment circles in the middle east region and the African continent he is known as Lanre Typical.
He is a top-notch, award-winning Nigerian entertainment executive/promoter who celebrates the finest talents and outstanding individuals in the Nigeria/Africa entertainment industry, bringing the very best artistes from Africa on monthly basis for the nightlife experiences to Africans based in Dubai and in the entire Gulf region. He is also the CEO of TypicalNaija.ng, a blog known for fashion and music distribution.
In 2019 alone, Lanre Typical brought over 30 Nigerian artistes to Dubai and the list includes the likes of Zlatan, 9ice, Peruzzi, Harrysong, Slimcase, Reminisce, Qdot and many others.
His exploits have not gone unnoticed as many awards have come his way. In 2019 he won Scream All The Way’s Showbiz Promoter of the Year award as well as MAYA Awards Africa’s Show Promoter of the Year Award.
In this interview with AYO ONIKOYI, Vanguard’s Entertainment Editor, the computer science graduate of Lagos State University talks about how he sold Nigerian music to the Dubai audience, plus the future of Nigerian music and the industry at large.
As a promoter, what has been your experience with Nigerian artistes and how bright is their future on the international scene?
It has been a great experience so far, meeting different types of people with different personalities. All in all, it has been awesome and in regards to their future on the international scene Nigerian artistes in the Afrobeats genre are here to stay as the future for their music is promising on the international market .
How is the afrobeat genre accepted in Dubai and on the international scene generally?
As we all know, Afrobeats is one of the biggest genres in the world right now. It’s loved by all and now widely accepted. All clubs rock to it here. Every club has or wants an Afrobeat night which they were not proud of few years back, Afrobeats has taken over all clubs in Dubai
If you are to take your top 5 Nigerian artistes of 2019 who would it be and why?
Hmm top 5? I think my list is endless but I want to give props to every Nigerian artiste making us proud both home and internationally, however Burna Boy, Zlatan, Naira Marley, Wizkid and Davido extremely made us proud in 2019.
What’s your take on street music and its future?
I can remember few years back, street music was accepted by selected few, but today it has been accepted by everyone. I feel if there is consistency it will remain in the mainstream.
Why did you decide to go into entertainment and invest in show promotions?
It’s a long story. I was once a music artiste way back in my university days. About 16 years ago I stopped singing after opening my entertainment blog Typicalnaija.ng which was from the influence from what I studied Computer Science at Lagos State University. My blog was buzzing and I was using the platform to promote artistes, then after relocating to Dubai I started promoting the Nigerian entertainment in clubs and started bringing artistes from Africa to the United Arab Emirates for performances.
Why did you relocate?
Funny enough, I came to Dubai for vacation and decided to reside here after seeing so many opportunities. Nigerian entertainment wasn’t so strong when I came to Dubai about 7 years ago. I visited the first club where Nigerians hang out and the music wasn’t good, so I met with the manager and gave him couple of advice on how to make it better. Then I was called by the club management the same week for a meeting. After taking my advice which worked for them they told me they would like to work with me and I accepted and that’s how it all started. They were paying me weekly for publicity and promotions which was a good pay and I felt there’s more to gain than lose, so I decided to stay back.
What should artistes, especially the upcoming do to attract international collaborations and attention?
The industry is tough and rough, all they need to do is to be consistent .
What do you consider before taking artists down to Dubai for shows?
I always consider the rave of the artiste, basically the artiste must have an international recognition for other nationalities to vibe to, especially, the artiste’s songs must be known, not only in Nigeria but in other African countries as well.