After months of planning and strategy sessions, Evoke Musik, a new entertainment company based in the US, has officially announced its arrival in Nigeria with the signing of its first artiste, Jethro Chinweotito, popularly known as Abara Jethro Lion.
Speaking during the unveiling of the Raggae/Dancehall artiste recently in Lagos, the CEO of the outfit, Mfon Essien, said Evoke Musik would redefine the entertainment landscape in Nigeria through the release of authentic and relatable music with lyrical depth, that has a feel-good effect on the listener and portrays a positive image of Nigeria, home and abroad.
“An embodiment of creativity, Jethro Lion is not one to chase trends for the sake of clout. Nigerians should get ready, as a new storm is about to blow across the entertainment industry. Devoted and true to his artform, that storm is Jethro Lion, a multi-talented triple-threat, Singer/Songwriter, music producer and performer.”
Expressing appreciation to his record label, Jethro Lion aka The Melody Maker said, “It has been a challenging journey for me. Faced with the financial challenges of promoting my music mainstream as an independent artiste, I struggled with the competition but we give thanks to Jah for signing on to Evoke Musik. Facilitated through Freestyle Tha Shogun, now referred to as Mista Styles, the prolific award-winning Hiphop/Afrobeat artiste from the now defunct veteran trio popularly known as the Trybesmen.
“I had produced some unreleased music for him back in the day and despite being the CEO of Evoke Musik, Mista Styles is like a big brother to me. He sabi me reach house and we definitely go way back. I can’t thank him enough for this privilege of being signed to Evoke Musik.”
Jethro Lion is a native of Ezinihitte in Mbaise LGA of Imo State. Music started for him in his primary school days as he was part of the band boys that played on the assembly grounds and intensified when he was 11 years old in church joining the choir, he began to hone his skills on the piano and drums, becoming the official drummer of the church.
Popular in the Gospel music circuit in Lagos, he has played at many church programmes and vigils. Inspired to be the best he could be, he delved into the world of music production after he finished secondary school. With the support and guidance of his mother, he fine-tuned his skills as a music producer establishing his outfit, J. Smith Productions with credits to a lot of artistes including Vector, Ruffcoin-Nwaba, Glenn, Freestyle Tha Shogun, Rosemary Chukwu, 2Shotz and Kenzoz among others.
An alumnus of the Muson School of Music, after eight years of music production, Jethro Lion started writing his own songs and today he has a catalogue of over 100 songs.
Speaking on the challenges of transitioning he said: “Being an artiste is totally different from being a producer because being an instrumentalist it requires a huge time commitment for rehearsal sessions and staying in the studio all day but as an artiste, you have the combined responsibility of time management as well as enhancing your people skills, as relationship building is key to growth and success. Shout out to my mom because she’s my number one music influence. She’s a musician and has six studio albums to her credit. Growing up, she would take me with her to the studio whenever she was recording.”
Other prominent influences include Bob Marley, Majek Fashek, Capleton, Sizzla, Busy Signal, Mista Styles, 2face Idibia, Blackface and Faze. His style of music is a blend of Reggae, Dancehall and Highlife genres with his distinct signature baselines, catchy melodies and harmonies.
Open to collaborations, some of his Nigerian favorites include Simi, Wizkid, Patoranking, Burna Boy, Davido. Currently working on a new single, Hustle Must Pay, he sings about Life experiences, spirituality and his One Love Idealogy, educating about the streets and focused on upliftment.
Set to claim it’s place in the Nigerian entertainment industry and debut 2021, Evoke Musik hopes to dominate the airwaves and digital marketplace. It boasts an impressive array of genres including Afrobeat, Raggae, Highlife, Dancehall, Urban-hop, Alternative and Contemporary R&B. It’s subsidiary in Africa is located in Lagos, Nigeria and is home to Jethro Lion, the label’s flagship artiste set to debut in 2021.