Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Blessing's 'Excuses'

excuses dares you to make an excuse for how things turn out for each person.

So I don't sound like an obnoxious pretentious writer who's always looking to analyze the underlying message in the song, here's a simple approach to telling you why you should have a listen to Blessing's "Excuses."

"If you you miss me, call or text."
"If you love me tell me"
"If you want me come find me"
these words I heard in a conversation this one time.

It sometimes feels like we tend to forget how to deal with our fellow humans by giving so many excuses, I couldn't call because, I forgot to text because, I couldn't come see you because...maybe you could't do all these because I just don't mean so much to you.

(so much for writing simply and not pretentious)

Maybe its because the song feels so personal, and hits so close to home but this song...this woman are on to something deep.

She serves up rawness on this track and it could possibly be the fact that almost everyone can relate to the words. it's real life wrapped in a beautiful song by an even more beautiful voice.

I'd probably play this song to the next person who offers me excuses for something as basic as calling

Monday, 18 September 2017

Johhny Drille wants YOU to inspire his next song!

Every (song)writer needs a muse. We all need something or someone to draw inspiration from and a lot of times, we do that from within. Johnny Drille, the singer, who has blessed us with songs like 'my beautiful love' surely has a lot of memories, stories, experiences and people to draw inspiration from but recently, he decided to do something different- have other people's stories inspire him.

In an instagram post, he wrote, "I've written quite a lot this year; a lot about my own experiences and I wanna write more songs about real stories. 
Tonight I was thinking, 'what if I wrote about someone else's story?'. Some of you have had experiences about love, God, sadness, happiness, family, friends, etc that I haven't. If you've got any intriguing stories you'd like to share (doesn't have to be yours) please share; I may just be inspired to make a song with it" .

The post, which now has over 2500 likes, had people from all spaces their love and heartbreak stories. What began as a simple enough question for his fans has become something more as some have an outlet for expression (and healing), and others have hugs and commiserations for them.

I for one can't wait to listen to what song will come out from this simple post.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

#Fashion Bonang. V. Mary J Blige

South African tv personality, Bonang and American singer, #MaryjBlige, doing justice to this emerald green #michaelcostello dress.

We love how gorgeous and elegant they both look in this outfit. Can you think of another artiste that would look great in a dress like this?

Monday, 28 August 2017

Untagged : The Isomers

walking into the Blue Cabana, you are compelled to relax,  and the main hall was a simple proper chill environment and the first set was a beautiful cascading experience.
Ushered in by Mc Bluetooth,

The show kicked off with "Apologize" a literal apology to all who have been friend-zoned.
Then they moved Love, Kites and a Rock, a mostly abstract but eerily interesting.
The next was Oya, my personal favorite and then Long Shot! It may all have a core of love but...who doesn't love love right? I hope nobody.

 The follow-up performer was Blessing Tangban. A quirky humor filled talent with just the right about of seriousness to inspire deep thinking music that sure comes from her core.
Her set included songs from her album 'Beautiful',  "Into the wild" and an exclusive never before heard performance of 'I Love It'.

Bash came next, eloquently spitting words of fire to our souls oh so effortlessly making simple words quicken everyone present.

And then the final act, Jarell Ebuka, such a super star name and the face to go with it made a show as he performed his  smile evoking singles 'What a good Boy', 'Close' and the fairly new jam 'Many years ago'.

The show was closed with a full set from the reasons for the evening the Isomers serenading us with another set comprising of  'Power', 'Agbada' and then the much anticipated 'Lunatic in your Town' and finally the last song of the evening, 'Another man's head'.

The crop and calibre of music in the capital city of Abuja is best described as underestimated. Its a wonder that these talents haven't...for lack of a better expression "Blown" however, this is a Watch Out World warning. Music is growing, root up in Abuja.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

#GettingToKnowYou Ogecha Is...Exceptional, Inspiring and Phenomenal

Ogecha is as happy as they come and as down to earth as you’d ever want for someone to be, a true model for emulation and a woman of strength.
The pleasure of a sit down was all mine as we navigated her world so far. A brilliant mind and a great talker as you probably wouldn’t expect she is unapologetically herself and tries to be no other person.
Storytelling is her craft and she does it beautifully, she answers questions in her own unique manner, forgetting the questions after a long monologue and asks “what was the question again?”
She shares testimonies on how her music has touched lives, achieving in her time what some wait a lifetime and probably after death to achieve, the gift of touching others where it counts.

AMN: I’m going to ask you this question because I feel it’s very necessary, what’s the worst interview question you’ve ever had to answer?

OGECHA: the worst interview question, my god. They haven’t really asked me any bad ones, they’ve only turned my interviews around and messed them up terribly. I haven’t had any bad ones.

AMN: so what’s the most annoying?

OGECHA: Well for me, it's what kind of music do you do? And this is because I feel many people just want to box and categorize my music, not because they listened to it, it's jus a random question most of the time. First of all, I've always lived outside the box, my mind seems to work outside the normal human purview of things. I don't like being forced into a corner and that is what that question does to me.

AMN: Well what do you answer then?

OGECHA: My songs are God-inspired and in turn they deeply inspire those who listen to them. They are also conversational and thought-provoking.

AMN: Do you feel like every singer has their own special calling?

OGECHA: there was a time when people only sang because they had a message, people like Fela, Fela had a message and the easiest way to pass his message was through his songs, one way that we Christians share the message of God, is through music. Unfortunately we are in a time where music is a money making, fame bringing industry. It’s just entertainment, people are not interested anymore in what they are telling people to do. It’s just about the beat and that’s what people are about so I won’t say it’s because everyone has a calling, you discover that right now, a lot of people are just doing it because there’s no Job. 'Its fun, I have the money, so why don’t I?'

AMN: Is this what pushes you when you write your music?

OGECHA: I never wanted to sing in the first place, I wanted to be a doctor, it didn’t work out, I ended up studying Chemical engineering for 3 years, those were the worst years of my life and thankfully I found industrial and systems engineering “What was the question for God sake?” (She asks, laughing)

AMN: I think I’ve forgotten as well, is this what pushed your love for writing music?

OGECHA: (in a cackle for a bit longer) so while I was studying, my Dad decided to pass away, decided to leave us, to leave me his darling. And I was looking for a way to express what I was feeling because I’m not the type to share my feelings, I don’t! it’s very difficult for me to sit and just share my feelings with people. So one of the easiest ways for me to do it was through songs, because when people hear these songs they don’t think you are talking about yourself. They just enjoy the song with you, so it was easy, it was safe to express whatever I wanted to express in music after losing him. I’d been writing songs for a long time, since secondary school, some of the songs we used to sing them in fellowship but by the time I got to university I’d stopped writing songs until he died, that was in 2006/2007. I wrote this song called “You Can Not Lie” and from there songs just started coming out from somewhere, what was the question again? Yes! I write songs  because I want to express my feelings sometimes. Most of these songs are conversations I have with God, or that I have with myself.
So usually if I’m sitting alone and I’m just meditating and I’m asking God questions, they come out in songs. If I want to write the answers or just express my questions, they come out in songs.

AMN: I guess you’ve answered the question why music?

OGECHA: I love music, Music is my life. Without music I don’t think I’d be alive, music is terribly important to me.
AMN: Wow, so are you one of those happy singing people, always singing everywhere?

OGECHA: no, I have this song called no nonsense. It was an angry song. (Breaks out in song) “Let me tell you, something you don’t know, there is no monopoly on nonsense..." and that was because someone looked for my trouble. So no, its not about happy jumping everywhere, sometimes I sing when I’m angry.

AMN: would you say living with you is like living with a living breathing musical?

OGECHA: well not really because I’m actually a very shy person and I know you will not believe it but its true. I am very shy. I do not like to sing where people are. So seeing me on stage, I was actually forced there. I never wanted to be on stage, singing in front of people but I found myself being encouraged, pushed and prodded, through my secondary school days I was threatened with 'punishment' if I refused to sing and right now I enjoy doing it. I’ve come to love music but it’s not something I would have done if I didn’t have special people in my life that encouraged me to go ahead and then seeing the impact the songs I write has on people, also encourages me to keep doing it too. I’ve had some interesting testimonials from people:
One of my favourites would be, the fact that my mum, after losing my dad was very down, very depressed and I watched my music kind of bring her back. She’s a very happy go lucky person but after losing my dad she became mellow and melancholic but when she started hearing my songs, my mum came back and it was interesting to watch.
Someone else almost killed herself, and she heard one of the songs playing on the radio, she said “It was as if that feeling of death that was prodding her to go and commit suicide immediately left the car.” I cannot explain that to you but she found a way to get across to my sister who told me what happened.
Another person who had some issues, personality wise, she was not relational, wasn't interested in forming bonds with anyone. She’s not what we would call ordinary, she’s extraordinary in her own way, she didn’t really relate with people and she was just on her own. This girl came for the album launch in 2011, that’s my first album launch, got the CD and they said every morning by 5am she would get up and play the CD, that was the first change they noticed about her, then secondly, she started talking to everybody and anybody that came to the house so she could gain access to their phones and change their ringtones to the first song on that album which is called 'all for you'. She did this all the way to Pakistan (I think her father was posted there) this is someone that never spoke to anyone but her parents, siblings and those who lived in their house but if you see her now, she’s very different. Seeing those kinds of things come out of songs that I write, it would be a dangerous thing to say 'This is the raining beat, I must sing on this raining beat because everyone else is doing it', 'I need to follow the trend' and so on. I'm doing this because i know that if I don't, not only will I miss out on God's beautiful plan for my life, but I may not be able to impact and as value to lives of some beautiful people, whom I may never even meet. No, I’ll keep doing it because of these one in a million testimonies.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

20 years, Still a Legend...F.E.L.A

He took the world like a storm all on his own, with his different flavor to the interpretation of music, culture, style and fashion.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti is not just remembered as a legend today but a role model and an inspiration. His musical form has been covered, sampled and re-used by musicians all over.

Here's a little Fela spice to sweeten your tongue.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Bemyoda : Inside the Mind of an Intellectual

AMN: Now speaking about God, do you find that people tend to box you in the religious line because of the kind of folky feel of your songs? Because you aren’t straight up singing the shake your booty sort of songs.

Bem: this is a very touchy subject because I’ve had fights, broken friendships and relationships because of this. But for me it’s pretty straight forward and simple. It took me a while to get here but it’s a thing of understanding that when music is called Christian, a lot of the time it’s a marketing thing. It’s not a bad thing and there’s nothing wrong with it.

On one hand it feels like it’s a box, on the other hand, the music itself is a box. For me now, it’s a thing where once you are Christian, you are Christian. I don’t think that I have to label everything that I do after that, but everything that I do has to come from my faith.

So if you listen to stark from the beginning to end, nobody has to tell you that this guy is Christian, nobody has to tell you there’s something spiritual about this.

 I feel like there’s a lot of times where Christians say “ my gospel music, I want to use it to reach the world” you are not using gospel music to reach the world because the world is not listening to gospel music. The church is listening to gospel music. So you are using your music to edify the church but don’t say it’s a tool to reach the world because how are you reaching them? First of all they will not listen to it if it’s called Christian, cos that’s not what they want to listen to, secondly as a Christian can you speak to the issue of life? As a human being and from a Christian perspective?

Yes you should be able to, I should be able to sing about boko haram killing children in the north, because it affects me, as a human being. It affects me as a Christian, I should be concerned about that, I should be concerned about Nigeria enough and if I want to put it in a song, it should be the right thing to do as a Christian.

But this is a challenge mostly from the church because I sing about Nigeria now, like in the song called Renegade Soldier, where I’m basically saying there’s all of these issues happening and we should stand up and speak for what is right, we should stand up and do the right thing. What is 
un-christian about that? But it doesn’t fit into worship music so people tell you, you are circular. Is that really circular? It isn’t. 

So it’s a twisted conversation and a lot of times I don’t like to get into it, because it can go round and some people feel like you are doing it because it’s a money thing, you want a big market. When honestly in Nigeria, beside club and party music, the next big market is gospel music. So in doing this, I’m depriving myself because I’m not making party music and neither am I making Christian music so in essence I’m shooting myself in the foot. But people don’t see it that way, they feel like you are for the world, you want to get money.

But then again I don’t feel like is should make worship music for money, if I’m called to do that…fine.
I still write worship songs, I still sing in church, I still go to minister in places and sing worship because that’s who I am as a Christian but I don’t think that it should stop us from, doing other things, because if you say that then it affects everything else.
It affects movie, it affects education and so much more.
We have this thing where we put music on a pedestal by itself and sort of separate it from life so you hear a Christian say, “ I cant listen to your music, its not christian” but you can watch game of thrones? But you can watch Isoken?

There’s nothing Christian about it, in that sense. It’s almost like saying “ this person is gay but I tell a lie so his sin is greater.”  So it’s a thing of understanding. When God is involved people tend to get very sentimental.