Nosir: Selling Hope Through Music
Listening to Nosa Iyamu’s deep rap for the first time, it was a bit hard to believe he actually composed the songs. Popularly known by his stage name Nosir, his rap is unique as many, who have listened to his songs, compare him with the likes of 2Pac, Rick Ross, while others say he sound more like Lil Wayne. But whichever way, this is not the guy to ignore.
A Public Relations (PR) expert, Nosir, who has rendered his service to top brands in the country and international firms, started composing at a tender age, though he had to leave for other things later.
Speaking on his journey, Nosir, who is also the founder of Spade Gospel record, said, “growing up, I always wanted to do music. I go out with friends where we come together and write music.
“I have a friend, who had some equipment in his room then, so, I write the lyrics why he made the beats. We write songs, rap and freestyle. Gino’s Pain Plus Work 2005 album was also instrumental to my music journey and I enjoy hip-hop music. I started doing music but stopped along the way. However, now, I’m back,” he enthused.
On what he’s currently working on, he said, “I have the Spade Gospel Entertainment (SGE) record label registered in 2014 and the label has been pushing the brand ‘Nosir. We know that Afrobeats is the sound everyone is pushing right now and it’s big, but hip-pop is also a genre of music that sells. For me, I enjoy it because it’s a kind of music that will make you nod your head while listening to lyrics and it also edifies you.”
On the appreciation of rap music in Nigeria, he said, “Some say they don’t like hip-hop because it’s just rapping and they couldn’t hear most of the words. But people like M.I came and started doing rap; he broke it down a little bit so we started listening to hip-hop again. Hip-pop is all about listening to the words and the message behind the rap. So, right now, with SG, we are pushing the brand, looking at how we can put out hip-pop again because for a while, it kind of going cold.”
To the gospel rapper, his music is all about the messages that come with the lyrics.
“The project I’m working on right now, which should be done next year, is something about hope. So, if you listen to most of my tracks, I’m trying to sell hope. Nigeria is in a state where most people have lost their soul. Most people have lost hope in the government, and even in themselves, their dreams and aspiration. So, I’m hoping to steer up hope in people; to say, whatever they want to do, that they can still achieve it, no matter the situation.”
He continued: “I thought of doing just four EPs and put them out there for people to listen, but after doing two tracks, I got a lot of positive comments. Some said to me that I sounds like BIG; others say I’m making them remember 2Pac. So, those commendations propel me to do more; people are beginning to accept hip-hop again. In fact, some people want to come to the studio to see me record. So, I did some few tracks and put them on Soundcloud,” he said.
Speaking on his songs so far, he said, “The title of the first song I did is Goodbye Mama; it’s very interesting. My rap is basically about my life and other issues. I rap about my life, what I see around me. I had issue with my family, especially my mom. So, Goodbye Mama is saying, ‘I’m done with trying to force you to love me, trying to force you to accept who I need to be and you shouldn’t control me anymore.”
He continued: “I think there is a whole lot of people who are going through issues with their mother. Forget the fact that we celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and try to put crown on our mothers, saying they are doing wonderful jobs. Yes, there are women doing wonderful job. But in Nigeria, a lot of women are going through a whole lot of issues; I can talk about what my mom is going through and how she deals with it. That really robbed off so wrongly on me,” he revealed.
At a point in Nosir’s life, things got so bad.
“I had nothing and I ran back to my parents thinking I had a support system there, but the outcome was so bad. I remember when I sent out the song to a couple of friends, one of them called me and told me that my song speaks about something one of his other friend is going through with his mother.
“I have things in my life that I cannot put in the media now. We have women, who deserve being celebrated, but the truth is that there are some mothers that should just take a chill pill and allow their children to live.”
Urging parents to pay attention to the emotions of their children, the singer said, “You can’t be so toxic around your children as a mother; it doesn’t help. So, that song speaks about that and what I went through with my mom. Everyone should listen to Goodbye Mama; the vibe is tight. The song reflects a whole lot of issues,” he said.
Nosir has another track, Goin’ Be Good, which painted a lot of pictures.
“For me, rap is like painting; you picture a scenario. That was what I did with Goin’ Be Good. The track is about a lady, who has been married for so long without a child. So, the song says it’s going to be good no matter what you are going through.
“The third track is One Day, and again the idea is about hope; I want to drive hope. The song says one day, the light will shine for you to see the way. One day, what you are seeing and think cannot happen, will happen easily. I look at the album I’m working on and it’s happening easily; I’m not begging anyone for studio time. So, if we can all wait for that one day, things will eventually work well.”
On the Nigerian music industry in general, he said, “When you see the glamour and the glitz in the Nigerian music industry and you get close to the people in it, then you will discover that there are lots of greedy people trying to survive. A lot of people not creative, but they are doing music because most of the audience we have in Nigeria are not knowledgeable enough. So, they dance to the tune rather than listening to the lyrics.”
He continued: “So, it’s like the politicians know that; they say, don’t worry about the youths making noise. An artiste will just drop a song and there will be a new dance step and they will be carried away; that will last for three months. Then another new song will come out with new dance step; they will go through the whole year like that. Nobody is sitting down to ask ‘how can I do music that has lyrics that make sense? Everybody is shouting Afrobeat because it is the reigning genre of music in Nigeria at the moment, but why can’t we have varieties and increase the space for competitive advantage and even creativity,” he quizzed.
Asked if he would eventually leave his job for full-time music, the talented songwriter responded, “What I do now is PR, why should I leave my pay job to do music? I enjoy what I do as a PR person, I also enjoy music; there are people that work in banks and also do comedy. There is something called the business octopus; you can do eight things in the same period. I’ve done publishing, I’m into fashion with my wife, I do PR and I do music. I look at someone like P Diddy, who is into fashion, business school and TV; he does stuff for Ciroc and also has perfumes.”