Fast rising singer Selassie, whose real name is Richie Selassie Okonkwo, has proven that he is ready to take over the fiercely competitive Nigerian music industry. That is what he tells Tosin Clegg, as he recalls his journey into music, his new projects and much more
How did music start for you?
The number one person that made me come into music was MI. In fact, back then, I knew every MI song word for word. That was how I actually started music. Back in secondary school, YCee and I loved miming songs. YCee was a Lil Wayne freak and I was an MI guy. We put up shows and YCee would do Lil Wayne stuffs and I would do MI stuffs and girls will be screaming. One of the students then came up to me and said, ‘Guy, I’ve watched you do this; you’re very good at it. I’m your classmate and I’m your fan. You should look into it.’ That was how I started.
Who would you love to feature with in the course of the year?
I would like to do a collabo with Ycee this year. I’ve spoken to him about it and the Selassie Family’s working towards it. It will also be a blessing to work with Olamide sometime soon. Olamide puts flavour on songs. It will be a huge pleasure to work with him and Wizkid.
What have you been up to?
This year, we’ve been in the studio working on songs. We released one of those songs we’ve been working on, titled YAPA. It’s been great and has been received in the surroundings, but, you need to grow more than your surroundings. So, we’re pushing it to international boarders as much as our resources and God will take us.
How did you come about YAPA?
YAPA is every Nigerian’s dream and aspiration. YAPA is my aspiration. The song says, ‘things day, shayo dey, owo dey, everything dey yapa’. That’s Nigerian mentality –we want abundance; we want success. The song is for everybody –those that have made money, who have succeeded in life; those that want to succeed in life; those that are praying for miracle. I feel that it’s a song that carries the spirit, because it changes the mood everywhere I’ve performed it; people get so exited. They’re like oh my God! I want things to be yapa in my life.