Where are you based?
I’m Alexander Ndace, based in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. But I go to Lagos for both professional and personal commitments sometimes.
Where do you work? What do you do?
I am an entertainment and sports manager guiding artists’ and athletes’ careers. I specialize in artist management, A&R, athlete relations, operations, digital, social media management and writing.
In the past, I was A&R and artist and label services associate with Aristokrat records, (Burna Boy’s first label). They are also in a joint venture with Universal music France. Artists like Ria Sean, Novemba, Rukmani and Awesome HC are signed to them.
Currently, I manage and A&R independent artists and producers like Sikiboi, Killer producer and Braye.
What are you listening to?
I listen to a lot of Afrobeats, Afropop rap and classic music. That’s where I get my inspiration from so I can suggest to the artists and producers I work with.
I listen to Kanye West, Sikiboi, Toyé, Burna Boy, Rod Wave, Töme, Idahams, Drake, Elijah. (who is also a professional athlete), Novemba, Awesome HC, Rukmani and some Braye demos (I know this sounds weird).
How do you discover new music?
It will be surprising to say I dig and hunt for new music ranging from movies, TV shows, radio and charts. These days, it’s easy for the algorithms to convince you about songs but I try to stay away from social media until I’m convinced that a particular record is worth listening to.
Live shows, radio and word-of-mouth are still my favorite channels for discovering new music.
What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?
I stream most of the time but I want to make a conscious effort at collecting vinyl this year.
Where do you do most of your music listening?
The best time to listen to music for me is when commuting. There’s a certain aura that comes with listening to music when you are commuting. I like to plug my earbuds in or if the public transport I’m in has a radio, I use radio. But earbuds do it best for me.
I like to turn up my speakers when I’m cooking at home also. It’s really amazing.
How do you find and listen to pre-release music?
I work in A&R and so I get a lot of pre-release music in my email and WhatsApp most of the time.
I even listen to unmixed and unmastered songs from my supervising sessions during production and recording camps.
I get to give my opinion and tell producers about channels they can fix and instruments to add or even suggest to artists to fix a record with more bars.
What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
I really think the idea of digital as a new form of listening to music should be curtailed. We are losing the traditional means by which music was introduced to us. But I understand that it’s good for the business; labels and digital service providers (DSPs) are benefiting from it, of course. Even indie artists and labels with limited resources love the idea of digital because they are able to reach more fans.
“More songs, more artists, more DSPs. Sadly, reduced attention span. You can listen to an amazing song today and then another amazing song gets released before the night is out! It’s hard to keep track but I playlist most of my favourites.”
How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
This is a tricky question because the music doesn’t last as long anymore, unlike before. More songs, more artists, more DSPs. Sadly, reduced attention span. You can listen to an amazing song today and another amazing song gets released at midnight!
Literally, it’s hard to keep track but I playlist most of my favourites.
Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
I’ve been lucky to have had a circle of music executives like myself who trust my intuition. Most of the time, my friends from college ask me who I’m listening to and I’m able to introduce new artists on the block to them.
Anything you want to “promote”?
The intersection of music and sports is upon us and the world needs to embrace the disruption. Blockchain and web3 should be used to restructure the music industry.