Updated: Nov 8
A hustler by nature, Vudumane understood early on how important entrepreneurship would be in order to make his own money to be able to fund his music career independently. In his words: “Music has always been my life, and the only person I ever wanted to depend on was myself.” Growing up in Africa, the culture was rooted in Hip Hop. Vudumane spent his time studying music and watching videos. This is when his inspiration for music pushed him to start writing and making his own but it wasn’t until he moved to the United States when his journey took an unexpected turn.
Vudumane spoke with Coffea Magazine about his experience as an artist and how he ended up in prison where he mastered an important skill that would later turn into a successful business in Atlanta.
COFFEA: Nice to meet you, Vudumane! Tell us about the inspiration and meaning behind your name.
Vudumane: It’s an honor to meet you. Thank you so much. Well “vudu” doesn’t have the same meaning as the voodoo that most people know, my “vudu” stands for “Violence Under Distraction Unfold”. Although I come from a voodoo family, I don’t like violence. Voodoo is not supposed to be used to hurt people but rather help people and so I go out preaching love in most of my music.
COFFEA: Not only are you an international afrobeats superstar, but you're also the owner of a prominent barbershop in Atlanta called Manhyia Palace Barbering. How did you get into barbering?
Vudumane: Hmm this is a great question because it goes very deep but I will cut it short for you... The first time I ever cut hair was when I was arrested and sent to serve a two year sentence in prison. Since I had nowhere to go and a lot of time on my hands, I decided to teach myself how to cut hair and I gradually became good at it. I would even cut some of the officers’ hair. So after I was released, I found a shop to work at and within a year and half I saved about $217,000 and decided to open up my own shop with the number of clients that I had and I named it after the palace where I grew up which means “where the king lives”.
COFFEA: How did you manage to get celebrity clients like Davido and Wizkid?
Vudumane: I was introduced to Shizi Davido’s producer by a guy named Walekwame and he introduced me to Davido who immediately fell in love with my skills and took me as a brother, making me a part of the family. That was the beginning, exposing me to Wizkid, Dbanj, Kiss Daniel, Lojay etc.
COFFEA: What's one piece of advice you would give to an up-and-coming barber? Any lessons you had to learn the hard way?
Vudumane: Well, they have to identify their craft and put love into it. They should also be dedicated and patient if things don’t work out the way they wanted. Last but not the least, save most of the money you make!
COFFEA: How do you balance your career as an artist and entrepreneur?
Vudumane: It’s quite challenging but music is my passion. As an artist, you always need money to promote, record and shoot music videos. I work hard and save up since I'm an independent artist. If I don’t do it, it will never happen.
COFFEA: What separates Manhyia Palace Barbering from other barber shops in Atlanta?
Vudumane: Quality service, we have a very clean establishment and it’s a great friendly environment.
COFFEA: You just released your new single "Oh No", tell us about the making of the song and music video.
Vudumane: I once took a girl out and thought (as most men do) that I will get down with her the same night but after going out with her I asked her to come home with me and she smiled and hit me with “oh no, not tonight we can hang tomorrow”. To be honest, I was disappointed lol. As for the video, I felt the New York project scenes would be perfect for the song and so that’s what I did.
COFFEA: Thanks for speaking with Coffea Magazine! We'll be keeping up with your journey and any new music you have coming out. Where can our readers follow you?
Vudumane: Thank you. You can find me at @vudumane on all platforms.