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‘How my heartbreak song made me popular’

Hamisu Sa’id Yusuf, popularly known as Hamisu Breaker Dorayi, is a Hausa singer. Recently, his song, ‘Karshen Kauna’, got over a million on YouTube views…

Hamisu Sa’id Yusuf, popularly known as Hamisu Breaker Dorayi, is a Hausa singer. Recently, his song, ‘Karshen Kauna’, got over a million on YouTube views in less than 2 months, a rare feat for Hausa artists. Also, in an online pool, he was listed number seven in Nigeria’s top music videos which placed him above Naira Marley. In this interview with Weekend Magazine, he talks about his rise, and more. Excerpts:

Weekend Magazine: How did your music career begin?

Hamisu Sa’id Yusuf: I grew up singing right from Islamiyya School. I remember how our teachers used to train us and imbibe the love of prophet Mohammed (SAW) in us. So, we started writing poems for the love of our prophet. After a while, it was the song I sang as a result of my failed relationship that brought me back. Titled ‘So Ta Gaskiya,’ meaning true love, I narrated how we loved each other for a while, but destiny kept us apart. That was how it started. People started calling me Hamisu Breaker and I never looked back. Today I can only thank God.

WM: Which song is your favourite among those you have released?

Yusuf: My favourite is ‘Ke Ce,’ a love song. I’m always mindful of my lyrics and see the impact of the message I disseminate to the public.

The song that made me popular is ‘Shimfidar Fuska.’ It became popular in a way I never imagined. It can only be God who destined it so. Another factor I think is the fact that I used a different, and perhap a unique style. I used some nice old Hausa words that are not often used now. To my surprise, people loved what I did.

WM: Why are your songs hardly featured in Kannywood movies?

Yusuf: You’re right. One of the reasons is my style. Most songs feature both sexes, but mine is different. Nevertheless, some featured in Kannywood movies like ‘Jaruma’ and some other blockbusters. But the most important thing is for people to appreciate what one does, and I get that from my fans. So, there is no need to worry even if my work doesn’t get such attention.

WM: What is your biggest goal as a singer?

Yusuf: My biggest goal is to be heard all over the world.

WM: What would you describe as your major challenge?

Yusuf: In everything, there is bound to be a hitch. Most of the challenges I encounter is on how to create a balance when I am torn between what to offer my fans.

WM: How do you market your songs?

Yusuf: The CD market is down, so I use the modern marketing means; the social media. I use YouTube, Instagram, sportify and other such platforms to market my work and it has been good so far.

WM: What message do you have for your fans?

Yusuf: I’m always happy when in their midst. So, no matter what they do I tend to see it as an act of love and hardly get provoked. In this light, I want to thank them for their love and support. I will keep entertaining them by giving them my best. They should feel free to tell me when I do wrong, after all, we are all human. To fellow singers, I want to appeal to everyone to live in harmony with each other and be mindful of what we pass across in our songs.

I call on the government to invest more in us just the way other countries are investing in the entertainment industry.

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