Everyone seems to have heard about Praiz Adejo, so when he walked in to the FAB office for his interview it didn’t come as a surprise that the atmosphere at the office changed. Talking to Praiz actually turned out to be pretty easy and comfortable – and it was a smooth interview. At some point it was more of laughter than actual words.
Chances are that you have heard Rich & Famous, Stupid Song, Jekalo and many more songs from the ‘R n B’ crooner, but how deeply do you know him? Well this interview gives the opportunity you need – Praiz talks on marriage plans, how much he made from MTN endorsement, performing to a difficult crowd and so much more!
Praiz who emerged second runner-up in the popular musical reality show MTN Project Fame, and has mostly recently been nominated for World Best Male Artist, World Best Live Act and World Best Entertainer of the Year at the World Music Awards – opens up like never before.
FAB: Do you think you would have become this famous if you didn’t have a platform like Project Fame to kick-start your career?
You never know though and basically I believe in destiny. I believe I was destined to kick-start my career from Project Fame – but you never know how your career will go and I wouldn’t know how my career will be if I wasn’t on Project Fame. Anything I am today first of all, God takes the glory but I owe a lot to Project Fame for giving me the platform.
FAB: At this point in your Career, what drives you?
Praiz: My family drives me. The need to succeed drives me.
FAB: The Nigerian audience seems a bit hard to please with ever-changing demands and music taste – How have you been able to keep up with that?
Praiz: I’ve been able to keep up with Nigerians wanting different genres of music because it’s very key for an artist to be versatile, basically, and I think if you are a versatile artist it will keep you going. I’m a very versatile artist – it’s not hard for me all I have to do is just infuse my music into any genre of music that I want to do be it high life, soft rock or whatever. I just infuse ‘R n B’ and my style, and my dexterity into any genre of music they want.
Praiz: Growing up I used to listen to a lot of music and records from my dad. My dad had a lot of ‘R n B’ records from Billy Ocean to Otis Redding – we had a lot of Michael Jackson videos, audio and I think that is one thing that has affected my love for ‘R n B’ personally. My dad is a good music lover. When he listens to a song that is good he says it is good and when he listens to a song that is wack he says it is wack. I think that is what has influenced my music growing up as a kid.
FAB: What has been the most frustrating experience for you in the Nigerian music industry?
Praiz: The most frustrating period for me in my career was immediately after project fame – I came third and basically it is just normal for priority to be given to the first. For me I call it “introduction to reality”, because I now had to now work my way to where I wanted to be. I mean it took me years, it took me years but I’m grateful to God and also grateful to my fans and my record label. Today I stand on the same platform with people who I never expected to be with – hardwork pays. Patience and Hardwork pays.
Praiz: It has to be John Legend though – on my list, number one has to be John Legend
FAB: Because of the voice?
Praiz: No not because of the voice, first of all I just think John Legend is an exceptional musician. He is one with class; he is a philanthropist and his music you can also connect with what he sings about basically and he is a brand I really really admire.
FAB: Speaking Of John Legend, A Lot Of People Compare The Two Of You – How Does That Make You Feel?
Praiz: Well it’s a good thing though *laughs*. We have similar vocal dexterities and funny enough I’ve always sounded this way even before I knew who John Legend was. I’m a big fan of Carl Thomas – and well people just always say “Praiz you and John Legend sound alike” and I love John Legend so what can I say?
FAB: You do more of ‘R n B’ than anything so how does that affect your love life?
Praiz: Well at the moment I don’t have a love life though – it’s just work work work for now
FAB: So you’re saying you don’t have any girlfriend, friend with benefits, anything…nothing?
Praiz: Well I don’t have a love life *laughs*
Praiz: I don’t think we share too much, at times we just – well we’re human beings. We’re like every other person and there are things we just see that makes us happy and we just put them up on social media. Let’s say for instance Instagram, maybe I put up a wrist-watch and I don’t really say much and I just put up a wrist-watch, bloggers just take it up and put it up everywhere and it is being interpreted differently and you get people cussing on us and everything. So it’s not like we share too much but we are just normal people and we just do thing that every other person does.
FAB: But celebrities are not normal people – first of all. You have a very public life so to an extent don’t you see that whatever you say or do is going to be seen by millions of people and not everybody has the same way of thinking?
Praiz: Yeah. Celebrities are regarded as “not normal people” and people see us as super-human. But basically I am just speaking from my own perspective. I try to do things that everyone does, I try to do things I used to do even before people knew me – so that’s why I said what I said.
FAB: Ok. If you could date someone in the Industry, who will it be?
Praiz: I don’t think I will date anyone in the Industry because I’ve always said I won’t date anyone in the industry.
Praiz: Being in the industry can be very busy and I need someone who will be able to take care of the family. In as much as I will like my spouse to be a career driven person, I wouldn’t like my kids to grow up knowing the nanny more than the parents. So I will want someone who is more balanced than being in the industry.
FAB: You mentioned family; do you have a timeline you’re working towards in terms of marriage and children?
Praiz: Well for now I’m just focused on the music. *laughs* You just reminded me of something – like I went home for the new year and we were just gisting then my dad goes “You know the bible says it’s not good for a man to be alone” then I just turned and looked at my brothers like this man is here again.
Praiz: Well I’m a very random dresser – there are times when you will expect me to come in a suit and I might just come casual. In as much as I can dress to the occasion, but I like to dress comfortably and if I’m comfortable no matter what anyone thinks I’m good to go.
FAB: For most events do you work with a stylist?
Praiz: Not all the time. Although most of my tuxedos are designed by Mai Atafo so basically I get tips from him on how to put things together.
FAB: What’s the most expensive fashion item you have?
Praiz: I think it has to be my wrist-watch *covers wrist-watch brand*
FAB: I saw that already – It’s a Rolex. Ok, what’s your most loved fashion item?
Praiz: I think it should be items – shoes, my belt and my wrist-watch.
FAB: If you could raid someone’s closet who will it be?
FAB: Apart from MAI, who’s your best Nigerian or African designer?
Praiz: Hmm…It has to be MAI
Praiz: Ok I’ve worn stuff by Remi Buttons, I’ve worn stuff by Runz Couture, and I’ve worn stuff by House of Nwocha – that’s Ugonna’s stuff. I’ve worn a couple.
FAB: Can you remember the last three items you bought?
Praiz: A pair of Zanotti sandals, Zanotti shoes and a Versace T-shirt.
FAB: So what are some of the things you are working on in 2014?
Praiz: I’ve been working on my debut album and I think it’s time it goes out – finally. A lot of people are tired of waiting; even my boss is tired of waiting. Basically the Rich and Famous album drops first quarter of this year and I’ll be on tour recording with various international acts, basically just trying to push the music to a whole new level.
FAB: What International acts?
Praiz: Oh you’ll know soon. You know if I tell you now the chips will be spoilt.
FAB: Just give us one name.
Praiz: If I give you the name now it will be headline *laughs*
FAB: Ok give us initials. Country?
FAB: Hmm. Ok. Apart from MTN are there other endorsements in the pipeline?
Praiz: Well I’m hopeful but for now I can’t really place my finger on any but I’m hopeful that this year by God’s grace I will rake in more endorsements.
FAB: How much did you get for MTN?
Praiz: Well I got enough money to make me happy and to make my family happy
FAB: Is it triple digits? Double digits? Behind the million
Praiz: Two digits
FAB: What will our readers be surprised to know about you?
Praiz: I’m not a morning person
FAB: How do you mean?
Praiz: I wake up in the afternoon – I’m not a morning person and left to me I will rather not do anything in the morning. And at night I’m awake. I think it’s because we work a lot at night so we’re used to being awake and in the morning we are asleep – to start the day at like 12.
Praiz: It’s a show I went for and the crowd was really really difficult. The crowd was very very difficult. I still went on with my performance but as an artist you go into a show to perform and thrill your fans and everyone was like *gives a straight face*. And I’ve come to this same place and everyone went crazy then I went back and it was just – I was like this is just not one of those days.
FAB: But do you find that the Nigerian audience typically – like you go for a concert and everyone is just sitting down.
Praiz: Well in Nigeria we do more of shows and if you go for a typical concert no one is sitting down, everyone is standing and there are no tables. But thanks to the VVIPs who have to sit and chill – we have to create tables for them, so that is it.
FAB: What’s the nicest thing a fan has ever done for you?
Praiz: The nicest thing a fan has ever done was send me airtime on Twitter. Like the person just randomly DM’ed me airtime like It’s not like you need it but this is just from me to you appreciating you and that was really sweet.
FAB: Thank you, it’s been FAB chatting with you.
Praiz: Thank you too.