In recent years, Afrobeats has seen immense and commendable growth. Through the genre, many African artists have been afforded increased popularity and the chance to grace some of the most coveted global stages. For Nigerian Art & Repertoire expert (A&R), music executive and culture middleman Bizzle Osikoya, this is a dream finally realized.
“One of the reasons why I moved back to Nigeria in 2008 was to be part of the people who would make Afrobeats a global genre. I’m happy about where we are now.
We’ve built our industry to the level where it’s time for the world to recognize us. It’s time for us to shine,” he said.
Growing up in a musical household, Bizzle’s love for music came almost naturally. His parents and siblings, through their own love for music, influenced Bizzle’s interest in the music industry.
“When I was still in high school and my sisters moved to England, they used to send me the latest music tapes. I also used to make compilation mixes for my friends at school, and that’s how I fell in love with music,” said the industry mogul.
Upon completing high school in Nigeria, Bizzle moved to the UK to further his studies.
During that time, his interest, understanding and appreciation for the music industry grew even more.
Since then, he has made it his mission to play his part in placing Afrobeats on the map.
“I knew that I didn’t want to sing but I wanted to be in the music industry. So I started figuring out what a valuable way I can be in the music industry.”
As an A & R, he discovers and develops talent in the music industry. Through The Plug, a management company he founded in 2016 alongside Asa Asika, both upcoming and established Afrobeats artists are managed and guided in order to develop their craft, brand and overall journey in the industry.
South African Amapiano sensation Focalistic also became a part of The Plug in November 2021.
“I’m super excited about how the Amapiano genre has gone global. Everyone is doing amazing and I’m excited for Africa.
The South African music scene has always been one that Nigerians have admired and respected for a long time. It is also more structured than the Nigerian scene as artists make their money, get their royalties and are being well-treated”.
Bizzle’s years spent in the industry have come with wisdom and a myriad of lessons. For those seeking to enter the world of music, he recommends trusting God, staying true to self and always being open to learn.
“You should be God-fearing. No matter what you do, put God first. You also need to educate yourself about the industry and understand where you are going. And when you find people that mean well for you, don’t take them for granted,” he advised.
Currently, The Plug is one of Nigeria’s most successful management companies. As the company’s co-founder, Bizzle believes that mutual understanding has been the secret ingredient behind this success.
“It helps to work with people who believe in us and want us to help them achieve their dreams. Our biggest client, Davido, allows us to have input on his career and listens to what we say because he believes that we can help him.”
As the musical plug and culture middleman continues to make admirable moves, he is confident in the continued growth of The Plug, Afrobeats as a genre and the exporting of African talent to the rest of the world. “2023 is going to be an amazing year for The Plug. We registered in the UK a few years ago, so next year we’re hoping to sign talent from that side and probably set up a small office there as well”.