Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Bemyoda... On Music, Life and being Bemyoda

Bemyoda recently released the music video to his song ''Forever'', we caught up him to ask a few questions.

 What inspired your stage name Bemyoda?
I think I’m now used to this being the first question folks ask. My first name is Bem. It’s Tiv for ‘Peace’. My surname is Iordaah (pronounced Yoda). So Bemyoda is really a contraction of my firstand last name.

When did you start playing the Guitar, and what other instruments do you play?
I’ve played on and off since I was in University. Only started to pay more attention and applying myself in the last 3 years. I’m currently learning to play the piano but I’m not good enough yet.

Who are your major musical influences?
I grew up listening to Bob Fitts, Maranatha Singers and whatever else was on TV, like Michael Jackson, Sade, etc. Later, I started listening to Brian McKnight, The Winans, Trinity 5:7, and then much later on, India.Arie, Commissioned, Take 6, Lauryn Hill, and Dwele. This latter group of people marked a change in my appreciation for song writing and music in general. These days I listen to anything that’s wholesome, from Hillsong and Jesus Culture to Lucy Rose and Leon Bridges.

Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
Not really, besides praying by myself or with my band. I like to be in a quiet place though, or at least to not be talking a lot.

Top 5 songs on your playlist?
Andra Day - Rise Up
Andra Day - City Burns
Travis Greene - Intentional
Lucy Rose - Watch Over
Hillsong - More Than Life

What challenges have you faced working in the music industry?
The Nigerian music industry has grown. It’s in a way better place than it was a couple of years ago but it still has a long way to go. Structure is everything, and it’s the one thing we’re in dire need of.
Everything else that’s a challenge is similar to what you’d face in any other industry. You’re pushing a style of music that’s not as widely accepted in these parts, so it’s hard. There are many people waiting to take advantage of you. It can be a fickle industry. But you push forward in spite of the things you like and those you don’t.

What advice do you have for people who want to become full-time musicians?
I do not regard myself as the consummate musician—you know, the one who does no other type of work. But if you want it badly enough, go for it, and make sure you’re great at it.

What other passion(s) do you have?
Besides songs I write other things. I picked up photography a while ago. I love to read. I consult on digital marketing strategy and advertising. I teach teens at church.

What inspires you to write songs?
I love poetry and storytelling. And in a simple sense those elements make up great music - or at least my definition of it. There’s a need for wholesome stories to be told using a tool as powerful as music. Stories about love and faith, about God and humanity, about courage and society
Sometimes the stories will be happy, sometimes sad. Sometimes they’d stoke conversation about difficult issues, or just make people dance.
Everything I write is intended to be wholesome, even though some of it can be pretty heavy.

When will your debut album Stark be released?
3rd or 4th quarter 2016; Most of the work is done. I’m only just tying up loose ends and making sure everything that needs to be is in place first.

Keep Up with Bemyoda's work: 

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