This week we’d like to introduce you to singer/songwriter Guobadia Amadin.
What was the inspiration behind becoming a creator? What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
My biggest inspiration in becoming an artist was my personal love for Afrobeat & Afropop. Since I was a child, I always enjoyed listening to music for the message, the feeling, and the thought that would go into each song. My friend would record and make beats in his studio and being around him inspired me as a kid to want to pursue music.
Can you take us through your creative process? How long does it take? Does everything you produce make money?
My creative process usually varies but mostly consists of me listening to different instrumentals and letting the feel of the beat take control of my approach to each song. I usually discuss different situations I have or am currently experiencing and try to express it in a unique way that grabs the listener’s attention. Typically, it can take anywhere from an hour to six hours. It all depends on how long I find an instrumental I believe is adequate, create a song to it, record it, then mix and master the track. Not everything I produce makes money but I’m more focused on the recognition and appreciation at this level because I know the money will eventually come.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about your line of work?
Afrobeat/Afropop is such a broad genre, so there are artists from every walk of life and everyone has their own unique story which that they express directly or indirectly through their music. Not everyone understands or is part of this “culture,” so the music is not comprehended by everyone who listens to it.
When did you first become aware of copyright, and why?
The first time I became aware of copyright was when a track of mine was flagged due to copyright infringement. I was confused at first because I didn’t take anything that wasn’t my original idea, but eventually figured out there was a sample in the beat that was not approved and cleared, which lead me to immediately remove it.
Have you experienced copyright infringement and, if so, how has it affected you personally and financially?
My biggest copyright-related challenge is making sure I’m reaching out to the original artist and requesting their permission to use their work. Sometimes this can be a challenge financially, but that is a small price to pay for using someone’s work legally.
What is the best piece of advice that you would give other creators in your field about copyright and how to protect themselves?
If you’re even considering getting a song copyrighted, just do it. It’s worth it to have your work protected. Also, if you’re not sure what the copyright process is or you’ve never thought about it before, I suggest looking into it and learning more about it from the U.S. Copyright Office website or from the Copyright Alliance site. That way, you know you’re making an informed choice. Many songwriters I’ve spoken to don’t ever think about protecting their work through copyright or have any idea that it’s something they should be doing. I think creatives are often very resistant to dealing with things like copyright until they run into infringement issues. Even if you think you’re not well known enough to have to worry about someone stealing your work, it’s something that should be considered when you’re releasing music out there into the world.
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