Can you please introduce yourself to us. Who is Ability Elijah?
My name is Ability Elijah, Co-founder and Music-Lead at Caketunes. Born and raised in the city of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my parents and siblings where I learnt the bits of staying disciplined in every facet of life, as times, it almost very tough.
What would you consider as your biggest challenge so far in the journey as an entrepreneur?
I stumbled on a word somewhere online that says entrepreneurship is hard but entrepreneurship in Nigeria is harder.
It has never been easy with either me or my co-founder or the people who we employ to share in our vision.
If we had raised one of those ground-breaking capitals earlier (when we started), I don’t think there would be any single artiste that wouldn’t know about our service by now, given how skilled my branding guys are. So the thing is, financial constraint will always persist in the lives of young African startups.
I don’t think I have to mention power as an issue because finance covers all of it. I wouldn’t care a bit over how the government plays if we can sustain our operations without breaking a sweat.
You are the founder and CEO of Caketunes, can you tell us about your company? When did it start and how’s the journey so far?
First, I’m not a solo founder. Also give credits to my cofounder, product chef, childhood friend and twin brother; Light Nduka.
Back to business
Caketunes is a production music marketplace and technology company that provides music producers and artistes the tools and applications to publish music and license beats anywhere online.
A producer signs up to our platform and publishes their beats in about 3 minutes. Caketunes then takes care of marketing, selling the beats and in turn remits 70% of acquired income to the creator. It’s that simple.
We also do content Id. That is; tracking of royalties across the globe and remitting payments to the original artist or producer.
I can mention on and on what we do at Caketunes but one of the important and most used feature is the music upload feature that enables emerging artistes to share their songs across Africa to friends and families on social platforms.
So far, the journey is very encouraging and we are very certain of playing to the end.
What inspired you and what inspired the birth of Caketunes?
Nothing else led me to start Caketunes apart from the passion to solve problems.
When we first started, I personally didn’t have any idea concerning the music industry or stuff like what format a beat should be rendered in before licensing.
It was more like a bad timing, but passion is always the key to unlocking any difficult task.
So, maybe I should say because I was developing gradual love for music at the point, mixed with the passion for entrepreneurship, I figured out a different business out of music when I stumbled on beatmakers manually selling beats on WhatsAppp and Facebook groups.
Is Caketunes just limited to Nigerians or anyone around the globe can use the platform to buy and sell music beats?
Caketunes is limited to Africans only. On our platform is the term “African centric beats”.
How else should that be explained?
Except that an artiste outside the continent would like to try something different around the African culture, then that’d be fine and fun at the same time.
Your company is fully launched, How did you go about all that including funding?
We did a very small money in 6 figures from a friend after our launch to kick-start operations. But at the moment, we are bootstrapping.
People are already looking up to to Caketunes to be the next big thing in the music industry, what are to expect from your company?
Few years from now we will become the goto platform to buy and sell beats and distribute African music.
Few weeks back we had closed a partnership deal with Publiseer, and we are currently working on one that might be our biggest partnership of all time.
We are also working closely with some industry guys to partner with some A-list producers and artistes in Nigeria. All of these partnerships will support in skyrocketing the sales of beats on our platform.
Have you ever been involved in any start up? If yes, can you tell us about it and its success record so far?
Caketunes is my first start up. I’m just getting involved in a business of this magnitude for the first time.
With your level of success and exposure so far, what do you think are the things that will make incoming entrepreneurs and new start-up founders not to see the limelight?
Do your thing. Yes do your thing and don’t listen to too many advice.
Caketunes is a product of a completely different idea. If we had listened to many of the critics and advice we wouldn’t have pivoted to Caketunes.
Lastly, deviate from chasing funding all night and day, it can only destroy your business if you can’t reach to it. Seek strategic partnership instead and grow, investors can come later but if you can be lucky from the beginning, good for you.
What are your goals for the next 5 to 10 years?
I see Caketunes being the number one to-go beat marketplace in Africa and judging from the way foreign artistes are buying our beats, there’s a big future in this.
Got some advice for Entrepreneur Nigeria community on starting and growing their own businesses?
My message to the people in the entrepreneur community looking to start a business is “Focus”. You must learn to stay focused at all times in other to achieve all that you want. Put simply; Achievement is when you have decided on a focus. You must be ready to fight and lose. It will only teach you a lot more skills and prepare you for future duress.
What do you think about us, Entrepreneur Nigeria in particular? Any advice for us or shout out to us?
You guys are doing a nice job. I’m an avid reader of your platform and trust me, it has always been a guide when it gets blurred.
My advice to the Entrepreneur Nigeria team is keep delivering what you are known for; quality content.