Cameroonian rapper O.T Zenab releases her first official freestyle video, “Freeway.”

O.T Zenab, a rapper from Bamenda and an artist under ‘After-9 Music’ releases her first official freestyle video – Freeway. On the the freestyle, she talks about life’s challenges, choice, emotional conflicts, her ambitions as a female rapper, with the goal of doing things the right way to make her mother proud. 

The instrumental is a simple, with groovy drum-play, vocal samples, pianos and strings. The freestyle marks the debut of her career as a rapper, and signifies the journey she’s about undertake: a long road ahead. 

Watch Freeway Freestyle:

As An Artist, What Are You In The Business of?

I made a short video the other day and put it up on Facebook about what it means to be successful as an artist. In that video I made three points; that you have great music that people connect to, that you have a fanbase, and that you are able to make money off your music. Following this video, someone wrote me through messenger regarding a little concern of his particularly on my point number one, making great music. He made mention of a few songs he knew that were completely “nonsense” in his opinion, but had become apparently successful. Following the little interaction I had with this guy, I understood that “great music” to him meant lyrical content. However, that’s not the only factor that determines whether a particular song is considered great or not. Other factors like rhythm, melody and quality come into play. I won’t dwell on that today. 

So… as an artist, what are you in the business of?

The answer to that is “emotions.” You are in the business of changing emotions. Whether your music is considered great and u get to build a fanbase depends solely on your ability to master this skill. Think about all the songs you’ve loved and listen to on a regular basis. What is it about them that make you like them so much? The answer is they make you feel a certain kind of way. They remind you of something or someone, of a memory, of a dream, they make you want to become something or someone, or make you want to do something. One song may make you cry, another may make you laugh, another may make you upset or angry, another may make you miss someone, another may just make you plain get up and dance, or at least make you feel like dancing, or make you tap your foot or nod your head. The list goes on… All of these reactions are not triggered by the same components. Some are triggered by rhythms(drums and percussions), others by melodies, others by lyrical content. The key therefore is to take a look deep down your core as an artist and determine the components that make you tick. Are you rhythm inclined, melody inclined or are you both? Or are you all about lyrical content? When you find that out, incorporate it into your music and market it primarily to people with the same inclination as you. That’s how they connect and when you grab their attention, do all you can to shift them from audience to fans. 

Career Success Psychology: Three Things You Need To Be Unstoppable

Most people move through life by simply going along with the current, letting outside forces determine their direction. As human beings, we like what is familiar, and dislike what is not. So we all unconsciously recreate what is familiar, that is, we look for a comfort zone, and stay there. When things don’t work, we tend to question why. 

In order to find success solutions, we need to do more than ask questions. To be successful requires us to wake up and be present in our own lives, aligning ourselves our greatest destiny and mapping out the way. Direct/conscious action is key. There are no two ways around it. We must consciously select a path that facilitates the awakening of our awareness, both individually and collectivelyIf we are open to the process of learning, even suffering bears great wisdom that guides us towards enlightenment.

Success doesn’t happen by accident. Leaving things to chance is not the way to go, especially in a country where everything about the system has been designed to stop you from progressing. Despite this, you still can concentrate your energy on the results you want and make a conscious decision to be successful. I’d like to share with you today, three things that’ll make you unstoppable on your success journey.

  • Mindfulness 

 It is simply the ability to direct your attention like a spotlight, and to direct that spotlight on things that truly matter. In today’s world, there are way too many distractions. The ability to be mindful, to focus your attention on the most important goals will make all the difference in the world. 

  • Grit

In order to stretch our abilities, we need grit, a combination of passion and perseverance. Having grit means relentlessly pursuing goals and not allowing setbacks to deter progress. It’s more than talent, more than smarts, it’s a practice of constantly learning and putting in the effort.

  • Psychological Flexibility

To move forward with a growth mindset and grit, the final ingredient is psychological flexibility, or the ability to adapt behavior to a constantly changing world and the changing needs we find ourselves facing. Having psychological flexibility lets you think outside the box and be creative when confronted with an obstacle. It also allows a person to change course as needed if what [they have] been doing hasn’t been working.

Our entertainment industry has known over a decade of monotony. Doing the same things, but expecting different results. Insane? Definitely! And not in a good way. To succeed as a whole requires discipline at the individual levels. That the individual make a commitment to make success a personal responsibility. 

What are your thoughts about this article? Do you have your own key success qualities you’d like to share? Do let us know in the comments. 

Ignorance, Laziness and Making Excuses: Why These Only Work Against The Cameroonian Artist

I have heard time and time again that Cameroon is blessed with talented artists. Some have even gone ahead to make claims that Cameroon artists are more talented than those of other countries. The only problems as far as the claims go to justify the lack of success plaguing the larger percentage of these artists include; lack of sponsorship, lack of a large audience comparable to that of countries like Nigeria, lack of government support, lack of support from DJ’s, some have even blamed internet data rates, blamed Cameroonians themselves for not supporting their local talent, etc. Maybe we’ll get to blame the weather someday, who knows? The point is, there have been and still are way too many excuses to cover up for the lack of success on the part of these artists. 

Let’s take a look at the situation. Once upon a time, before there was the internet, social media, etc, major record labels had stables of artists they signed and turned into mainstream acts. These artists were such a big deal, and to make it back then required you get signed to a major record label. The principal ways of consuming music back then was to buy cassette tapes, cd’s, etc. Fast forward to present times, everything has changed. 

Despite that, our mentality hasn’t changed with the times. Somehow we still live in a glorified state of mind thinking all we have to do is put voices on a beat, throw it out there and with a snap of a finger, everything will just fall in line and we will automatically turn into celebrities. When the results we expected don’t come, we get frustrated and start finding people, things and circumstances to blame. The modern day Cameroonian artist thinks he or she deserves someone else’s spotlight instead of making it a mission to create their own. We have become good at negative comparison and we tell ourselves we would do better than so and so artists if only we were put in their reality. We’ve resorted to claiming imaginary top spots that don’t exist, fighting for imaginary ranks and titles to compensate for our failures and insecurities. The reality is that the Cameroon entertainment  sector is constantly lagging behind that of the countries we compete with, and we so far have no idea how to catch up, not to mention taking the lead. So we use online arrogance to hide our inferiority complex and make up for what we cannot achieve in real life.

Feeling entitled without any form of merit is the new normal, so we complain and complain, to avoid taking responsibility for ourselves. It is very simple; you are the reason why you succeed or fail. External circumstances may influence, but the real determinant is you. 

As a Cameroonian artist, ask yourself today: have you made the decision to “actively” take responsibility for your music? Have you thought about ways to bypass certain obstacles? Do you even have a plan as far as your music is concerned? What is it you want to achieve doing what it is you do? You only get results for that which you both plan and work for. What you reap is directly proportionate to what you sow, and we haven’t even started putting in the work yet. If you can keep in mind that recording a song, putting it on YouTube or any other platform for that matter is only 10% of the effort required to become successful, then you are on your way to greatness. 

Stick with us as we share our experiences in future posts as well as all the lessons we’ve learned through these experiences. We will subsequently be sharing ideas about things you can do to start getting the results you’ve been looking for. Becoming a successful artist isn’t a myth. You can make it even from here. The first step in the right direction however, is “taking responsibility” for yourself. Take action “today.”