DISCOVER TETU SHANI

Published on: May 22, 2019

  1. Why the creative industry?

I’ve always dreamed of work that is the sum of my skills, gifts and experience. Basically so that I get paid to be me. Music is where this dream has become realized.

  1. Do you keep up with the trends in the industry?

I stay informed about the trends. I definitely feel this is important. However I don’t let the trends drive the kind of art that I create. Trends change so quickly it would be too hard to keep up.

  1. Journey from concept to reality

I didn’t grow up wanting to be a musician. I studied Communication in university. When I came back from Los Angeles, California after completing my studies I was preparing for work possibly in an NGO but the idea didn’t energize me. I needed work to energize me if I was going to be spending most of my day doing it. I spent a lot of time evaluating my strengths and weaknesses and realized that what came most naturally was music. So I started my music career being a jazz percussionist.

Later in 2014 I began writing music on guitar and put my first song on SoundCloud almost as a joke but the response was so positive, people began requesting that I perform the song live. That’s how I got into performing my own material.

  1. Why the leap into entrepreneurship?

My leap into entrepreneurship was motivated by a lack of options and my desire to earn a living doing what I’m best equipped to do. Most of the capital a musician gets is through live performances. Music isn’t looked upon as a legitimate career in our country and so getting capital is nearly impossible. I’ve raised the money for my various projects by being disciplined in the way I spend my money.

  1. How has the brand grown since inception?

My brand has really grown in leaps and bounds. I keep bumping into people who listen to and love my music and even the ones who haven’t listened to my music have heard my name before.

I’m very good at maintaining great social media presence and this is what has set me apart from other artists. I am very intentional in engaging with my fans and followers.

  1. Who do you see as your competitor?

I don’t see myself as having competitors. I compete with myself and in this regard I’m rarely satisfied. I always feel like I can do more. My wife is always reminding me to celebrate my achievements every now and then.

  1. Do you have a mentor?

I don’t have a mentor. This isn’t because I don’t want one but it’s because my industry is young and what I’m doing is so unique that I’m having to teach and inspire myself. It is what it is but doesn’t have to be this way. I’d love to mentor someone.

The way that I post it forward and support young people is by making myself available. I’ve always told people that if they have any questions about my journey and the industry they can feel free to ask me. Knowledge is something that older artist’s withhold from upcoming artists because of a fear that they’re giving away trade secrets. It’s nonsense.

  1. Any advice to other creatives?

Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. It is for the courageous. Surround yourself with other courageous people so that you don’t give up.

 

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