Here’s what happens while you share Speed Darlington’s videos

Speed Darlington’s Bangdadadang is sticky.
It’s like a small clock in your head that won’t just stop….

I’m not regular!
I call through like ‘Bangdadadang’
Smash through like Bangdadadang , Dadadang!

Arghhh! It just won’t stop! 

So many people are either talking about it, singing what they know of it or viewing it. 

Over and Over. Again.

Many say embracing his music is an act of mediocrity- they say his lyrics are substandard. Maybe. But how many Nigerian songs have lyrics that aren’t?

Shall I point to Harry Song’s ‘ Fine Girl ?’


Fine Geh, Sessy geh(Sexy)
Fine Geh, is a goody geh

Or this particular song I have been trying to find in which the artist goes,

Se bi na indomie you gimme chop o?Araga rigi rigi rigi raga (I know!)

For a long time Nigerian artists have produced music banking on the fact that more people dance to the instrumentals and not the lyrics of a song. What then stops Speed from tapping into this thriving musical trend?
Admittedly, Bangdadadang could do with better studio production amongst others. Aside from this, it has managed to embrace what can be termed as ‘ good music.’ His music has a rhythm, sends a message and….well, it’s very sticky.
 
According to Malcolm Gladwell, a thing becomes sticky when it is memorable and can be easily passed on. ( to the next potential critic or fan). Also the art of repetition helps out. There is a thin line between hostility and acceptance. Gladwell says, 

There is a simple way to package information that, under the right circumstances, can make it irresistible.-

Like it or not, Bangdadadang is kind of sticky, isn’t it? Even more sticky is Speedy Darlington’s personality: one moment you’re laughing at him and then the very next, you find yourself laughing with him and wondering to yourself, wait a minute! He’s got so many fans (including you) what’s happening?
He is experiencing all the things that growing brands go through and you are very much part of it:

Here’s how:

1. The reversed endorsement

A Speed Darlington fan in Kenya

Hey, you know how it is when people or companies want to launch a product and then they get celebrities to endorse them? Well thats what Speed is getting even without soliciting for it. In this case, its reversed endorsement laced with negative comments, in some cases. 

A Speed Darlington fan in France

In PR it is said that there is no such thing as bad publicity. In Speed’s case the haters share with their network to show their amusement, shock or whatever emotion they are feeling and this keeps his social media numbers rising. Mahatma Ghandi used to say and I quote, 

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

2. He’s Riding the wave: Did you know, Speed is a US based filmmaker? 

Speed( right) on the set of The Divorce


A lot of people think he’s some ‘razz’ dude that decided to take advantage of a free beat but there’s more to him that meets the ear buds. He recently shot a short film called The Divorce. The movie was done in two locations-Manhattan and Newyork, something he casually mentions to his Instagram fans. I don’t know about you but I’d like to see if  The Divorce has a comic twist to it. So if it’s available, then I’m watching. In an earlier post, I wrote about how actress, Lupita Nyongo keeps evolving her brand. It’s mostly about taking every opportunity given to showcase her talents to potential fans, investors and collaborations. This is what Speed Darlington has managed to achieve. He is currently under the radar and he’s milking the attention as best he can.

3. His confidence is contagious: Speed says,

 ‘I go after anything I want, I chase it till I get it, I don’t care who it belongs to.’ 

So he lets the criticisms roll off his back like water slides off oil. Speed is focused on those who like him; nothing else. Six days ago, he was up at 4am, popping a bottle of champagne to celebrate a milestone: his number of fans had hit 40,000 and he wanted to celebrate before – get this-he hit 41,000. I was chatting with my brother about Speed the other day and he said, ‘ Can you imagine what a person can accomplish with that kind of confidence?’ I can only imagine but I know he’s hit over to 46,000 fans on Instagram alone and is now headlined to perform amongst the likes of PSquare, Tiwa Savage, Teckno , David and BankyW at the One Africa Music Fest in Newyork City, later this month. Dr Sid has also gone online to reveal that he will be taking Speed Darlington to Nigeria soon, I’m almost sure.


4. A deliberate Brand strategy: 

Let’s look at Speed’s so called ‘unappealing’ accent but back up a bit. This guy has lived in New York for at least 17 years. He is a filmmaker that works with a cross section of people from different races, but claims to have an Ibotic accent. Whether it’s real or not, the accent is one of the things- please don’t shoot me- that adds ‘flava‘ to his music. From Several states of the United States right across the UK through Kenya and Nigeria, among others, children, teens, men and women and famous people are posting videos with the hashtag #Bangdadadang. The guy has gone viral-with his intricate braided African hairstyles, women headdresses and facial expressions. 

It looks like this guy is working with a template; most organisations and personalities from Coca-Cola, to Beyonce  down to our king of Nigerian comedy, Alibaba do. Speedy may not be as famous as they are but he’s certainly getting some attention!

According to the American Marketing Association: 

A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.

 I think Speed has managed to accomplish this and studying him may be a good way to experience some spurt of growth with your brand. In May this year, he was endorsed by American rapstar star and Enterpreneur, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs. 

‘I love this brother!’ Diddy wrote as an intro to the video he shared. ‘He inspires me.’

And to my mind, it doesn’t get better than that.

Speed was endorsed by American star, Diddy in May 2017

What Andy Black can tell you about succeeding in a Digital Economy 

Meet Andy.

He is the CEO of Andy Black and Associates, a London based Digital Media firm. He began his career in Film, Television and Theatre before making the switch from traditional analogue media to digital media-that’s close to an impressive thirty years ago! Andy’s message on his website is a constant reminder to visitors that having digital presence is profitable for all businesses:

‘Are you ready for the Digital Economy?’ It says.

Those who have attended Andy’s trainings know that he is very practical in his teaching methods with great insights on ways to manage a fast growing numbers of digital channels. Andy has a process: he tries and then tests the latest apps and digital platforms before introducing them to you.

The digital economy is huge. Think Konga, think Dealdey don’t forget Amazon or eBay. Part of world globalization includes the luxury of getting across to people, opportunities and products regardless of distance, language , time or even business type.

Here’s an interview I did of Andy about three weeks ago. He tells you just how relevant Digital Media is to you and how you can own it.

                            *                        *
Amina: Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. Could  you start off by telling me a little bit about yourself?

Andy: I am Andy Black, a 50 something digital consultant, I have been running my own digital consultancy for 3 years and have been working in the technology sector for over 25 years.

In the 1970’s I was a pupil at Emanuel School in London where my contemporaries included Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the web, Sir Sebastian Wood, UK Ambassador in Germany and Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

In the early 1980’s I was a student at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School where I received practical training in film, TV, radio and acting. My contemporaries at Bristol included Daniel Day-Lewis, Miranda Richardson and Samantha Bond – in this sort of company I soon realised my limitations and became an expert in spear carrying.

I worked professionally in film, TV and theatre for 2 years before joining a Soho video production company in 1987 that was launching the first analogue to digital film tech – that was 30 years ago!

Since then I have worked in data analysis, information services, search software, intelligence gathering, digital marketing & content creation. I am divorced, happily single and have a 28 year old son who is getting married next year. I look forward to being a digital granddad.

Andy (left) worked in film, TV and theatre for 2 years – here appearing as Oberon in a 1983 production of A Midsummer Nights Dream at the Bristol Old Vic with Lisa Bowerman as Titania and Tony Howes as Puck


Amina: Digital grandad! That would an interesting title, definitely. When and why did you make the transition from traditional to digital media?

Andy: My transition from traditional analogue media to digital media occurred in 1987 when I started working for TTV. TTV introduced the first analogue to digital video display technology to the UK, and I joined a young team of 4 edgy techie creatives who started to play with and evolve commercial services with the new technology. Lots of late nights, laughter, hard work and busy weekends.

I became a digital obsessive and tried out things like subliminal messaging and building digital sculptures with monitors that displayed video & information. We were involved in lots of interesting projects including the launch of Sky TV, video displays at the Conservative Party conference and lots of air and defence trade shows. I will always remember working on the the launch of SkyTV at the National Theatre, the highlight was Rupert Murdoch slowly walking through a swirling sea of dry ice engulfing two of our huge videowall sculptures as he launched Sky TV to the assembled global media – no pressure on me in the control room!!

In 1990 I was headhunted to join Perfect Information a City start-up, where digital was used to scan original company documents and newspaper cuttings to create a unique image based real-time information service for City clients such as Goldman Sachs, Cazenove and Kroll Associates – I learnt on the job about data management, ISDN, metadata, information, RAID, internet, broadband, cloud computing, telecoms, optical storage – as well as how the City and M&A teams operate.

In 1996 I joined Excalibur Technologies, a US based advanced search software company, where I worked on projects including the Excalibur rapid rebuttal database for the Labour Party. In many ways Twitter and automated bots have now democratised rapid rebuttal. Unfortunately it has also led to memes, fake news and algorithmic manipulation being used as a type of information warfare to distort traditional news flows and disrupt public opinion. It is fascinating to watch the analogue to digital revolution.

Amina: It must have been exciting to be part of that revolution. What do you find is the major difference between the two?

Andy: A digital file is cheap, made once and can be easily stored, copied and also shared an infinite number of times. A printed book is expensive to print and also difficult to share or store. The economics of digital totally disrupts any sector it touches. Every business needs a digital transformation strategy otherwise they risk being Blockbuster when their customers want Netflix.

Amina: For a lot of people, digital or social media is what they do on the go with no specific time scheduled for it. Your case obviously is different, perhaps with more structure. What is a typical day like for you?

Andy: I am connected 24/7 and regularly monitor Twitter for news, Facebook for news from friends, LinkedIn for news from connections, Twitter Lists for expert news and Google Custom Search for key website content for projects i am working on. I also use extensive Boolean search operators and scripts to retrieve deep web information that is not indexed by Google. When not working at a client site or on a specific project, my typical day is as follows:

At 08.00 am I normally start by checking Twitter for trends and news – I then curate interesting stories regarding the digital economy and use scheduling tools so my tweets appear at the optimum time for my followers, which is between 1pm-4pm – I normally send 5 tweets and 1 LinkedIn share a day. I use Twitter saved searches, Twitter Lists, Google Custom Search and Hootsuite to make this fast and efficient.

After this I monitor trending topics and hashtags to see if I can “newsjack” a relevant trend and share a link to my website – this is a very effective tactic for growing followers and increasing traffic to my website. I normally complete this by 10.00am.

Hootsuite allows you to schedule and analyse your posts

 Then I login to my website, check emails from website visitors, check my SEO, Google Analytics, Adwords and Woorank to make sure my pages and ads are all functioning. A key daily task is monitoring for any changes in the Google, Facebook and Twitter algorithms, these three companies are now the gatekeepers for news and content and any changes they make can have a dramatic effect on content marketing and digital campaigns. I finish this by 10.30.

From 10.30am to 12.00 i do my admin, other business emails, proposals, Skype calls with my associates . In the afternoons I attend meetings or go to the Frontline Club to work.

In the evening I normally do 1-2 hours reading, OSINT deep web research or try out new software/apps. Google only indexes 5% of the Internet so an understanding of information resources on the deep web is absolutely vital, otherwise you may make “fake decisions”.

Amina: The digital sphere is flooded with all kinds of apps and social media channels, if you’re an outsider it’s a bit hard to decide on which one to embrace or ignore. Which 5 platforms would you say are an absolute must for organizations or businesses and why?

Andy: Whilst there are regional and demographic differences, I think the 5 key platforms are;

  • Facebook (Page, Live, analytics, ads, Messenger)
  • Twitter (ads, analytics, Periscope, lists, geo-location search, advanced search)
  • LinkedIn (ads, SlideShare, posts, advanced search – and soon Skype)
  • Hootsuite (social media management/engagement, Hootlet, apps, scheduling)
  • Website (SEO, mobile responsive, AdWords, blog, YouTube, navigation, ecommerce, Skype)

Amina: Let’s take a look at the digital economy. I notice it’s the first thing that pops up on your page. More specifically, we see the question ‘ Are you ready for the digital economy?’ Why is that such an important thing?

Andy: Digital technology is reshaping traditional industry, especially those sectors that rely on direct engagement with consumers (for example, marketing, PR and design) and technological innovation (for example. science and high tech). Education, however, is the sector with the lowest proportion of digital businesses.

Countries like India, Nigeria, Brazil are using digital and mobile to transform their economies.


Digital is ubiquitous. Mobile devices are everywhere and countries like India, Nigeria, Brazil are using digital and mobile to transform their economies. This represents huge opportunities for collaboration, trade and knowledge sharing, organisations that fail to grasp these opportunities will go out of business .
Amina: Finally, what do businesses and organizations need to do to get ready for the digital economy?

Andy: They need to move away from hierarchical structures to self-organising networks. 
 

Move from hierarchical structures to self-organising networks.

If you want to know more about the Digital Economy follow  Andy Black Associates on Twitter ‪@AndyBlacz ‬. 

You can also access their free Advanced digital toolkit here.

Finally , check out how sales work in the old days versus now. Yes, just look at that for a moment. Or two.
 

Let’s do a Mental Health check!


Today is the International Day Of Happiness. Ironically enough, it comes after a weekend of suicides in Nigeria. 

On Saturday, a 500 level student from the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho, Oyo State committed suicide by hanging. His friends said they’d returned home from a night of reading to find Adesoji Adediran dangling from the ceiling. According to them, there was nothing strange in his behavior when they left him that Friday night. In fact, a close friend of the deceased described him as as “funny and lively”, not the usual candidate for suicide. More on Adediran’s story here.

Just yesterday ( Sunday) a doctor asked his driver to park while he got out of the car and jumped off the Third mainland Bridge in Lagos and that was that. This is the reality: what appeared to be foreign practice is slowly becoming a norm in Nigeria; it’s clearly not about location, it’s a state of mind-such a pity!


Mental health is important and we really need to take it seriously. Last week, I heard of a guy who went on his FB page and told his friends that he planned to take his life. No one took him seriously. Some even taunted him, daring him to go ahead and next thing they knew they were drafting RIP messages while others cursed him out for being silly. 

I suspect for such people it’s a bit more than the surface sadness we all face for a limited period. I think they must have reached a point where they can no longer control themselves. It’s a disease and like many diseases can’t be controlled by sheer will power.

Barbara Kingsolver perhaps puts it more succinctly. She says: 

There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, ‘There now, hang on, you’ll get over it.’ Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.

What can we do then?

1. Watch our mental health really closely 

2. Seek help if we think things are getting out of hand 

3. Watch out for our friends closely and ask them questions. 

This graphic I found on the net profers some great solutions to maintaining happiness as well.


Depression and other forms of mental health are things we hardly ever discuss in this society but perhaps it is time we do. 

With this , I bid you Happy International Day of Happiness and dare to ask you, ‘How are you doing today. I mean, really?I would like to know.’

How Amsa Yaro Crapulli started her International Jewelry business


Amsa Yaro Crapulli, a videographer turned business owner, creates amazing jewelry.

Really, she does.

For her, It began with making beaded earrings, bracelets and necklaces and then continued till it was obvious that Amsa’s creations were no longer business as usual. Gradually precious stones and other uncommon materials were replacing the popular beads she started her trade with. 

She says,

‘I started making my own beads from paper and fabric. I also started teaching many how to make recyclable art, you know. Using things that are not the usual to make something wearable and worth keeping.’

‘Worth keeping’ is a phrase that probably echos in our subconsious as we scan shopping malls and market stalls, scoping out things to buy. Most of us want fashion accessories that stand out and thats what Amsa Yaro’s Yarolli brand has suceeded in doing. 

With this ‘beaded’ ring…

The Amsa Yaro studio churns out jewelry you want to wear with your carefully selected wedding , evening cocktail and smart casual outfits. I know i along with sizaeble number of clients that raid her online store find her jewelry impressive.

I recently had a chat with Amsa and she shared some of her trade secrets. Check out the interview below:

Amina: Tell me about Yarolli. Whats it all about?
Amsa: Yarolli is about wearable art. Making art that can be used in our daily lives and can add funky and eccentric style to our look. But I realised that having just Yarolli was a bit restricting because I have interest in other mediums so without clouding Yarolli over, I am, right now, working on developing a brand that would ring true to all I want to do. That is where Amsa Yaro Studio comes in.

Amina: Ah.Please explain further.

Amsa: This way, I can express myself as a mixed media artist another without falling out of my collective and still be true to myself. Yeah, it is like a collective because This covers my illustrations, fabric design, sewing projects, jewellery, painting, sculpture and all. I am Magpie of artsy things so yeah, things are crazy right now but they will fall in place soon. And if they don’t, it’s all part of the advent.

Amsa Yaro Studio

‘Queen Amina’ by Amsa Yaro Studio

Amina: I like that. Personally, I have come to realise that it is very important to enjoy the ride without too much fixation on the destination. Many dont seem to realise that, see? So what inspired you to start your jewelry business?

Amsa:What inspired me was my need to have productive hands or tools. I have always had the desire of making things and bringing ideas to life so making jewellery was my gateway craft. I started making jewellery while waiting for NYSC (Nigerian Youth Service Corporation which is a compulsory year long service for graduates) and this pushed me deeper into the crafts world where I helped myself with all the info I could get my hands through the internet. 


I started making my own beads from paper and fabric. I also started teaching many how to make recyclable art, you know. Using things that are not the usual to make something wearable and worth keeping. Then this grew to more than just jewellery and I allowed to myself to make and learn other crafts like crochet, printing and now, here I am, making sculptures, jewellery and other décor products from paper, fabric and anything I make an interesting art piece from. And if I can share what I make with the world, why not?

Masks!

Amina:Wow.Why not indeed? They say the grave yard has the largest gathering of talents on earth. It would have been a terrible shame if yours ended there. So now that you have all this up and running do you have long term plans of-building an empire round it? I guess what im trying to say is what is your vision for Yarolli?

Amsa: My vision for both Yarolli and Amsa Yaro Studio is not just to reach the level of making products for a vast variety of customers. I want it to become an ideal. An idea that is worth cultivating in our society. Being mindful about what we use and how we can give more meaning or an extra lease on life. My vision is to become a school of thought in which art can be brought into every day life but at the same time, valued because of the stories behind them. I hope to have spot one day where anyone willing to experiment with their creative side can come and express themselves without fear.

Amina: You seem to be checking all the right boxes! I think sharing knowlege is an intergral part of success. So when you say you want á spot’for those who want to explore their creative side, im thinking,’Na wa o, is she pychic?’ because really, my next question was and still is, how would you say your product has impacted others? 

Amsa: Oh wow. Impact is a big word. For me, having them happily buying it and taking them home is worth gold. I think my biggest effect is the customer actually realising that what they just paid for was made by something they would never think of but can be found all around them. Hopefully, this lets them find new ways of re-using materials and objects. Just as how a wine bottle can be used as a lamp stand or how paper can be sewn to fabric and such, limitless possibilities from things we easily discard as trash.

Amina: For the benefit of those reading this, could you tell us five things a person needs to start a jewelry business?

Amsa: Oh, it’s really easy to start. You pick out a name and register it. Done. You have a business. The not so easy part is making it more than a registered name at CAC.

  1. Secondly, You need to be dedicated to what you have started. You need to have passion for it. I think That’s one of the reasons why I am still on it. I started this because I love the arts. The process from start to finish gets me going. I have many failed starts oh. But that’s what business is about. It’s a risk worth fighting for and I will keep fighting the good fight.
  2. Get the right tools. They don’t have to be expensive. I believe that even with this crazy economy, you could find a good set of tools, beads and findings with 20,000.
  3. Get a good phone. Again, it doesn’t have to be expensive but ensure it has a good camera. This way, it reduces your need to find a photographer because you start up budget is small. It is also very useful for your networking and marketing as well.
  4. Find an angle. By that I mean, who is your target customer? What kind of customer would you want to make for? Do you want to make coral bead necklaces only? Then brides-to-be, wedding planners and bridal shops are your target audience. You want to use semi precious stones, then stylists, high end retail and gift stores are who you should look at.


Amina:
Thanks so much for your time, Amsa.

Amsa:Its been a pleasure.

Just a bit more about Amsa …

Amsa made her wedding bouquet for her walk down the aisle in 2015

Amsa is a graduate of Mass Communications from the University of Maiduguri with a post Graduate Degree in broadcast Journalism from Fanshawe College in Canada, where she now lives, creates and sells her art mostly online. To order some of the amazing pieces featured on this blog and more , like her page Amsa Yaro Studio or order from her Facebook online store