October 2, 2022
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UMU OBILIGBO: Our life experiences inspire our songs – The Nation Newspaper

  • November 20, 2021
  • 8 min read
UMU OBILIGBO: Our life experiences inspire our songs – The Nation Newspaper

Nigeria news – Nigeria's breaking news website
OKPOZOR Obiligbo and Akuwanfor Obiligbo, who make up popular highlife duo, Umu Obiligbo, have become a force to reckon with on the Nigerian music scene. The duo, who are brothers, recently spoke with SAMPSON UNAMKA during a recent video shoot in Lagos. The brothers opened up on the reasons for relocating to Lagos, the inspiration behind their songs, their love life, and upcoming project among other things.
WHAT’S been happening with Umu Obiligbo?
As you can see, positive vibes all through. Guys are working hard, thank God as you came you met us shooting our video titled ‘Not for everybody’ Umu Obiligbo featuring RudeBoy.
What inspired your song with Rudeboy and why Rudeboy?
If you listen to the song you will know that Rudeboy is the best artist that can give the song what we wanted. He understands what the song is talking about, he is the best artist that delivered well on this particular song.
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Your last album ‘Signature’ has trended on social media several times after its release. How does that make you feel?
It makes us feel good and motivated, it shows that people appreciate our work. If you listen to the ‘signature’ album, you will find out that we did something different. It is not like our old project, we did some Afrobeats, highlife, different kinds of songs. It makes us feel good and motivated and as you can see we are doing more.
As brothers do you guys have issues?
We understand ourselves, nothing like having issues, why the issues now? Even if we have any issues, it won’t be a very big problem, it won’t take like two or three minutes before we resolve the issue or differences.
Do you get worried that you both can separate like the Psquare duo?
P-Square are two brothers and they know what they want. So, I don’t see it as they separated, they are still brothers and twins for that matter. So, there is no way you can tell me they separated, it’s just that they wanted to do their things separately.
Where did you grow up?
We grew up in Nkpor in Anambra State in Nigeria, Idemili Local Government area to be precise.
What is the title of your greatest single so far?
I will call it a national anthem because everybody knows it, it is titled ‘Egundine’, which means Mothers Music. The song was produced for all mothers.
Your songs pass a lot of messages, how do you get your inspiration?
We grew up on the street. As youths, we came across so many challenges in the street so we are not the pompous type. When I mean street, I mean “Ghetto,” so all those things people listen to in our songs are things we passed through, what we experienced or what we saw happening in our area.
What has the reception in Lagos been like in terms of fan appreciation and your music?
We don’t feel any difference between the East and Lagos. People appreciate our songs anywhere we go and any time of the day. There is really no difference because we always feel the love no matter the location. But truth be say Lagos dey higher because people dey far from home so when dem hear us everywhere dey scatter. People dey appreciate us well.
Apart from music, are you into any other businesses?
Of course, as a musician you don’t have to focus your total income on music. We have other things that we do that are known to us. Music is what we do and we love music, we are making something out of it but we also have other sources of income.
And how has the reception been from your immediate family and extended family?
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They have been very cool and supportive, they love what we do. This is what our family was made to do, we are known for music. Our family is musical, right from the origin, so they are happy that we are doing it also.
Tell us a bit about your grandfather, the main Obiligbo?
Our grandfather was not just a local musician even though he used local instruments in the olden days when he was alive. But internationally, some countries recognised that local instrument because it is a kind of unique instrument and very unique sound that is very hard to see someone playing that kind of instrument anywhere in the world. In our local language, we call it ‘Uboh’ which means piano but ours is a local piano. I would say our grandfather created that pattern so internationally they recognized him. Till today some international television stations and radio stations do play his music.
Some highlife duos and bands are springing up, do you feel you’re in a competition with any of them?
No, what competition? We are Umu Obiligbo, we are on our lane, we are not competing with anybody. We have our own pattern, we have our own style so there is nothing like competition, we are doing our thing. We have our own different and unique patterns so we are not sounding like anybody. We are sounding like Umu Obiligbo so there is nothing like competition.
Last year Umu Obiligbo won the Afrimma award for best duo, what do you think you guys are doing right?
Of course, as you can see, our sound is going global. It’s no longer the ordinary Umu Obiligbo like before, it is a global movement now so we are getting it right. If we were not getting it right, an award as big as Afrimma won’t even nominate us not to talk of winning the award. So, it shows that we are doing it right and we will continue to do it right.
There is this trend of Baby Mama, do you guys want to stay away from that?
It is all-natural, you can’t just tell yourself that you don’t want to have a child without getting married, you know. Like me, I have a son but I am not married, not that I wanted to have a son without being married but it just happened and I accepted it with my heart and I love my son so much so it’s just nature anything can happen.
For you Okpozor, have you had any embarrassing moment with a female fan?
I dey on my own, if any babe comes, if she coordinates well, we go run her package, if she no too coordinate, well, I go give am way. Na my own lifestyle be that no long talk.
What next should we expect from Umu Obiligbo?
Our EP is coming soon before December 2021. We released an album last year (2020), and so we decided to give them a hot six-tracks EP this time.
How has it been shuttling between South East Nigeria and Lagos?
No, we are based in Lagos now. We have moved into Lagos, not that Lagos has something special for us but we find it difficult to run our package down in the East, like production, recording, shooting videos and photoshoot. You can’t get those things down there so we had to move into Lagos so those things can be easy for us to do.
How effective is music streaming platform to your brand?
It is more than before. Back then it wasn’t really strong but now we are game.
What would you tell young high-life artists that look up to you?
Everybody should hustle and try to be unique. The way you can be unique is for you to have your own style, don’t try to imitate anybody, don’t try to sound like anybody because it might work for that person but might not work for you. So just do your style. Once you try to imitate someone you must be under that person because there is no way you will be bigger than the person that created that pattern no matter how hard you work.
Do you see yourself collaborating with The Cavemen?
Their kind of highlife is different from ours but yes we can possibly do that. It depends on our mood so anything can work out.
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