Afro-pop and rap sensation, better known as Caleb Odagboth priestis a fast-growing Nigerian singer,puff puff passFeaturing Falz, released in September.
Priest, whose parents are clerics, launched his official music career in 2014 after all odds.
In this interview, he talks about his foray into music and how he hopes to influence his fans with his music.
PT: Where did the stage name Priest come from?
Priest: movie. “Superfly”.
PT: Tell us more about your background.
Priest: I am from Ogun State and was born into a family of six. My father is a pastor and I am the youngest. I am currently attending Abuja University and in my final year studying Political Science and International Relations.
PT: Tell us more about your music career.
Priest: I fell in love with music unexpectedly. My father is a pastor, so I used to play drums in my church choir, play keyboards, and switch between both when no one was there to play other instruments. I wasn’t particularly interested in rapping. My father shouldn’t hear me rap.
I was more of a songwriter. At first, I was writing for a friend. Later, in secondary school, I used it to get an audience by playing what I wrote. So before I even tried it, I knew I would love it because seeing someone wow an audience with my work always made me feel like I had it! However, it was not possible to be on the front line.
PT: Were you shy?
Priest: It could be a mixture of shyness and more – I don’t know what my father would say.
PT: So what is he saying now?
Priest: At first, he didn’t support me. He’s been hiding it at home until now, but he’s aware. But I’m not sure he’s completely in sync with it.
PT: How did it feel as a talented singer whose father shouldn’t have known about his craft?
Priest: i was scared I was ready to let go and couldn’t even make music. I was fine with that.
PT: So you’re not a typical pastor rebel?
Priest: I hope it wasn’t. But I think now.
PT: What genre of music do you play?
Priest: I have been singing Afro-pop since 2016. People classify Afro-pop as a type of Afro-beat with a touch of hip-hop. Some call it Afro-Pop Afrobeats, but I’d go first with the blend of popular Afrobeats and Hip-Hop.
PT: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Priest: I think it depends on what I want to write, but mainly because I feel sad… strange!
PT: Who are you singing for now? Who is your audience?
Priest: women. Success in the Nigerian music industry requires a strong female base.
PT: What do you think of the music industry in Nigeria?
Priest: I do not endorse up-and-coming artists. But in general, I think this Yoruba proverb says “olowo omamba olowo re”. It means “the rich roll with the rich, and the poor roll with the poor.”
One of the things that has affected me the most is false promises. That kind of thing hurts! It just makes your hopes high… someone texted you that they would do this and that. You try to follow up for months and that’s it. I think it’s painful. If you can’t, don’t make a promise.
Also read: Interview: Why Nigerian musicians aren’t making enough social impact in the country
PT: Were you able to work with some of the big names in the industry?
Priest: Well, I have a couple I am grateful for. Kind of like Falz and Dremo. I love Don Jazzy and I am more than happy to sing with him. I feel like he makes me the best version of myself. I am open to it.
PT: What are your thoughts on the 2023 election?
Priest: I honestly do not impose my choices on anyone. I am also a political scientist and I study it. A more ambitious person. I’ve heard them all. It feels like there is something about being submissive. I can hear him (Peter Obi) intent on rebuilding the country.
PT: Do you think he can fix the country?
Priest: Well, it’s not easy. I still listen to him. I don’t want to be in fashion. I still listen to Peter Obi and so far so good.
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