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July 18, 2020

A look into Life of etcetera

Pascal Uche Ejikeme, popularly known by his stage name Etcetera Ejikeme is a singer, song writer, Columnist, Radio Personality and social activist.

With his albums released under X3m Music in 2007 and 2010, he introduced Nigerians into a different kind of sound.

Since  he left Nigeria for the United States of America in 2016 due to series of threats to his life from the government. Not much has been heard from him.

It was said that the alleged threat to his life was a result of his constant criticism of the government over the level of corruption and insecurity in the country as a columnist for one of the nations popular newspapers.

Etcetera is making a come back to music from his base in the United States of America with a third studio album.

In this interview with Vanguard, Etcetera gives more insight on how as an Alternative music singer, he found his rhythm.

Excerpts;

The name Etcetera is known in the Nigerian music scene, your kind of music does not give an insight of your personality, so can you tell us more about you and your background?

My name is Pascal Uche Ejikeme. I am from Imo State. Njaba  Local Government Area. Amiyi village, Umuaka to be precise.

I was born December 14, 1975.

I am the 7th out of 9 children of David Ejikeme, my father and Cecilia Ejikeme, my mother. I am the third of three boys and I have 6 sisters.

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I had my Primary school education at, Dogho Primary School Warri, Delta State, Nigeria. From 1981 to 1984. And Central Primary School Kirikiri Town Apapa, Lagos State, Nigeria. from 1984 to 1987. While my secondary school education was at Dr. Lucas Memorial High School, Kirikiri Town Apapa, Lagos State, Nigeria. From 1988 to 1994.

So that is where I come from and who I am. After my secondary school was when I discovered my passion for music and chose to pursue it as a career. That decision led me to study music for about 2 years, from year 2000 to 2002, at the prestigious Music Society Of Nigeria, popularly known as MUSON.

How did you discover that music was the deal for you, how did the journey into the music industry begin?

My journey into music started in 1998. That was the year I stumbled into music. A Musician wasn’t what I had dreamt of becoming as a child growing up in the Prison barracks.

It was around the year 1998 that the then Catholic Arch Bishop Of Lagos Diocese, Cardinal Olubunmi Okojie gave his blessings that complete musical instruments can be used within the premises of the the church and during Mass services in Lagos Archdiocese.

Before then, what we used were congas and tambourines and clapping of hands.

I was a member of the Catholic Youths Organisation of St Joseph Catholic Church Kirikiri Town Apapa, Lagos at the time. And the organisation bought a complete musical set and formed The Catholic Youth Band. Even though none of us members of the Organisation could play any of the instruments.

On the day we chose to launch our instruments in the church, we hired professional instrumentalists to play the instruments for church members and guests to have a feel of the real deal. Of what they would be enjoying henceforth during church services.

But when the hired instrumentalists came and saw the calibre of guests at the launch, they decided they aren’t going to touch the instruments until we increased their money. We thought they were being petty and chose not to succumb to their cheap blackmail.

And true to their word, they walked out on us. And due to the embarrassment, we decided to learn how to play our instruments ourselves. We employed a music tutor for members who were interested in learning how to play any of the instruments.

I chose to learn how to play the piano. With daily rehearsals, I became good at it. That was how the music bug hit me, and I said to myself, why not music? Instead choosing a career path that I would find boring and unenjoyable. And I had already fallen in love with playing the piano. And that was how my music career was born.

Four years ago, you left Nigeria for United States of America, what have you been up to there?

I’m still in the studio as usual, working on my 3rd studio album in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States of America. The album will be released in 2021. In addition, I am also plan to publish my first book which will be available in the market the final quarter of 2020.

What is the main reason behind your relocating to the US?

I left Nigeria for the United States of America in 2016 due to series of threats to my life from the government.

As a columnist for one of the Nation’s popular newspaper, I  constantly challenged the level of corruption and Insecurity in the country.

This didn’t go down with the government in power and when I felt my life is not safe anymore, I had to move.

Can you share your full list of discography?

ALBUM TITLE: ETCETERA: YEAR OF RELEASE: 2007

  • SONGS:
  1. Hello
  2. Photographs Of My Thoughts
  3. Life For You
  4. Michelle
  5. Colour Of Music
  6. Hey J
  7. This Is Not A Song
  8. Daughter Of Eve (ft. Oriri)
  9. Miss H’s I.V
  10. Biafra (Land Of The Rising Sun)
  11. On The Last Bus To Nowhere
  12. The Only One For Me (ft. Black Ice)
  13. Good Evening Street
  14. Love Should Last
  15. Michelle Remix (ft. SixO)
  • SECOND ALBUM: ALBUM TITLE – YES I AM. YEAR OF RELEASE: 2010
  • SONGS
  1. Postcard
  2. The Accent Of Silence

3.C’est Fini

  1. Federal Character Without Bad Manners
  2. Third Eye Blind
  3. Ghost Workers Behind Ikoyi Cemetery
  4. Alibi (ft OD)
  5. 500 Letters
  6. Ring The Alarm
  7. Teleprompter
  8. Intensive Care Unit
  9. Tourist In Heaven
  10. Fungus Among Us
  11. Get Out (ft JB)
  12. Alibi (Unplugged)

Vanguard