His name might be new, but his songs are currently enjoying massive airplay in the music scene. Fast rising HipHop/Rap artiste, Oluwasegun Ezekiel Clement, popularly known as Engo, is an artiste, DJ and Tutor from Lagos State. The graduate of Electrical Electronic Engineering from Ekiti State University (EKSU), said he is set to dominate the airwaves of Nigeria and abroad. He speaks with ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM in this interview.
How was your growing up like?
My growing up was great, I grew up in an environment in which one is expected to have an idea of almost everything in life… be it spiritual/religion, financial, education, sports, entertainment, including street orientations and the likes…
How did you venture into music?
Music, for me, is like Oxygen because i was born into the music system, religious setting. My Dad is a shepherd of a Celestial church, my mom the choir mistress and all my sisters (all elders) sing. So it’s more like i was raised in it.
What kind of song do you do?
My kind of music is a major of HipHop/Rap blended with any other genre of interest in the Afro spirit… but I call my sound and style “#Okisiyayi”, meaning quality and royal…I was greatly influenced by various artistes of different genre, thanks to my Dad who allowed us to listen to any kind of music including Fuji, apala, bolojo, soul, rap etc. He is a music lover but can’t sing… instead he prays a lot… and mom pushed us to create and compose using various styles.
How long have you been singing professionally?
Like I said, I was born into the music system, singing has been a way of life but I found Rap in 2010. Same year, I had my first studio recording and everything changed for good… But I will love to certify 2018 as a more professional start for me despite my ground breaking and award winning achievements over the years.
Where do get your inspiration from? Some said it’s through drinking and smoking, what’s yours?
My inspiration is within. God has given me abundant creative potentials. So, I just look inward for it, and taking into consideration my environment and my experiences. My kind of act selects a subject and makes a good product of it creatively.
Apart from music, what else do you do?
Aside music… I’m a video jockey (VJ: into red carpet hosting and TV presenting) as well as Tutoring (major on mathematics and sciences)
How effectively do you now combine your music with all that you do?
Music and VJ thing go easily because they are both entertainment related, but I do the tutoring based on my deep passion for impacting young people positively and I think it also reflects in the way I deliver my lyrics. Though challenging, I have been able to master and marry them all.
How many tracks do you have from your album and what are your hit tracks?
At present, my body of work is a mix tape of 15 tracks released on my birthday in 2016 and titled “Engocentric Mix tape”… But my official single, which is now a hit, titled “OmoCeleReloaded”, is making huge waves and we are coming out strong on it thanks to the fans (I call them #Engocentrics, meaning centered on Engo). The hit “OmoCeleReloaded”, is a song encouraging people against discrimination of any kind by using the denomination idea to speak the truth on the subject. I’m a celestial and I have been directly affected by interdenominational discrimination likewise many others. We are in d world where people easily dislike and later intensively dislike to the point of extreme hatred… hatred for other people’s ideas (biogot), hatred for people of different skin colour (racism), hatred for foreigners (xenophobia), tribal issues, political party crises, religious hatred, interdenominational hatred and even hatred for human nature ( misanthropy).
All these kinds of hatred and dislike makes the world a hell of an experience. I know a people that could get a job, school admission, promotion, wedded to the love of their life all because of the fact that they belong to a particular church, religion, party, tribe, race and the like. So, the song is about my celestial pride in my heritage, speaking for the silent ones and getting people to rise above the terrible system in this world of dislike and hatred.
The song is available online on all platforms
What challenges did you have or are having in the cause of music?
Basically, my challenge at present is just the difficulty of getting to properly reach out to the world musically … as regards finance because the industry is still small… it’s just growing and a whole lot of people have made it all about money. Nevertheless, we’ll keep pushing through till the world catches the virus.
Where do you see your music or yourself in the next 5 years?
I see myself dominating both home and abroad… by domination, I mean becoming influential to the world, becoming a positive influence with the very best entertainment means.
What has life taught you over the years?
I have been taught by life to be proud of where I am from, family, and environment etc, since we couldn’t choose our parent but was born onto them. I believe there is a purpose for our existence in that particular family as designed by God. So basically, being proud of who you are, correcting who you are and becoming better.
If you are to change anything in you, what would you change?
Life is about decision making, making choices if good or bad, and our decision will either make us or break us. So, if I have the ability to stop making the wrong choices or avoiding them, then I’m cool, because doing the right thing is really hard.
Do you regret doing music?
No, I don’t
Have you ever been discouraged in what you are doing?
Yes, countless times but I always refuse to check my time using other people’s watches
Who are your role models or your mentors in music?
I really don’t have a model but I have been influenced by five artistes, home and abroad… home: Olamide, Phyno, Ruggedman, Vector and MI… Also Abroad, Jay z, Kanye West, Eminem, Lil Wayne and Kendrick Lamar.
What message do you have for upcoming artistes who aspire to be like you?
To all uprising stars like me, I say don’t feel low or little by being called an upcoming. In the light of truth, everyone is an upcoming because our desires, dreams and wants have no end… Even the African richest, Dangote still wants more… And remember that the competition is within, it’s about you being better than you not someone else. Believe in yourself and be better.
Geographically speaking, the stars are upcoming to the sun, that’s what sups.
With your busy schedule, how do you relax?
I simply relax by staying alone in my dark room, though it’s weird kind of but it helps me ease stress and aids my creativity and imagination. I also relax by being around a happy crowd and just observing.
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