With his widely acclaimed 2010 hit, ‘I Celebrate‘, Waconzy, born Obinna Kelvin Anyanwu marked his entrance into the Nigerian music scene winning a fan base that cuts across age, gender and geographical boundaries.
In this chat with Nigerian Entertainment Today, he talks about his new album, career and his decision to move to Lagos.
How did the whole music thing begin for you? Was it accidental or was it something that you always wanted to do?
Music started from my interest of wanting to be somebody, someone that would create an impact for eternity. I want to be a voice that will make an impact in the world and to make that correction that I would like to see in the world because they say bad things happen when good people do nothing. There are a lot of ills that I feel I’d be able to correct a few of them through music and having power and a voice. That’s why my kind of music is not just dance or whatever, but music that makes sense, music that has a story to tell, that has information to pass on.
‘Celebrate‘ was a huge hit all over the country and all over Africa as well. As at the time you were recording in the studio, did you think it was going to be this successful?
As at the period I recorded ‘Celebrate’, life was not good for me. I was going through a lot of challenges. I went to the studio and did that song, and it was my true life story about that period. When I recorded the song, I felt like it was one of them songs but I knew that the instrumental was marvellous. I tried my best to push it the way I could and then I just got tired of pushing it and decided to rest. The next minute, the song started pushing itself worldwide you know. I like to say it was the grace of God, it was the hand of God on that song that made it big. I didn’t believe it was going be this big.
You actually took a lot of time to work on your new album, what are your expectations for this new album?
The grace of God is already there, He’s already assured me, and that’s what I’m working towards because I’m not going release any other album until three years from now. My expectation is that it’s going to sell five million copies, we are going to do a couple of international collabos and remixes, American and Africa artistes. We are going to make about ten videos out of the twenty songs. We have made five already. We have made ‘Club on Fire’, ‘Amosu’, ‘Sweet Life’, ‘Na God’ and ‘Love Me Not For Money’.
Speaking of collabos, how was it like working with the US star, Truth Hurts on the remix of ‘Club on Fire’?
Working with Truth Hurts was very wonderful. I believed that I was going to do a lot of international collabos but I didn’t know how soon I was going to do them. I was in Europe doing a tour, and I had a show in Austria. When I landed in Austria, my promoter who is like the biggest promoter there in Austria told me that Truth Hurts says she likes my music and that she could possibly come for my show. I said are you serious? Whao! Later on, while I was on the stage, I was told that Truth Hurts had come in. After the show, we exchanged contacts, I was supposed to fly out to Germany the next day but I had to stay back. The next day we did the recording of ‘Club on Fire’ remix.
So are there people that you are still hoping to work with, and doing international collabos with?
Well, there are a lot of people that I plan to work with. I hope to work with Rihanna. I am on the final phase of doing an ‘Amosu’ remix with Fat Joe. And of course, I would like to work with some East African artists like Radio and Weasel, just to connect with the East African market. I will be in America this month, probably by the month end so whatever happens we would be able to update from there.
I know you are into a lot of other things besides music, how do you cope with business and music?
Well, I am a Project Management graduate and I also have a Project Management professional degree. Before now, I have been doing my thing. I have an insight, a primary idea of the music business. I understand there is still demand and supply, so, I have a basic idea. Me managing my company, well I won’t say I do everything myself. My people do a lot but the truth about it is that I have a primary idea of what I want and how to achieve it. I see everything as a challenge. My team consist of the best people, so the work is a lot easier for me.
So are you signing on artists anytime soon?
Yes. We are going to sign artists soon, but the only artist signed to DV8 media right now is Waconzy. The brand is a property of DV8 media but very soon, we are in the final phase of selection, we are going to sign up an artist.
Instead of having a party on your birthday you chose to celebrate with the orphans. What motivated that?
Personally, I have never been a fan of buying expensive drinks in the club. It doesn’t mean I can afford to do it. Sometimes we buy drinks in clubs with so much money, and the money you use in buying drinks sometimes can feed a lot of people. So for me, I feel it’s just an opportunity for me to give back and also remind other rich people that we ought to invest in other people rather than investing in goods of social value, or investing in things of material value. The truth is, as a star, your competitors, your mates are not the ones that see you as a super star, people who see you as a super star are those people who call your name from the streets and buy your music.
Now that the album is out, what are your next plans?
We have a project with One Africa, a humanitarian project. We also have a couple of videos and tours lined up. We are also going to be supporting a couple of artistes. Even if we don’t get to sign all of them, we are going to support them on our own bill. The future is very bright I would like to say. We have a couple of things lined up, but we won’t want to let the cat out of the bag first, but everybody would keep hearing about them as time goes on. We hope to make a lot of positive impact round the world, pushing African music to a greater height and also giving back to the society.
You seem to have moved permanently to Lagos, do you feel missed by your fans back in Port Harcourt?
Yes, it is only normal for them to miss me. My moving to Lagos is primarily to expand my business and music. If you conquer some grounds, it’s only best you go and conquer new grounds, or else you might just be doing rubbish. So I’m sure they are happy for me that I’m conquering new grounds.