The Loose talk podcast: My biggest takeaway from the interview with MI


Image from Pulse

This episode of loose talk podcast is a defining moment in music history, where an artist with the antecedents and status of MI, stepped into the verbal ring with two of the greatest entertainment journalists in Nigerian history. A lot of jabs were thrown, a lot of knock downs and comebacks, there were a lot of calculated punches and spontaneous outbursts of passion. There was also a lot of ego, enough to have a healthy conversation but a bit over the top at times. The episode is a nearly 3 hour podcast that is definitely not going to be fun to watch, or listen to on mobile data but if you love music, especially, African music or African hip-hop in particular, you need to listen to or watch this episode of the loose talk podcast.

The single most important moment for me, in the podcast’s entire three hours was when MI, Osagie, Loose Kanyon and AOT2 went back and forth over an alternative music platform to iTunes for MI to base the numbers of his Chairman Album. Osagie said that over 90% of Nigerians do not have access to iTunes and majority of Nigerian iTunes users are not even in Nigeria. Remember last November when Nigerian banks positioned themselves as enemies of the music industry and all but eliminated the only platforms for Nigerian artistes to make money off album sales. It is sad and in some ways infuriating that, when Nigerian music is once again pushing continental boundaries our artistes are barely making any money off it directly.

MI’s Chairman album is one of the highest selling albums, if not the highest, since it’s release in 2014, it has made about $120,000 (over N43 million) according to MI over three years. There were a lot features on that album, so all the collaborators have to get paid, producers, sound engineers, marketing and PR teams, the record label has to get paid. By the time all the due diligence is done, MI is taking home a lot less than that and remember, this is money made over three years on what is arguably the highest selling album, in that period. Now, imagine how much up and comers take home. A lot have given up and release entire albums for free on Soundcloud hoping to parlay whatever successes into getting an endorsement and high profile gigs.

It takes an unbelievable amount of time, energy and human resources to make an album. Even musicians with near zero talent hire writers, producers and engineers that know the work and all those people have mouths to feed. So it is extremely important that if you can, pay for your music. A number of Nigerian ATM cards work on Deezer, and UAE iTunes store and Apple music, although most Nigerian songs are not on that store. If you have a dollar card you should be able to access Apple music. You can also try barter cards where you can fund a dollar card in your Naira account.

I also think Nigerian artistes, record labels or at least record label backers and entrepreneurs need to talk to themselves and see how they can parlay their influence and resources into either bringing a foreign player like Pandora, Amazon music, Spotify or Google play music to come in, or improve and expand an indigenous platform like MTN music plus, cloud 9, iRoking or Spinlet. The market is ripe, the music is ready and if we play our cards right this will be the dawn of a new age. What we cannot do is sit here and allow this opportunity go to waste.



11 Replies to “The Loose talk podcast: My biggest takeaway from the interview with MI”

    1. I have to agree with Bolu. A nearly 3 hour interview and this is your biggest take. It’s obvious you only wanted to put an article out as fast as possible to get clicks off the controversy.
      This only buttresses MIs point that Nigerian writers aren’t that great. You guys just feed off people’s fame or misfortune with mediocre posts.

      I’d have expected this to have been written by one of your other writers not the owner of the blog. Or at least that it’d have been updated with more relevant stuff by now. A damn shame. But what can I say? Get your clicks up.


      1. I do not for the life of me understand how you think that talking about the fact people need to pay for their music is a click bait. I’m telling you to pay for your music so that artistes, producers, A&Rs, sound engineers, record label staff can have money to feed their families and you’re telling me it’s click bait? So you’re telling me it’s okay to pirate music? Is that what you’re saying?


    1. As a music consumer, the problem I have with those platforms is that they are not one stop for all my music needs. However, let me speculate and say, I think lack of funds is a major problem, as the music industry begins to evolve and grow some of these platforms simply don’t have the resources to secure distribution licenses even from local record labels. Also they may have not taken enough proactive steps to make sure artistes know they actually exist and trust tha can handle their music effectively.


  1. Here’s why I think there’s a problem with this article: Connection.
    I agree with everything you have said here {Except the part about the greatest writers, I beg to differ on that, but… I digress}. The problem is, the expectation when people see the link to your article is that you actually addressed the elephant in the room, pointed out your “opinion” about the podcast and the issues discussed therein. We expected a breakdown of the two sides to the story, the points raised, the highs and lows, basically a review that would leave us thinking better about the situation and about what the next steps should be in the relationship between fans, journalists, and artists. You can understand the disappointment when it’s a takeaway that doesn’t directly address any of the issues raised. Looking at the title, I don’t agree it’s click bait because you indicated it was “Your” biggest takeaway. The idea of this is subjective, so if this is your biggest takeaway, it is fine, and you have a right to it. The grievance is people were expecting more. Maybe because they were looking for it and hoped to get it from you. The reality didn’t meet the expectation, resulting in their lashing out.
    Don’t fret. If you have other thoughts about the issues discussed, we’d like to hear them.
    Well done on your writing.


  2. My opinion.

    Watched it halfway. Had to stop… Was so sad. Na market. Everyone has a right to produce what they want. But when a person has contributed so much to the industry artistically and is as talented as MI and you attack him that way…many shades of wrong.

    I’ve watched many foreign entertainment discusses. How do you sit opposite an artiste (a top artiste) and say ‘Your lyrics were wack… everything wack…’ Wow!!! I cringed in shock! The disrespect…not just because it’s MI but it’s so rude…. Who Are You??!! Not an insulting question but….who are you in terms of relevance and authority to say that to an artiste?

    I’m not a musician. But after the bit I saw I sat in silence for a long time…. MI just showed me how to be a better person, irrespective of whatever field I’m in.

    Our country is tough….if a person has put in so much and succeeded at some level, especially for some years, and helped put our country on the map especially, flipping show.. them..some..respect. Pl….ease. We are so good at killing our own!!!

    I know you guys may be upset at most of the feedback and say ‘We’re just doing our jobs!’ We doing same too using your parameters… we scrutinizing you too using your methods. ‘You guys are wack!’

    Moving on….

    Dear Nigerian Artiste,
    I know how much some of you struggle and do all you can to churn out stuff you think the people should listen to. It can be killing to constantly be on the receiving end of criticism, especially when it’s championed by a few who feel they have the power to determine who should ‘stay alive or die’. They use their ‘ignorant mob/followers’ to champion their rhetoric.

    Don’t die here…if ya people don’t value you, skip into a neighboring country. Ghana, Cameroon, Malaysia… I think it works. Ask Yemi Alade or Eazi. Rule their airwaves. Offer constant thanks in interviews to their country and their people. You’ll be amazed at the Nigerian response. Supremacy battles…smh.

    When someone thrives somewhere else the ‘perceived value’ increases. We then pay double to host ‘our own’.

    Don’t die here…sorry to say, there are too many killers than builders. That’s just the way our frustrated-but-slowly-evolving country works…sigh.

    Best wishes.

    Don’t stop making music.


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