Community Spotlight : Btenkink

Community Spotlight : Btenkink

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A short while ago we ran a story calling out Btenkink for his awesome ode to The Escapist, "Great Escape". If you're a fan of The Escapist and haven't had a chance to hear the song yet, do yourself a favor and check it out!

In addition to being a huge fan of The Escapist and a sometime songwriter, you might be surprised to learn that in the physical world Btenkink is a 24 year old Vancouver resident working towards his Masters in Microbiology. He's no Canadian native, though, having spent the previous 18 years of life growing up in Northern Nigeria. Writing tunes is, according to him, a great aide in the study of Secretion System Characterization, whatever that means! Besides playing games, studying science and performing music, he dabbles in a little Aquaponics system creation.

We had a chance to shine the Community Spotlight on him, and here's how he answered:

What first brought you to The Escapist?

In 2008 my girlfriend at the time sent me a link to a Zero Punctuation video of a game I was playing (Oblivion). In retrospect, that link was definitely the best thing I got out of that relationship! Well, one related link led to another and before I know it I had indeed broken out of this boring "real" life into a bold new online existence!

What did you originally want to be when you grew up?

Musician or doctor were both my goals until I realized that A) I cannot play any instrument unless it's a MIDI patch in Reason or Cubase and B) I don't have a spare 160,000$ to pay for medical school. Luckily in 4th year uni I answered the siren song of Post-Grad Research, and have been doing science ever since.

What's your favorite current feature on The Escapist?

Yahtzee definitely has always had first pick to my attention, but lately Bob has been doubling down with two amazing shows (Escape to the Movies AND Big Picture). Add to this list everything done by the comic genius group that is LRR, the soul-melting audio beauty that is Rebecca Mayes and the face-melting awesomeness that is Miracle of Sound and a "favorite" becomes near-impossible to pick! All that said, only one feature goes beyond good performance to actually reach through the screen and engage everyday listeners like me. Only one has been so powerful as to make me stand up and dance around my apartment, laugh like an idiot, post like an obsessive child off their meds, and to inspire me to work up the courage to send in a musical tribute. That feature is: The Escapist Podcast. Always the best 90-ish minutes of my week.

If you had to eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

This is a loaded question for me because growing up in northern Nigeria everybody eats the same meal twice a day every day: Corn porridge and veggie soup. When New Year rolls around: porridge and soup. When Ramadan rolls around: porridge and soup. Now that I'm in North America my palate is beholden to such a plethora of aromas and flavors that to limit it again would be torture. If I had to choose though, I'd go for McDonalds cheeseburgers. Fast Food is like heaven on earth; you don't even know!

What's your best Escapist memory so far?

Getting to watch the "Hour of Love" from the Expo online plus the hilarious gangnam-style dance line are both close seconds, however my favorite moment is a bit odd:
About 3 years ago I had been doing a LOT of 4chan... and not the clean PG pages either. After a non-stop six week barrage of insomnia-driven uncensored lawless internet spectacle my brain had gone beyond fried. Then I got slapped with a warning for an inappropriate Escapist forum post I'd made. The contrast was enough for me to fully appreciate having a haven where you can duck out of the rest of the web when it gets to be too much. That was the moment The Escapist became a balancing force in my online life.

What's your favorite bad movie?

Movie watching is a relatively new thing for me having lived in Africa from age 2 to 18. A recent Netflix subscription has helped offset that, but to be honest the best instant portal to understanding North American culture has been every Simpsons, Family Guy and South Park episode I can lay my hands on. South Park's "Bigger, Stronger and Uncut" takes it to the next level by weaving satire, catchy music, and terrible animation all into one tantalizingly awful package. Nothing is paradoxically better and worse at the same time than having "Kyle's Mom is a Stupid Bitch" stuck in your head at work.

Would you rather have no long term memory or no short term memory?

Give me short term memory any day! Long term memory is useless in a post-Google world!

What is your favorite color?

I love that blueish green where it's right on that line between blue-green and green-blue. It's so much fun pointing to it and saying "That's Blue!" just to see who will counter with "No that's Green!"

Do you have any other songs you'd like to share with us?

As I mentioned above, music is a great study aide. One thing I do for the classes I take/teach is make music videos from the class notes. Here's a link to my most recent one done for third-year Microbiology:

I've done others for zoology, marine biology, biochemistry, and organic chemistry. They are all on a playlist on my youtube channel: www.youtube.com/btenkink

Also, having spent 16 year in Nigeria I speak the local language Hausa fluently (one of over 400 languages spoken in that country... most useless foreign language to know outside of northern Nigeria). Every now and again I'll do a song in Hausa. The last one I wrote was about the coming of the rainy season:

"Ruwan Sama" is Hausa for "rain", literally translated it's "water from heaven".
For me music as well as gaming will always serve as a balance to the stresses of needing to earn a paycheck. I have a ton of respect for people like Gavin Dunne who can do music full-time or Susan Arendt who can spin a career from gaming, however once the de-stressor becomes the stressor for me this is when life becomes un-livable. To that end I hope to game and make music till I die, thus enjoying its power to balance and enrich an otherwise hectic Western lifestyle.

A shout out...

Thanks a bunch Escapist Community for your support and for making The Escapist uniquely awesome!

If you would like to nominate someone for an upcoming Community Spotlight, feel free to let me, Nasrin, know through a PM or by posting in the official thread or user group! When nominating, please tell us why this user deserves to be in the next Community Spotlight and provide links if possible.

Permalink

I've been waiting for this ever since you guys posted his song. With every new spotlight Daystar becomes less and less cool by comparison.

PS: So Btenkink, I hear you like podcasts... wouldn't mind being a guest on the community podcast sometime now, would you? :D

Today I was actually thinking about posting on the Spotlight user group and demand an answer as to why there hasn't been a post lately...

I glad you didn't have to suffer my wrath Nasrin.

>_>

<_<

I love that song, Btenkink :D

Fappy:
I've been waiting for this ever since you guys posted his song. With every new spotlight Daystar becomes less and less cool by comparison.

PS: So Btenkink, I hear you like podcasts... wouldn't mind being a guest on the community podcast sometime now, would you? :D

Your words.

They cut me deeply.

Fappy:
I've been waiting for this ever since you guys posted his song. With every new spotlight Daystar becomes less and less cool by comparison.

Your words.

They cut me deeply.

Nobody could ever replace the White Wolf DC; to make such an attempt would be pure folly. Thanks a ton for the encouraging support though!

Interesting spotlight as always, I hope to see Btenkink around the forums more now everyone knows who he is :-)

btenkink:
Snip

I must say, I had no idea who you were when the Community Spotlight brought you up. Now I am glad you came up, because- holy crap your song Great Escape is addictive and amazing. I'm listening to it as we speak, the 3rd time. I'll have to check out your other songs, but this is truly amazing, because it's techno but in a sense rock with great rapping .......... impressive.

Somehow it also reminds me of the band Lycan Park. Hope that's seen as a compliment by you, otherwise I apologize greatly.
Am happy you got interviewed thus I wish you a great run in life with your sweetheart! (And if you're not with her still, I apologize for bringing up bad memories..)

i cant believe there's another west African person on this site and your doing so much on this site I'm from Togo by the way

Well deserved, love your music man, you should pursue it more!

When I move back to Vancouver to do some more schooling, I'm checking you up. Seriously man, that song was awesome. \o/

I'm so in love with the "Water from Heaven" song. Just been hitting "replay" on it all day. :)

I love the wording of 'doing 4chan' as if 4chan is a Class A drug.

"Man, I was totally hooked on the stuff. There were times when I was doing 4chan 5-6 times a day. I rejected everyone who cared about me. All I cared about was where my next 4chan was coming from. Luckily though, I got out, and now I'm 6 months clean."

Great community spotlight; and, again, great song(s) (p.s. You rapping out you notes is actually way better than anything fiddy or his over-inflated ilk have ever released. Thank God there's somebody out there that realises what rap actually is, and doesn't just think the word is synonymous with 'talking about guns, bitches and money while a beat plays in the background').

Nice spotlight, but I gotta know, what's in the falcon tube?

NightHawk21:
Nice spotlight, but I gotta know, what's in the falcon tube?

The tube has a sample of the bacteria I work on (E. tarda, a relative of E. coli, cholera, and black death). The green colour is the media we grow it in. Basically my day job consists of taking those bacteria, mixing them with human cells and studying how the human cells die.

btenkink:
Basically my day job consists of taking bacteria, mixing them with human cells and studying how the human cells die.

Do you work for Umbrella Corp?

Great music. Looking forward to the next bunch of songs you'll release for us.

(Podcats are best, no doubt about it)

btenkink:

NightHawk21:
Nice spotlight, but I gotta know, what's in the falcon tube?

The tube has a sample of the bacteria I work on (E. tarda, a relative of E. coli, cholera, and black death). The green colour is the media we grow it in. Basically my day job consists of taking those bacteria, mixing them with human cells and studying how the human cells die.

So, in the events of a massive plague ripping through the world, we all know who to blame then, right?

And as each Community Spotlight comes out, it dawns on me more and more how I'll never be in one since I'm a sad, boring old bore.

So, outside of the Escapist, what do you do?
Nothing, because I'm poor and very antisocial.

Job/education?
None because I have no work skills and therefore can never afford anything, least of all extra schooling.

What do you do for fun?
No.

See? Not a good article to be had.

... I'm going to slink off to the sad corner now...

btenkink:

NightHawk21:
Nice spotlight, but I gotta know, what's in the falcon tube?

The tube has a sample of the bacteria I work on (E. tarda, a relative of E. coli, cholera, and black death). The green colour is the media we grow it in. Basically my day job consists of taking those bacteria, mixing them with human cells and studying how the human cells die.

Ha lucky, I've been trying troubleshooting a phage display procedure for like the last month. Still never, seen blue media before :)

I was kind of surprised by his low post count, and that he got the spotlight. XD Still, this is my favorite one so far and the songs were cool. I really like the one about rain.

 

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