Ayodele Adepoju is a Music Public Relations virtuoso who helps new artistes get their music heard.
He started his music blog ‘We Plug Good Music’ as a side hustle in 2009 while he was looking for a job in investment banking in London.
“At the time, I had just completed my Masters Degree in International Finance and was working a retail job while searching for my dream job. The ‘We Plug Good Music’ brand began to grow and we started doing live music nights as well.”
“This went on for a couple of years, until I lost my retail job and I decided to go back into education to try and bolster my CV with a CFA qualification to help land an investment banking job… The job never came. In the back end of 2011, I started doing PR for a few artiste friends of mine, for free alongside running the music blog which had grown into two publications, ‘We Plug Good Music’ and ‘Conversations About Her’. ”
“And at the start of 2012, I spoke to God and told Him I was going to go into music PR full time and I asked that He make it good, and He has made it good, we are now in our fifth year as a PR company, and the media company is also going strong.”
In Ayo’s five years of being an Entrepreneur in the PR field, he has faced two major challenges.
“One – as a media company, finding ways to monetise our websites without compromising on our content, are the biggest challenges. Getting brands to want to partner with your websites or advertise on your websites can be difficult at times. Even when you boast decent readership numbers, trying to convince brands that aligning their product with our loyal readers offers better ROI than a google advert or a Facebook advert which may be cheaper and may have more reach is very difficult.”
“Two – as a PR company, being able to work with our clients for sustainable periods of time can be challenging, especially because we mostly work with new and unsigned artists, and not all of them are able to afford PR services, and even when they do, it’s not for sustained periods of time, and you will find that some of the most effective PR campaigns are more long term campaigns, so it’s a difficult one for everyone involved. It’s hard for the artist because they may get good press coverage for the short term but because they may not be able to afford sustained services, they may not able to get the best outcome of using PR. For us too, as a business, it can be tough maintaining a steady roster of artists.”
Ayo’s inspiration is drawn from God, his wife and mother. He is also inspired by VICE Media and amazing PR campaigns.
Ayo described the first time he helped get a client’s music on one of the big music publications as ‘a real moment’ for him.
“…those moments still give me the belief I need. Just being able to get publications like The Fader, Complex, Guardian Music, Wonderland Magazine, Hypebeast etc, to notice my clients’ music and support them, is still always very special.”
His company is currently in the mode of business development so he is really looking forward to working with exciting new artists who are at the stage of their career where some music PR can propel them to the next level.
Contrary to most entrepreneurs’ take on youth empowerment, Ayo doesn’t believe that everyone is or can become an entrepreneur.
“This may not be a popular sentiment because not everyone is cut out for entrepreneurship or self-employment, as one Gary Vaynerchuk always says, “the number 10 guy at Facebook is doing much better than the number 1 guy at some other company”, so I know entrepreneurship is not always the answer, but what I would say is, whatever our hands find to do, we have to do it with all diligence.
We don’t have the luxury of waiting around for things to be handed to us, we have to go out and get it, and if that means turning your passion or hobby into a viable business, you have to at least try, and there are things you can do without the need for capital or funding, start there, start something, start where you are.
So to answer your question, how can the Nigerian youth be empowered… Just DO, no more waiting around for the government or for our parents or for the job market or for the educational system, let’s go out and get it done.”
You can connect with Ayo on Instagram and Twitter @ayo_WPGM