Coincidence is oftentimes an alien concept when measured against the metric of hard work. But sometimes by some divine sleight of hand and an unexpected flick of serendipity, stories like that of budding Afro-fusion Nigerian artist, Richard J, can only be explained as a lucky break. A chance encounter with a record label executive’s post on Instagram designed to be more of a backlash became the very move that got Richard J his first big break.
In September 2019, label mogul, Dr Dolor signed a new cat and promptly announced it on the social media platform, Instagram. As thousands of people congratulated the deft move by the ace record label owner, Richard J saw another side to the optics. He took a chance and bared his mind in the comment section of the post, informing Dr Dolor that there were hundreds of talented artists like himself back home in Benin that would appreciate the opportunity that he was freely giving out to other Lagos-based artists.
Although the fiery comment went against popular opinion on Instagram and was unceremoniously condemned by some loyalists, the narrative must have somehow hit a nerve, because a few days later, Dr Dolor unexpectedly replied to the comment.
Whether it was Richard J’s display of maturity when the ace producer carefully explained that he was already doing things for artists back home in Benin or something else, we would never know, but a New York-based record label executive reached out to Richard J a few days later and things instantly took an unexpected turn.
“He introduced himself as Nosa Igbinosa from NMG records and said he had seen what transpired between Dr. Dolor and I, had gone through my page and heard a few recordings, and wanted to know if I sang and wrote the songs he heard”, Richard J explained.
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That fortunate first contact from NMG Records would unveil a series of discussions that would turn RichardJ’s lot around. A few days later, the NMG record label CEO, Nosa, makes contact again but this time wants proof that the song which had won the hearts of everyone he played it for, was Richard J’s work.
“I came to Lagos, and he hooked me up with the label music producer, DocSide, who then produced the song, Aye,” he reveals.
Aye, a retrospective track by Richard J that spotlights the hustle culture and the need to keep moving forward regardless of the mounting challenges that life brings, was one of the songs that Richard J presented.
And that was the beginning of a new chapter for the fast-rising artiste who promptly put pen to paper and became a part of the NMG family.
“NMG records took me under their wings, showed me the ropes, and we started making great music together”, he said with enthusiasm.
Richard J’s debut single, Panel Beater is set to be released in August and it promises to be an experimental hybrid of Afro-based fusion that is destined to take over the airwaves.
And if the story and trajectory of Richard J’s musical journey is anything to go by, the release of his debut single under the NMG imprint is sure to make everyone take notice of his arrival.
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