Due to play at HMV Apollo tonight, PSquare, 2Kriss and WizKid made an appearance for a press conference about the AfroBeats Festival, and luckily DJ Abrantee of ChoiceFM was also there.
Just before they headed off to their Pre-Party at the Guvnour Bar, East London, here’s what they had to say:
[All pictures by Juliana Kasumu]
FAB: Hi boys, welcome to London! Just want to ask you, How does it feel to be part of the very first Afrobeats fesitival?
Wizkid – Well yes, Hi, I’m Wizkid (laughs), well how does it feel? This is kinda my first big gig in London, so yes as you can imagine, it is a very big deal for me and my career also. I mean, it feels great! That’s all I can say really, oh and yeah, of course I’m so grateful! I mean, I grew up listening to these guys, PSquare, and now all of a sudden their like my big brothers! Its just great! (Laughs)
FAB: So tell us, what have you got lined up for tomorrow?
Peter – I think for the past 3 months, we, Psquare, have had one of the most successful concerts in Nigeria. All our album release numbers, have been absolutely fantastic.
Paul – On twitter, facebook, we’ve received a lot of positive comments, and so yeah, we are expecting a lot of people their, of course not just Africans, we know Oyinbos love us too! (laughs) We are really expecting, our massive fan base to be there. So you guys just better be ready for another level!
FAB: Psquare, We know that the Nigerian music scence now, has gone Global. We also know that there are Nigerian bands, here now, that are signed on with international companies. Are we too now expect that of you guys too?
Peter – Your asking us, do you not know that we are already and international act? The question is who wants to work with us! I mean yeah, its good for all other artists, but I tell you now, there is no place that plays music like Africa. I mean, we’re just free you know? On our new album, there are so many things about Africa we just wanted to portray.
Paul – If I’m just going to add what my brother said, on the album we’ve been so successful. I mean, without all the international acts, we’ve sold over one million, in just four days, and of course we’re so happy about that. Basically, of course everyone wants to get to the next level, and its ignorant for people to think that the only way to get there is by doing a collaboration with International artists.
FAB: DJAbrantee, with your show on Choice FM you have actually pushed Afrobeats to another level. (Applause) How does it feel to be the first to do what you’ve done, in terms of Nigerian music on British radio?
DJAbrante: Hi, yeah wow. (Laughs) You know what, to be honest, I am just absolutely honoured to be sitting amongst such inspirational people. Just, the passion, I’ve always had a passion for music, and obviously, I’ve got that passion for Africa, African music. I’ve always known that, our music can go to the next level, that same level as any other genre of music. At the end of the day, the artists that are producing this music, they are as talented as any other type of artist in this world. All we need, is for this to be exposed, to the type of audience that maybe it hasn’t been exposed to before. Obviously, thank to ChoiceFM, for allowing me to put on this African show. They asked me you know, “Why would you want to put on this kind of music?” I told them, its fresh its new! When they said its okay, I told myself, that this will be the test of me, if this failed. It would be the end! It too that two hour afrobeats show to produce this. And so I am happy, I feel like I had achieved! (Applause)
FAB: PSquare, you know you have a massive Fan base in America. Please tell us, will you be touring up their anytime soon?
Peter – Yeah, we’re aware of that. But the one problem with America, is that till this day, they don’t even have one radio station, that represents Africa, as big as that place is!
Paul – What were trying to say is, why is it that we have to do a collaboration with someone before they play my music their? Let me give you an example, if I was to do a collaboration with Usher, then they will play my tracks on air. Before Usher came to Nigeria to have a collaboration with me, did we not play his own music over here [Africa]? (Laughs) This is what we’re fighting for, yes?
FAB: WizKid, you’ve had an amazing transformation, in a short space of time, how are you coping with the attention and fame? We know theres a ‘Kid’ in your name, but not so sure if we can still call you that anymore.
WizKid: – (Laughs) It feel good man! But of course its hard work. Just a few years ago, I was at home, listening to these guys [PSqaure]. It feels good dropping your own stuff after just hearing it in the studio, and people are chearing your name, its makes me want to work harder. I’ve learnt stuff from them all, Banky W knows how to handle the crowd very well, D’Banj, incredible performer, you know PSquare, need I say more?
FAB: Obviously your passionate about your music, I mean, according to some articles, you quit University to focus on it. Would you encourage other musicians to do the same?
WizKid- I didn’t quit, I didn’t quit! I took a break. That’s one thing I need to clear up right now, and let you all know. I simple took a break. I was having problems when I released my tracks. People started recognising me in classes, they where no longer focussing on work you know, like when I dropped ‘Don’t Dull’ my fan base crazy. I mean sometimes the lecturer would even send me out! (Laughs). I just decided that I had to take a break for a while. I wouldn’t encourage anybody to do what I done, I just done what I felt was best for me.
FAB: 2Kriss, you haven’t been on the scene for that long, but already you have your tracks with WizKid, Ice Prince etc. Please tell us, what’s next for you guys? Should we be expecting collaborations from another big named artist?
2Kriss – We must first of say we are so grateful, I mean of course it hasn’t been easy, as WizKid has already said, I mean we’ve only really been around for a few months now, and to have our second track with WizKid, yeah it has been fun. In terms of big names? Maybe PSquare? (Laughs).
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Tonight should be a blast! And we here at FAB wish them all the best!