Youri Nganseu, founder of Uomo D’Affari is a young entrepreneur and Afrobeat/Afroswing and Trap artist. Uomo D’Affari means businessman in Italian. It’s a statement, it’s me. NGKM is my artist name. NG stands for Nganseu, KM for Killuminati.
Where did your passion for entrepreneurship?
Growing up I was always sort of a businessman. In year 2-3, I used to sell pocket tissues for €1, which is approximately £ 0.90 p. I used to spray Pink Sheen Spray on Mickey Mouse’s pocket tissues, which were scented already, but back then, I thought why not add something new? If I ran out Pink Sheen Spray, I would just sell the original ones for half price. All the lunch money my mum gave to me, I would keep it and hide it in my jacket pockets and after months, I would get the money I needed it, to ensure I had savings. I would literally make a little cut out the jacket and put a quarter of my lunch money inside.
In Year 8-9, I didn’t have any determination with school, it was boring and difficult for me, and I suffered mild social anxiety. In Italy the school system is different. You study the subject for a month minimum and the end of month, you get to do a written test, while in middle of learning the new topic, there are oral exams, to test your knowledge. Every mark you get contributes to the final result of that subject. Since school wasn’t really my thing, I would pay the smartest classmates to refresh my memory and explain me better the lesson or help me with my homework. By the age of 14, I still didn’t know who I was, so I made the wrong decisions and end up failing in many things.
During that year I started going out more with my mum. My mum is the most hustler woman I ever met in my life. She never made us miss out on anything. She spoiled us and taught us life in the hard way too. My mum is a businesswoman, she used to make deals with well-known stores in Italy and buy clothes and accessories from shops and sell them to celebrities like Koffi Olomide, Werrason and many more. My mum built and still to this day has a great relationship with Carlo Pignatelli, which is a posh store in Turin, North Italy.
I learnt how my mum would talk to clients and handle her money and my family started calling me Uomo D’Affari, because of the way I manage money, and aspired to be like my mum. When I was 18, I started my clothing line, by the age of 20, I decided to go with a Christian vision, therefore printed Bible verses and by 21 I registered my name: UOMO D’AFFARI and business.
Where did your passion for music come from?
As I grew up in a country I didn’t fit in, I struggled to make friends with people my age. I would spend time playing drums with pens and markers, during break times. I would set up boxes on my desk and create a sort of drum set. My uncle Alain Mputu bought me a guitar, and here things changed completely. I wanted to be a musician; music was now my focus! I had guitar lessons with my uncle, and I used to go church practice to hear him play.
One day, I really wanted to record my guitar into a music software because I was trying to compose a song. I found the program, but my curiosity led me to a music software called MAGIX and here things changed again. I wanted to be a producer. MAGIX was more of an arrangement machine, where you had 4-16 bars beats, piano, guitars melodies, FX etc. As I became a good music arranger, I decideD to produce my own stuff. I started manipulating the plugins, I would use the keyboard in MAGIX and play the melodies in different tones. Uncle Alain wasn’t only a dad figure in my life, but he really believed in my music journey, if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t probably have gotten my Music & Technology Degree.
What do you hope people will get from listening to your music?
Whenever I do music, I am communicating what I felt or what I am feeling in a particular moment. Depending on my mood, I know what melodies or words to use. My music is either uplifting or about love, obviously anyone can relate to it. Therefore, when people hear my music, they should feel uplifted or be in love.
Who are your music influences?
My uncle Alain Mputu is my influence in terms of writing about life, he’s a very wise man.
Michael Jackson is my first influence in terms of rhythm, beatbox and up-tempo music.
Tupac Amaru Shakur is my influence in terms of main 4/4 bars style of rapping and uplifting songs.
Koffi Olomide, Fally Ipupa, Werrason are my main influences in terms of rhythmic guitar, triplets, metaphors and melodies in a song.
While Afro B, Sarkodie and Wizkid, Flavour are also my influences in terms of beats, melodies, flow and harmonies.
Where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
God is my main source of inspiration. I am a very empathetic guy so whatever I can empathise about, I would write about it, anything is a reason to write.
As I struggled a lot in life, I started to appreciate small things, therefore someone buying McDonald’s while I was starving will forever be in my heart. I could write about that specific moment of how kind that person is.
What are you working on for the rest of the year?
My single Tala Ngai was released in 2016, but I deleted it because I felt it wasn’t the right time and I was right. I am a perfectionist, that’s why I don’t have many songs out. I rereleased Tala Ngai and I am pushing it as much as I can, I was meant to perform at AfroMusicHub, but this pandemic (COVID-19) is delaying the process. Also, we are going through a lot with #BLM, I stand with my black people so I can wait.
I released my new, UOMO ♠️D’AFFARI hoodies line, so I need to promote, have photoshoots, and sell the merchandise. I don’t have a manager and website yet, so it’s a bit of a work!
What’s the soundtrack to your life?
Teni – Uyo Meyo
How would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as an innovator, a positive, passionate and resilient man that has been able to influence his generation through business and music.
My new single: Tala Ngai