TM Mix Production Limited has been in existence in the Nigerian music scene for sometime now producing popular artistes like Flavour, TU Deep among others. Solomon Nda-Isaiah, spoke to Timothy Markus aka Mallam Sauti, the CEO and Tony Allen, the General Manager who revealed their plans for the Abuja entertainment scene and other vital issues.
Where do you specialise in as the entertainment is concerned?
I have been in the music industry for a long time. I am a producer; I have produced lot of known artistes such as Flavour and TU Deep. Our studio is here in Abuja right now we are trying to come up with something new from which artistes will benefit.
We want to institute a marketing department that will be in charge of marketing and managing the artiste. Right now we are managing two artistes. One is a gospel artiste called Emmana Ekon whose works we have already produced and will soon be in the market.
The other artiste is a talented 14-year-old girl called AJ; we are still working on her music. I believe she is a star in the making.
What have you done to ensure that they get the kind of publicity they need?
This marketing business is quite a serious business. A lot of artistes think that after doing a studio work the next thing is to go to Alaba and sell the Master copy to a marketer or distributor but it involves much more than that.
In marketing, an artiste needs a good management that can effectively package you before bringing you to the public but very few artistes understand that. You need a lot of hype, exposure and advert before you can make it. It’s not just about going to the studio and then from there to the market.
You need a lot of awareness to make it. I tell people that there are some artistes who are good singers but cannot perform on stage. As an artiste you should know how to package yourself on stage and at the same time make your recordings, that will qualify you as a good artiste and not just capitalise on how good you sound on record.
Will you be doing the marketing yourself?
We have a plan for Abuja artistes because this marketing issue is a problem. Abuja is developing very fast in terms of music marketing even those in Lagos are gradually coming back to Abuja.
In time you will see that Abuja will be different in terms… (of what?). We have some plans on ground to ensure that our artistes are carried along, we intend to collaborate with the Lagos marketers but we will be mostly in charge of the show especially here in Abuja.
We know that very soon Abuja will overtake the music marketing business in Nigeria. We intend to bring out a lot of Abuja artistes with our strategy and we will succeed even more than those in Lagos.
A lot of important musicians have gone to Lagos for greener pasture, what is your take on that?
Most of these big artistes actually come to Abuja to make their money it’s just that the competition in Lagos, the population over there is larger as well but the main cash is made right here in Abuja. Some people think that nothing is happening in Abuja but we have a lot of good producers and artistes here.
The artiste usually thinks about the population in Lagos that if about two million people in Lagos can accept my music in Lagos then I am made, but Abuja has quality artistes. Right now we have some machinery in place to ensure mass production without going to Lagos.
We want to produce here in Abuja and send down to Lagos and not producing it in Lagos to bring up here. We want people to come to Abuja from all over the country to buy and then go back to their places just like Alaba and we know that it will happen soon.
Can you tell us about TM MIX?
It started about four year ago, we did not have any initial support but we were focused on ensuring that TM MIX is a success. We started with some people who later left but we got others to join us.
The company name means Team Marcus Mix or mix music that is TM MIX. We are registered by the government and we can give the artistes what they deserve.
What challenge have you been facing?
We need the government to come to our assistance because a lot of people believe that entertainment is not lucrative but that is not so. If the government can come in then we can go a long way.
So many young people who are into drugs will stop, crime rate will reduce and it will become another source of revenue. There will be more jobs for the youths because they have talents in them that need to be nurtured. Some artistes come to the studio with nothing, not even money to record, we look at their situation and talent and then assist them but we can only do that to an extent as no one is financing us.
What is your take on the entertainment scene in Nigeria?
The entertainment industry is not where anyone can dabble into at will. It is much deeper than that. It is an industry where you have to put in your best and do all you can. You may not get all you want immediately, but with hard work you will achieve your aim in the end
What new innovations are you bringing to the FCT entertainment scene?
There are a lot of talents out there. Most of them who can sing do not have the money and those with the money cannot sing, so we try to come together to see what we can do about it in the form of a talent hunt.
In a week from now the advert will be out and artistes can come show what they are made of. If you came and you have talent then you will be recognised. The industry is not only about the money but also about your talent.