Q&A: Secrets to building a successful music career
Vallerie Muthoni is a young bubbly Kenyan who has invested money and time into building her career as a musician. She is multi-talented and describes herself as a performer, musician, artist, rapper, writer, producer and graphic design enthusiast. She hosts events and is passionate about music and life. During the day, she is a music production student at ADMI. ADMI sat down with her to find out more about her career in the music industry in Kenya.
Why did you choose to join ADMI?
VM: I was introduced to ADMI by my best friend’s mum, she works here at ADMI. When I visited the school, it looked like it had the perfect resources to help me become a professional musician. They had the latest equipment, attractive studios, the staff was friendly and conducted themselves professionally. It felt like it was the right school to join.
Why did you decide to take music production classes?
VM: For me, music is more than just a hobby, it is my career, my source of income. I decided that I may as well get some education if I am going to have a lifelong career in music. I needed to gain the musical knowledge needed in decision making when it comes to music matters. I believe it is important to gain knowledge when getting into any industry,
What kind of work have you put into building your career as a musician?
VM: I have invested in having my music copyrighted; I have joined associations such as Performers Rights Society of Kenya (Prisk) and Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) such that when my music is played on the radio (which it has), I can receive the royalties owed to me. I have extended my music to other online streaming platforms such as Tidal, Spotify, Apple Music and as such my music can be bought worldwide. In a span of one year, I have done so much work and taken my career to another level.
What is your takeaway from the time you’ve spent at ADMI?
VM: I have had an amazing time. I have interacted with many professionals in the Kenyan music industry and as such, I have gotten a sense of what it means to be a professional musician, I have learnt the necessary soft skills that are needed. I have learnt how to make money out of my music, what precautions to take and in essence how to make a career out of my music.
What impact has your education had on your career as a musician?
VM: I have learnt how to make business plans for my own music business. I have learnt the importance of protecting my music and understanding the legal implications for a musician; such as how to protect my brand, how to protect my intellectual property (IP), how to go about getting royalties. On the performance front, things have been made clearer such that when I go to an event like Blankets & Wine to perform, I know what is a good sound and what isn’t and I can stand my ground.
What does a typical day look like?
VM: People will know that I am very boring. I am not a morning person so I enjoy days that I don’t have early classes. But normally, I take a matatu to school and then once my classes are over, I hang around the campus with my friends before going home to work on class projects or my music. I also love meeting up with my other friends and treating myself to movies on Thursday at Junction Mall. They always have student discounts on this day.
What’s next? What is the big dream?
VM: I want to work on my EP so that people can know my sound, I am going to infuse, poetry, rap. I want to perform more and reach wider audiences and create a name for myself in the music industry.
Excited to join the music industry just like Vallerie Muthoni? To learn more about ADMI music production school click here