Michael Nathan, aka Mykel Bishop; musician, Creative Director Stray Beams Production
Michael Nathan whose stage name is Mykel Bishop, is a musician and Creative Director, Stray Beams Production wants to make it big before he is forty years- old through what he calls a multiple stream of income. He is therefore into making musical videos, television commercials, film production, animation and photography. Listen to him;
“When I was growing up, I heard this teaching that if you want to be one of the richest men in the world that the person should think of multiple streams of income. From thirteen years of age, I started to learn how to repair computers and becoming involved in computer networking before I went to study software engineering. After that, I went to learn Photography at Mattson Creations at Lekki Phase1.
After learning Photography, he went to Hollywood, Los Angeles, California where he learned how to shoot musical videos and TV Animations. Thus equipped, he expected his musical to take off in a smooth way., he says but discovered when he came back to Nigeria that music production in this country has some limitations. His solution was to go learn how to produce music which he calls his first love.
“When I came back to Nigeria”, he observes, “I had difficulties with the local producers”.
The issue was them offering the right beats to his brand of songs which are Hip Hop and R&B although they are inspirational.
“They want to give me normal beats which do not work for now”, he says Another issue was that the local producers time you; they dictate that your songs should last three minutes only or even shorter than that. “What I do now is that I do the production and then take it to a producer to do one or two things.”
“I have a lot of singles but the one that has been released is Enough is Enough. Our Differences will be released in August. The video will come out in three months time.
Our Differences features a girl called Angel, he said and this made the Youth magazine quite interested about Angel; “I composed the song with a different girl in mind but the girl could not sing it. I thought that it would be a duet whereby I sing and she sings but the girl said that it was too difficult because we use a higher pitch. She told me to look for another person. Angel has a lovely voice and she performs very well.
Why does he call the outfit Stray Beam? I called it Soft Touch at the beginning but I found that several other businesses have their soft touches. With stray beam, you get a mental picture of high graphic lights streaming or straying into corners to create a wonderful effect.
Is it correct to call him a jack of all trade? I call myself a jack of all trade and master of all. But music is my favourite; music led me to all these including animation. My interest in music started from childhood. I wanted to shoot a video when I was in Kaduna but when I took my concept to video director, he told me that it was not possible; he did not say that he could not do it, he just said that it was not possible. I was surprised because I saw those things that I wanted td when I watched movies made in America.
What is like at this moment with his business? “I am coming out to conquer the video industry in this country because what producers do is cut and join. There are no effects and creativity is minimal. I want to bring Hollywood stuff into Nigeria because over there, experts come together to make good movies. You have motion graphic guys and cinematographers who are good in what they do. But we have few of them in Nigeria. The other day, I heard some production managers complaining about the dearth of experts; they even take some works outside the country to edit, they said.
“When I watch home videos, I am like ‘what is happening here? That is the driving factor; we want to stay in this country and work.”
But producing movies is not in the pipeline for now, he says as he adds that the industry is driven by Alaba guys who might budget N1 million naira dictate the actor. They create the story line too, he pointed out; “I see their point of view and understand that they have to make their money; but it is not done that way. I saw one Asurf Media on Instagram asking for finance to make a world class movies; I believe that they will succeed if they have the money.
“Nigerians are smart and hard working; “I f somebody set the trend, others would follow.”
The money is coming gradually, Michael confesses; “But I will make it big when my video is released.”
He advises other youths not wait for government to make the way for them; “What I say to even my friends is that the government still has a lot of work to do. Even those Americans who rely on their government are very poor. In my track, enough is enough which is on-line; I said that while some people are complaining that some people are making the money. If you look at the structures being put up in places like Lekki, for example, you will agree that there is money in this country but that people are blind to see it.
“Speaking bluntly however, the government has failed us, but if the Government fails us, must we fail ourselves too? Self failure is worse.
“The average Nigerian youth wants to go school, graduate and work in a company but few want to own that company. What I tell myself is that the beginning may be tedious but that it gets better once you have started. Instead of waiting, start something; if I do my bit as a computer engineer well, the cobbler does his business and the trader does not profiteer, Nigeria will be a better land for all.