Since the days when Fela Anikulapo Kuti's highly percussive rhythms were reverberating across Africa, the sound of Afrobeat has filled the globe, with people from different parts of the world unable to resist the tunes and beats of the music.
In spite of the fact that the quality of the musical genre satisfies and even possibly exceeds global standards, technology has played a significant role in making it widespread. Because of the proliferation of music streaming platforms, both finding it and getting access to it are now much simpler tasks.
On the other hand, the consumption of music may be on the cusp of a revolution that is connected to developing technologies such as blockchain, which can create non-fungible tokens ( NFT).
Iyobosa Rehoboth, better known by his stage name Prodigeezy, is currently in the midst of this transformation. He is assisting one of the most popular musicians in Nigeria in connecting with their fans via the blockchain.
Prodigeezy is a pseudonym that I use in addition to my real name, which is Iyobosa Rehoboth. At the moment, I'm serving as the Lead for Product Development at Floats Metaverse Systems. At Floats, we are investigating, developing, and disseminating various crypto-economic opportunities for people in Africa. That entails a lot of different things for us, but the thing that stands out the most is "onboarding as many people as we can onto the blockchain in ways that are both innovative and user-friendly."
Before Prodigeezy devoted himself to bringing Africans onto the blockchain and constructing metaverses, he was merely an enthusiastic storyteller armed with a camera.
"When I was finished with film school, I returned to Lagos, Nigeria, and looked around for who was doing what and who was making the most interesting things, and at the time, music was just very, very fascinating to me. "When I was done with film school, I returned to Lagos, Nigeria, and looked around for who was doing what and who was making the most interesting things.
I just thought it was a great way to visually express yourself because you could fit as much as possible into a three- or four-minute clip. As a result, I declared, "You know what, I'm going to spend some time shooting music videos."
A number of popular music videos, including "This is Nigeria" by Falz and "Boshe Nlo" by Burna Boy, were produced by Prodigeezy. However, after cultivating a successful career as a music video director, he eventually made his way into the developing world of technology as a result of his childhood fascination with technology.Snapshot from This is Nigeria music video
When Prodigeezy was a kid, he was always interested in anything that had to do with telling stories or making art, but he also had a soft spot in his heart for technology. As a result of the fact that his father was both a scholar and a pastor, there was never a lack of information; therefore, as a child, he was constantly soaking up knowledge.
I took in a lot of information through observation and tried to model my actions after those of the people around me. My parents raised me in a fairly traditional household, but most of the time, I preferred to spend my time indoors, curled up with a good book.
I spent a lot of time watching a lot of television and reading a lot of books. After some time, I was fortunate enough to have access to the Internet, which was unusual for a child growing up in Nigeria in the early 2000s, but this fundamentally altered the course of my life.
Prodigeezy became what he calls a "full-blown nerd" as a result of his exposure to books, television, and the Internet; he spent almost all of his time indoors playing video games and browsing the internet.
Because he was not accepted into a university right after he graduated from secondary school, he had an additional year to spend expanding his knowledge of computers, video games, and a variety of other topics that were relevant to his interests.
It's interesting to note that he was accepted into the National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT), where he learned the fundamentals of computer network engineering.
I had already made up my mind about what I wanted to be when I grew up, and it was either a computer scientist or an engineer. In one way or another, the culprit had to be computers. You didn't even need to get to know me for an hour before you could tell that I was a dork.
When Prodigeezy was finally able to enroll in college, he discovered a new interest in the form of graphic design, which eventually became a lucrative source of income for him. He only enjoyed school because he could learn new things in his computer science class and discover new things that interested him.
Strike actions, which are unfortunately not uncommon in Nigeria's public universities, cut short his learning and discovery streak, which was unfortunate. When he got back home, he didn't have much of an interest in carrying on his education and discovering new things until his father surprised him with a wonderful gift.
" For a present, my father gave me a camera; it was a Canon 600 D digital single-lens reflex camera. It wasn't something that I was particularly passionate about at the time, but I had been making casual reference to it.
When he first got the camera, he wasn't too excited about it, but it ended up being the catalyst that led to him becoming a director of music videos.
He examined the mechanism of the camera in an effort to satisfy his natural inquisitiveness. After watching a few different videos on YouTube, he finally started to get the hang of things. It soon turned into a routine for him to carry a camera around with him wherever he went.
Soon after, film and photography became his new interest, despite the fact that his father was not a fan of his son's new preoccupation. It is easy to understand why he would feel this way given that he spent the majority of his time away from home taking photographs until an extremely late hour.
After much persuasion on his part, his parents came around to the idea that he should pursue his new interest full-time and allow it to shape his professional life. After that, he moved to India to pursue a career in filmmaking there.
" Learning about film, the science of storytelling, feelings, and basically how to paint the right pictures with visuals was an incredible time in my life."
He was able to secure an internship with Aje Filmworks upon his return to Nigeria, where he was able to gain a lot of knowledge and make many valuable connections. After completing those obligations, he joined Aristokrat Vision Production.
His production and creative outfit, which goes by the name Global Creative Operations (GCO), has been operating successfully since it began operations in 2018. As Prodigeezy incorporates his fascinating discoveries regarding the pandemic into GCO's operations, the company is transforming into a technological enterprise.
In the year 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic offered Prodigeezy yet another chance to pause and reflect, which he took advantage of in the same way that the lecturers' strike action had inspired him to become obsessed with the camera.
" While the pandemic was going on, I became familiar with virtual reality ( VR). As is customary, it all began with simple inquisitiveness; however, once I fell down the rabbit hole and found this brand-new immersive experience, all of a sudden I found myself falling back in love with computer logic.
After making the decision to explore the realm of virtual reality, he went out and purchased an Oculus Quest VR headset. Since there was nothing to distract him from his work, he was able to continue his education on virtual reality.
During the course of his education on VR, he became familiar with the metaverse, Web3, NFTs, and the ecosystem of blockchain technology. By the end of the year 2021, he had amassed a significant amount of information regarding the sector, and he intended to incorporate an NFT product into his business.
I told my coworkers that we needed to start a new company because this was the way of the future, and that's how Floats came to be. And a significant portion of my focus has been directed in this direction."
He established Floats Metaverse Systems as a subsidiary of GCO, and the two of them started working on a number of interesting projects, none of which were successful. Then, they came up with the wacky concept of making a project that would involve collaborating with Wizkid, Davido, and Burna Boy, three of the most successful musicians in Nigeria.
" Towards the end of the year, we began kicking around the concept of an NFT featuring Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Davido working together on a collaborative project.
We did the entire thing, including getting some prototypes, doing the artwork, creating a custom smart contract, and doing it all. It was an incredible idea. And this was accomplished with a small team at that point, but it was unsuccessful.
Anyone who is familiar with the Nigerian music industry is aware of the fact that it is highly unlikely that Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Davido, who are currently the most prominent artistes in Nigeria, will ever collaborate with one another. Prodigeezy, who had previous experience working in the music industry, was aware of this fact; however, what he had in mind was more ambitious than the competition between the "big three."
He continued to present the concept to a wide variety of other artists. Before he met Daniel Benson, professionally known as Bnxn and formerly known as Buju, he was the only person who could envision combining NFTs with music in the way that he did. No one else could.
We were able to communicate with Buju in the end, and it turned out to be a perfect match. He was already exploring how to creatively interpret his journey through comics and give that as a limited artefact to his fans.
“ So we said, ‘You know what, this is cool. Let's do this as a part of an NFT project, as a part of a larger community,' and from there the discussion just kept expanding into new territory. Buju gives his fans a great deal of his attention and affection, and he has a sincere desire to establish himself as a pioneering figure in the music industry.
He is a creative person and he wants his creativity to extend to how he interacts with his fans. He doesn't just want to make music; he wants his creativity to extend to everything he does.
According to Prodigeezy, "giving back to the fans" was something that Buju had always been about, and NFTs were a great way for him to do that. The Heads by Bnxn NTF collection was developed so that Buju's supporters can connect with him and make money off of product sales.
The NFT project will consist of 10,001 one-of-a-kind prints of Bnxn's face. These prints will be of the same style as the artwork cover for his smash hit song "Italy." Holders of the NFT will automatically have access to Bnxn’s physical and virtual concerts. They will also have the opportunity to claim ownership of some songs and excerpts, which will qualify them to receive revenue from streaming services.
In spite of the fact that the sharing arrangement has not yet been formulated, ten percent of the profit made from the project will be contributed to a creator fund, and the members of the community will vote on which project will benefit from the financial contribution.
Being a part of the Heads By Bnxn community provides additional benefits, one of which is access to education regarding all aspects of Web3.
Beyond merely releasing an NFT collection, Prodigeezy, Bnxn, and the rest of the team behind the project have more ambitious goals in mind.
We put a lot of emphasis on the metaverse as well. We have conducted a great deal of experiments, and about a couple of months ago, we developed a game. Our primary objective is to achieve the capability of recreating in the metaverse the virtual space that Benson was responsible for creating. And this means online concerts as well as everything else that goes along with being an artist.
We intend to continue developing more around the technology as it undergoes further advancement. This is the roadmap that we committed to delivering to the community. Benson is also on board with this, and he's been very generous with everything from music to a variety of other resources.
The concept of combining NFTs with music is still relatively novel across the globe, and Prodigeezy is without a doubt a pioneer in this space. According to him, the community is on the verge of something ground-breaking, and while he is unsure of what the final picture will look like, for the first time in a while, true freedom is coming to the creative space. Despite the fact that he is unsure of what the final picture will look like, the community is on the verge of something ground-breaking.