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.