How to Play the Talking Drum in Seven Days

How to Play the Talking Drum in Seven Days
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Monday, 21 February 2022

February Gigs for Irawo Drummer

Hello Readers,

I hope you will come and watch me perform as a musician on February 25th and 27th, 2022.

Old English is free but Freedom Park is N2K per ticket.

At this event, I will be performing with the Crown Troupe of Nigeria. 

Friday, 7 January 2022


I read that Rema's mother wants him to go to school (higher institution) and that he will be resuming at the University of Lagos this session at the creative arts department.

Higher education is good but there is an alternative to it especially if you are already an A-list artist.

So, your mother is NOT completely right.

Going to the university now at the peak of your music career is going to slow you down.

By the time you are through, you will become an upcoming artist all over again and you will become frustrated.

There is no way you can be in school and be able to concentrate on your music career.

There will be so many classes, classwork and assignments to do.

I suggest that you attend an online business school or hire a private tutor to teach you the basics needed for the music business such as:

1. Business Management
2. Project Management
3. Law of Contract
4. Intellectual Property Law
5. Business Communication
6. Bookkeeping and Accounting

These subjects will help with your personal finance, legal and investment opportunities.

In addition, you will also take a Music course to learn:

1. Music Theory
2. Music Production
3. Music Performance

....which will enable you to learn how to play at least one musical instrument and be able to master and mix music for the benefit of your own songs and to earn an income if you are interested in these fields.

Music is like sports.

The best time to do it is when you are young.

Music is a career of time and numbers.

Time, with respect to your current fame.

Numbers, with respect to your current fan base.

You lose them, you miss out!

Parents need to seek wise counsel with respect to careers that are outside the box such as music and sports so that you will not make your children miserable.

I foresee Rema dropping out of the university in the nearest future because music is a selfish lover.

January 8, 2022

Wednesday, 3 November 2021


According to Legit, despite Netflix making over N350 billion from the popular Squid Game series, the show creator has said he only got enough money to 'put food on his table'.


Hwang disclosed that he was not paid any extra bonus by the giant movie streaming platform.

Commenters on this page have gone haywire raining curses on Netflix for cheating the producer.

One of the commenters even compared this scenario to what happened to Nǃxau.

So, I decided to write this article.


According to Wikipedia, Nǃxau ǂToma was a Namibian bush farmer and actor who starred in the 1980 movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy and its sequels, in which he played the Kalahari Bushman Xixo. The Namibian called him "Namibia's most famous actor".

According to San Youth Network, this main actor of, The Gods Must Be Crazy, was only paid $300, even though the popular 1980 movie generated over 60 million dollars.

The film unpredictably became the top grossing foreign film in 1980 and the lead actor, N!xau Toma won, international fame for the same.

Nǃxau ǂToma represented a sincere Bushman with an unashamed smile who discovers a Coca-Cola bottle thrown out of an aircraft and seeing it as an alien thing, he sets off into a comedy of errors.

According to the South African director of the film who first discovered the actor, Jamie Uys, N!xau did not know the value of paper money and he let his first $300 wages blow away.

Before being cast in the movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy, N!xau only had minimal exposure to modern life and did not grasp the real value of money.

However, by the time the sequel movie The Gods Must Be Crazy II was being shot in 1989 he had understood the value of money and demanded more than a few hundred thousand dollars before assenting to be recast in the film.

Nǃxau maintained that the money was needed to build a cinder-block house with electricity and a water pump for his family comprising of three wives and their children.

After his big-screen career faded, in 2000, the Namibian newspaper reported that N!xau returned to his home area living in a newly built brick house where he tended his cattle and became a farmer growing maize, pumpkins and beans.

N!xau Toma was later found dead in June 2003 near his home in Namibia after he purportedly went out to collect wood. It is believed he was fifty-nine and the exact cause of his death was unknown. He had suffered from tuberculosis in the past.

What Hwang got for his intellectual property and what Nǃxau got for his acting work-for-hire service were simply based on the consideration element of their contractual agreements which generally states that compensation must be sufficient but need not be adequate.

See the case of Thomas v Thomas.

So, what they got based on their contracts is fair.

What they got is sufficient fare to transport them from their previous position to their current position where value was added unto them.

Was it fear of the unknown that his work would not be a success that did not push Hwang to request for more fees and royalties in his agreement with Netflix?

This is the reason why intellectual property owners ought to strive to check for loopholes in their contracts before signing them.

They can also earn from their intellectual properties via future royalties and the sale of merchandise.

© DJ Irawo
Music and Creative Career Consultant @ Drumline Entertainment

Monday, 11 October 2021

My Mental Health Story


Yesterday evening, I had the privilege of speaking about my mental health experience with Grey Insights in commemoration of World Mental Health Day which comes up on October 10 of every year. 

Kindly watch the video of my live Instagram video via this link:

Dear Irawo,


The Grey Insights team express our appreciation to you for your support and outstanding contribution to our World Mental Health Day series.


Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak at this year's World Mental Health Day event.


We appreciate your enthusiasm and positive spirit in promoting Mental Health awareness. We hope to partner with you in future endeavours.


Best regards,


Adekunbi Bello EAP Manager

Grey Insights Limited

Africa’s Premier EAP Provider

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Songwriting Survey

Kindly fill my songwriting survey to help me garner data for my business analysis and presentation coming up next week.

This is necessary to move Drumline Entertainment forward. 

Click here to get started.

Thank you.

Musically yours,

DJ Irawo

Creative Business Bootcamp 2021

I was one of the participants of the recently concluded Creative Business Bootcamp.

I learnt a lot about how to structure my business in terms of innovation, planning, modelling, taxation, networking, designing, sales and marketing, delegation, bookkeeping and accounting, processes, etc.

Drumline Entertainment is going places.

Musically yours, 

DJ Irawo

Monday, 6 September 2021



Cool Vibe with DJ Irawo

Check out my Cool Vibe videos on mental health:




DJ Irawo: The Maverick

My parents unsuccessfully tried to prevent me from sharing my mental health stories online.

Whenever my parents took me for my psychiatric sessions at the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital at Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun state, I would try to take pictures and videos of myself walking by the trees.

Those trees are beautiful and peaceful.

The ambience of that hospital is serene, soothing and calming.

Soon, I would love to visit the doctors and patients.

I would love to show myself to the doctors as a product of their intellectual efforts.

I would love to show myself to the patients as encouragement of what would be if they take their medicine and therapy according to prescription.

I would love to shoot a music video in that environment too.

As I was saying, they said that I was disgracing their family.

So, I stopped using my parents' names on my wall.

I have stopped using my ex-husband's name even before our marriage packed up.

I am Irawo Drummer!

AKA Drum Jamming Irawo!

AKA Disc Jockey Irawo!

Let me disgrace myself by myself.

After a second chance to live, I no longer care about disgrace or anything of that nature.

My aim is to bring light to the issue of mental health in Nigeria.

I am not ashamed to share my story.

I am a living testimony that one can still live a purposeful life after depression, suicidal attempts and divorce.

Check out my Cool Vibe videos about music therapy and mental health via these links:


Musically yours,

DJ Irawo




An introduction ceremony in the Yoruba tradition is a day where the family of a fiancé visits the family of his fiancée for a  formal introduction.

After the ceremony, it is deemed that the fiancé and fiancée are ‘legally’ engaged and marriage plans can then be fixed.

Aderemi (not real name) fell into a depression on the day of her introduction ceremony.

While guests were seated in the living room awaiting the arrival of her fiancé and his family, she was responding to an SOS conversation. Her fiancé had called to call off their relationship.

When her mother realized that her daughter was taking too long in her room, she decided to check on her and found her slumped on the ground.

Chaos! Havoc! Pandemonium!

Two weeks after this incident, her widowed mother visited me to ask for my advice about how to get her treated. She was aware that I was living with my parents while recuperating from a failed suicide attempt and going through my divorce proceedings.

She told me that her daughter had been given a break from work and was at home simply staring into space.

I advised her to register her daughter at any of the following psychiatric hospitals:

  1. Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja
  2. Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital,Yaba, Lagos State
  3. Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun State

We agreed on LUTH and ended our conversation on a good note only for me to hear afterwards that she took her daughter to a white-garment church for spiritual cleansing.

The young lady was taken to a beach at night and beaten till her body peeled.

She had to agree to the interrogations by the prophet and his prayer warriors that she was totally free so that she could escape their spiritual fangs.

The situation got worse.

She decided to pack a few things and stayed with a friend for a few weeks. She felt better and was able to return to work.

Afterwards, she came home, packed her remaining things and bade farewell to her mother.

Her mother came back to ask us what she should do about her daughter who had clearly disowned her.

It is a waste of time to give this woman another piece of advice. It is too late.

So, why do many Nigerians feel that mental health problem is a spiritual problem?

David in Saul’s Service – 1 Samuel 14-23

14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul and an evil[a] spirit from the Lord tormented him.

15 Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you and you will feel better.”

17 So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.”

18 One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.”

19 Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” 20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul.

21 David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much and David became one of his armor-bearers. 22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.”

23 Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better and the evil spirit would leave him.

My problems with the above Bible passage are listed below:

1.   Why would God, who calls Himself, our father bring such a drastic sickness on one of His children for committing a sin?

2.   Why would he favour one child at the detriment of another (favouring David over Saul when it is clear that He is the one that made Saul to behave in such a manner)? Is he teaching us favouritism?

3.   Is this the reason why white-garment churches and indeed many Christians believe that mental health issues have roots in evil spirits and put the patients who ought to be loved and cared for through torture?

The only positive part of this passage is that music was able to soothe Saul and brighten up his mood.

Clearly, music therapy started from here.

It irks me when people tell mentally challenged people that evil spirits are tormenting them and that is the reason why they have mental health issues.

They call them sinners who need to atone for their sins and lock them up in churches and mosques to get help through series of prayers.

These children and adults are sexually molested by the people who were contracted to pray for them and they end up leaving these gas chambers with more problems than the ones that brought them there in the first place.

Why are Nigerians the only ones that are seeing evil spirits?!

In my opinion, religion has done more harm than good to humanity in this country and it keeps on getting worse.

Every day, Nigeria keeps getting dragged closer into a dungeon despite the existence of a million religious organizations in this nation but my people are too blind to realise it.

Countries with zero or less religions are doing better than Nigeria in terms of economic, scientific and technological developments but my people will go to church to pray for jobs inside once-upon-a-time factories-cum-churches.

How do we break away from this mentality?

As for me, humanity is my religion.

You may also read one of my blog posts titled: World Mental Health Day 2020

Read another story about another white-garment-church-beating from my brother-in-law in this two-part story, The One Way Street to Depression

Musically yours,

DJ Irawo

Sunday, 5 September 2021



How I Discovered the Benefits of Music Therapy for Pregnancy, Childbirth and Postpartum Depression

After birthing my first son on August 26, 2002 at the Apapa General Hospital, Lagos, I suffered from postpartum depression.

He weighed 3.75kg at birth and it was a very painful experience for me.

At that time, I did not know what it was called. I just thought that I was weighed down with trying to adjust to my wifely and motherhood duties and juggling my undergraduate lectures and professional examinations in accounting together.

My plate was full!

I did not get treatment for it because I did not know that I had a problem but I could not explain why I was usually moody. 

However, I have always loved to listen to music and I did just that on a regular basis and it helped to brighten up my mood whenever I felt sad.

I was tempted to drop out of school but after much thought, I pulled myself together. 

I decided to defer my professional examination and took things easy upon the realization that I had to share my time with my baby and my husband.

I flunked all my courses in my final year. My grades dropped from the first class. I was tired of school. 

Eventually, I graduated with a second class upper with no carryovers. I did not really care because I was already having doubts about pursuing a career in accounting but I did not want to disappoint my parents.

Two years after childbirth, I was given a Jehovah witness magazine by a preaching couple who came by my house.

One of the topics in that magazine was postpartum depression. That was when I realized that what I suffered from two years ago was postpartum depression.

So, I went online to learn more about it and I discovered other types of depression such as bipolar disorder. 

I also discovered that I could listen to organized music to help ease the anxiety.

I decided to consult a psychiatrist at the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Aro, Ogun State. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and given anti-depressants.

This happened because I did not get treated the post partum depression treated on time.

Armed with this knowledge, I was able to prepare myself for psychiatric treatment after I had a painful miscarriage in 2006. 

The miscarriage happened in church. I had just completed my National Youth Service in Lagos. 

I had wanted to get up to go with the choir to the podium to render a special number. As I got up, I almost fainted as blood gushed out of me like a tap. I was rushed home by some of the choristers.

I took a bath and lay down on the couch. After a while, I felt like urinating. As I got up to go to the toilet, I felt a thud in my pant. What could it be? Did I just defecate in my pant?

I doubted it. The thud came from my vagina. I knew it.

Slowly, I pulled down my pant and there it was….a foetus. It must have been about six weeks old. It was already formed into a baby with a head but no arms and legs.

I let out a sharp cry and cried for a while. Afterwards, I got a tissue paper, put the foetus in it and kept it in a bowl in front of the bathroom. I wanted my husband to see it when he came back from church with our son before flushing it down the toilet.

I fell into a depression afterwards. Music came to the rescue. In addition, my spirit was lifted after I got an invitation by the Nigerian Navy for an aptitude test. I had applied for a short service career with the Nigerian Navy after rejecting Access Bank’s job offer. I was already bored with my bank job. I was looking for something exciting. 

I came second in the Lagos test and I was invited to Onne, Port Harcourt for another series of written tests, physical tests, health tests and oral interviews. I excelled in all these tests but I began to feel funny shortly after I got back home.

I went for a blood test and I was sure that no matter how well I performed at the other tests, I must have failed the Navy urine and blood tests because I was pregnant again.

I often fell sick and could not apply for another job. So, I stayed at home and applied for a music scholarship at the Pencils Film and Television Institute (PEFTI) after I watched the advertisement on Silverbird Television whilst watching cartoons with my son.

I was the only one selected for music. So, I began music school with my bulgy belly.

For my second childbirth on June 5, 2007 at the Island Maternity Hospital, Lagos, I was prepared. 

I listened to a lot of music during my pregnancy. Before my delivery date I had prepared playlists that I listened to via my phone and earphone to help ease the tension.

I had induced labour for my first and second childbirths as these babies refused to come out. They wanted to build mansions inside of me.

As I waited to get induced by the doctor, I was anxious. So, I brought out my headphones and tried to listen to the radio. 

The conversations on the radio talk show were distracting and made me uncomfortable. I needed to focus. So, I switched to my music playlist.

The first playlist were songs that I loved: a blend of hip hop and soul music.  

After the doctor induced me, I began to feel pains and then I began to feel uncomfortable with the lyrics of the music. I just wanted to hear the melody and rhythm of the music. So, I switched to another playlist that consisted of jazz music without lyrics.

My mother told me to remove my earphones so that I would be comfortable. I did not listen to her. Besides, the screams of the other women in the labour ward were distracting. She did not know that I was comfortable listening to my music instead of the distracting screams around me.

These women were screaming at the top of their lungs about the pain that they were going through. It seemed as though they were first-time mothers.

In that ward, there were five women in labour including me. I was the last patient to come into the ward.

The woman by my left-hand side had been there the evening before. I met her crying and screaming at intervals when I got into the ward.

The woman by my right was brought in by her husband in the early hours of that morning.

One of the two women across the room, obviously, a Muslim woman was screaming, “Allahuakba!” and at intervals, she would curse her husband for impregnating her and vow never to allow him to touch her again.

Afterwards, she exclaimed that she was tired of the labour pains and that she would opt for a caesarian operation. The nurses tried in vain to calm her down and explain to her that having a CS was expensive but her mind was made up.

The fifth lady was simply shouting, “Jesus!!!” and then she would begin to wail.

As the labour pains grew worse, I carefully removed my earphones and phone and put them in my bag. 

I removed all of my clothing. I just wanted to be naked and comfortable.

I did not bring any drum with me but I needed something to distract me.

So, I drew one of the side cupboards close to me and began to beat heavily on the table beside me to divert my attention away from the pain that I was going through.

One of the nurses said I was disturbing the peace of the hospital. I ignored her and continued drumming. At least, I was not shouting like the other women.

I did this for the next three hours until the doctor came to check on me and said it was time to push. 

My second baby weighed 4.5kg. The doctor said that if she had known that my baby was going to be that big, she would have suggested that I had it via CS.

I did not need a CS. Music gave me the power to push.

It was shortly after my third childbirth that realized that choosing between natural birth and a CS is like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea.

The ward where I was placed was full of women who had just had CS. 

Some of them would wail as the wound below their stomach was being treated by the nurses and I would begin to cry.

I told my husband to come and get me quickly. I could not stand the gory sight anymore.

It would have been so nice if they had music to help ease their pain. 

Unfortunately, I could not do that for them. I had to take care of my baby and myself as I had become very weak.

As I was saying, I gave birth before the four women that I met at the ward.

The Muslim woman had been whisked to the theatre for a CS after she continued to persist.

The woman on my left side too decided to opt for a CS and my mother asked her if her husband could afford it. No, he could not. He had just lost his job and she was a first-time mum. 

She was motivated by me. I asked her if she wanted to use my music method and she replied in affirmation.

So, I played my playlists via speaker and told her to concentrate on the music and soon, she was delivered of a baby girl.

After two weeks of childbirth, I discovered that I had begun to suffer the same symptoms that I suffered after my first baby and after the miscarriage in addition to being forgetful.

I found it difficult to comprehend conversations. I had to keep my children close to me so that I would remember to take care of them.

Music school final examination was coming up. I had it deferred by a month so that I could get treated. I could not study. I had forgotten everything that I was taught or probably ever knew.

So, I consulted a psychiatrist at Marcy Children’s Hospital. He diagnosed anti-depressants that would not hinder my breastfeeding. I also supported my recovery with music therapy.

I repeated the psychiatry visits and music therapy for myself for my third son who weighed 4kg at birth. I had him at Ifako General Hospital.

From my labour and natural childbirth experiences, I have discovered that music:

1. Helped me to be focused.   

2.   Gave me a distraction from my pain.

3.   Helped me to maintain my breathing pace according to the rhythm and beat of the music

4.    Acted as a stimulus for my relaxation before, during and after childbirth.

5. Can help to reduce the death of women during childbirth.

Thus, from my experience and observation, I can confidently affirm that music therapy support can contribute to the successful outcome of both natural and CS childbirths by reducing anxiety, pain, creating a positive ambience and support throughout a childbirth experience.

Do you have any music therapy experience? Kindly share in the comment secton.


Musically yours,

DJ Irawo