27 January 2017

Nigeria: Boom Player Music APP Hits 1 Million Downloads

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Africa's fastest growing music download and streaming platform, Boom Player, which was launched on Google Play Store in April 2016 has reached over 1 million installations. This development rightly places Boom Player as the leader of the pack while giving a wide gap to its competing platforms across Africa. Boom Player has been on a runaway success since it started operations just over a year ago.

The service, founded by the giant telecommunications company, TECNO Mobile now has more than six million app installations in total thanks to its pre-install strategy. Boom Player boasts of 400k+ daily active users, which is a music lover who actively stream or download songs and videos of their favourite artistes. "It's very easy for music lovers to fall in love with the Boom Player app because it gives them what they want.

From timely updates of latest releases in both audio and video formats, to lyrics and so many other amazing and interactive features available on the app, it is not a surprise that we have reached this milestone in such a short time, we only just put Boom Player in the Google Play Store nine months ago," said Oye Akideinde, General Manager of the Mobile Apps Department, TECNO Mobile. "A new version of Boom Player app, which will blow our users mind, is also set to be released by March, 2017.

Our target is to reach 1 million daily active users by December, 2017", he said. Boom Player has become a must-have app for every music lover and a service that every artiste needs to latch on to in order to connect with their fans while making revenue for their music sales. If you're yet to get on the coolest music streaming and download train in Africa, get the Boom Player app now in Google Play store.

'My Specialty is in Mosaic'

The use of tiny mosaic tiles or blocks to create works of art is an ancient craft that is becoming ever more popular in the present age. As an art form it can have great depth, variety and freedom of expression - but best of all, it is a skill that can be acquired by anyone, with only a minimum of instruction. Chief Executive of Olaopa and Company, Mr. Oladele Olaopa whose specialty is in mosaic, in this interview with Mary Ekah, talks about his love for mosaic, how he developed the interest and his efforts to grow the craft in Nigeria

Can you describe what mosaic is?

Mosaic is an ancient art. Mosaic has been in existence for ages, especially in Italy. If you go to some of these old buildings, you would see mosaic that has been done for over 500 years ago. It is a piece of art or image made from the assemblage of small pieces of coloured glass, stone or other materials. Mosaic is usually done on walls and floors. It is a long history craft often used in decorative art or as interior decoration. Most mosaics are made of small, flat, roughly square, pieces of stone, ceramic or glass of different colours. Some, especially floor mosaics, are made of small rounded pieces of stone. Others are made of other materials.

Mosaic is a versatile permanent wall covering that requires thorough preparation of the wall, the use of genuine materials and meticulous installation. Nothing has more of a wow factor than a mosaic mural because it makes an impression that not many artistic genres can accomplish. At Olaopa and Company, we design and install unique mosaic murals in a range of styles and sizes to create a stunning permanent feature. Our works are guaranteed for life. I use glass tiles most times because it is shinny and durable. It can stay for as long as 100 years. The tiles come in little squares and in different colours and sometimes we cut them to shape depending on what we want to do.

You seem to be so obsessed with the art of mosaic design. How did you get into such art specialty?

After I left secondary school, I went for my tertiary education in Italy. I attended the Universita Di Macerate, Italy (University of Macerata in Macerata, Italy)

University in Macerata, Italy although I couldn't finish the school because I had issues along the line but I was there for two and half years and then had to come back home in 1981. I eventually finished my tertiary education at the Polytechnic Ibadan. While I was in Italy, I got to meet someone that does mosaic. He was living in Macerata, the same town I was living then. And through my association with him, I fell in love with Mosaic then. So when I came back home in 1981, I was fortunate enough to be invited to do a mosaic work, he was an artist friend of mine who lived in the same neighborhood with me in Ibadan.

He was in the Ahmadu Bello University then and so since I have spoken with him a lot about my mosaic experience and love for it during most of our conversations, he invited me to join him in a mosaic project that he got then and in 1981 we did that job together. I am happy to say that work is still there and not one title is missing since we did it in 1981. That was how I started doing mosaic art deigns. I took it from there and started doing mosaic murals in Ibadan and when I came to Lagos in 1989, I also continued with it. But over time, I was doing other things as well like handmade greeting cards, designing furniture, doing interiors and all that.

Then along the line, I started doing mosaic on plywood because I found out that getting mosaic murals contract was not easy to come by in Nigerian and for me to keep improving my skills on mosaic, I needed to be practicing constantly and so that resorted to my doing mosaic on plywood so that I could be practising more often. Such mosaic done on plywood could be hung on the wall just like any other artwork and then it gave me the opportunity of practicing my work, so that I do not wait till I get a mural project before I start practicing. I am very happy that through that I have been able to improve my skills on mosaic. I have worked in so many places on it and I still have more to do.

What are the various things you can do with mosaic?

Mosaic is a very versatile area of art; you can do so much with it. But you actually need a commission to do this. Mosaic needs space, the bigger the better the turn out of the job. So I am still looking forward to a time when I will have a whole building transform with it. You can transform whole building to whatever you like with mosaic. I can transform a whole building to n aquarium for instance. I can transform a while building into a jungle and all that. But so far, what I have been able to do is to transform walls - both interiors and exteriors to something so beautiful.

What are the challenges of working on mosaic art?

The complaint with mosaic is usually that tiles drop off so soon. But I will like to say that this is as a result of inexperience. That is having people who are not experienced in mosaic doing your job. When you ask anyone who lays tiles to do your mosaic job, it is sure you cannot have the same result as when a professional does it. Mosaic requires a lot of professionalism and patience to get it right. It requires you to get genuine materials, it requires you to know how to prepare the wall that you are going to put the tiles on and then you need to be meticulous when you are installing the tiles on the wall. These three things are crucial for a perfect mural. A mosaic that is properly done ought to stay on a wall as long as that wall stands with all the tiles intact. I personally guarantee all my works for life, that is, every tile that I lay will stay on the wall as long as the wall is standing.

What informs the design you do?

It depends on the clients, most of the times the clients tell us the design they want. Then we do sketches for them and when they arrive at what they want, we go ahead and do the final work.

What does it take to be a specialist in mosaic art?

We have formal schools where you can learn how to do mosaic, but in Nigeria, we do not have so many mosaic artists and so we probably do not have a school for this sort of art. So what you really have to do to learn is study from someone who is into it by getting into apprenticeship with such person.

So have you been training people on it?

Not really and that is because I don't do only mosaic. I do different aspects of art and so it is difficult to have someone that wants to focus on mosaic around.

Again what I do most times, after making designs and I want to lay the tiles on the wall, I get tillers that have been trained by giant construction companies to help out.

How has the mosaic art been thriving in Nigeria?

It has been encouraging. And this is what informed my promoting this art in Nigeria. I found out that there are people who really want to do the mosaic art but they do not know where to go. So I am trying to tell Nigerians that they can have whatever mosaic work they want to do, done by a Nigerian artist, who is a specialist in mosaic art and can give you the very best.

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