Exclusive Interview with Obed Kotokeni Neslow: Artist and Entrepreneur.

Being a musician who is your target audience?
Likely includes people who grew up listening to my music since and have continued to follow my career up until now.
This audience would primarily consist of fans who have grown with me and appreciate my musical evolution over the years. It’s essential to understand their changing preferences and demographics to continue connecting with them effectively. I mean who doesn’t know one of the hits songs produced by me such as “Go to Malawi” Or “Days like this” in today’s era? lol

Take us through your journey as a musician and what has inspired you to become a singer.
My journey as a musician has been deeply influenced by my early love for music and the unique circumstances of growing up in a musical household. Despite facing challenges in school at a time, my passion for music was unwavering. Having a father who is also a musician likely provided me with invaluable guidance and inspiration. These early experiences have shaped me into the music artist I am today, and they reflect the powerful role that family and personal passion can play in shaping one’s career and identity as an artist.

You have been in the music industry for over 10 years now, how do you feel about the industry’s growth?
It’s truly remarkable how the music industry has evolved over the past decade. My journey as an artist, witnessing these changes, is a testament to my resilience and adaptability. The increased stability and recognition within the industry, with artists now earning more substantial incomes and attracting corporate investments, highlight the growing importance of music as both an art form and a viable career. The inclusion of education and government grants further signifies the industry’s maturation, emphasizing its cultural and economic significance. My optimism about these developments is well-founded, as they not only benefit established artists like me but also create a more sustainable and promising landscape for emerging talent. My experience is a valuable insight into the dynamic nature of the music world, and it’s great to see that positive changes are taking place.

With reference to when you started, how will you describe your growth in this industry?
My journey from being a carefree young artist to a responsible and business-savvy professional is a testament to my growth and maturity within the music industry. It’s not uncommon for artists to start with a focus solely on their craft, leaving the business aspects to managers. However, as I’ve experienced, the transition to adulthood and the responsibilities that come with it often necessitate a shift in perspective. Becoming more cautious about partnerships and investments, as well as prioritizing the financial stability of my family, is a natural evolution for many artists. It’s evident that I’ve embraced this change, transforming myself from a casual artist into an official one, where music is not just a passion but also my livelihood. This adaptability and commitment are key to longevity in the ever-evolving music industry. My story can serve as an inspiration to others navigating similar paths of growth and responsibility.

How would you describe your style of music and what do you think makes your music unique?
My music stands out due to its fusion of soulful Afro, R&B, and rich Shambo vocals with contemporary Kwasa and Kwaito rhythms. This unique blend creates a distinctive sound that combines traditional elements with modern beats, offering a fresh and captivating listening experience that sets it apart from other genres and styles.

Tell us about your latest album.
This album is fueled by personal experiences and motivations that run deep within me. Comprising 16 tracks, this album promises to be a profound and inspiring musical journey for my listeners. The title, “KOTOKENI,” meaning “Wise Up,” hints at the wisdom and insights I wish to impart through my music. Each track is likely to be a poignant narrative, offering a glimpse into my life’s lessons and the wisdom I’ve gained along the way. The fact that it’s set to drop next year adds an air of anticipation and excitement.
My audience will undoubtedly be eagerly awaiting the release, eager to immerse themselves in the melodies and lyrics. Furthermore, the promise of more music videos and singles as of early next month. It’s not just about the music; it’s about visual storytelling and enhancing the overall experience for my fans. My journey, my stories, and my commitment to sharing them through “KOTOKENI” will undoubtedly resonate with many. Stay tuned for the excitement and anticipation that will surely surround the release of my album and the accompanying music videos and singles. My artistry is bound to touch hearts and inspire minds.

How long did it take you to compose this album?
Well I have got to say the journey of creating this wonderful album has been a labor of love that’s taken me 7 to 8 months to craft. As an entrepreneur, my time has been spread thin with various commitments, but music has always been my passion, and I couldn’t let go of this project. Balancing music with entrepreneurship has been quite the challenge, but it’s been an incredible learning experience. The late nights in the studio, juggling meetings, and squeezing in recording sessions have all been worth it.

The song “Its Okey”, is one of your latest, what has inspired that title, what is the meaning of this song, and is it dedicated to someone specifically?
As a music artist, I’ve faced numerous setbacks and hurdles on my path to establishing myself in the industry. It’s been a journey filled with failures and ongoing challenges, but I’ve learned to embrace them as part of the process. I constantly reminded myself that it’s okay to stumble along the way because I know my purpose is to create music that resonates with people.
In this competitive world, I stay committed to my beliefs and my passion for music. I’ve developed the resilience to fight through the toughest times, even when distractions threaten to sidetrack me. By staying focused on my goals and remaining true to my artistic vision, I continue to push forward, determined to win and make my mark in the music industry. It’s dedicated to everybody who can relate.

What was/is the most challenging part of being a musician?
One of the most formidable aspects of my journey as a music artist was the scarcity of resources, leading me to rely on the generosity of others by utilizing their studios. There were instances where I even spent nights at the studio to ensure that my work could progress, given the high demand for studio time. It’s a testament to the dedication and determination required in this industry, even if it sometimes involves a bit of humor, such as my “studio sleepovers.”

What do you think is the most important thing for a musician to always remember?
It’s essential for a music artist to always remember the virtues of humility and kindness. Success can sometimes lead to ego and arrogance, being humble reminds you of your journey and the people who have supported you along the way.

What advice will you give to the young aspiring artists?
• Embrace Failure
• Persist and Be Patient
• Learn from Others
• Stay Open-Minded
• Ombili apeshe opo!

Apart from YouTube, how else can one have access to your music and at what cost?
I appreciate everyone with interest in our music. Currently, you can find us on iCloud, and of course our local radio stations across the country and Televisions of course but we’re in the process of the distribution of our album to various music platforms. To stay updated with the official announcement of our album release and upcoming album party, I encourage you to follow Neslow on all our social media platforms. This way, you’ll be among the first to know when our music becomes available on your preferred streaming services. Thank you for your support, and we look forward to sharing our music with you soon.

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