Open and Close singer, Efa Iwara (that’s his real name), rather known as Efa, is a rapper and hip hop artiste. The Ibadan, Oyo born Geography graduate of University of Ibadan (UI), who in school formed a now-defunct three man music group called X-Factor with two friends (including DJ Klem), is passionate about good music as reflected in his works.
The young talented chap who is equally passionate about sports and is a professional cricket player spoke to ENCOMIUM Weekly about his music, his soon-to-be-released album and his recently-dropped coloration with the legendary Plantashaun Boiz…
What have you been up to lately?
A lot, really. I recently put out a single. It is called Fall in Love, and it features the Plantashaun Boiz.
Let’s talk about that. How were you able to get all three of them on the song?
All thanks to Baba God and my team, Now Muzik. Aside that, I think they heard the song and were interested in working with me on it.
What was the idea behind having all three of them on the song despite that they are no more together?
Funny enough, it wasn’t planned. The Plantashaun Boiz are legends. I grew up listening to them. When I recorded the song, it didn’t have them on it, but it had that Plantashaun Boiz feel. So, my management just thought it right to reach out to them. And it was amazing working with them. I am proud of myself.
What was it like working with such legends?
It was hell, no kidding. But it was worth the wait. All three talents came through, very mature. I learnt a lot of from them. For me, it was an awesome experience. We had so much fun in the studio. It’s an experience I will never forget.
What should we expect from your album?
Expect awesome music with very graphic and true stories. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s going to be that defining album. It’s titled Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
An album that would be remembered; one that can be placed side by side Wande Coal’s Mushin to Mo’Hits, MI’s Talk About It, D’Banj’s debut album and P-Square’s greatest albums.
I want it to be an album that in 20 years, when someone is asked the greatest album he has listened to, my album pops up.
Who are those you’re working with in terms of artistes and producers?
We just finished Plantashaun Boiz, still I really don’t want to give too much away. I am working with Big Fist, DJ Klem…
You’re working with DJ Klem, it’s been a while?
Yes, I grew up with DJ Klem. We were together in a group in Ibadan (Oyo), so it was only right that he was on the album.
Tell us about Efa the person, not Efa the artiste…
I am just a regular guy who loves watching football and having a couple of drinks with friends, or playing video games. I am also always on the phone with my mom. She’s always calling me.
I also like to see movies. I like to have a good time. I play basketball, I also play cricket professionally with Ibadan Metropolitan Cricket Club. We are in Division 2, we are seeking promotion to Division 1.
What inspires you as a person and a musician?
My life, my real life. I am a guy that I can go recording a banging song and have a good time. But if on my way to the studio I see a guy beat his girlfriend, that takes over my chain of thoughts. I might end up doing a song about domestic violence and how horrible it is and why we need to shun it.
That’s the kind of person I am. I am very spontaneous! I am easily moved by my everyday life and activities.
– MICHAEL NWOKIKE