Today, on Musicians Corner, I’ll be featuring an interview with Aizek. Aizek is a rap artist with D.P.E Records. He has two published projects and several other singles. He is also a part of the HBR Squad, and in collaboration with the other artist in the group, they have two published joint projects. So, let’s get on with the interview.
Spirit: Please can you share with us a little about your childhood days before music?
Aizek: I grew up in Rukuba Road in Jos, Plateau State, moved when I was 10. I’ve always been the laid-back person, had a couple of friends. You know how childhood days are na; playing, eating, getting into trouble ?, and all that. Fun memories and not so fun memories. It was good though.
Spirit: So, what or who motivated you to start rapping?
Aizek: Okay, a little background before I answer that, before rapping I used to sing, ?? I remember being in a boy band in school that eventually had female members?. And back in Sunday School I remember presenting ‘special numbers’ with some friends. I joined the church band in my church and all that… Music was kinda part of me, and I love rap. Back in secondary school I loved hip hop, used to search for lyrics and try following some of the songs, fast forward in 2006 I got introduced to CHH and man, it was a great experience, having Christians rapping and sharing their faith in hip hop, it was something else. I enjoyed listening to amazing songs back then and the desire to rap kept increasing, I believed this was something I was supposed to do, sharing from my experiences and worldview, basically the things I believe in. So, in ’07 I and Bwans co-founded a hip hop group named Da BOARD, we talked to some of our friends that shared the same passion for music, CHH…and some became a part of it. Cross Movement was a big motivation back then. Shout out to my big bro Wanger, he was my first plug that year to CHH, access to the music he shared with me played a key role in me doing this now.
Spirit: That’s interesting. So, what were some encounters you had in your early days of your music career? Was it easy?
Aizek: Honestly it wasn’t easy. First there’s the process of actually growing and becoming better, taking criticism and stuff. Then support, raising support and money wasn’t easy, cos you need money to do this… Like you really do. Great thing we had people that believed in us when we started (I’m saying we cos I started rapping with a group). The whole thing about rapping in church or at church events was a strange thing to a lot of people, so different people kicked against it and stuff, some legit couldn’t hear what we were saying.
Spirit: I can imagine… But, despite all these encounters/ challenges you continued. Why? What is your drive/ motivation?
Aizek: I’ve been down different times, thought about quitting, I’ve actually said ‘I quit’ different times too, but somehow, I get back. I believe this is something God wants me to do right now. Using my experiences and what I believe in to just speak to someone… In most cases I’m the someone. It’s beyond me and it’s beyond just the music. Being part of a community also helps; as you renew your mind with the word, you renew your vision with the community around. So, I keep pushing hoping that God will use it all for his glory, the good, the bad and the in-betweens.
I believe this is something God wants me to do right now. Using my experiences and what I believe in to just speak to someone… In most cases I’m the someone. It’s beyond me and it’s beyond just the music. Being part of a community also helps; as you renew your mind with the word, you renew your vision with the community around.
Spirit: Wow! There’s a whole lot of message in there. I think I need to take a minute to let it sink…
Back to the questions, I still remember the first time I heard one of the songs from your first mix tape. I did not believe you were Nigerian because of how good you were. What would you say made you become this good?
Aizek: I appreciate that. I believe in having the desire to keep growing and striving to be excellent. As I grew in my work with God, I realized sometimes we don’t put in work to be good at various giftings God has given us, especially within the church, you see people that will just do whatever and not give their best. God wants us to be excellent with whatever giftings we have. That’s something my group back then believed in, so we strive to be better. And believe me, it’s a lifelong process because most times I don’t think I’m that good.
Spirit: You are part of the HBR squad. What does it feel like working with a team now, especially since you used to be an independent artist?
Aizek: It’s not a new thing, like I pointed out cos I actually started rapping with friends in a group. It’s a great feeling. I do music with some very creative and artistic individuals, like they’re all good. It’s fun, engaging, pushes me to be better. I mean when I look back to how we worked on our various Cyphers, you should check them out if you haven’t, from the concept and ideas surrounding each one… Crazy. Then our joint projects; The Unserious Project and We Are Serious (WAS)… Creating those two projects was mad amazing, it was really good.
Spirit: Ok. Do you think your faith as a Christian has limited you in your music career in any way?
Aizek: Nah… I don’t think so. There are people that definitely won’t listen to me but I don’t see that as a limitation, there are places they won’t call me to perform at… Still. Something to point out here, being a Christian doesn’t limit the kind of songs you do, cos I believe whatever song you’re working on will be from the worldview you have and your belief system. There was a single I had some years back, ‘Kpomo vs. You’ featuring Haye, a Christian blog didn’t publish it when I sent it, they said it was more mainstream than Christian… I don’t know what that means sha ?. Limits here is very relative.
Spirit: Are there benefits you’ve enjoyed as a musician because of your faith?
Aizek: Some respect and admire what I do and support it.
Spirit: Ok. One of the qualities you have that I admire a lot is your humility. Are there things you consciously practice to stay humble?
Aizek: Hmmm… This is tricky for me. Humility is thinking about yourself correctly, like C. S. Lewis said “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but think of yourself less.” That’s something I try to do cos believe me I think less of myself sometimes. It’s a continuous process…
Spirit: Yeah, I totally agree… So, what should we expect from you with regards music in the future?
I’m working on a project, so hopefully this year, hopefully I’m dropping another project. Different stuff are coming too… Fingers crossed.
Spirit: Any final words of advice for upcoming Musicians and Producers?
Aizek: Stay true to what you believe in and keep striving to be better, even when you have setbacks and mess ups. Fall, get up and keep moving. Keep your eyes fixed on the Son.
Spirit: Wow! It’s been a great time with so much to learn. Thank you so much for your time, Aizek. I really appreciate this opportunity. And thank you, especially for your honesty.
Aizek: Thank you for having me. I’m grateful.
Well, guys we’ve come to the end of this interview with Aizek. I hope you learnt some things from it. I’d love to hear feedback from you guys, so please feel free to reach out. Also, you can check out music by Aizek using this link.
One last thing,
I have started doing song reviews for both published songs and songs that are yet to be published. The reviews could be private (for your consumption only) or it could be published on our site. If you’re interested to get your songs reviewed. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and attach an mp3 of the song to be reviewed with the artwork and release date. Also, state if you would like a private review or if you would want it published. You can check other song reviews I’ve done here.