Talented Afrobeats Singer, O6a, Emerges, Set to Drop Debut EP

Talented Afrobeats Singer, O6a, Emerges, Set to Drop Debut EP

Ferdinand Ekechukwu

A number of young artists have emerged in the Nigeria music scene and same way left the scene and never returned. One just needs to bring something to hold on to that stands out from the pack. “If it’s not your music, it’s the way you carry yourself, if it’s not the way you carry yourself, at least the way you communicate with people; you just bring something different,” said new afrobeats artiste, O6a (pronounced Oba).

Portable for instance, “he’s arguably a fantastic artiste. But controversial, and that has seen him retain his brand and remained,” following his emergence a couple of years ago, he adds. For the Firewood Records artiste, real name Ariehwe Odafe Isaac, he’s ready for the grind in the music industry, bringing his God given talent and uniqueness. With a touch of Buju’s impact on the way he sings, he revealed there was a period he listened to the former for like two good years. 

O6a is convinced with his progression so far. To be sure, he said, “I know that where I am is not where I was. I like to look at it that where I am today, is not where I was last year or last two years. So, I know that this thing I’m doing is what I’m supposed to do. So, I have to keep going.” He enthused, “very, very convinced”.

Last year, he made appreciable efforts at a number of shows, fulfilling some goals set the previous year.  He recalls his first stage performance sometime in 2022 to over 2000 spectators at Nana’s Event Centre opposite the popular Fela Shrine. “I told my parents I was going to the cinema. Meanwhile I was going for a show,” he said laughing. Not like his parents would have stopped him from going, but noticing his drive towards music, they expected or would rather prefer the gospel genre.

But that doesn’t count. “Because I have been in love with music before I started singing.” he asserts. What genre of music is he inclined? Pop music as it were but later traversed to afrobeats. “Ermmm it first started with white music, I used to listen to Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, that’s when I was still like in Junior Secondary School. I even used to sing for my seniors, and they used to say I sound like these artists mentioned.

“Those were the people I used to listen to but then as I kept growing I started having this passion for Africa, African music then started listening to Burna Boy, Buju (BXN), and the rest like that and as I kept listening to afrobeats, it was just changing my mindset on Africa and everything. I began focusing more on afrobeats than other genre,” he said, letting out a smile as he reclines on a seat.

“I can sing any genre but prefer afrobeats. When I sing afrobeats, there’s this way it feels easier. If I have to rap I have to sit down first and think of lines and all of that, I have to make sure the words I’m saying people are hearing and connecting with the words. But afrobeats, I just flow with it straight.” A silver chain on his neck with the continent shaped pendant symbolizes his love for Africa.

“This chain on my neck I have been wearing since 2019. It’s my ride or die chain that I’m African. This is my symbol.” Some budding creatives want to go into music because of the waves and inherent commercial success. To O6a, afrobeats is popping. He shares an experience from his record label owner. “Before he came to set it up he said when he enters the store abroad he’s hearing afrobeats, when he enters the bar, afrobeats… anywhere he enters he’s just hearing afrobeats!”

O6a believes Nigerian music has taken over the world and as an afrobeats artist; this is the best time to come out.  “Because now everybody is seeing us, everybody is noticing us. And the attention is on afrobeats artists. Everybody wants to hear what you got. Now I have an EP coming out next month April, titled Genesis.” Why Genesis?

‘Genesis’, he says because he has been doing music for some time now since 2018. That was when he uncovered his flair for afrobeats, embarking on his music career. He has had collaborations with a couple of artistes some turned out well, some didn’t as expected. Plus studio sessions accompanied by his supportive dad. His backstory is similar and peculiar.

“I have been free-styling. To me, it wasn’t the right time. Different things have happened that slowed it down. In 2020, that quarantine period, my best friend and I had some money and we went to buy equipment. That time around 2018-2019, my dad even used to carry me to studio to make music before I got signed.

“I had recorded like 10 songs on a laptop at home, and was preparing to drop my first project. Before I went back to school, then I was still in high school. Then my laptop crashed! Later I recorded a song ‘Bus Stop’, that was my first official single that I dropped on streaming platforms in 2022. I first recorded it with one artiste-friend like collaboration. People started noticing me as I dropped the song. My Instagram followers increased.

“I believe everything I do; everything in this my career, it’s God putting the people there at that time in my life. So, the name ‘Genesis’, that’s the title of the upcoming EP, is something different, something new. Something from the scratch, like I’m starting from the beginning. So, this is my debut. This will announce me to what people will know me as. The kind of music I sing, how I sing, the vibe I have, from this my project. So, that’s why I gave the name ‘Genesis’.

A six-track solo EP, O6a boasts of all the songs on the new body of work. He revealed he dropped a song titled ‘Money’ early this year alongside the video. The first song on the album is Genesis, that’s the title track, the second song is ‘My Story’, the third is ‘234 (Gbagbe)’, the fourth song is ‘Yes or No’, the fifth song ‘Like That’ and the sixth song is ‘Men’. And a bonus track which he’s yet to disclose.

Is he looking out for collaborations in the future with any of the leading Nigerian artistes if the opportunity comes? “I don’t want to overstretch it. Some people will say Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy; yes I want to work with them. I know it can’t happen just like that. But if I am chanced to work with somebody, it’s still going to be Buju (BXN). I would love to work with Buju,” he concludes.

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