Interviews, Music

Fast-rising music act BIG CODE explains reason he went back to school

Godwin Chinedu Nzekwe, popularly known as Big Code is an upcoming act. He was very much active a couple of years back in the music industry. He disappeared to further his education in Petroleum Engineering. He is back to the music scene now. His single, Let me know will soon be ruling the airwaves.

ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with him about his new single and more.

 

Who is Nzekwe Godwin Chinedu?

He’s a musician. My stage name is Big Code. I am from a family of nine. I am the last child. I was born and raised in Lagos. I had my primary education in Lagos, my secondary education in Eket. I studied Petroleum Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri.

I am a versatile singer. I am not just an afro pop singer, I do RnB, I can do reggae, as long as it is good music. But basically, I am an afro pop singer.

How did you discover you have a flair in music?

Music started at a very young age. I have a great love for music. My mom was a singer. She had a group and they did a couple of recordings. She always took me along for rehearsals. As the last child, you always want to tag along.

My elder brother was the drummer of the group. It was really fun. I started music when I was about 15. I and two of my friends formed a group, called The Team. We performed at school parties and end of term parties. We broke up after school and went our different ways.

I started professionally in 2006. In 2008, I signed to Paparrazi Record that same year, I got admission into the university. I was advised to put music on the low only to perform at school shows. I dropped my first single in 2013, entitled Roller Coaster. I was on and off the music scene. Whenever there was strike, I usually faced my music but I went back to school after every strike.

In 2014, I dropped another single, Give it to me. I am back fully now and I have a new song, Let me know. It will be released very soon.

Where do you draw your inspiration?

Happenstances, I like sharing experiences. Life is all about ups and downs. When I am in a good mood, I do good music. When things are happening, I cool down with people and still make music.

You just released a new song, Let me know, can you tell us about it?

It is a song we didn’t actually plan to produce. We were in the studio having a nice time, when someone said we should do something. I wrote a song from what happened around me. It is entitled, Let me know. It is a feel good song, something you will want to listen to when you are down.

Can you share some of the challenges you faced as an upcoming act?

Great music is not only about the artiste, it is about the production crew. My greatest challenge from the start is about working with the right set of people. If the producer does not connect with you, he will not play the right tune.

Another challenge is reaching out to the public. As a new artiste, it is really difficult because everyone has a favourite artiste, so you need to show them why they should love you, that is the most difficult challenge if I must be honest.

How will you describe the journey so far?

So far, it has been good. We are making progress. People are getting to know Big Code and his style of music, with my new team, Paparrazi Records and my management, Zabriels Entertainment. It has been good.

Would you say you would have gotten farther than this, if you hadn’t sacrificed your music for academics?

Yes, I think I would have been beyond this but I don’t regret it. It feels very great to be educated. It is not just about the exposure, you get enlightened, you get to meet people, understand the way they react to situations. The exposure, the knowledge for me is massive.

It has given me a very big edge. My perception in 2008, 2009 is very different from what it is now. I don’t regret it at all. I say a big thank you to Samuel Nzekwe, my big brother and mentor, who asked me to go back to school. Being at this point is great. I don’t regret it. If I am asked to do it again, I will do it the same way.

Why did you decide to pursue your music career despite the sacrifice you made to study Petroleum Engineering?

We had a very massive family debate over this, everybody had to call me for a family meeting. Some thought I was crazy. I had to make them realize that I could have studied music at the university. I know Petroleum Engineering is a great course. I just don’t want a situation whereby I will just be a musician, no. I wanted to have knowledge of other fields. I wanted to be a professional in other aspects too.

Music is inbuilt. In the long run, I can go back to Petroleum Engineering any time.

How do you think you will break even in the saturated industry?

Honestly speaking, competition is very stiff. There are so many artistes out there. I believe so much in me because, I am very versatile. I am a strong vocalist. My fans will always anticipate my work. They know it will be good music. They don’t know the form it will take. I think my versatility will speak for me.

Who are you role models in the industry?

2Face, he is great, he is original. You will see the passion in him when singing. I respect Timaya. He is a great dancehall singer. I love MI. he is a great rapper. I cannot name them all. Without them, Nigerian music will not be where it is today. Look at Wizkid and Davido, see what they have achieved musically outside the country.

– SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN

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