By Joseph Erunke
Felix Ikechukwu Idiga (Jr) popularly known by his stage name Fii3rd the NigerianBilliGate is a Nigerian artist born in Imo state Nigeria.
The afrobeat singer who broke into the Nigerian Music industry in 2016 has worked with many A-list artists. He became a household name after he dropped his hit single Gad Dam in 2017, a song that topped Nigerian Charts for weeks.
Signed to PhlyGuyz entertainment in 2016, Fii3rd released hit songs Gbam Gbam, D.I.A and Iheoma, the songs became major hits across Nigeria.
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Fii3rd has also been featured by some international artists around the world on different international projects, which will soon be released to the general public.
With his latest single, Anointing, produced by renowned producer Amako Terry, he has left his fans feeling the “anointing” and flows embedded in this sensational hit.
Fii3rd has not only displayed why he is one of Nigeria’s finest but has also used this song to pass a message to Nigerians that he is still number one in the game.
Fii3rd is a blessing to Nigeria with his array of talent and his style of music, one can only pray for more.
He answered some questions thrown to him thus:
I get my inspiration from all the people around me. Family, friends, colleague’s and fans alike. People always drive and motivate me to better myself and perfect my craft. Especially my producer and right-hand man BadGuySwag. He always brings me new sounds to challenge my music and it’s good working with him because it makes each new song an exciting one.
Nigeria, foreign artist influence
When it comes to foreign artists that have had an impact on my life or career I would have to say, Céline Dion, Ed Sheeran, Drake and J. Cole. These are artists that are not only the best at what they do but also have the courage to change their sounds and explore new avenues of music.
Anytime I hear new music from them I’m always inspired to go out and write a song or work on a new sound that I’d never thought of before. I always look forward to what they are willing to do next.
As for Nigerian artists, I would have to say Style Plus. I always loved their storytelling abilities in music. These are guys that could make you laugh on one track and have you thinking about your love life in the next. They made me thought hard about writing music, I would love to evoke the same types of feeling in a fan as they did to me growing up.
Opportunities in local industry
I would say that our local music industry still has a long way to go when it comes to rewarding artists for their content. Right now in Nigeria, things still feel like it’s pay to play oppose to play and pay. Whereas, other countries pay their artist every time they play their songs on radio, TV, etc. It feels like the complete opposite here. Artist should be able to gain back the same amount of money they put into their promotions if they’re good, but I know of a few guys who have made it here in Nigeria that still have to put in so much when it comes to radio and TV promos that they end up with nothing in the end. If we are able to get the industry to the point where artists are paid their due diligence and rewarded appropriately then I believe we can truly take our industry to the next level. That’s when we have 50 Davidos or Wizkids making noise around the world.
Yes, harking on the last question a lot of people have felt that since I’m well off I should be paying more to be heard. I’ve heard numerous times from people in the industry how amazing they think my music is, only for them to turn around and tell me if I don’t pay them X amount of money they won’t play the same song they just finished praising. It got to the point where I started to doubt myself because I thought my sound just isn’t good enough that’s why they are charging. But the more I got to know a lot of successful artists in the industry, I realised it wasn’t only me that was being taxed; the only problem was they needed to tax me more because the felt I had more.
On choice of genre
I would have to say BadGuySwag is my biggest influence in making the type of music I do. Before I met him I was part of a rap group called the Phly Guyz. After he heard a couple of my songs he told me he felt I could sing and I’d be missing out not to do Afro Beat instead. I started to study Afro Beat more and more and fell in love with it. So I infused a bit of my sound with Afro Beat and here I am today.
I would love to win a Grammy one day. It would be great to be a Nigerian artist and win one on the world stage. That’s the ultimate goal. It won’t be easy, but I’m willing to try.
Why group artists breakup
I would have to say that each individual has the right to have their own goals and ambitions and sometimes ego might collide. I don’t ever blame a group for going their separate ways. I just look at it like siblings going their own ways and staring new families on their own.
Future of pop music
I believe it will be evolutionary within Nigeria and revolutionary to the rest of the world’s sound.
Up and coming artists and social media
Right now, I believe social media is the best place to do just that. I always tell people to go out and build their own fan base online. That’s the best way, in my opinion, to track how well you’re doing in today’s day and age. It’s better to invest online than to invest in all those collecting money to play your music for only one month. That’s what I’ve learned at least.
Artists and luxury lifestyle
I believe artists should make what they feel like making. That’s what makes one an artist. To be able to express what one feels or thinks inside and bring it to life. If it’s political, great. If it’s about love, great. If it’s about pain, great. If it’s about money and lifestyle, great. It shouldn’t be forced. It should always be organic.