interview by femi samuel
photography by john odebunmi
august 16, 2019
From bubbling under to making waves across the continent, JOEBOY HAS ARRIVED TO DELIVER MOOD-LIFTING MELODIES
interview series: detailing the creative journey of young nigerian minds.
Joeboy is one of the hottest fresh names in the Nigerian music industry at the moment. His chart topping single “Baby” has ruled the charts in Uganda, Kenya and can be heard blasting from random car stereos on the road and from speakers in the hottest clubs and lounges in Nigeria. Joeboy was flying under the radar till he caught the eye of one of the biggest exports of African music - Mr Eazi.
We sat with him to delve into his journey in music so far.
get to know joeboy
amped: How did your musical journey start?
Joeboy: I grew up around music. My brother used to hang out with a lot of people in the music scene. I started making covers and when I played it for people they used to encourage me to go and record in a studio. It was just a hobby to me then so my response was always "I don't have money'. But then things got serious after I dropped my cover of 'Shape of You'.
amped: How was it like when you found out Mr Eazi was a fan and wanted to meet you?
Joeboy: Meeting Eazi was amazing because he was actually someone I’d been observing before then, so finding out he liked my music was stomach filling. I got acquainted with Mr Eazi on Instagram and that's how we started working together. He's a good guy and a legend. Nobody is doing what he's doing right now.
amped: Did you ever believe that one day you’ll be getting noticed by the industry giants and given a platform to shine on?
Joeboy: I just believed I was going to make it because from the very start people had been supporting me so it meant I was headed in the right direction, it was only a matter of time.
amped: Can you describe the creative freedom you have while been under Mr Eazi’s tutelage?
Joeboy: Creatively, I do what I like, Mr Eazi gives advice and guides me.
amped: Your music debut didn’t do quite well in the music space, how did you feel at the time ?
Joeboy: I wouldn’t say 'Faaji' didn’t do well, because I believe 'Faaji' actually got me some industry recognition.
amped: Baby has racked up over 7 million views on Youtube, can you describe the songwriting process and the idea behind the visualizer?
Joeboy: The beat was sent to me by a Producer friend (Beats by K.O). I always have ideas for choruses and save them as voice notes and then I wrote the song based on my friend's experience with a girl.
I was meant to shoot the video in South Africa before the song dropped but I couldn't make it there at the time. So Eazi came up with the idea of dropping a visualizer, because these days you need to drop a song with a video representation accompanying it. So the visualizer was made by Poka Studios.
amped: "Baby" was so great that it was slept on when it dropped but picked up momentum later on. How did you take on the news of the impact the song was having three months after you released it?
Joeboy: The success of Baby is amazing, really. There was a point it dropped momentum and I was thinking of releasing another single, then it picked up again. I don't think Baby was was ever slept on, it was already number 1 in Uganda before it started popping in Nigeria, I guess great things take time here.
amped: Are there any artists you'd like to work with?
Joeboy: Burna Boy has been bursting brains since 2011, he's approaching legendary status. I feel like both of us on a track would be fire. Also I love Tiwa Savage, I'd would love to work with her.