John Ogenaoge Idinye aka CuteJohn
Life as an altar boy gradually crystallised into bigger things for Idinye John. The Edo-born singer popularly referred to as Cutejohn still finds it surprising, but those early days paved the way for a feature on his sister’s album. It was from there that his music career as a writer and singer commenced on a rather impromptu note.
“My elder sis was singing lots of Tina Turner Songs,” he said. “I never used to sing then until we left Edo to come to Lagos. I found myself helping her write songs. She later wanted to do a song and I had to do some rap. I did very well. So I started writing. The music was there along with an interest in Fela and Rap.”
His undying affection for both artistes is forging the ingredients for his album that drops in April. The Afro Hip Hop ensemble will be the first in what he hopes will be Afrocentric music for the future. Already he has dropped an “Adun” track featuring 2 Sweet.
“In my current song I mentioned Fela. I also like Nas. Basically I do Pidgin and English. That is my own thing. I call it Afro Hip Hop. I just love this African thing and feel natural on it.”
The streets of Lagos are the breeding ground for most of his rhymes. As an Ebute Metta crooner, he is also hoping much of his personal experiences will give listeners a feel of what he has gone through while building a musical career that has been fraught with good and bad events. There is also an unpublished book.
“I connect to the streets to make my rhymes. It makes it easier. I did not publish my book. It is something I will do. Education is not guarantee you’ll make it in life, but if you want to attract people, pick a lifestyle. Writing is good because it encourages school kids and other people.”
For a singer that is not on any label, some videos and collaborations are also in the offing. His do-it-yourself approach echoes an uncanny desire to make the most of what he terms God-given passion.
“I am currently not on any label. What I am looking at right now is also some videos. I don’t want to disclose but I am working on songs with some popular MC’s. I have been in it for a while and know many MC’s around. My music is God-given.”