Joice Ize-Iyamu Zokus : Music Manager to the Stars & Culinary Maestro

22 Shares

Whenever I need to understand anything about the music industry my go to person is this focused and enteprising woman Joice Ize-Iyamu Zokus.  This pioneer knows the music industry well and counts 2Face, Nomoreless and Weird MC among former and current clients. Award winning Joice paved the way for women in the music management business and  did not allow the fact that it was a  male dominated profession stand in her way. Listen as she tells us about her sojourn.

 

 Joice tell us a little about your self

My name is Joice Ize-Iyamu Zokus but my family and closest friends call me Red and my entertainment people call me Mummy J.   I am the first child in  a family of 5, three girls and my parents . I attended Primary school in Lagos then went on to Federal Government Girl’s’ College Benin City for secondary school. I then proceeded to the prestigious University of Benin for my Undergraduate degree, University of Ghana for a diploma in General Music, MBA from Pan African University Lagos. I have certificates in various disciplines including a Goldman Sach women sponsorship  in  Entrepreneurship Management.
Tell us a little about what you do.
My company ROUGE comprises of Rouge Management (the music management arm that has currently under our belt, Weird M.C, Nomoreloss (RIP) his unfinished and unreleased creative works and a couple of others) Rouge Agency (music agents as well as artist development managers…the artist TOBY Grey is on contract) and Rouge Desserts (the dessert catering).
image
Joice and the late Nomoreloss

From high school I remember your love for music so wasn’t suprised when you ended up in showbiz, tell us how your journey started

I had known I would be a part of the showbiz world from the time I was a teenager. Growing up my Mum was always a lover of arts, fashion and sports so had an extensive collection of books on these subjects and more.  As a result myself and my siblings imbibed a reading culture early in life and learnt a lot  from books on music management  and other topics. Even from a young age I was always choreographing dances with my sisters and friends and I organised mini shows and plays. All these activities were my foundation for  my entrance into the entertainment world.

 You studied Business administration and Mathematics Education in Uniben how did that prepare you for what you do now?
Well though I studied Business administration and Mathematics Education I also attended, volunteered and organised a couple of shows in School. I was always the silent one behind the scenes and I think all of  that most definitely prepared me for what I do now.

What obstacles did you face with your unique career choice, especially being a pioneer of sorts for women?

It wasn’t easy for my parents to accept that I wanted to be in the music industry. I had voiced my passion years before I finished school and my Dad had said I could be anything I wanted to be as long I finished my education, I guess he thought once I started working in the ‘real world’ I would forget all about it. I worked in a bank for three years after my NYSC and I still had the hunger in my belly for music management. My Dad was  upset with me when I announced to himself and my Mum that I still wanted to be a music manager and it took years for them to see reasons why this was what I wanted to do. Eventually I think what made them give in was  the knowledge that I had my certificates to fall back on if anything happened, and also the fact that I was very good at my job. I think one issue parents have with their kids entering the industry is the fear of how they will cope financially. Therefore when they saw that my artistes and I were getting awards from all over the world,  were being greatly appreciated for our work as well as making money to pay our bills and more  (laughs)  that made them relax.lol!
From players in the industry I got a lot of support from lots of my colleagues and elders, however I also faced challenges from some people but that’s in the past now.
image
Joice with one of her awards
 I know that at different times you managed acts like 2face and the Nomoreloss (please accept my condolences on his recent demise) and a lot of other artistes. I can imagine there were times you had to discuss business and third parties were shocked to see a female manager how did you deal with that?
 

For me,it was very funny at that time that people were shocked (at that time female managers just didn’t exist except they were artiste’s wives or girlfriends) when we got the ‘are you his girlfriend’ question over and done with and I was all business,people responded accordingly. Infant by the time I was working with my third artist all the questions stopped, business was concluded and sometimes friendships were made.

 

In your experience what would you say is the most important role a manager plays ?
A manager is actually the link between the artiste and the rest of the world and as a result his or her role is the MOST important role. They are the machinery behind the artiste as they are able to see objectively and steer the ship(artiste) to great heights.
The music industry in  Nigeria has grown in leaps and bound what advice do you have for other women who aspire to be part of it  whether as an artiste or manager
 
I’m really excited that right now we have loads of women in the industry,as artistes and managers. My advise to any newbie is to seek God first, educate yourself  and do your research well using the internet and books as guides and never take NO for an answer except you necessarily have to.

Like you mentioned earlier you are also gifted pâtissière  how are you able to combine your love for desserts and good food with showbusiness?

Baking is a passion of mine and I love seeing the smiles on peoples faces when they bite into a piece of my confectionery. This passion grew when I had to take a break from the music world to have my baby and I just couldn’t stay still (laughs)! In order to gain even more skill  I enrolled in Leith’s School of Food and Wine London where I got certified. I also got certified in level 2 food safety and hygiene and level 3 food safety for supervisors there in the UK. I came back and decided to specialise in desserts and I set up a dessert catering outfit. It’s a bit  like having two kids, you treat each of them differently but give them equal attention. To help me in this task I have a wonderful team of Artiste managers,agents,bakers and other staff and together they make me look good ! It helps that Desserts and Music are entertainment, but the fact that they are in different sectors of entertainment make combining both sometimes challenges but we make it work and God has been very faithful.
image
Rouge Desserts

image

As a Mum to a very cute young man do you see yourself becoming a momager?

 I would become a Momager if my son Theodore Nosa decides to choose a profession in entertainment then definitely! I would always be the one in the front row cheering him the loudest lol! Honestly if he decides tomorrow he wants to be in the arts then he knows he has the best there is to offer who would break down the toughest or strongest doors to get him to the very top.

Thanks Joice it’s been great talking to you!

22 Shares

You may also like

6 Comments

Leave a Reply to Omo Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *