With the rise of new talent like Rema, Ayra Starr, Liya and Zinolessky, it has become obvious that a new generation of Nigerian popstars are coming into their own. One of these popstars is Brainee, whose EP Chapter One was one of the revelations of 2020. He debuts his new single, ‘Kpokom’ on Clout Africa’s Sessions and talks to us about the future of his music.
Your EP ‘Chapter One’ was your proper introduction to the Naija music industry as an indie artist. What was the process of making the project like?
Man, it wasn’t much of a hassle, to be honest. I have always had the idea of putting out a body of work with the title CHAPTER ONE especially because of my moniker “Mr.Onetime.” So all I had to do was reach out to the right producers, shoutout to IAMBEATZ, DUKTORSETT, REXXIE and FINITO for coming through with amazing instrumentals. The songwriting process were just random moments in my everyday life put into writing. Like I said, it wasn’t much of a hassle, I just wanted to put out good music.
Since 2020, you’ve had to navigate making and promoting your music during a pandemic, in what ways has that changed your release strategy and the acception of your music?
Whew, 2020 ! — A very crazy year for myself and i think everyone around me. In as much as i have always been enthusiastic about making and promoting my music, i feel the changes or better put – the effect of the pandemic on my strategies were little or insignificant. In the sense that, I still did the same things I would do normally except performing my music in open spaces. That one hurt me the most because I love being on stage and seeing the crowd vibe with my music. It’s pure joy for me.
Your new single ‘Kpokom’ feaures Oxlade and is a transition from the sound you’ve explored in the past. How did that collaboration come about?
(Laughs) — it’s a very longgg story, but I’ll cut it short. This song was made during my downest times emotionally and thanks to the fire hook by Oxlade, I was able to channel my emotions into this record. Oxlade happens to be a very very close friend of mine and when I was heartbroken, he knew about it. The day we made this song, his words were “Brainee, I wan make you tell people how you dey feel for this song. I wan make dem hear am, make dem talk say — who break Brainee heart like this?” — it’s a lovely record and I want the world to hear it.
You’re performing the single on Clout Sessions, the first live performance you’re putting out this year. What is different about this session from the Brainee that we know and love?
The originality is the clear cut difference. The audience seeing me spit the bars with a live band and the harmonies from Oxlade would make a lot of sense. There would be elements of Brainee of course but you see the blend of the live band and my voice – It’s music !
What is the single most important event from your youth that has influenced your craft as a musician today?
Hmmm, this question is simple but tough at the same time. Well, I’ll say me winning the Pepsi Top Ten Chart show in 2014, made me realize music was my calling and I had no business in any other thing than making music for the world to enjoy.
What are your thoughts on the Lagos music scene, especially as an artist committed to creating an immersive experience around the Brainee brand?
Omoo ! This question choke – laughs out loud. Well, the Lagos music scene is competitive and saturated with wonderful talents. One minute you hear something, the next minute you hear another that sounds even better. There’s really no pin pointing how the music scene is because it’s filled with surprises.
What is your relationship like with the fans?
Answer: My fans are my spinal cord, the Brain behind Brainee. They decide the wave and also put people on my wave to surf. I don’t joke with my fans and they don’t joke with me. It’s a family thing to be honest.What’s next for your single ____’, is it part of a much larger project, are we going to get a video for it?
(Laughs) – This your question is what a local man would term “Amebo Question” — Laughs again. Anyways, there would certainly be a video for it and if it’s going to be part of a larger project, time will tell.
What plans for world domination does Brainee have for 2021?
Answer: Omo, the music is the only plan. More fire music coming from me, stay glued to my social media pages and expect something different from me this year. It’s about to get litty.