Esegine Allen hit the airwave with his hit single, Rihanna. Now with over 100 singles in his kitty including the track, YouGarrit and Shoki, he talks about music
What are you working on currently?
I have a new song titled Shoki. I am working on the concept of the video. I am trying to make it global.
What is ‘Shoki’ all about?
Shoki is a dance that is in vogue at the moment. I got the inspiration for the song a couple of weeks ago while hanging out with a group of friends at Fela’s shrine in Lagos. I saw some people dancing and when I asked, they told me it was Shoki, a new dance. The following day, I went into the studio and recorded the song. The record was released on March 27, a day before my birthday and the acceptance has been very encouraging.
Do you have a full album out?
No, but the demand for an album has been increasing daily and I am going to drop an album very soon. I have always had songs that could make an album. At the moment, we have close to 100 recorded songs. A large percentage of music lovers are tuned to Orezi at the moment and that is a sign for me to drop an album.
What satisfaction do you get from your art?
It is a growing process. Each single I drop is always better than the last one. From ‘Booty bounce’ to ‘Rihanna’ and ‘YouGarrit’, the acceptance has been very encouraging. ‘Rihanna’ is my biggest song, judging from awards, acceptance and U-Tube views it has received. It fetched me three awards and I am hoping to win more.
Do you think making an album is going to be more financially rewarding than producing singles?
In Nigeria, artistes do not make money from albums. This is due to the fact that it involves making arrangement with marketers for a pay off or percentage of proceeds from the album sales. Most Nigerian artistes usually settle for pay off which may not exceed N5m at most. An album cost more than N5m to produce. But albums increase acceptance, popularity and fan base, which is where the money comes from.
How long have you been singing?
Professionally, I have been singing since 2009. But I have always been a music lover right from the university. I recorded a song during my 300 level. After I graduated from the university, I decided to embrace a career in music and the first person I sang with was Dr. Fabz.
How are you faring in the music business?
Before now, I used to think I deserve more since I have put in a lot of work and I have the best videos out there. Although I know people who came after me who are more famous than me, I still believe God’s time is the best. The music industry in Nigeria has reached a point where everyone has a destination. As long as one does not allow the fame of others to be a source of concern, one will excel. Sometimes, I feel depressed when I think I have been around for a while and I am yet to get to where I am supposed to get to.
How do you deal with disappointments?
In Nigeria, people are supposed to be used to disappointment. There are things that are always there to make you disappointed. I take each day as it comes and I commit everything into God’s hands.
Tell us about your background
My name is Orezi. Orezi means, one who is destined to be great. It is an Isoko name. I am the first child of my parents and I have four lovely siblings. My family is close-knit and my parents are loving and supportive. I was born in Ibadan when my parents were based there. When I was two years old, the family relocated to Lagos. My family members are my greatest fans and biggest critics. I respect their views because I know that they will never lie to me. My secondary school was in the east. I am a graduate of Urban and Regional planning from the University of Lagos.
Are you planning to work with your degree?
I intend to practise. I am trying to be famous because I think it will help me in future. I don’t intend to stay too long with music though. If I have three albums, I will switch to music production and promotion.
What inspired your song ‘YouGarrit’?
It was a spin-off from the effect of ‘Rihanna’. After the huge success of ‘Rihanna’, I needed to do another song but I did not want to do the same thing. I wanted to do an Afrobeat, rock and jam song that people can dance to.
Is your genre strictly hip hop or do you sometimes diversify?
My music cuts across all genres. In Nigeria, we don’t really have a genre of music that all the artistes are adopting. If I had my way, after this album, I will drop an all-reggae album because reggae is my best music. My biggest song has been dancehall, but because I need to satisfy the Nigerian audience, I have concentrated more on Afrobeat. I can do any kind of sound.
Kindly describe yourself…
I am a cool person who is accommodating and that is why people like me. I like a close relationship with my fans, so I don’t have protocols around who would prevent fans from reaching me. An artiste is a man of the people. There is a way to manage a situation when fans try to abuse one’s accessibility but it does not mean they should be shut out completely.
What would make you fall in love with a lady?
Apart from the fact that she has to be pretty, I also watch out for good character. If the character is good, I may not care about the looks. I may not even marry a pretty woman because my mother says a pretty woman belongs to more than one man.
So your girlfriend is not pretty?
I don’t have a girlfriend
I have a lot of female friends but I don’t have a girlfriend. I wish I had. The thing about relationships is that you need someone who understands you and who will always be around you. It is sweeter than being with different women. I am the kind of person who always wants to be around people I love. I grew up in a very affectionate family and I know how to give affection.
Describe your style
I like fashion a lot. I like to be flashy and to be spotted in the crowd. I don’t like following trends because my style speaks volumes of my personality.
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