Ibrahim Mohammed is an up-coming Hausa hip-hop artiste. His genre is called “Engausa”, which is Hausa rap. Ibrahim, who started rapping at the age of 15, while he was still a student at the Sardauna College in Kaduna, said he chose singing because he liked it.
How did you begin your ‘Enghausa’ rap style?
I am enamoured by songs, especially, hip hop, so as time passed I tried singing and since then I have been writing my songs.
Have you released any song?
Yes, I have released more than 20 tracks of my own song. I have songs like, Ina ruwa na.
How has the reception of your music been?
Alhamdulillah, I never thought of making a huge impact in the music arena the way I did, but the reception has been good. So, if I am to continue like this, I believe I will make it to the top.
What challenges have you faced in the course of your career so far?
I went through a rough path at the early stage of my career but that has not made me nurture any thought of leaving the music industry. I can recall when I started singing there were some people that would meet me and say I started music without coming to them for endorsement because they are the godfathers in the industry. Then, the studio I used in recording my songs was not standard. Due to the love I have for singing, I just wanted to record my own songs so I never cared to seek advice or mentorship. I started alone till I met some guys and together we were able to produce songs.
What is the difference between Hausa hip pop and Hausa music?
There is a difference. Hausa hip hop is basically Hausa rap, here you rap with Hausa while you add a bit of English to get the rhymes flowing. In other words, it is a mixture of Hausa and English Languages; we call it “Engausa”. It has no chorus so it is purely rap just like we have the core rap music from Western countries.
How supportive were your parents when you started music?
At first, they implored me to stop singing. I was pestered till I stopped going to the studio to record my songs. In the long run, they saw how persistent I was in pursuing my career in music and they relented. I believe they realised that my music was not imbued with vile words or depicting immoral conduct and they gave me the condition that I must not stop going to school.
Did you continue with your education?
Yes, I wrote my JAMB this year to seek admission into Kaduna State University.
Since you started your music, where have you performed?
Here in Kaduna, if there is any show, I am always invited to perform there. I have already been booked to perform at a number of events at present. At times, I am invited to other places like Kano, Katsina and other states in the north. My manager handles all my schedules so he gives advice on how feasible it is for me to attend the shows.
The show I like most is the one I did at the Kaduna Creative which was held at Murtala Square in Yar’adua Hall. The performance opened me up to the world and was given several awards.
How I do it is, when I collaborate with another artist or do a single track, I send it to more than seven websites which will all help in promoting the song. I distribute it to different websites because they all have different audiences so that will give the track a wide outreach. I also release songs once in a month.
Do you have a musician that you have mentored?
Yes, in my field there are some aspiring young musicians that come to my place but I try to avoid them for now. However, if a much experienced artist recommends I mentor one, I will help in doing it.
Where do you see yourself in a few years?
It is Allah that can say what I will be, but as the situation is currently, I am thankful for what I have achieved. When I checked the websites that host my music today, my songs have been downloaded by more than 50,000 people and these do not include other websites.
I pray with the help of God while I am alive, with that time frame, I would have attracted others into the music industry and as well counselled them on the right path to take to be successful.
What advice will you give to youths that sit idle at home?
The advice I will give is that when you have nothing to do, it is better to learn a trade and not to sit at home doing nothing. Even if you do not like the job, just do it. Not every successful person started with what they are in love with. So hold on to any kind of job you get, as long as it is not stealing, even if you do not like it just try to do it. I believe no situation is permanent; opportunities can come through the work. Also, youths should not be discouraged on the career path they choose.