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Emerging from a long break from music and a sojourn in the US, Nigeria’s hip-hop act Morachi seeks to pick the threads from where he left them. Yinka Olatunbosun reportsYou may remember the 2006 smash hit, “Hapuya Like That” by Morachi. A sure club-banger it was on arrival and is still a classic vibe anytime. If you wonder what had happened to Morachi since a decade ago, it’s a long break from music, but not a break-up with music.
Morachi was spotted recently at a Surulere lounge where he declared his official comeback to mainstream music industry. His return from Atlanta, USA, is a sure signal to his fans that he is committed to making more music after fathering a child in 2015.
“I have come to repossess my possession; take what belongs to me,” he began as he was surrounded by a flurry of flashing cameras. He considers music as his birth right, which was taken from him some years ago. He had no godfather or music mentor. He just made a song that went viral and successful in airplays but couldn’t get a spot at major music shows which is the real source of income for many Nigerian artists.
Calmly, he left Nigeria for Atlanta where he ventured into real estate as a source of livelihood. He also sold automobiles and brought some to Nigeria. As a result, he has travelled in and out of the country. But something kept pulling him back.
“The fan base I created with my first song was tremendous. I received very encouraging texts and emails,” he disclosed. “I don’t want to change my kind of music. I want to stay true to my kind of music. It doesn’t have to do with making money. My fans still believe in me and I am here to take the industry to another level.”
Morachi recounted how he had watched the industry crawl to global fame. From the era of afro-pop pioneers, Morachi had watched from the side-lines with the aim to beat all the players at their game.
“I was one of those who did great videos at the start of my music career. I believe in hard work; you either work or you go home. Everyone who is on top his music career got there through hard work. I don’t believe in Illuminati.
“We had Plantashun Boiz, Azadus and I wanted to be bigger than them. I started my own label and I didn’t do any promo CD. My video was directed by Mexx who was my senior in secondary school. I made the hit without any hype.
“The music industry has changed but not as I expected. I am a visionary. I want to come back to show everyone what it should be.”
Looking back at “Hapuyah Like That’’, Morachi claimed that the song is not exactly his kind of music. He had to play to the gallery as he was simply testing the waters.
“I tried to do my own kind of music but the industry didn’t welcome the song. Only one other song, ‘Iboyi’ was a bit successful. I wanted to incorporate a lion in the video to the song. The media thought I was fetish. I lost my sister and then some people began some ugly rumour around her death and the video. It would have been my next big song but the bad publicity killed the song.”
To make a meaningful impact, Morachi is focused on making a different sound. He is particularly impressed by the international recognition of Nigerian music and he believes that Nigerian music is the best in Africa. In fact, he asserts that many American artists are seriously threatened by the infiltration of Nigerian music on radio, social media and global music charts. This is why he never divorced music even whilst minding other businesses.
“In Atlanta, I have a studio in my apartment,” he said. “I cook and I record my music. I have a lot of people who believe in my dream in my team right now.”
What Morachi found to be disconcerting is the lack of regulating structure that ensures that Nigerian artists get their royalties. Still, he is pleased to see that the average music artist is not “hungry”.
Having left the mainstream music scene for a while, he was asked how he feels about the new crop of music stars grown on Nigerian soil.
“Davido grew on me. I love his music. I love Phyno, Flavour, Kiss Daniel, Star boy, Sugar Boi and a whole lot of them,” he said.
He doesn’t see any of them as competition for he has his own lane to ply as suggested in one of his songs, “On My Grind’’. This mid-tempo dancehall track is addictive; inspiring replay and attention.
“Dem sey my time don go/ But I tell dem sey na lie,’’ he sang in this track which was released recently on a two-track promo CD. The song promotes level-headedness, hard work and faith in God to make one’s life a success story.