‘Mandela’s tribute song has changed my life’ -Singer, HARRYSONG


Harrison Tare Okiri, popularly known as Harrysong, ended 2013 on a brighter note as he won the most downloaded song in 2013 at The Headies. Consequently, MTN has decided to sponsor him to the Grammy awards in Los Angeles, California, in January 26, 2014. In a chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly, the over excited singer bared his mind on how his lot has changed…

Congratulations on the success of your tribute song for Nelson Mandela.

Thank you so much; happy New Year. I wish you a blessed 2014.

What inspired the song?

The inspiration for the Mandela tribute song came from the lifestyle and stories I heard about Mandela. Believe me when I say that Mandela was a prophet.

Did you ever anticipate the massive downloads?

I didn’t even know it’s going to be this massive. I am still surprised at what this Mandela song is doing to my life right now.

You won the award for the most downloaded song of 2013, at the recent Headies Awards, courtesy of MTN. How does it feel to have been recognised at one of Nigeria’s most respected indigenous awards?

Yes, yes, yes, I am so happy and grateful to God. Thank you MTN. Thank you Headies and a big thanks to my fans.

What do you think contributed to that feat?

Hard work. I have been focused and been with the right people. And when God has said yes to you, that is it.

You will be at the Grammys, courtesy of MTN, as a reward for being the recipient of the most downloaded callertune of 2013. What are your expectations at the prestigious event?

For this Grammys matter, too many things on my mind but by the grace and favour of God, Mr. Songz is ready. God bless MTN for taking me to Grammys.

Do you think the callertunez distribution channel can help artistes maximize their gains as opposed to what obtained in Nigeria, where artistes’ works are easily pirated?

Yes o. This MTN callertunez has really helped to maximize my gains o.

What roles has MTN Callertunez platform played in that regard?

It has helped in monitoring our gains.

On personal grounds, you are voice trainer and extraordinarily gifted hip hop artiste, did you have any special training or attended any course to hone those skills?

My dear, no special training o. Song writing, music directing and vocal coaching are what God blessed me with, coupled with the singing, It’s a gift from God.

Basically, for how long have you been in the music industry?

I’ve been around for a while. Though professionally, I’ve been around for like five years in the industry now.

Who is your role model?

Lot of people both in and out of the country inspire me o. People like Kim Borel, R.Kelly, Michael Jackson and some very good Nigerian singers too.

What is your relationship with KCee?

KCee is one of my major helpers, sent by God to set me on this light of grace.

And the name Harrysong, does the ‘song’ part have anything to do with your talent?

I was called Harrysong by my friends in school, because I was always singing and writing.

How will you describe yourself?

This is for my fans that are yet to know me. My name is Harrison Tare Okiri. I am a singer-songwriter and a music director. I am from Delta State, the only child of my parents. I speak Ijaw. My best colours are White and Black. My best food is eba and egusi soup.

Why are you not married yet?

I am very busy with my career now o. I am not ready for marriage now.

How do you ensure you separate pleasure from work as an artiste so as to stay undistracted?

Not easy. Most times our job is almost always mixed with pleasure. But I know where I’m coming from and where I’m going. I keep my eyes on that mark.

Considering the award, the shows and concerts you performed at, you had a great 2013. What should your fans be expecting from you in 2014?

Yes o. My 2013 was so blessed. Expect more from me as we work together. I know that to whom much is given, much is expected. You are the best fans in the world.


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