By Kehinde Ajose & Juliet Ebirim
CAll him, D’banj look alike, and you may not be wrong. Rising Afro-pop star, Bayagbon Onoriode a.k.a J’azzy whose Twerk viral video is currently making waves, has a striking resemblance with the superstar, D’banj. But rather than accept that he looks like the superstar, J’azzy insists that the latter looks like him. In this interview, he speaks on how D’banj looks like him, the inspiration behind his latest Twerk song, and why he went into music among other things…
WHY did you opt for the stage name, J’azzy?
My name is Onoriode Jude Bayagbon .My stage name is Jahazel.I decided to change it to J’azzy.Jehazel is a biblical name; it means God is watching over you. I changed it to J’azzy to make it fit into the entertainment industry.
How has the journey been so far?
Music is something inborn .When I started out, I was fond of using the table to play drums. From there, I started putting words on the beat.I started with rap before going into singing.I started singing at the age of twelve. After my secondary school education, I recorded a rap song, “Remember those Times.” It’s been an interesting journey. When I recorded “Remember those Times” , I performed it in my neighborhood and people loved it.This gave me the courage to start performing at street parties just to showcase my talent. Thereafter, I recorded a single titled “Scobo Scubus.”
What does that mean?
It means something good.
How do you describe your kind of music?
It,s hip-hop blend with RnB because I sing and rap.
Which one do you do better?
I am good at both genres. I have a song which is a fusion of melody and rap. It came out well.
Tell us about your new single, Twerk?
Twerk is an American word, but we call it Mapouka in Africa.It’s a provocative dance form.I was in the studio and I told my producer to just play me some beats .When I listened to the beat, it inspired the lyrics of the song.It took me about two to three months to compose the song. It wasn’t as if I couldn’t write it in a day. But I take my time when it comes to writing my songs.Right now, I have close to four songs that have been mixed and mastered. In one of my songs, “Setigbo”, I was talking about life.
How come you can do a song in Yoruba when you hail from Delta?
I was born in Festac town. I have been in Lagos for close to three decades now. Lagos is a place where you need to understand and speak Yoruba.
Why do artistes infuse Yoruba in their songs?
Yoruba is a language. It’s used as a spice in songs and also as a way artistes connect with their fans. Musicians use it as a means of communicating with their fans.
Why did you choose to pursue a craeer in music?
My elder sister was fond of this saying: “Pursue whatever you are passionate about.If you are passionate about carpentry, do it well.I have it in me and I have been told that if I continue, I will go places. I know am extremely good at it.
How do you intend to remain relevant in the industry?
To remain relevant as an artiste, one has to be focused in addition to working very hard. Artistes should always learn to take correction when they are being corrected.That is the way to grow
What are some of the challenges you have faced as a rising act?
It’s the usual challenge that upcoming artistes face in the industry; lack of funding, getting people to invest in your talent.I once performed at North American University Hodegbe, Benin Republic and I was paid. It’s the positive feedback I get from my fans that encourages me
How far can you go in this journey?
As long as I am consistent.I will keep giving my fans good music.I am going to be doing this for as long as it takes.
Who are your musical influences here in Nigeria?
I will like to work with D’banj just because people say he looks like me. I won’t say I look like him.It will make a lot of sense if we do a song together.I will also love to work with 2face and M.I.
Has anyone ever told you that you look like Dbanj?
My uncle once told me that D’banj looks like me. I don’t look like him.
Why did you decide to do a song on twerking?
Twerking is what is trending right now.Take for example, Miley Cyrus.She is getting attention because she twerks .A lot of musicians are twerking, that is what is in vogue right now.My twerk video is a viral video it’s popular on the streets, but it’s not being aired at the moment. If you go to any street right now and talk about J’azzy twerk song, everyone knows it.The new twerk video will be better tamed than the promotional one.
Is there anything about women that inspires your music?
Women support us and buy our music.Most of the songs musicians write these days are all inspired by women.
Has any woman inspired any of your song?
I composed a song titled “So Beautiful.” It’s about a girl I was crazy about. I wasn’t dumped by her, we just went our separate ways.
Was it a heartbreak song?
I wasn’t heartbroken. It’s more like a love song that anyone can relate to.
How do you compose your songs?
I write my songs in two ways.It comes by inspiration and I also flow with the beat my producer gives me. I tell my producer to create beats and I eventually pick on anyone that catches my fancy. At times, it takes up to 3 days before I finally get a beat I love.I know a catchy beat because I am an instrumentalist.I might just be playing the beats in my car and the melody suddenly hits me.
Is that how you compose most of your songs?
All my lyrics have come through this means.I composed “Twerk” like that. I don’t sit down to write songs.It just comes naturally. I can’t sing a song that I have written on a paper.That method doesn’t work for me.The beat triggers my imspiration.
What is that thing that is so unique about you?
That will be my catchy tunes.You have to start from the beat. In Nigeria, we have our own kind of beat.We have two kinds of audience when it comes to music, the rich class and the street. If you want to do a song that will become a hit you have to focus on the street.If you can catch the street, you have caught the rich folks.
How far can you go on stage to impress your fans?
You have to look at the fact that people are watching you. So, you don’t go on stage to make it bad for your fans.When you go on stage, just try to do the best you can. If you want to be funny, do it, but don’t create a bad image for yourself.