The grand prize winner of Project Fame Season 7, Geoffrey Oji launched his debut album on Friday, September 18, 2015, at Ultima Studios in Lekki, Lagos. In an exclusive interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, he relayed how rewarding it has been to have passed through the Project Fame Academy, among other issues…
Congrats on your album launch.
How do you feel about yourself and your career?
The fans are beginning to get used to my song as an afro-soul singer and I got to know this when I was hosted at an industry night recently. Myself, YQ and City Q were jointly hosted.
The album, Bursted consists of how many tracks and which artistes did you feature?
Bursted consists of nine tracks because I have the remix of Bursting my brain with Oritse Femi in it and a couple of songs. I already did collaboration with Chidinma; we are trying to put that out. I am also working on something with 2Face Idibia. I already did a collaboration with Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson, that’s the Bere Bote song I did in the Academy. We all know that he is late, so I had to do a cover for him because the people who managed him at that time said I should do a cover for him; so they have his voice in it, myself and Korede Sax. That is also in the album.
How has the acceptance of your brand of music been?
Truth be told, it is not there yet but we are of course getting there. At least, I have few people who have accepted it and also sharing the gospel with others, like ‘am new and reeling out good stuff. The industry night again, was a good example as I was referred to as a fast rising star in the music industry.
Considering the current rave in the music industry, are you under any pressure to change your style of music?
The truth is I don’t want to mortgage or restrict myself to a particular style of music, because we had varieties in the Project Fame Academy. Originally, we all know I am more of a soul singer, but I am not going to leverage on that alone, I am going to touch other genres of music. I am not a religious singer; I can do any type of song you throw at me. I don’t thrive well with fuji, or jazz but every other type of genre is alright by me.
Reggae seems to be your strong point, are we looking at something more on Reggae?
I have got a slow kind of reggae, that’s the one I am working on with Tubaba and probably M.I. It’s entitled Baba God don bless me. It’s more of a slow cool kind of reggae song.
Do you have another type of your humanitarian song, Everyday is a Chance on the album?
No, I don’t in this particular one because this is like an EP, consisting of nine songs. So, the other songs that are coming to make a full album are where you will see a whole number of songs.
Among the songs in the EP, which one is your favourite and why?
They are all my songs, and I like them all. But if you insist, I will say Everyday is a chance is my favourite because it is the first song I wrote and I relate with it more because of where I am coming from and a whole lot of things I have been through. Also, when I look at the society and what people are going through, that was actually what compelled me to write the song in the first place. So, I am saying to the populace that every day is a chance to give and lend a helping hand.
Iyanya and Chidinma also launched out as soul singers but have somehow deviated into other genres, should we expect such from you too?
First, I wouldn’t put it that they deviated completely. I will say they tried something else and it is working for them and they are comfortable with it. Iyanya has a number of soul songs I have been opportuned to listen to and they are worth looking out for.
Chidinma also has some other lovely soul songs too. But for me, I am the voice of the people, I am not going to come out of this one. Once in a while, I am still going to bring out songs that border on humanity and charity.
Is the video for Everyday is a Chance ready?
The video is not ready, we are working on it. So, any moment from the end of this month, the video should be ready.
Did your song, Bursting my brain inform the decision for your album title?
Yes, I got the album title Bursted from that. Since everybody got to know and like me through that song.
If you were not picked in Ghana, would you have still continued to audition for Project Fame?
Truth be told, I would have continued to show up for Project Fame if I was not selected last season.
There’s a trend now of people going for slow music, how would you describe yourself, are you fast or slow?
I am a mid-tempo singer. I am not so much of a fast singer; I am a mid-tempo singer that gives room for you to think about the song, beat and all while enjoying the music.
As the winner of Project Fame, how has life treated you?
Life, to be honest, has been fair to me. For me to be the winner and then be alive, life has been really good to me. After I came out of Project Fame, a whole lot of people were expecting so much from me, especially financially, considering where I came from and God has been faithful. I invested some and had to give a lot more too, because family comes first for me.
In a nutshell, life has been fair. I get called up to perform and even when I don’t charge, I still get some honorarium as encouragement.
Most important is the fact that Ultima Studios have been quite supportive, they don’t just provide the platform and leave you thereafter, Ultima will follow you all through. Sincerely, I’ve been fortunate to pass through the Academy. Aside singing, I also do voice-over for campaigns and promos. Project Fame Academy will teach you all.
Immediately you finished the competition, you talked about starting a relationship with Ruky, how did that work out?
Nah! I said that because it wasn’t just for one person to decide. I think we came out of the Academy and responsibilities came, work came and we both got busy. So basically, we are not the way we used to be back then in the Academy, but we are still good friends.
How have you been able to cope with stardom; fans, girls, pride and more?
The truth is when you achieve stardom, a whole number of people will want to identify with you. It is then wise for you to know how to relate and handle each matter as they come. So yes, the ladies and other things appear, but I have learnt to rely on God’s wisdom and grace to stay humble, calm and responsible.
- RASHEED ABUBAKAR