‘Being self-taught artiste is challenging, but it refines your music for all ears’
In 2010, Owoh Chimaobi Chrismathner debuted in the Nigerian music industry. Then, less people paid attention to the hip hop artiste, who has grown to become a songwriter and producer. In this interview with Obinna Emelike, the artiste, who stages as Zoro Swagbag, recalls his days of little beginning, challenges, rise and stardom.
Congratulations on following your passion, but how has it been since you started doing music professionally?
Thank you. It has been an amazing experience with its ups and downs. Just like in every other profession, the bigger you get, the bigger the challenges; but then when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
What will you describe as your biggest challenge and achievement since then?
Finesse. I said so because with a lot of inexperience and having to pilot my movement myself, I learn everything the hard way. It is challenging but it cooks you up. The truth is that being a self-taught artiste is challenging, but it refines your music for all ears.
How has it been combining the roles of a hip hop artist, songwriter, and producer?
I trust my instincts, they never failed me. So, I do all these things as they come to me, which leaves me with a lot of room for uniqueness.
As a songwriter, how do you get your inspiration, and how do they translate into songs?
Most times it comes like jokes and freestyle. My inner self helps me to capitalize on good ideas anytime one comes up and exploit it into a proper song.
You have featured Flavour and Phyno in your singles, especially Ogene, how did that impact your music afterwards?
God has been good because a lot of other folks have featured Phyno and Flavour and nothing changed, but my case has been very different, because God is great. I will not put it solely on the features; my people have been very supportive also.
Comparing the singles you did all alone and those you featured other artistes, which of them is better appreciated by fans, marketers and even you?
Of course, it is Ogene.
Do you think artistes of these days are not as creative as their predecessors?
There is more to the industry than just making music, and all our immediate predecessors had very huge fan bases. So, you can be the most creative and still not get on their level. I feel like these days it is mostly about who is most ready, and the likes of Wizzy, David and Burna Boy have got everything it takes.
Can you explain your attachment to the Coal City, which is often reflected in your music?
Well, that is because I am from Enugu and I spent some good years of my life there.
You have also been on some tours abroad, how have the tours impacted your career and what are the upcoming ones?
The idea is to bridge the gap between the beautiful African culture and pop culture and the tours abroad have helped shape up this quest.
Where do you see your music in the next five years, any album, singles or concert soon?
Legendary things already, lol.