TAKE A BOLD STEP AT YOUR PASSION. DON’T WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE PERFECT

I auditioned for a music contest in 2006. I was then a 200 level student, studying Geology in Delta State University, Abraka. Although I was a Geology student, I spent most of my time in the Music department. I wanted to study music but got a resounding NO from my family.

As regards the musical contest, thirty six musically talented youths were selected and I was privileged to be part of them. I entered the competition as a singer, guitarist and keyboardist.

It was a reality TV show and so the 36 of us were put in a house named FAME LAND. Daily, we were given daunting musical tasks which we had to present to the general public to gain votes.

Then a time came when we were asked to form 6 bands. I went through 4 groupings before I finally settled with the D’accord band. Everyone wanted that female instrumentalist in their line-up. But I had to be in only 1 band.

The game began when I discovered that my band lacked a bassist. We had 3 singers. I didn’t need to sing. Then a drummer, a keyboardist and then I was on the lead guitar.

Whenever I listened to the bass sound coming from other bands, my heart skipped a beat. I knew I had to do something. So I began to think! After a while of serious thinking, an idea came.

I approached a bassist in another band for lessons and he gladly agreed to teach me. It was my first time to take bass lessons. I was nervous. Although I knew the last 4 strings of the lead guitar matched the 4 string bass, I never thought of playing single notes. Besides, the bass guitar was super heavy. My hands went sore every time I carried It, even with a strap.

To cut the long story short, 3 bands were evicted and it was a few days to the finals. I had 3 days to learn a new instrument and practice all the songs we were to present during the finals.

I was overwhelmed! But who would I complain to? I had my eyes on the prize so I didn’t mind doing vigil rehearsals while my band members slept.

On the day of the finals all the bands presented their songs. When I heard the songs of the other bands, I gave up on the winning prize. Votes came in and the winner was announced. I was pleasantly surprised! My band won!

For the next few months, I couldn’t dare to walk on the streets. Hugs from strangers and my name flying all over the place. I was wowed! The love was awesome. Everyone spoke about the girl on low cut who played the bass.

Some mentioned that I inspired them to pick up the guitar. Honestly, I couldn’t understand why because there were better instrumentalists on the show.

Anyway, the winning band was sponsored to perform at the MOBO awards. We were also featured on the Star Trek and Star Mega Jam 2006 shows alongside Naija music stars, Akon and LL Cool J. It was all fame, fortune and fun.

It’s over 10 years now and I am putting materials together to help upcoming musicians achieve the same and even more. So when I tell this story to my clients, I want to clearly bring out strong principles that will help musicians achieve the full potential of their calling.

This is my pick:

DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE PERFECT BEFORE YOU TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE TO FOLLOW YOUR PASSION. BE READY TO LEARN AND GROW ON THE JOB.

What other lessons/ principles can you extract from this story?

Meanwhile enjoy my video cover of Redemption Song by the legendary Bob Marley

About the Author: Laura Etemah

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