Subzilla: I’m Inspired by the Beat and Environment I Find Myself

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Subzilla has been buzzing in the streets of Lagos since he dropped his ‘Sisi Eko’ tune in the last quarter of 2015. He is arguably one of the next big things popping in the street-hop culture that has engulfed the whole country, as more people around the world continue to embrace Nigerian music. In this interview, the budding Star Subzilla tells Akpor Gbemre about life before and after his ‘Sisi Eko’ fame, his style of music and his views on issues such as piracy, industry “beef” and more

Considering the fact that Nigerians are beginning to accept and dance to your latest work, ‘Sisi Eko’, how does it feel to be a fast-rising artist in the Nigerian music industry?
It feels great but very challenging. Subzilla is still work in progress.

Who is Subzilla? Tell us a bit about how you started out in music.
My real name is Boboye Emmanuel Bodunde. I hail from Ondo state, Ifedore Local Government Area to be precise and, I belong to a family of five children. I started music at a very tender age, and back then I used to listen to the likes of Tuface Idibia; Orlando Owoh; King Sunny Ade; Salawa Abeni, and some foreign artists. So, with that I gradually developed myself but I kicked off professionally in 2013 when I dropped my first official single titled ‘NGHELU’.

How were you discovered by UK-based Lams Records?
Lams Records is a family record label/business owned by my brother, who has been supporting me from day one.

Describe your style of music and what makes your brand different from a whole lot of artists’ doing Afro-pop?
I do Afro-pop music with a fusion of fuji music. I’m also a versatile artiste by nature and I’m inspired by the beat and the environment I find myself. If you listen to my sound you will know it is definitely different.

You released ‘Sisi Eko’ last year and the remix, featuring Tekno and Reminsce early this year; what inspired the song and why a remix?
Firstly, I thank God for making the original ‘Sisi Eko’ a hit song. The beat and well-endowed beautiful African women out there inspired the song and it’s more like studio freestyle but I always try to make sense whenever I’m recording even though it’s freestyle because I always want my song to be meaningful to everybody. As for the remix, although fans tweeted, suggesting a lot of artistes but I had it in mind to work with Tekno and Reminisce because of their originality and street credibility.

What does it feel like working with Tekno and Reminisce on a song?
As I said earlier, it was wonderful working with them, because the chemistry was good and they have been very supportive.
What have been your challenges so far in the music industry?
Life itself is a challenge and everybody knows that music is very challenging because it requires a lot of money, time and work to become an A-List artiste. But I thank God because everything is working as planned by my record label, Lams Records and my management team and we are getting there by God’s grace.

What’s the meaning of Subzilla and why did you chose to adopt it as your stage name?
Initially, I was called Zilla, which means being different because I always try to be unique in everything I do but adopted the name because I liked the way my friends used to hail me back, like “what’s up Zilla or Sup Zilla”. It sounded cool; so I accepted the tag ‘Sup’ but I changed it to ‘Sub’ on my songs to make it Subzilla because it sounds better than Sup to me.

How did you feel winning Gbedu Awards Street Next Rated Artiste of the year 2016 few weeks back?
It feels great and encouraging because I never saw it coming. I thank God for everything and shout out to Gbedu awards for the honour and for recognising me as the future.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I see myself at the peak of my career and where hard work takes me to and I believe with God all things are possible.

Who are your role models locally and internationally?
Locally, I respect 2baba, Don jazzy, D’banj and P-Square. Internationally, I Iove Pharrel Williams, Jay-Z, Trey Songs and Lil Wayne.

What is your view about piracy and ‘beef’, the two major problems plaguing the music industry?
I believe the Nigerian government is working strongly on how to eradicate piracy and I believe with the help of God it will definitely come to pass. Concerning the beef, I pray for peace and I believe devil is at work.

Any message for your fans out there?
I will like to say thanks to all my fans for supporting me because without them there’s no me and they should expect more good songs and videos from me. I will always keep it coming and I will never disappoint them. Just watch out and keep supporting your boy Subzilla; God bless you guys. Dreams come true.