A student of Continuing/Adult Education at the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai (IBBUL), Abdullahi Alhassan, aka IMXB, is an upcoming Hausa hip-hop artiste. In an interview with ABDULSALAM MAHMUD, he advises student-musicians not to abandon education for music.
When did you start music?
My romance with music started right from my secondary school days. I am a fan of hip-hop, and have always followed Nigeria’s contemporary hip-hop artistes and singing sensations. I am fond of downloading their latest songs immediately they are released. After that, I memorise the lyrics and mimic the voice of both the hit-tracks and musicians.
What genre of songs do you produce?
I am a hip-hop artiste. I produce modern Hausa hip-hop songs, which are now the rave of the moment. It is what sweeps many Hausa music lovers off their feet.
Have you released any music album?
While I have produced several hit songs, the fact is, I am yet to release any album. But the good news is that my debut album is only a matter of months before launch. Already, I have put finishing touches to it. So, I am only waiting for the launching, and I am assuring my fans that the inaugural album is coming out with a bang. It is an album that will rock the airwaves.
Do you perform at events?
Yes, I have received invitations, and still receiving them for musical performance at entertainments. I have performed in Lapai, Minna, and several other places. I have lost touch of the number of times I performed at shows. At the risk of been immodest, I am now one of the ‘regular diet’ on the menu of entertainment shows organised on campus.
How do you combine schooling and music?
The thing is, both music and education are indispensable. One cannot be sacrificed at the detriment of the other. And it is in appreciation of that that I always try to balance the time I have for my education and music career.
Whenever I am in school, I ensure I attend classes and avoid missing lectures. Otherwise, my university study will suffer. Similarly, when I have the opportunity to attend shows and fun-seeking events, I try to give it my all and my best. But so far, so good, it has been great for me in school, and for my music career.
Do you see yourself becoming a professional artiste after school?
Without mincing words, I am already a professional musician, though I am still in school. But I know, and I am certainly sure that music is my true calling, after I graduate. So, I see myself becoming a full-time artiste, who will be engaged in producing hit songs to the delight of my fans.
What messages do you pass across in your songs?
My songs are devoid of obscenities, and vulgarities. In my songs, I propagate good morals such as honesty, kindness, trust, patience, and generosity, to mention a few. I also preach the gospel of true brotherhood, hard work, good parenting, faithfulness, and acquiring good education.
I have produced several songs that exhorted youths to shun drug abuse, thuggery, robbery, and other vices. I have sung songs that called on our leaders to be just, incorruptible, selfless and offer good governance to the masses. So, the messages I pass across in my songs have always been noble, and righteous.
What is your dream as an upcoming musician?
I want to go places in my musical career. I hope to win plenty awards, locally and internationally. I want to become the most sought-after Hausa hip-hop artiste in the North. And above all, I want my songs to revolutionise Hausa hip-hop, thereby taking it to an enviably level.
Any advice for talented student-musicians like you?
I want to urge them to remain ambitious, passionate, dedicated and persistently strive towards actualising their career goals. The journey to attaining fame, and stardom, will be rough. But they should not relent amid odds. They must remain focused, prayerful and believe in their dreams. But in the meantime, I want to urge them not to sacrifice their educational pursuits for music.