Growing up, I never really knew what I wanted to be, it was a firefighter one day, or a doctor the next. I was sure about one thing and that was that I loved music.
Parents are always looking for the best opportunities for their children, so at the age of 13, I moved to Ottawa from Nigeria on my own. I have fond memories of Nigeria, most of them encompass music. I was 4 when I picked up my first guitar. I remember grabbing anything in sight (usually a fan of some sort) and I would sing pretending I was Usher.
"I was 4 when I picked up my first guitar. I would sing pretending I was Usher"
After arriving in Canada I started school, performing in various bands, I even started my own. In grade 12 I had the tough decision of deciding what was next. I thought hard, going back to what truly inspired me. Although I was always passionate about music, everyone told me it wasn’t a successful career and I didn’t want to disappoint my parents by choosing a career that wasn’t “realistic.”
I decided to take the route of International Business at Carleton University. During my studies, I immersed myself in philosophy and started listening to motivational speakers and artists in the community. What intrigued me the most, were artists that relaid positive messages through their music. It’s at that time that I started focusing on writing and producing. Recording was the toughest part of it all, especially while I was studying. Not to mention the money it costs to rent a studio.
This is where the idea for WOKE studios immerged.
In the beginning, I just wanted to build a platform for young artists to come together, I didn’t want to have them struggle. I wanted to see them have support through their artistic journey. With the help of generous donors to Youth Ottawa, I’m now building a social enterprise that ensures support for young musicians.
Many artists do not feel supported enough or believe in themselves, they tend to lose interest in the art form that they love. I felt unsupported for many months until I was nominated by one of my teachers for a Spirit of the Capital Award presented by Youth Ottawa. This was the first time I was ever recognized for anything in music. The Youth Ottawa Award gave me the recognition that I needed to believe that I can achieve my dreams. It recognized that I was doing something good, that I can make a difference, and that a career path in music was a viable option.
"With the help of Youth Ottawa, I am now building a social enterprise that ensures young musicians are able to make a successful living our of music."
There is more work to do.
I received another incredible opportunity. I was approached by Youth Ottawa to work under their Summer Employment Program. This life-changing program provided me with an opportunity to work and grow WOKE Studios. They offered business training, support and skills development. I am currently working on a Business Model Canvas. An Entrepreneur in Residence meets with me and has become a strong mentor for me.
This program is only available because of loyal donors like you.
I have gained the confidence and knowledge in business planning and the opportunity to become by own entrepreneur. I couldn’t have done that before – so thank YOU!
Will you give more youth a platform to do the same thing that Youth Ottawa did for me?
Thank you for your generosity and with your help more youth will be living our their dreams!