RajiNonStop: The Multi-talented Sound Whiz On A Roll
When you examine Nigeria’s current creative ecosystem, one would be full of smiles. And with A&R mavericks like Raji Fatiu, professionally known as RajiNonStop, it is easy to understand the sort of adrenaline that is currently battery-powering the global explosion of Nigeria’s music community. And after honing his craft working with like-minded gurus in this scene, Raji Non Stop is now at the forefront of the mission to take African music beyond the shores of expectation.
The 20-year-old music honcho, who currently mans the Distribution and Marketing department of one of the most creative music companies in Nigeria, SoundGenie, speaks to Guardian Life, on the inspiration behind this intriguing journey, layering his thoughts on the compass to sustain the growth of African music on the global stage, as well as his vision to keep going non-stop.
How did you get the name RajiNonStop?
The name “Raji’’ means hopeful. RajiNonStop is a name I came up with based on my personal life experiences. RajiNonStop simply means I’ll be full of hope no matter the situation I find myself in.
How did you get into the music scene?
Growing up, I never really saw myself been in the music scene; I literally just wanted to keep making mobile games and hopefully start my own game company. I have always been a big fan of the music industry and I was always watching documentaries and just trying to know more about what goes on behind the scenes. Little did I know that I was actually gathering knowledge that would later become useful for me in my career. I think everything majorly started in my second year at university. My roommate and best friend Shamzy, who was then known as “Yungson”, met Stickz who is a producer and artiste. They made a song together and were trying to release it to the public. At this time, I had no experience in distribution whatsoever but we just knew we wanted to release music. We reached out to a few people and everyone was charging so much money and we could not afford to pay people. So, I was thinking about distributing this song myself. I pondered on cost-effective methods and right then I started researching. I found out just how easy and straightforward it was to upload music and make it available on Digital Streaming Platforms (DSPs). I remember uploading the song dubbed “Nightlife” on my bed in the hostel and we did a little PR around school and the song was playing everywhere in school. There was this feeling I got from the song where I felt like I was part of something bigger; it wasn’t just about uploading music and announcing it, but seeing people engage with the song. It felt like I was a part of this movement and that made me feel very great.
Why A&R for you?
I am very passionate about discovering, scouting and aiding the growth of independent and emerging artistes, songwriters and producers. They have very little or no knowledge of the music industry. Having the privilege to give these artistes, songwriters and producers the necessary platform and support needed for their works to reach a much larger audience even beyond Africa, get into rooms where key decisions are being made and also earn from their music is my main reason.
Tell us about some of the major projects you have worked on in the past?
I started my own music distribution and marketing company, Rabbit Entertainment, in early 2020. I ran the company for a year before joining SoundGenie as the Head Of Distribution & Artist Relations. While I was running Rabbit Entertainment, I worked on Maserati by Olakira and Gratitude by Superwozzy featuring BarryJhay. I was able to achieve well over 10 million streams among upcoming acts while running Rabbit Entertainment. Frank invited me to join SoundGenie, and I accepted his offer because we had a similar vision. I knew where I was at that point and understood where I needed to be. I knew the impact I was making alone, but making a major move to join SoundGenie would not only give me access to a more structured system but also grant me the ability to help the artistes I was working with on a bigger platform. I joined SoundGenie in March 2021 and I worked on some projects including: Blaqbonez – Bling (#1 single in Nigeria); Blaqbonez – Sex Over Love Album (#1 Album in Nigeria), Dremo & Jeriq – East and West EP (#1 Album in Nigeria), Bad Boy Timz – Move (#1 Song in Lagos), Kiiwii – My Crew Music Video ( #1 HipHop/Rap music video on Apple Music), among others.
What’s the vision for RajiNonStop?
I basically just want to keep doing my thing, setting realistic goals and working to achieve them, learning from my failures and correcting them and keeping my mental health in check. I want to look at my imprint in the African Music Industry and pin point at least 5 people whose careers have directly benefited from my knowledge and are doing great in their respective fields.