Singer, songwriter and actress, Jose Phyn, has attributed her love for music to the fulfillment and joy she derives from entertainment as a whole.
Born and raised in the nation’s centre of commerce, Lagos, Jose Phyn whose real name is Josephine Solomon, is a thorough-bred artiste, who turned her passion for what she loves doing into a big pay day and what a life she has made there from!
It started from her formative years when listening to songs made by seasoned professionals of old was enough to change her mood. As this morphed into a hobby and latter passion, she didn’t hesitate to give music the shot it deserved.
The rest as they say is history as the Edo State indigene is now the talk of the town getting favourable mention in same fashion as other female iconic singers like Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Simi, Teni, amongst others.
Narrating how her path crossed with music, Jose Phyn told entertainment editors that from the get-go, her friends used to gather round her just to see her dance and sometimes dragged her to parties she had no invitations to attend.
She recalled: “Entertainment for me has always been something I find myself doing and it’s one of those things that gives me joy and fulfilment while growing up. I was usually one of the best dancers back then in the neighbourhood and everybody just loved it when I dance. My friends usually come to get me to dance in uninvited parties in the neighbourhood and just because I love music so much, I’ll find myself doing all the steps (laughs).
“So one day, I was listening to a radio station and they played a song by Rihanna featuring Ne-Yo titled ‘Hate that I love you’. It got me so love-struck, influenced and very inspired and I said to myself, I can do this and can be better. That’s how I got motivated to writing my own songs in my early teens, growing and grooming myself, though I grew up listening to the likes of 2Face and the Plantation Boyz, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Micheal Jackson, Daddy Showkey, Tony Tetuila, Beyoncé, Brandy to mention a few.”
A little bit of experimentation with songs written by her soon made Jose Phyn to realize that there was more for her in music than just fun and excitement. She was stuck, almost magnetized such that there was no room for escape anymore.
“I got so much in love with music and realized I was born for it, to create magic and I wanted the whole world to hear my voice,” she stressed.
The song bird wants everyone to know that the premise of her lyrics is multi-layered. For her, inspiration to write new songs either comes from reality or sheer imagination.
Hear her: “My inspiration comes from nowhere and everywhere. Most of the times, my songs are about feelings, reality, real life experiences and sometimes imaginary fiction. I can get inspired by my own story, by people’s story, my environment, nature, love, music or by just listening to sounds. Basically, it just depends on my mood and zone.”
A graduate of the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos, Jose Phyn shared her growing up years with LEADERSHIP, saying, “I grew up in Onipanu, Ilupeju area of Lagos. Growing up for me was really usual and fun. I was just like every normal kid, not that I was born with a silver spoon or something. But then, I have good memories growing up and sometimes wish we could just go back to the days we played ‘’Ten Ten’, tell folktales under the moon light or days when peaceful carnivals where conducted by youths and ended up choosing queens and kings that represented each streets. Oh my God, that was a good one!”
Although parents of old were often against the choice of their children going into such stuff as music and sports, Jose Phyn was very lucky in that both her mum and dad recognized the power of her music and quickly threw their weight of support behind her from the onset.
“My parents were my biggest fan and support system at the beginning till now. They made me believe in myself and helped me to wanna get better. I could remember when I write songs and while rehearsing, they will sing with me and be like yo ‘this song lit’ even though sometimes, it might not be too good. They encourage and inspire me a lot of times,” she added.
In what appears as her appraisal of the nation’s entertainment landscape, she pointed out that “the Nigerian entertainment industry is a movement and it’s really fast growing and then it’s cutting across borders. People are starting to accept Afro Beats and Pop all around the world and I’m glad to be part of it. We have lots of mind blowing creative talented artists, producers and video directors that even people from other countries and continents want to collaborate with. We are recognized and not small anymore and I am very happy for the likes of Burna Boy and Wizkid for their nominations and winning the Grammy awards because it’s like they’ve just opened the door for the rest of us and yes, this is just the beginning.”
So, who does she rate highest amongst the trio of Davido, Wizkid and Burna Boy? Jose Phyn stifled a giggle before disclosing that “they are all unique, creative and super talented in their own ways. I love them and they are all my specs. So no picky picky,” she says in a bout of laughter.
And although, Nigerian music has come of age, funds to push songs to national and global limelight remains a challenge.
“My biggest challenge as an artiste in the Nigerian music industry is money and it can be stressing. If one does not have the resources to throw around, no matter how good the song may be, it will suffer a serious setback. Talent as they say is never enough,” she added.