Meet Yokinto, the Nigerian artist on his own path to redefine Afropop
Afropop, the second most popular music genre in Africa after Afrobeats, is the most modern subgenre of African popular music, with Yokinto at its core. Yokinto, born Joshua Abah Emoche, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and performing artist whose talent is changing the narrative about the opportunities for independent artists in the Nigerian music ecosystem. Yokinto, who is from Benue State, grew up in Lagos before moving to the capital city to hustle. His tenacity has not only reshaped his life as a person, but has also contributed to his professional advancement. He gets his inspiration from nature, lifestyle, hustle, love, and other things while creating afropop to capture his realities in the most vivid way possible.
The singer who performs the Pulse cover For the month of February, Nigeria’s Future Sounds playlist spoke with Pulse about his passion, dreams, and ideologies about life and the music industry.
MJ and Yokinto
He talked about the origins of his name, Yokinto and how he went from ‘MJ’ to ‘Yokinto.’ He claims that “My Yokinto, My Yokinto, which means my love, was a nickname given to me by a friend. At some point, I became so familiar with the name that Idecided to change my name from MJ to Yokinto.”
Aso Rock from Yokinto’s eyes
Yokinto, when asked about his journey, stated that he has long been a music fan. His move to Abuja was intended to pursue music, but it proved difficult due to a lack of funds to create music and promote his sound to a wider audience. Yokinto, a former security officer for a transportation company, realized he needed more than talent to advance in his career, which pushed him even further. In his words, “When I first moved to Abuja, I was a musician. But I didn’t have the money to go to the studio. I knew I had this dream and I was determined to fulfill it. I came to Abuja to work as a security officer for one of those transportation companies for about two months, hoping to save enough money to properly fund my music. To be honest, it was difficult.”
“When I arrived in town. My friends taught me that talent alone is insufficient in the music industry. They said I needed some sort of financing, investor, or something to keep things going. This taught me that if you want to do music, you must first come down. You can’t just make music and then abandon it; you have to make music that you can promote,” he added.
Erotica Lady and the future
Yokinto discusses this single and why it took him so long to release his debut single, explaining that his friends advised him to take some time off before releasing a single to save up for promotions. He reveals that he wrote the song.
He also stated that a project will be released in the first quarter of 2023. “The title of my EP is ‘Alin Hunter,’ and it will be released on February 3rd,” he says. Yokinto explains the title’s meaning: “I am an extraordinary artist who is on his own lane to dominate the world.”
“I attempted to capture my life, experiences, and beliefs,” he continued.