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To succeed in music, you must devote time to it; it is a ‘jealous lover’ – Larry Zuka

To succeed in music, you must devote time to it; it is a ‘jealous lover’ – Larry Zuka

Ugochukwu Azuego, also called Larry Zuka, is an afro beat musician that has touched lives through music. In this interview with NGOZI OKPALAKUNNE, he spoke on the need for upcoming musicians to be consistent in their career so as to record greater heights. He also shared some of the lessons he had learnt in his career over the years which could be of help to other artists. Excerpts:

Tell us about your love for music?

I have always loved music since I was a kid, I find myself so excited when I have the opportunity to sing to people and knowing that people are always happy when I sing to them.

Who were those music stars that inspired your drive for music?

While growing up I listened to musicians like Chris Okoti, Felix Liberty, Jido Obi and of course, Fela. I love listening to Fela music. Those were the musicians that inspired and made me to follow their path.

Tell us about your sound?

I call myself an afro folk rock because I love to play on heavy instrument, although all Nigerian music are classified as afro beat; so, you can say mine too is afro beat.

How have you fared in Nigerian music industry?

Am happy so far, I may not have blown, but I have been consistent and people know Larry Zuka from my early days. I am not into music to make money but to be happy because I love music.

What were those moments that convinced you that music is your gift?

Talking about those moments that convinced me that music is a gift from God, once one is happy doing what one enjoys or is passionate about one will be happy.

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Were there times you regretted doing music?

I don’t regret any time doing music because music comes to me naturally and I am always happy doing music; so, I have no regrets.

What was the inspiration behind your new single ‘straight from the jungle’?

My latest single ‘straight from the jungle’ is not the only single I have dropped this period. Although I was to release the song last year, my mother passed away and that delayed the release of the song. It is a song to appreciate those that helped to develop the industry. When you listen to the song you will see that I appreciated those that made the industry the way it is now.

Would you support your children if they decide to go into music?

Yes, of course. If my son decides to go into music, I will definitely support him. There was a time my oldest son told me he wanted to go into music even though I knew it won’t be easy, I encouraged him. I bought him a piano and got him a teacher. He plays the piano very well but he changed his mind to do other things. My second son likes to play music but not as a profession though. He plays the guitar very well; so, any of my children that wants to do music they are welcome and I will support them.

What are those lessons you learnt that you would like to share with other artistes?

The lessons I have learnt over the years is that music is a jealous lover; if you leave music, music will leave you. If we really want to enjoy ourselves in music, practise, rehearse, rehearse and rehearse; never stop rehearsing; don’t stop rehearsing even when you feel like giving up; note that music is work. Musicians are instrument which God uses to touch people; so, it is important for musicians themselves to be used as channels through which God blesses people.