Alexander Kioko, one of the winners of our impact award, tells us more about his journey in the music industry. He is the founder of a contemporary record label known as “Lay Up Recordings”:
1. Please tell us a little about Lay Up Recordings.
The concept for the brand comes from the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:20: “Lay Up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break through or steal”. Our mission is to develop souls through music & television for prosperity inwardly & rewards eternally. I intend for the company to operate initially within the Kenyan & South African music industries, resulting in coverage, business & live performance opportunities for our artists across the African continent & globally.
Our strategic advantage is our ability to craft music suitable for expansion into international territories. This enables us to attract major label backing from one of the big three – Sony, Warner or Universal Music Group – or one of their many subsidiaries. We hope within 3 years to have secured an agreement worth over 100,000$ with one of these companies in South Africa for the release of at-least three of our flagship artist’s future albums, the result of which we hope would be 1,200,000$+ in revenue for our company over a 48 month period following this.
We intend to take advantage of disruption occurring in the global music industry i.e. music streaming replacing digital downloads as the primary method of music consumption.
2. What inspired you to start this business?
I have been passionate about music for most of my life. I started playing the piano at the age of 8 & producing music at the age of 16. I became involved in the Kenyan music industry in 2011 where one of my early songs made it’s radio debut. I was featured alongside 6 other artists on a major local hip hop radio show’s annual list of artists to look out for, The Homeboyz Radio Jump Off Freshman Class of 2015.
Lay Up Recordings offers me the opportunity to put to good use my God given gifts & talents i.e. music production, entrepreneurship, film/video production and leadership. Working with other creatives on time consuming projects affords me the opportunity to teach & uplift them. In releasing the content we create on our targeted platforms from MTV Base (which reaches 48.5 million Africans) to social media to radio, we are able to glorify God.
3. What has been the biggest impact that the Sinapis Academy course has had on you or your business?
The greatest impact that the Sinapis Academy has had on my life & business is focus. The course forced me to ask myself tough questions about my purpose & God’s specific assignment for me with my business.
Coming into the course I felt like I was on a “rollercoaster ride” quite similar to the “emotional states of the entrepreneur” that we covered in week 16 of the class, having hit the “crisis of meaning” stage. Proceeding through the classes, doing research, assignments & listening to God speak during the process enabled me to refine my ideas & focus.
Acquiring the knowledge required to structure & build an organization around what I have been gifted with & in an industry I have been called to has been my most significant take away from the process.