Singer, Joseph Oboghenaliyo, aka Tekzlee, tells MOBOLA SADIQ how he is combining music career with education and other issues
Why did you delve into music and how long have you been singing?
I have always been inspired by music. I indulge in music when I am down and sad. When I was much younger, I joined the choir and that was where the real love started. One day in junior secondary school, I was rapping in class and a senior student took notice. He called me to his class and told me to do a freestyle for him. He loved my freestyle and he told me the next day that I would be performing at the school’s social gathering. It was such an exhilarating moment for me. I was quite nervous but immediately I touched the microphone and started rapping, I got a lot of cheers from everyone. From that moment, I realised music was my path.
At what point were you convinced that you’d make it big in music?
I was convinced when I released my song, Dangerous, in 2020. I unlocked a new fusion of music, mixing afro and pop, which I believe makes my sound blissful. The song got good reviews from the audience and that made me want to make more music and improve on my sound.
Who are some of the artistes that have inspired you?
The Weekend, Burna Boy, Runtown, Wizkid and Rema have played a huge part in developing my sound because they release unique songs.
A lot of youngsters are into music and are not pursuing white-collar jobs. What do you think about this?
Sometimes, it is said that white-collar jobs are the only means to make it but there are some individuals who are different and would love to make it in their own ways.
The music industry is very competitive. How well do you think you would fare among other young artistes?
It is a world of competition and I believe with determination and consistency, I would distinguish myself from others. Branding is an important factor in this case. Differentiating my sound and making it unique would make me fare well among others.
What do you think you need to do to stand out in the music industry?
I feel I only need to be myself to stand out. Pretending to be anything else would not lead me anywhere. Believing in myself and putting my soul into my work would undoubtedly make me stand out in the music industry.
Record companies play a huge role in the growth of artistes. Why are you not signed to any record label?
That is indeed a huge factor in an artiste’s life but that does not mean I should not strive to push my music forward myself. I have not had the opportunity yet and I have only been able to enter into a paid partnership with some entertainment outfits such as JMP BLISS, for the promotion of my music. If I get a good deal, I would sign to a big label.
What are some of the challenges up-and-coming artistes like you face?
I think it is lack of support and love. Sometimes, people look down on us. At shows, we are usually not allowed to perform our songs fully before bigger artistes come in. Up-and-coming artistes deal with a lot of issues and if one does not have the strength to face them, one might break down.
What messages does your music preach?
Where do you see yourself in the next two years?
I see myself having a strong fan base and entertaining them with my music.
Do you think your music can compete with trending songs?
I believe that with the right promotion and exposure, my song would be able to compete with other popular sounds in Nigeria. I have been told that my sound is different and I believe I can compete with the big artistes in the country.
What are the things that can help up-and-coming artistes to succeed?
Being signed to a known record label is important. I have not got the opportunity of a good record deal but if I do, I would grab it with both hands.
Did your family support your decision to become an artiste?
My family was not in full support initially but watching me grow musically influenced their decision to back me up. Knowing I have potential, my dad and mum have been in full support of my music career. They try their best to provide me with connections.
Are you a full-time artiste or are there other things you do to make money?
I am into music fully but I am also a 300 level student of Babcock University. Aside from that, I try to invest, and get additional streams of income.
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