July 14, 2024
Before Stardom With... Emmanuel Daraloye

What is your family background?

My dad was an accountant and my mother was a trader. They are both dead. I am the first boy in a family of seven. I had a bit of my primary school in Ipele, which is my hometown and finished it off in Akure, both in Ondo State. For my secondary school, I attended St Dominic’s High School, Akure. I then proceeded to Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo State, for my first degree in English Language Education.

Did you ever try your hands on singing and becoming an artist?

Yes, I did. While in secondary school, I wrote songs but I never entered the studio. I wrote songs till I resumed my first degree. By this time, I was more into listening to music and sharpening my review skills. I even co-founded a campus newspaper while in school.

How did you develop an interest in song reviews?

I have always been a music lover. Long before I started reviewing music, I was writing about music, on and off. Those who followed me on Facebook between 2013 to 2019 would notice that I have always been writing about music.

Things became more serious in 2020. I was tired of the showbiz-devoted Nigerian music industry, I felt their conversation was less on the art and more about the showbiz. So, instead of complaining, I felt I should contribute my quota. So, I used social media. At that point, I started getting offers from magazines and newspaper editors to run a song reviews column for them.

What are some of your greatest accomplishments as a critic?

Achievements are relative. For the first year when I started writing music reviews, I was writing on Facebook. I got offered a spot in The Cable Newspaper. I consider that an achievement. After his calls, I started writing for other platforms like Vanguard Newspaper, Modern Ghana, Legit News, The Lagos Review, and the Nigerian Tribune, amongst others.  They were all for free, however, I was just excited to be published on their platforms.

From being an unpaid music critic, I was offered a job by Afrocritik as one of their pioneer staff in 2021. When it comes to achievements, I think the phase I am at a particular point would determine that.

Do you make money from this line of work and how?

Money has never been my motivation for writing music reviews. When I started, I never knew anyone could make money from writing a music review. I just love music and I wanted to contribute my quota. The first money I made from music reviews came more than a year after I started.  To answer your question, yes, I make money.

How do I do so? I offer my service to some companies that pay me for reviews. Also, artists come through for me to write reviews.

How have you handled your fame as a critic amidst social media backlash, especially from fans of artists who do not like your reviews about their favourites?

I never knew the magnitude of being a music critic until a music fan informed me that he hated me for so long because of one of my reviews. These days, I am just prepared for it. I don’t expect too much from the fans. Fame is one of the perks of the job, so I don’t let it get to me that much.

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