From architecture to graffiti, myro finds a home in music
Seated in a vast room, which seems a reception, with sunlight streaming through the window, Oghenemairo Ozah casts a blank look at the object by the window side. His phone rings. He stands up and smiles, which comes out loosely and innocently. He looks through the window to see the other side of the road.
Known with the moniker, Myro, he owes his artistic strength and inspiration to the study of architecture.
“I wonder what the world would have been without architecture,” he retorts.
The musician and graduate of architecture is passionate about his creative expressions: singing, stage performance, urban apparel designs and graffiti arts.
“Studying architecture is the first best thing that happened to me,” he says, reflectively. His eyes reveal an eagerness to say something. “Architecture is the bedrock for any creative mind. It equips you and launches you out into limitless opportunities.”
Intelligence and good sense of humour are some of the qualities that make a chat with him pleasing. While nodding his head and gurgling with satisfaction, he says, “at the heart of my creative expressions is architecture, which we often refer to as the ‘Frozen music’.”
He adds, “it is broad and also offers you deep insights into the world of creativity. Its part in interior designs enables you combine colours and guides you through balanced judgment in beautification, which I enjoy doing.”
With a 4.47 CGPA from the Caleb University, Lagos State, you wonder how he combined music and architecture in school.
“Focus,” he muses in a very warm manner.
Talking on the importance of discipline, focus and what he considers the ‘non- issues’ in youths pursuing careers in the entertainment industry.
Riding to fame on the back of his singles, Ocha and Plantain (produced under Masterpiece Label), Myro advocates sound education as key to taking advantage of the multi-billion dollar entertainment industry.
Myro believes Nigeria can make the best of its ‘generation next’, by establishing academies to help the bourgeoning youths channel their ability into creative engagement, as well as building lucrative businesses capable of employing thousands of people.
Fate clearly has a sense of humour. And for Myro, he had a dose. Prior to his studying of architecture, he started the graffiti movement in Nigeria, doing graffiti for the British Council’s Words and Pictures project.
“I also did graffiti for different musical videos then as a teenager. My graffiti arts took centre stage at award ceremonies like the ‘Headies’, much as I did for the Lagos State government beautification project. My creative outlook has been expressed in architecture, music, landscaping, interior design, apparel design and merchandising. However, music is my focus right now,” he snorts.
On ‘good music’ and inspiration for creating one, he has this to say: “Good music must have a welcoming appeal to the ears and be soothing. Good music is what people want to listen to, dance to and sing along whenever they hear it. Personally, my songs are inspired by the desire to entertain the target audience, the youths. I try to write it, as I understand, because I know that music is an art form that is best expressed with the passion you have for it. Remember too, that everybody has his or her own story, and arts, as it has been experienced it. The inspiration comes at different times and I do that in my own space. Preparedness and utmost discipline are two things a musician who wants to succeed must not play with. You must note down the ideas as they come — melody, tune, the lyrics. You don’t plan to recall an idea later, because you may lose the original idea, after all.”
A spark of light radiates in his face, as he tries to describe daily activities that help grow his music career. Myro says sensitively, “traditionally, I do my voice training, some physical exercise, because it is good to stay in shape, as it is part of what fans see about artists too. I record for DJs, who have requested for my jingles. More importantly, I listen to beats, songs, oldies by established artists, hit songs from different genres. I listen to radio to know latest trends, check out my schedule, especially when I have to do media rounds, visit places.”
What kind of music does he play, “there is music for different occasions and different moods. You cannot be doing music only for one reason always. What makes a classical music for me is having songs that will completely entertain people, they listen to the song and they can feel happy. There are songs for entertainment and in that album you have songs are imparting knowledge, teaching people things they need to know by addressing a societal ill and how to correct them. Music is broad and should not be one-sided. I have songs that are totally entertainment, just for that purpose, yet I have others with messages, shedding light on issues and possible solutions,” he chuckles.
Sporting an elegant and stylish look, Myro says, “young people must understand that being educated gives you a broader view of the music business. So, it is no longer a fancy to drop out of school to do music. Now, technology has made it possible for people to multi-task and be good at all they are doing if they keep the vision.”
He confesses, “education taught me from the onset how to manage my music career to remain relevant for as long as the songs are there. Someone like Davido, he is also a graduate and doing his music. So, pursuing a career in music is no excuse to be out of school. School, on its own, imparts discipline, because there are things you learn in school that you cannot learn on your own outside, besides getting your first fan from your school.”
He admits, “it is no longer an issue that families struggle to endorse their children for a career in music. All they need do is create good space for such a child to confide in the family and get positive support from home.”
Myro shoots an affectionate glare and winks, “it is a big error for people to think that you must rely on substances simply because you are in music. You only need to be disciplined and remain focused on your goal, which is part of what going through a formal education helps you do.”
Why is he so confident about the lucrative nature of Nigeria’s music industry?
He says, “the industry is a multi-billion dollar one. There are so many avenues that have not been fully exploited in Nigeria. For example, we just know about the online platform that helps you sell music, not necessarily having to perform. The online market is very huge. Other avenues like merchandising are not yet big in Nigeria. The industry is lucrative, employing a lot of people apart from the artists. There are the producers, sound engineers, the promoters, managers, and others within the value chain that are benefiting from the industry. For me, we have been able to grow my own fan base online and for events and shows where we are commissioned to perform. So far, I have been blessed to harness those platforms.”
For much of the period he spoke, Myro wore a confident, ambitious look. His words wore on the weight of his musical project that will turn up the heat on the scene soon.
“I feel cool about my growing fan base, considering that I started professionally in the last quarter of 2014, and knowing well that the industry is kind of saturated. Staying connected with fans is important to the work you are doing, and it the picture gets better when people appreciate your work by singing along at performances. Thanks to Lagos State government for the opportunity to perform at the ‘One Lagos Fiesta’ at Badagry and Epe, in 2015,” the youngman with avuncular charm says.