By Iyabo Aina and Juliet Ebirim
SINGER and songwriter, Harrysong has done several hit songs including the Tribute to Nelson Mandela song which was named the most downloaded caller tune in a single day. In this interview, he talks about his musical career, love life,relationship with Kcee and many more.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Harrison Tare Okiri, a.k.a Harrysong, Mr. Song . I’m from Delta state, an Ijaw man and I’m the only child of my parents. I’m a singer and a song writer.
How did you start music as a career?
I can’t really say because I grew up knowing that music is what I’ll be doing. My mum was a choir mistress, she also plays the piano so the passion has been there right from my childhood. And I believe music is something I have to do to be fulfilled and successful .
Professionally, I started doing music seven years ago,when I just came to Lagos. I started hustling, going to studio to record and going to clubs to play for people. Then I met Kcee at O’jez Club. He was the one who introduced me to a lot of people who I worked with. It was only two years ago that I began enjoying what I am doing.
How did your relationship with Kcee start?
Kcee is my brother and my friend, and we’ve been together for like seven to eight years now. Like I said earlier, I met him at O’jez in Surulere , when he came to watch me perform at the club . So that day, after watching me performed, they (KCPresh), sprayed money on me and encouraged me. I was a nobody before he met me. He and his friends used to come there to watch me perform .So one day, I decided to approach them and they put me through and that is how we became very close .
But don’t you think people will conclude that you are trying to take the place of Presh?
Yes, I’ve had questions like that, but I’ve been ‘Harrysong’ all this while. That I’m trying to take the place of Presh is not true, because Presh and Harrysong are two different people. By being different, I mean in terms of my music, sound, the kind of message I preach and so on. I preach love, life and unity, even my name is different, so it will never happen.
There was a rumor recently that you were sued to court by your former record label boss, Kelvin Luciano , can you clear the air on that ?
Yes, I think I also heard that about six months ago and it wasn’t true and now it has come online again, maybe one blogger must have brought it up. But to clear the air, my term with Question mark Entertainment ended before I was signed into Five Star Entertainment.
Five star entertainment
Also, there was no misunderstanding between me and Kelvin and we are like brothers.
How was your growing up like?
It wasn’t too much fun growing up with my step-mum but it was very beautiful growing up with my grand-mum. Growing up with my step-mum was horrible and tough for me, because my mum died when I was fourteen years old.
How did you get to do the Nelson Mandela Tribute song which is used as an MTN caller tune?
Yeah , the Mandela song for caller tune on MTN is one of the biggest caller tunes on the MTN platform, and it’s a blessing to me. I was inspired by the story of Mandela to do that song and I did that song to honour Mandela.
How has the experience been like working with MTN?
It’s been fun because many things were just laid down for you on a Platter of gold and recently MTN sponsored all my expenses and trip to the recent Grammy, so it’s been fun.
About your love life?
I believe in a good relationship and I believe in love because I know it’s a beautiful thing. But what I’m up to now is my music and my career. Also, I love my fans because I know they are the ones who made me what I am today.
Presently, I don’t have any woman in my life and I look forward to the day I will find the right woman.
Challenges before stardom?
A lot of challenges have come my way, like people not believing in me because I was not there yet , but I still thank God today for who and where I am.
How do you handle your female admirers?
I try as much as I can to reciprocate a lot, because it feels good when women appreciate your songs and what you are doing. It makes your songs sell. So, personally, I make my female fans feel good with me and my music.
What’s the secret of your fame and popularity?
The secret is hard work and I have people who believe and support me financially. I also have a platform that backs me up.
Which song launched you into limelight?
I think the biggest song that is very popular to people and which also launched me into limelight is ‘Better Pikin’ and ‘Mandela’s song’.