Performing at the Jazz Night, Ocean View Restaurant

Performing at the Jazz Night, Ocean View Restaurant,Victoria Island, Lagos

Femi Leye, up and coming artiste, guitarist, record producer and music consultant who has worked with some of the industries finest sat to talk with me about his journey into music, his aspirations and what he knows the future holds for him.

Having being in the industry for over 10 years, Femi can be said to have grown into music as his earlier musical days were formed around inspirations from artistes like  Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Bob Marley, Fela Kuti. These helped his love and passion for the art develop even more.

So grab some iced drink or any of your favorite and have a good time reading our documented talk:

Did you find music or music found you?

I think music for me is in-born. My dad was in the choir when he was in high school. He loves music a lot and my mom is still in the choir. Music just came to me naturally, I guess.

How did you start out?

I started in the church playing the keyboard and then the guitars in the choir. That was where it all started from. Then later on I got the opportunity to work with some artists like Kenny K’ore, BOUQUI, Rooftop MC’s, MI, Wizkid, Capital Femi etc, performing with some and doing session jobs for others.

Performing with Ernest Bisong on Violin

Performing with Ernest Bisong on Violin

Do you sing?

Yes, I sing.

What kind of music do you do?

I’m that kind of musician that can’t be put in a particular box. My music is a fusion of different influences from jazz, soul, Neo Soul, RnB, Highlife fused with African elements.

With his band: Adebiyi (Bass), Femi Leye, Psykes (keyboard), Etgregs (Drums)

With his band: Adebiyi (Bass), Femi Leye, Psykes (keyboard), Etgregs (Drums)

Oh really? Tell me about your jazz experience. I know that’s interesting stuff for you.

That’s the core of my music. I fell in love with jazz when I heard Breezing by the great George Benson. That changed my life and perception about music. Jazz is basically improvisation. That means the musician is composing melodies and complex harmonies in the music. I find that really interesting.

You and K’ore… you have a connection

Yes. My experience with Kore is priceless. I learnt a lot from him not just musically but also as an individual. He is a fantastic person.

Motiri by Kenny K’ore

What did you do with him?

I toured with him as a guitarist and I also recorded on some of his songs.

What songs are they?

He featured me on Psalm 23 (Odeshi), his new video “Motiri” (interpreted to be “I have seen”) and some new songs in his next record; they are not out yet.

What other artists have you worked with?

GT da Guitarman, Ruby (Loopy music), Omolara, Christine Ben Ameh, Rooftop MC’s and a number of others.

I remember you saying some time ago that you’d love to record sound tracks for movies, right?

Yes, but I said it’s one of the things I’m going to do. I wanna check the way we score movies in Nigeria. People like Hans Zimmer inspire me.

Oh that’s cool. So what has been the high point of your career?

I have had a couple; performing at the Lagos Jazz series with my friend Capital Femi, recording a project with DJklem of Knighthouse, doing s live acoustic session on Nigeria info 99.3FM, the first on the station.

You were with a band on that show. Do you belong to a band?

I had my band with me.

Oh you have a band? Who are the other members? I thought I heard you say your brother was one of them?

Nope. The other members of the band are Keyboards-Psykes, Bass-Adebiyi, Drums and Vocals –ETGregs.

Oh not your brother? It must have been your brother from another mother then

Yeah (Laughs).

What challenges have you had so far?

I won’t call them challenges; they are propellers to greater things.

Are you currently signed unto any record label?

No, I’m not.

What themes should we expect your music to thrive on?

Love, joy, peace…  you only live once; get the best out of life.

What song(s) have you recorded?

Irawo Owuro. I also recorded the Jazz version of Greenland by TY Bello and Oliver Twist by D’banj.

Irawo Owuro is an original piece – your original piece, right?

Yes, it is.

What’s the story behind the song?

Irawo Owuro means Morning Star. It’s about being thankful to God for seeing another light of day and Jesus Christ is the Bright and Morning star; hence Irawo Owuro.

Would you say things are going as planned?

By the Grace of God, yes.

Go back in time; would you have thought you’d be where you are today?

I thank God for where I’m coming from, where I am and where I’m going to.

Great; that’s how you go up. So what’s your next big step?

All I can say is that we are working real hard to bring out good music to our fans by God’s Grace.  

Alright thank you so much for hanging out with me or is there something else you want to say?

I just wanna say thank you to all my fans for their love and support; thank you so much, God bless you and thank you Tolu.


3 Responses

  1. segun harlujo

    Nice one der bruv,d little time I spent wit you during Nysc waz an experience worth it.hmmmmmm *tnking Batch A camp concert.

  2. smiley

    Nice interview!
    Really proud of Femi Leye’s achievements.
    Greater things are obviously coming his way

  3. olaide

    Good job Femi! Lovely n intelligent responses. I thought I saw greg(psykes) in one of those photos. You. Guys are doing a great job. May God continue to strengthen u!


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