Mofe Boyo is a musician, an entertainer and a producer, and although she studied science laboratory technology at the university of Benin, she also has a diploma in music business/management from Berklee College of Music, USA.
She is from the large and popular Itsekiri Boyo family who can boast of some of the most accomplished professionals in Nigeria. Mofe clearly has large shoes to fill, but is doing so with intent and purpose. Yes, she is from the same family as the celebrated Mofe Boyo of Oando Plc.
Mofe Boyo has a passion for music, which sees her pushing beyond just her own dreams, and so now she runs a movement called Team Mofe Music – a platform where she nurtures young artists.
Let us meet our personality of the week on MSME Life:
What was your inspiration?
Music is my passion; I didn’t grow up liking so many individuals in music. I took music from a personal perspective. I was the only girl in the school band during my secondary school days.
Later Lauren Hill and Missy Elliott caught my fancy. My love for the music business grew harder when I started my music business course. P Diddy and Jay Z became my major sources of inspiration. They are not just musicians they are music entrepreneurs and that inspired me a lot.
What is your target audience?
In Nigeria, mainstream music mostly appeals to people below 50. This is the target audience of most artists. What if we reach those beyond 50 years old too? At Mofe Music, we want to create a brand that people of all ages would love.
Since we are making music to sell, we have to package and deliver it well so as to cut across all age groups. Therefore everybody is my target audience.
How long has the business existed?
I have been into music all my life and I have spent the last 7 years of my life in music business.
What challenges did you face in launching the business?
Music business in Nigeria is like climbing Mount Everest, you never know if you would make it to the top and that is the biggest fear. It is also very capital intensive. For instance, you need about N1.5 Million to shoot a quality video. And you need a lot more than that to promote the music.
Heavyweight music producers like Masterkraft charges as high as N400,000 per production. This is a lot of money for a start-up. Getting staff together proved extremely difficult.
Music is still new ground in Nigeria, and many people do not know the terrain well yet. But with time that will change. Most people work for money rather than passion. As soon as their percentage is not up to gauge for a month or two, they quit.
What has helped you sustain the business so far?
I write songs and I get paid. It is completely legal and I advise many people to do it. A lot of songs that I have written “don blow”. This gives me a very strong belief that I am doing the right thing.
Team Mofe Music is a moving train and quality content and delivery is our watchword. We are proud to say, we give you tomorrow’s music today.
It is only matter of time before everybody screams Mofe! This is the greatest force that keeps my business sustained.
Bank funding ke? Noooo! It is music business, You no know when you go blow and if you no blow no mean say you no good.
Do you have a business plan? Was it professionally written or did you write it yourself?
Wait O! Do you mean if I wrote it myself? Anyway, I have a business plan for 10 years, 5 years, a year, 6 months, a month, even for the very next second. I plan every second in detail. Look, proper preparation prevents poor performance. Ok, I wrote one business plan by myself and another one was professionally written.
Did you train formally/informally for the business before you started?
Yes, I believe you have to know 100% about your business . After I graduated from UNIBEN, I enrolled at the Kings Voices Music Academy. It was a 6 months training program, where I was also introduced to music production. I later got a diploma in music business/management from Berklee College of music, USA, which has really changed my life and music career.
Practical or classroom style training?
If you were offered finance today, how would you secure it?
First of all, who is offering? Not all money offered is good. Secondly, what are the terms of the offer, if they are fine by me and our lawyer says it is OK! We go for it all means.
What form of IT do you use in your business?
Music has gone digital, IT is extremely essential. Music is done mostly digitally nowadays using DAWs. Our fans download our music digitally. It is therefore safe to say IT is the spine of modern music business. Graphic design, web design, video editing – music cuts across all the forms of IT.
Do you have a corporate account separate from your personal account?
Yes O! I will spend all the money if the accounts are not separate.
Do you sometimes mix monies from both accounts?
Yes, I borrow money from one account to be used for the other, but I make sure I pay back especially if it is the corporate account.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
Ha! I cannot see the future o! [she laughs]. Just kidding! In 5 years, we want to have at least one household name music act and at least 5 other stars. We are working meticulously on that and we are almost done with the foundation.
As soon as the walls start coming up, you guys will see. Don’t say I did not tell you!
Which big company are you benchmarking against?
No, Nigerian company fits the bill. I used to see Kennis Music and Storms Records as benchmarks before, but they could not stand the test of time. Since then, Sony music and Universal Music have been my benchmarks.
Does Mofe Boyo have any regrets?
Yes, spending 6 years in the university to study science laboratory technology . I wish I had started my career earlier.
With your experience so far, what advice do you have for other young people who would like to start up business?
Be fearless! There are too many reasons not to start. Except you are fearless, you will not start. Fortune favours the bold.
Please click here to listen to some of my songs.