Matthew Ohio – The Unassuming Impresario
When the legend of Matthew Ohio – the extraordinaire Nigerian music industry show promoter is published, it should be titled the Unassuming impresario. His iconic music show activation called Industry Nite is a game-changer. Even though he’s not one that loved to be in the spotlight, through his Industry Nite show, a legion of Nigerian artistes have attained fame.
Matthew’s doggedness in the chase to create platforms for Nigerian entertainers to be heard is exceptional. On this side of the divide, one has to have a brave-heart in other to be a consistent entrepreneur in the show promoting business for over a decade. Matthew has been doing this for thirteen years.
“My breakthrough as a show promoter was in 2007. That year the artiste 2Baba signed a deal with us. We had a plan to take him on a nationwide tour. By 2008 we partnered with telecoms giant MTN to actualize the tour plan. It was a breakthrough deal worth about one million dollars. The first time any company was investing that much on a single musician.” – Matthew
Talk about the birth of Industry Nite?
“While traveling around the country with 2Baba and MTN, we realize at that time that artistes were desperate for platforms to perform. They wanted to be seen and heard. But because so many shows are expensive to organize, when they do happen, upcoming artistes don’t get the opportunity to mount the stage. So we came up with Industry Nite – a platform for upcoming and new artists to perform. It became a success.
Industry Nite launched careers for entertainers like Yemi Alade, Sean Tizzle, CDQ, DJ Spinall, Hype man Manolospanky and Jimmie, Ycee, Burna Boy, and many more. The show also launched Mavin Records, DMW, MI’s Loopy Music, and many more indie record labels. In 2015, Industry Nite took artiste Wizkid on an international tour to Dubai and Houston. We did that to spread the gospel of Afrobeats.
The year after, we also traveled with Davido.” Outside Industry Nite, Matthew is also involved with the music festival called Felabration. He’s the talent manager for that event since 2010. “Thanks to Femi and Yeni Kuti, we have successfully extended the festival to Victoria Island and Abuja. My team and I have also been the executive producers for Wizkid’s Abuja concert from 2017 to date.” – Matthew
What’s next for the brand Matthew Ohio and Industry Nite?
We plan to build event venues across Africa that will be the backbone for proper touring across Africa. Hopefully, the world beats the coronavirus pandemic early enough for us to get back to having major music events.
Socials – Instagram & Twitter – @matthewohio
Words by Sesan Adeniji – Instagram & Twitter – @sesanadeniji