UK based Nigerian Cyril Emeni Osaenwete, known as NeoCyril is one of the talented up and coming artistes, passionate about what he does and ready to break into the Nigerian music scene.
Currently doing his Post Graduate Diploma in Strategic Management in the UK, the artiste in a chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly, spoke about his love for good music, his new single, Mr. Presido and more…
I started music in my father’s living room, drumming on everything that could make a sound and singing to my family. My father could also sing and play the flute. My mother wrote her own prayer songs (Mostly in my Kwale dialect). In my family house, all kinds of music came out of our large speakers, ranging from high-live, jazz, afro beats, pop, gospel, carols etc. Another major influence was my elder brother who was a drummer and I followed him into the choir at six. I have been in music directly or in directly since then.
How long have you been doing music?
I will avoid the mantra of saying since I was born (laughs). However, I have been in music long enough to have written over 400 songs of different genres and have excellent relationships in the industry. While in Igbobi College many years back, I was known for music and football.
What inspires you?
First, every good and perfect gift comes from above, and comes from the Father of light. I am also inspired by my experiences and the experiences of others. Finally, society inspires me. The world is my canvas and my music is my paint brush. The world is my page and my music is my pen of the ready writer.
What does your music teach people?
I always try to inspire strength with my music. A man that will never let you walk into his bedroom or that of his kids may permit your music through his sound system. You don’t breach that trust no matter who you think you are. Your music reaches where your legs may never reach. So, I don’t waste the opportunity to say the right things. I will either inspire you with my music, or make you laugh. My Mama go flog me if I talk anyhow.
How is it like as an artiste based in the UK and ready to break into the Nigerian market?
I was born in Nigeria. I grew up in Nigeria. I am studying in the UK. I still see myself as Nigerian-based. I am here all the time. There is no place like Nigeria or Africa, trust me. If I fly from the UK to Lagos and you drive from Abuja to Lagos, I will get to Lagos before you. In fact, I will welcome you at Ojodu-Berger.
Your new single Mr. Presido, what message are you trying to pass to your audience?
That’s an interesting question. First, the song is to encourage the President elect to rise above all the criticisms he got whether they are founded or not and focus on re-establishing the greatness of our nation. History is in the tomb and the future is in the womb. Second, he should always remember that a class captain writes the same examination with the rest of the class. So, he is not just a President, but also a resident of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I also hope Nigerian youth can be inspired and challenged by the fact that a man that is over 70 years can believe in, and pursue his dream to a reasonable conclusion. The younger ones should know that we can still make many of our own dreams come true in spite of past disappointments. Finally, in a nation where it is not even easy to get a job as a cleaner, being the President is a massive privilege, not a right. So, it is up to the President to make unprecedented history and I honestly wish him well. I think he will do very well.
Any artiste you will like to collabo with?
That’s another Interesting one. I admire people around the world, but in Nigeria, I will like to work with 2Face, D’Banj, Femi Kuti, Lagbaja, Asa, Don Jazzy, Eva Alordiah, M.I, Brymo, Flavour, Nneka, Waje, Bez, Pasuma, Adewale Ayuba, Sammie Okposo, Chidinma, Olamide, Davido and Phyno. These people have their own sound.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, my music would have evolved in style, purpose and direction. I see myself as a major exporter of African music. I see myself at the Grammy.
That question has no answer. It is musically impossible to box African music. Genres like jazz, funk, soul, reggae, afro-beat all have African roots. So I am a creator. That is why I said my music will evolve. You will hear a fusion of different genres of African origin with some western influences. No wonder they categorize us under world music at the Grammy. Our sound blows any theoretical description. We create.
Can we meet you?
I am Cyril Emeni Osaenwete (CEO), a.k.a NeoCyril. I am the fifth child in a family of six. I attended Igbobi College for my secondary school and did a stint at Navy Town Secondary School, Ojo, Lagos. I have a background in International Relations from Olabisi Onabanjo University and I am currently doing my Post Graduate Diploma in Strategic Management in the UK. I love to laugh, I love family and I believe Africa is the future.