WTSGEMS: Meet Musta4a – An Artiste Who Creates From His Imaginations

WTSGEMS: Meet Musta4a – An Artiste Who Creates From His Imaginations

Thursday, August 11, 2022

by  David Olayiwola  David Olayiwola

I first learned about Musta4a, a little after CampNova – a recording camp organized by Wetalksound between 13-19 December, 2021. We never met at the camp as he was only there briefly however, the songs he made in that time, are undoubtedly some of the best from the camp.

Although, Musta4a is heavily inspired by alté vanguards, OdunsiTheEngine & Cruel Santino, he creates pop-leaning music with earwothy melodies. Here’s our chat with him

Can you share a bit about yourself?

My name is Hassan Mustapha. I’m from Kogi state. I’m from a polygamous family and also the first born. I’m a student at olabisi onabanjo university.

What was growing up like for you?

Growing up wasn’t easy for me though ’cause I grew up in Ikorodu which some might call the trenches 😂😂 but yeah, my childhood was quite boring. I was more of an introvert, always indoors.

What kind of music did you listen to growing up?

I grew up listening to the SoundCloud era artists which was the golden era for me because I discovered artists that helped shape my music. Acts like Cruel Santino, Odunsi the engine, Psycho YP and lots of others

Wow. These artistes were your first introduction to music?

Yeah, when I started understanding music. Obviously, we all grew up listening to Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy at some point. For me, it was these guys (SoundCloud era artistes) that shaped my music because I really didn’t not have an understanding of music till I started listening to them.

When did you start creating music? When did you start pursuing it professionally?

As at 2019, I started creating music. I started pursuing it officially in 2020.

How has the journey been since you started?

It’s been really nice. With every release, random people I don’t know hit me up to commend the music and that’s a thing of happiness for me. At the same time, there are downsides and times it feels like things aren’t working.

What inspires the music you make now?

 When creating music, I just try as much as possible to imagine myself in a position or scenario. If I want to make a song about being in love, I just envision myself with a girl, and the things that made me fall in love with her. That’s why that’s how I make music. 

My last release, ‘Balance’ is a club type of vibe. I made it from the standpoint of an average Nigerian, going to a club on Friday, and maybe by chance, meets a lady that likes him and then they start vibing. That’s what I made that song about. That’s my creative process; envisioning myself in something. That’s the only way I feel like I could get a better experience on how to go about the song. 

 That’s interesting. Have you ever written from a personal experience? 

I don’t think I’ve done that yet. If I’m to write from my personal experience, I promise you it’s not going to be a love song. (Laughs). 

So, Your process is more of imagination and putting experiences together in your head.

Yeah, for now. It might change as I grow in my music because I feel I’m still in my learning stage. As I grow and develop as an artiste, I’ll probably write more from my experiences.

 Who are your biggest influences in music?

The artistes that influenced me to make music are, as I mentioned earlier, OdunsitheEngine, Cruel Santino & Psycho YP.

But at the same time, when I listen to some of the new guys like Rema, Victony & Fireboy DML, I get really motivated to go into the studio and make music.

You particularly mentioned Odunsi and the alte movement as a core influence but it’s noteworthy that your sound is way different from theirs.

Yeah. I don’t have to sound like them. I feel like you don’t have to sound like anybody because you’re a unique person, yourself. 

 I forgot to mention one person whose music inspires me too. Burna boy. 

Do you play any musical instruments or do you produce?

No, I don’t. I don’t. The only thing I do sing.

 what’s your creative process? Do you like to create from scratch or lay melodies on an already-made beat?

 I do both. Recently, I’d listen to a beat from scratch and get mad ideas immediately from just the initial melodies and loops before other elements are added.

At the same time, I can sing on a finished beat. As long as it’s fire, I’ll definitely do justice.

Have you ever performed on staged and how did it feel for you?

My first performance was scary.  I’m dealing with stage fright. Like I said earlier, I’m an introvert. But on stage, I obviously can’t just stand there looking, I do what I have to do and get off the stage.

 Okay, so let’s quickly talk about the new record ‘Balance Riddim’. How did that come about?

 Before I made ‘Balance’, I think I was in Ogun state. My guy babybeats called me up and told me to pull up to the studio in Lagos to work on something.

So I came down to Lagos the next day. He played me a set of beats. When he played the beat (Balance), I was like,” Bro, this one is mad. Let’s do something on this one.”  I envisioned something like a party jam for the beat. So, I just imagined myself as the average Nigerian going to a Friday Night club and wrote based on that. That’s how we made the song.  

 What has been the most challenging aspect of being an artiste so far?

I think the major challenge  is funding. Also, I currently don’t have a space of mine to record songs. If I had more space, I could be recording more and evolving. The more I can record the better I get at making music.

 Would you rather Be independent or sign to a record label? Why?

For now, I’d want to sign to a record label. I would love to be independent, and be able to control and own my music. But for now, if I get a record deal, I’ll sign.

  What’s the most important lesson so far in life and in music?

In life, I feel you should just be good to people. Don’t look down on anybody, no matter what.

In music, I think everybody, especially emerging acts like myself, should just chill and calm down. When it’s your time, it’s your time. I see niggas getting depressed and stuff and it’s not like I don’t get depressed  think about myself, and how this music will work out. But I don’t feel like it should get to such an extreme situation. I know of one guy that actually committed suicide because the music was not working out for him.

Also if it’s not working out, you should have an alternative. Have something as a backup, just in case the music doesn’t work out.

Good you mentioned having a backup plan, do you have a 9-5 or something else asides music?

Yes. I’m actually a graphic designer.

Did you design the cover for ‘Balance Riddim’?

 I designed it with someone.. One of my guys, Dimma. We designed it together. He did the animation while I worked on the whole background and effects on it. We just tried pulling it off. Thought about the concept for a whole week, 

For this release, we exported between eight to nine different types of the art cover. Even on the engineering of the song, we exported like, five different mixes. 

Talking about graphics & visuals, do you have a distinctive visual brand? Do you have a stylist?

For now, I don’t have a stylist. But my fashion leans towards the ‘alte’ style. I could actually go formal too but I really like being different. 

What would a successful music career look like for you? In 5/10 years, where do you see yourself?

 For me, I see myself at the top. Top 10 or even Top 5 artiste out of Nigeria banging in the world. Afrobeats is huge now. Acts like Wizkid, Davido are building the road for us, emerging acts. Once I’m out, the whole world would know someone is here. I see myself being top 5 and not even no. 2-5. There’s no dream that’s impossible. Anything can happen. It’s just about you making the most of opportunities. Once you get the opportunity, do well with it. 

 Dream Collaborations?

I feel I should make music with Drake, Wizkid, Davido, Burna, OdunsitheEngine (both as an artiste & producer), Omah Lay, Rema, Victony, Chris Brown, Tory Lanez. I’ll make music with these guys if I get the chance.

Social handles?

@just_musta4a on Instagram and twitter

Listen to Balance Riddim by Musta4a here

About The Author

David Olayiwola
David Olayiwola

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