So, I know it’s been ages since we had our last youngpreneur interview, but I’m really excited to have it back! To kick off this year’s interviews we have a very interesting gentleman on TPH this month. Daniel is gospel rapper and a businessman. You know how much I love it when young people are literally killing it in their respective fields, let’s take a look at what Daniel says about his journey so far!
A: Hi! Can you please introduce yourself?
D: Hello there, I’m Daniel Okoli, Gospel rap activist, artist and businessman.
A: Great having you here Daniel! Tell us all there is to know about ‘White Mic’
D: White Microphone – White Mic for short, is a gospel rapper who had a life transforming experience back in May 2012. Prior to that, he was a secular rapper with dreams of being the next Jay Z lol. After I got born again my vision shifted all I wanted to do was tell people about the amazing life in Christ Jesus and what better way to reach this generation than through music.
A: Amazing turnaround in my opinion. Thank God for your life. So, If you were to use a word to describe how exactly you feel when you rap, what word would that be?
D: A word might not encapsulate the entire feeling but I’ll go with INVIGORATED
A: Invigorated sounds about right! We know about gospel music industry in Nigeria, what would you say about the gospel rap industry and how popular is it among fans?
D: Well the gospel rap industry is still in its infancy in Nigeria, I say this because our biggest faces and names aren’t as popular as the worship and praise ministers/singers and this is because of the generic ideology people have about RAP MUSIC (It’s too fast, they can’t hear all the words and it has no place in the church, the last part being absolutely wrong). We have names like TRU SOUTH, TB1, PROTEK and SPOKES MAN, these are front liners in the gospel rap industry, but one has to be a Christian, a gospel rap fan or in a certain circle to know them and be familiar with their music. Don’t get me wrong we’ve made great impact in the music industry both locally and internationally but we still have a lot of ground to cover.
A: I think I’d have to agree with you because I’m not too familiar with these names myself, despite being a fan of rap music. And speaking of generic ideologies, one of the things I have heard is that there is a certain ‘spirit’ behind rap which is just hilarious. But like you said we look forward to you guys covering grounds especially in this part of the world. So let me ask you Daniel, where do you draw your inspiration from?
D: Oh that’s easy, my inspiration comes from my times of prayer, when I study the Bible and listen to Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s teaching.
A: Interesting! Just at the top of your head, which of your songs would you personally recommend for us here at TPH?
D: Christ Jam. I put it out on the 1st January 2020 so it’s been on my mind since and in the hearts of many I’m most certain.
A: Alright, so tell us about your latest song what inspired it. Also, where can we download or stream it?
D: Okay that’s Christ Jam again. Well I was I was about to take a bath and I thought about the trash outside my house and how to dispose it off then it hit me, that while some people are getting clean on the inside, there is a lot of trash out there in the world. So I brought it home to my life as a Christian and music; while some are talking trash and chasing fool’s gold outside I’m talking Jesus every day and making music for my King – the Christ Jam. And you can download and stream the CHRIST JAM from Audiomack, Mynotjustok.com and Sound Cloud using these links;
A: I definitely love the angle and how the song came to be. What would you say is the biggest goal you want to achieve this year?
D: That will be to sponsor the preaching of the gospel both locally and internationally on a mega scale and by that I mean in the millions.
A: Amen to that! Who are some of your favourite rappers in the game and why?
D: Okay I’ll start with my rap mentor and big brother in the game (*wink) Tru South, he is the man from the south that speaks the truth and the scriptures say that God’s Word is truth. He delivers spiritual content with an amazing lyrically delivery. Then I have Spokesman, for his voice texture delivery and spiritual content. I grew up listening to Jay Z, NAS and J Cole right before I got born again they are amazing story tellers with different lyrical diversity. And of course one of my favourite rapper is WHITE MICROPHONE I mean that guy is just amazing lol.
A: We can all agree that White Mic is definitely amazing haha! Are you currently signed to any record label and If you are, how’s that working out for you?
D: Not at the moment, just enjoying putting out music on my own and with the help of the internet I can have the same reach a label would if I push hard enough.
A: Great! So, I also know you’re the brain behind ‘Bootnation’ Tell us about that brand and what prompted you to start it.
D: Oh yes Bootnation. Well I fell in love with boots after I tried my first boot as a young man some years ago, the fitting the style and the aura it carries so I decided to introduce my friends to my dealer and then BOOM!! It became a business I was supplying boots to everyone on my contact and beyond.
A: No time! That’s fantastic. Welldone Daniel. Since it started, would you say that Bootnation has been able to achieve the purpose of starting it?
D: Right after it became a brand we started looking at ways to distinguish it from the crowd and we came up with this thesis that “EVERYTHING LOOKS BETTER WITH BOOTS”, since then we have been proving it by finding the best boots to go with any outfit combination and dress sense. So yes you could say we have achieved and we are still proving that EVERYTHING LOOKS BETTER WITH BOOTS.
D: Find out exactly what they want, their size both American and British footwear size and of course their fashion inclination.
A: Very nice! We all want satisfied customers after all. Back to rap, what do you consider as your major challenge when it comes to recording a song ?
D: Power Holding Company of Nigeria lol, but seriously though that can be a challenge considering the fact that we aren’t at the studio all the time and just when we are about to get busy they withhold the power lol, thank God for generators and alternative power sources. Asides this I can’t think of any challenge.
A: I think we can all relate. We hope they do better this year. It’s no news that that we can’t expect everyone to be so supportive of our work. So, how do you handle negative feedback particularly from fans?
D: Most of the negativism comes from people on the side lines, I am on the field and if I focus on what the fans are saying whether it’s positive or negative I might not reach the goal. So it’s “headphones on world off” as I win on every level.
A: Well, Well I would be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling that theory. Amazing! What’s your least favourite thing about running a brand and how do you deal with it?
D: Holidays lol, they are so many in this part of the World. We have holidays for almost everything and most customers have that challenge when it comes to payment. Thank God for internet banking and cryptocurrency.
A: Some of us love the holidays though! Haha! What else does Daniel do when he’s not rapping and running Bootnation?
D: I have a Cleaning Company – INSIDE OUT CLEANING SERVICES (IOC) that I run with my partner, she’s a genius. I’m a realtor and a solider in CALL OF DUTY *wink lol
A: Business man indeed! Love to see it! Oh, and don’t think I didn’t notice that last part. So, what should we look forward to this year from you?
D: More songs, collaborations, probably an album and lots of music videos. Then for business we are working on bringing Boot Nation even closer to the customers making it just a click away.
A: That’s great, and we wish you all the very best! What words of wisdom do you have for other young people who want to launch out but don’t know how to?
D: Jesus is the Way, the Truth and He is Life, trust him with your life. Please download the Pastor Chris Digital Library on your android and IOS devices and listen to Pastor Chris, He explains Christianity with so much depth and insight. Then finally they’re talking trash outside so do the Christ Jam!!
A: Thank you Daniel! Stay awesome.
I can confidently say that I had an amazing time interviewing our Youngpreneur for this month, and as always I picked up some lessons from this. (I hope you did too!) I look forward to doing this again next month with another amazing individual.
Have fabulous weekend!