All tagged home-creatives

Terry Apala

Terry Apala, did you play around with the sound of your voice at a young age to discover your ability?

I started experimenting with my voice around the age of nine by mimicking voices of performers like Musiliu Ishola. In church, I would change the rhythm and tempo of songs by turning them into Apala sounds. People started noticing and as I matured, I got better at performing Apala music. 

Where were you when you realized you could combine Apala music with Hip Hop? 

Prior to making the hit song Champagne Shower, I created a few songs that were on a different wave, but last year one of my friends brought up the idea that I should attempt to mix the two genres.

And you listened to him?

Yes - it was a good idea, so I reached out to my producer and asked him to provide a trap beat. I ended up making my first hit song Champagne Shower, which has received a tight reception and more acceptance than I expected. 

Nnenna Okore

Ms. Okore, do you consider yourself to be the best in your field?

(Laughs)…I am not pompous enough to think of myself in those terms. What I want my work to do is to have an impact on others and contribute to contemporary conversations both in Africa and abroad. While my works have been recognized, it doesn't influence my person or practice.  

Have your recognitions affected what you create?

While it is great to be recognized, I am not moved to create based on the possibility that I might be acknowledged through awards. The work is based on what I find interesting, what I am passionate about and how I can convey the best message. I move in different directions based on the immediacy of my interests or the things that stimulate creativity in me.

Do you follow any rules with the art you create?

I don’t have any specific rules I follow but one principle that is important to me is to avoid boxing myself into an idea and allow the materials to express themselves because they come alive in ways one doesn’t anticipate. For example, I work with paper that I shred, pulp, twist, braid, dye and wax. I am interested in the process whereby these materials dictate what I do next; and the journey becomes a conversation between the materials and my artistry.

Ade "Asiko" Olekarin

Mr. Olekarin, your art stretches the audiences’ imagination; do you do this deliberately?

I don’t make a conscious attempt to stretch anyone’s imagination. The art is an expression of things that have inspired, influenced and that I’ve seen over my lifetime. My photography is a combination of culture, science fiction and fantasy. These aspects sum up who I am. While the photographs may trigger the audiences’ imagination, I’ve never attempted to go out and create a certain aesthetic. I shoot and create only things that are interesting to me – no trends, no fads.

You mentioned science fiction and fantasy, do you dream often about another world?

Dreams of another world don’t play a role in my photography. The work originates from images that stuck with me as a kid and into adulthood. I believe that we experience a huge transformation in adolescence – say from ages 11 to 14. The things we see during this period has a way of affecting how we see the world and make decisions. These experiences act as the catalyst for the visual cues that affect the look, feel and the result of my creations as it relates to my understanding of my culture. 

Many artists shy away from admiring their own art, how you do feel about your art after you give it to the public?

The work is a part of me, so I don’t shy away but I do look critically at the creation. I may come to the conclusion that I am not happy about certain aspects of the work or it could’ve come out better, but these mistakes embody my imperfection as a human. Strangely, there’s beauty in that the creation becomes right over time. I look back years after and see how I’ve improved and it becomes my journey.

Adewale Ayuba

Mr. Ayuba, if you think back over your journey, what do you remember with fondness and what do you regret?

I am actually happy that I introduced a great style of Fuji to Nigeria and Africa, I am happy that the younger generations can get inspirations from my classics or even do remixes of my past songs.  It is a good thing to still appeal to every generation of people in the world. I don’t have any regrets as I take everything as a lesson, I do not beat myself over something I missed nor force myself to do something I’d rather not do.

At a young age, you became a professional musician, how certain were you that you would succeed?

What I know is nobody can predict tomorrow. I never knew what would become of me, but I knew I loved music so much I could care less if it made me rich. I enjoy creating and music is what I practically live off and I thank God I am a successful product of the phenomenon.

You gained prominence in the early 90’s, how would you define your impact on Fuji music?

My style of music has made me understand that I indeed stand out. I took the tempo of my style of music to another level and it led to many people loving my style. Before the other tribes in Nigeria began to enjoy Fuji, I brought a sound they could dance joyfully too while also understanding the genre.