Praiz needs no introduction in the Nigerian music scene as he shot himself to limelight after winning MTN sponsored Project Fame some years back.
Just last year, the R&B singer joined the big league, when he was endorsed by the telecommunications giants as one of their ambassadors. In this revealing interview, the handsome dude whose latest single, Mercy, has been enjoying massive airplay, talks about his forthcoming album, dropping in June and his nomination for the World Music Award.
What are you working on right now?
Nothing much, just working on the video for my new single, Mercy which was premiered recently. I am also working seriously for the release of my debut album and the introduction of the brand Praiz, which is set for June this year.
So, when is the album due to drop?
The album is due to drop June this year.
What’s the idea behind Mercy?
Basically, Mercy is a song about a girl called Mercy. She is very beautiful and I composed the song to show my appreciation, trying to tell the world how she drives me crazy.
Was music what you had in mind while growing up?
No. I loved Soccer, I was a huge fan of football and I play well too. I studied Computer Science in the university. I had this dream that I was going to be a big soccer star. I was dreaming to play for Barcelona FC because that has always been my club. I have played in several football clubs in the country back then in the North. For me, being an entertainer was something I never thought or dreamt of. But as nature has it, in everything we are doing, God has another plans for us. He knows where to place you and how to use you to inspire people.
So, you stumbled into music?
Well,I would say that I started liking music because of my environment. Before I went into the higher institution, I had this friend who used to be a music producer. So most times, I used to go to the studio with him and from there, I learnt how to do many things. I learnt how to make beat, and how to produce some sounds. For me, my love for music started developing from there. That is what I can say about my adventure into the music world.
When you went to audition for Project Fame, did you have in mind that you were going to win?
Well, it is over 12 years now since I won the competition. I have been part of most music competitons in the country before I won that event. I have tried in different competitions but never went through. So, finally, I decided to go for the audition of that season’s Project Fame. I travelled from Kaduna where I was staying with my parents to Abuja for the auditioning. In the first stage of the auditioning, I came third and proceeded to the final stage of the show. From there, I would say, my journey into the music industry begun. It was not easy at the beginning because you needed to take yourself away from some kind of people and pursue your dream.
How many tracks are contained in the album you are about to drop?
It’s about sixteen tracks but we have not made the final decision.
How many artistes did you feature in your album?
Quite a lot of them. We have the likes of Sound Sultan, Timaya, Sean Tizzle and some South African singers too.
Praiz is a brand in the Nigerian music industry, what do you think is the secret?
I owe everything to God and His grace. I love people that understand my goal. I know I do great and world class music and a lot of people would be wondering how this guy has been able to do it. I always tell them that I owe all gratitude to God. He has been everything to me. My second gratitude goes to my family, I don’t joke with my family and their prayers kept me going. To Xtreme music, the record label I am signed to, I am also very grateful to them, they are doing lots of good music. Even when nobody believed me, they have been there for me. I am also very thankful to my fans.
What is the craziest thing a female fan has ever done to you?
She asked for an autograph on her private part.
Did you sign the autograph?
I don’t know but that was the craziest thing a female fan has ever asked for from me. Maybe it was signed or not.
What is that part of you that people do not know?
People do not know that I am a big philanthropist. I love helping people especially, when I am in a position to help. I can go the extra mile to help. I am a down to earth and simple dude who hates trouble so much.
Tell us about your background and your growing up
I was born in Lagos in early 80’s. Later my daddy was transferred to Kaduna because of his job, so the whole family had to move along with him in 1992. He was the regional manager of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria. So, when he was transferred to Kaduna, my mother did not think it was wise for him to be travelling back to Lagos every weekend to see the family, so we all decided to travel and stay with him there in Kaduna. I would say that growing up was great, especially, being very close to caring parents.
You bought your mother a brand new car when you were endorsed by MTN as one of their brand ambassadors, does that mean you are closer to your mother more than your father?
Not really, but you know that boys are usually attached to their mothers. But trust me, I love my father so much. And I appreciate him a lot right now. I think right now, I understand the pressure that is involved in raising kids, the love I have for my dad now is much.
Aside music, what do you think you would have done better?
Aside music, I think I would have been a good footballer. I would probably be playing for Barcelona FC.
Have you played before?
I am a good footballer, I played for my department when I was in higher institution. I played for Kaduna Polytechnic, I also played for Highlander FC in Kaduna as well. That was the same club some big Nigerian players like, Celestine and Emmanuel Babayaro among others played for. It’s just that I grew up listening to music. What you have in mind that you want to do might be different from what God plans for you.
How did you come about the World Music nomination?
I don’t know. I did not apply for anything. I was even shocked. I just went to the World Music Award and I saw my pictures everywhere.
Source: Vanguard NGR