Young, upwardly mobile former Project Fame shares with Darasimi Ogunnaike his trajectory through fame, passion for music, celebrity status and the impact on his life…..
Give a peep into your growing up, career path?
I was born and raised in Kaduna. I grew up with my Parents .My first exposure to music was from my father because he loved music and had an elaborate collection of records which he played daily.
As a baby, my mother knew how exited I would get when music is played. Then, at age 11, I joined the children's choir at our Baptist church where I got more exposure to music. Prior to when I got featured on the project fame platform, I had auditioned for several music competitions like- set the stage, Nokia first chance, BET Sunday's best and West African Idols amongst a host. Despite getting turned down, it never killed my zeal and persistence.
Fast forward to 2010, I entered for project fame where finally I got a chance to show the world what I am made of, and my journey began. But for a long period because I wasn't signed to any record label, making music was a struggle. With no management I went silent musically for 4years till 2014 when I met Aly Hills records Chief Executive Officer and my friend Baby-Fresh who is one of Don-Jazzy's Producers. I signed with Aly hills Records which is affiliated to Marvin records and that year we dropped a song titled my lover.
What kind of a child were you- stubborn or quiet?
I was majorly quiet and kind of a loner. I was more interested in watching the television, listening to radio and music. So I wasn't outdoorsy as a kid. I was a very gentle boy as a kid, quiet timid and shy. But that was then.
As a child, what values did u grow up with?
I thank God my parents raised me in church and taught me the virtues of respect, taking responsibility for things and humility. I am grateful for that foundation because it has helped thus far.
What has changed with generational shift?
Family values are being trampled on. Even though there's more awareness and little kids have more access to information, but I feel parents should groom their kids in love and discipline. Parents can show their children love, but once they spare the rod, they spoil the child..
It's my deep passion. The one thing I love so much. Music has left an imprint on me and I have had a first -hand experience of how powerful it can be, and it’s my intention to share that with the world. I also want to change my world with music, create awareness and champion causes against Child molestation, abuse and health.
What is it like being a project fame winner?
It's a platform and spring board. Something to leverage on I am still grateful for the opportunity, as going through project fame is only the beginning. The real work is getting out, sustaining and improving the brand created.
How has being a celebrity affected your social life?
It has improved my social skills a lot. I am naturally quiet, but as a musician you can't afford to be an introvert because music is expressive, and in order to capture an audience you have to know how to come out of your shell. It is something I have mastered over the years.
Do you feel that's given you a bit of a boost?
Absolutely it has, because people perceive you differently. As much as that is true, I maintain a level- head because the fans make me who I am.
After project fame, what has changed?
I have learned that talent is not enough and that there's music appropriate for the Nigerian audience and I am applying that. Besides, I am now signed on to Alyhills Records, affiliated to Marvin Records through Baby Fresh. I now focus more on my talent and let my label handle the promotions.
Talk me through your Music?
My music celebrates versatility, being able to make music that can appeal to any crowd. I just released a beautiful indigenous tune featuring Don-Jazzy and produced by Baby-Fresh. It is a song I coined from a tune my grandma used to sing to me as a kid. Whenever she visited from the village, the song made me feel loved, and so I translated that feeling into the song ‘Ifemi’. It is so far warming hearts all over, and so I am grateful. I intend to keep showing the world that I am full of surprises.
How has working with a new crop of professionals helped shape you as an artist?
It has been a blessing, especially having BabyFresh and Don-jazzy in my corner. I understand what the people want so they help me find my balance- the proper use of my vocals.
Have u always wanted to do music?
Yes, always. As far back as an infant I've loved music. So when I started getting older I understood it to be my purpose, the thing I was meant to do.
What artists inspire you and who do you hope to emulate now that you are with your own music?
Every musician inspires me. I am a combination of everything I've heard over time. I say with humility that I do not intend to emulate anyone, but instead show the world who I am..
If not music, what else?
Broadcasting, Production and film
How would u describe the Nigerian music industry?
Dynamic. We are already getting world acclaim. With the influx of international stars into our industry, it is a sign that we're slowly becoming music industry giants. . Although there is room for improvement in the aspect of structure and royalties, but we are getting better every day
Where do you see yourself in 5yrs time?
One of Nigeria's biggest exports, touring countries. I see myself having both indigenous and international acclaim. .I see myself a part of many humanitarian causes, spear heading change. Also important to me is becoming a proper role model for people who have dreams, and use my musical journey to inspire younger dreamers.
Any plans for marriage?
Not yet I still have a lot to accomplish before I decide to get married.
How do you deal with female fans?
I make them feel like family because I am nothing without them. I show that I love them, and I am devoted to them.