NotjustOk hype will feature the future potential heavy hitters in Naija music. Any material featured in this category will be from an unsigned OR up & coming Nigerian/African artiste/producer/record label that boasts of nothing but promising content. There will only be ONE post a month in this category.
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Starting out music some years back while in college in a little town called Penbroke in North Carolina (United States), Poe had a dream and that dream was to become a household name in the Nigerian Music Industry after his return to home.
Poe is back in Nigeria now and well on his way to achieving that goal. Having dropped a couple of breathtaking songs, cementing it with some dope collaborations and receiving positive nods from well respected rappers such as M.I Abaga, SDC and the rest, Poe‘s journey to greatness is quite evident for all to see and it’s no surprise that he is beginning to get the credit that he deserves.
Mr. Poe, how are you doing, bro?
I’m good, thank you.
Well done on the hustle. We see every.
It’s a pleasure, Bro.
Can we know more about the man – Poe?
To be honest with you, I think there’s not much to talk about in that aspect. Born and raised in Lagos, fortunate enough to study abroad at some point but to be honest with you, this is my home and I’m happy to be making music and putting it out from here. We wanna make music for the rest of the world.
SDC ft. Poe – Fligh School
Now, this music thing; when did it all start?
It started in School abroad and that was a great place for me to start. I finished high School here in Nigeria and now went abroad. I was in a small town called Penbroke in North Carolina in the United States. I was all with my books, some friends and music. So, it was a great time for music to start because it was my focus, it kept my sanity in the middle of nowhere. I was also studying at the same time. I’m happy it started there.
You majored in Chemistry and Biology for your first degree and Business Administration for your MBA. With all that, were your parents really supportive of your music career when it all started? And what about now?
I didn’t really get their support at the beginning and in fairness to them, they didn’t know about it. I kept it as a secret away from them for a while. It was when I graduated that I played a song and my Mum was like “This voice sounds like Ladipo’s” and then my Dad was like “It can’t be”. He listened to it again and was like “What, why didn’t you tell me you were into music?”. They’ve been very supportive ever since. I have fulfilled all requirements as regards to academics and those degrees are not going to waste as I’m gonna use it for everything I do in music to be sustainable.
Ermmm, there’s no journey without obstacles, bumps and all that and this journey is the same. It has not been the smoothest of journeys but we are still here, still on that road. So that means we must be getting somewhere.
There are a lot of pappers and your peers out there who have given high recommendations to your brand. Even M.I went on Channel O to say a lot about you. What exactly are you doing to match up the expectations?
I respect the fact that those things are said about me and it means a lot to get recognition from your peers but at the same time, it really has no bearing on what I do. Asides from that, I still make the music I make and put out the content I wanna put out and I feel that if they like what I have done in the past, then they will definitely like the new one. I don’t allow it to have any real bearing on the music I make. It is what it is and I have a lot of respect for M.I Abaga because of the attention he has been able to bring to rap music. In terms of matching people’s expectations, I don’t think about that. I make music for the fans and if they love it, I’m okay.
I know a couple of songs of yours but I’d like to ask – Officially, how many songs do you have out there?
To be honest with you, there’s a lot of music I’ve worked on a lot of music. Some of them have not seen the light of the day. While I was in School, I worked on 2 albums with the guys I started making music with. When I got to Nigeria, I started working on a project with Ikon called “Above All Expectations”. Some things slowed that down and those tracks are still there. So, there is a lot of content but this year 2015, people are going to see content and consistency. They will experience the TAP movement in full force.
Now, tell us about the TAP E.P and the TAP movement?
Right now, it’s ongoing. I am in no rush. I’m putting out the E.P this year but in no real rush because I have a lot of music I’m putting out this year before the EP comes out. People know more from features but I need them to know my own brand of music. They need to be introduced to that. The E.P is about introducing the brand.
Any major feature(s) on the EP?
Ermm, the E.P is going to be predominantly myself. The singles will have a couple of collaborations but the E.P is going to be predominantly me. Ikon is leading the work on that.
People really can’t put a face to your brand. What are the plans to correct this?
Well, we do have a video for ‘Ko ye Won’ and there’s also another one for “New Era” . Ko Ye Won video was recently nominated for the NMWAs and I thank God for that. There are some things I personally see as side effects. I believe the more we put out our music, the more we get the popularity. I worry more about the music and the content that I push out while the team works on the attention and the visuals. We are doing a lot about it this time. Every song that comes out henceforth will have a video. You are going to hear me on your radio, see me on your TV and that will be very soon.
‘Feel Alright” by SDC that featured you seems to be your biggest collaboration till date. Tell us more about the song and your other collaborations.
“Feel Alright” collaboration was interesting. TEC played the beat for me and it was something he wanted to work on and they already had the idea of putting BOJ on the track and I was there when BOJ recorded his hook. I loved the song but I didn’t really say anything until we got back to Lagos and one of my cousins who is close to SDC actually encouraged me to jump on the song and that was it! I wrote my verse and it was a done deal. That collaboration definitely opened doors for me. “Marry Me” was great too. The producer sent the beat and I had to just lay down my verse and then Falz loved the concept and he also wrote his verse and Yemi Alade sealed the deal.
Any other collaborations you want to talk about?
Well, I have done “Gimme Sh*t” featuring Jesse Jagz and Kahli Abdu. I also collaborated with BOJ on his mixtape and with Lynxxx too. There are a couple of other Poe collaborations out there and right now, it is time for people to listen to my own sound.
The producers working on the mixtape?
Ikon is the main producer. He is the major producer because we do have a good chemistry. I’m working with a couple of guys that I am comfortable with. You will get full details soon.
How do you feel about the rap game in Nigeria?
I think rap is still big in Nigeria. I think rap still has a long way to go. I think what I’m going to be doing more is exploring rap and other genres of music and I think rap and hip-hop is one combination. I think rappers are doing well.
Do you think the Nigerian Music structure put in place is solid enough to support all genres of music?
Ermm, I would admit it’s a bit chaotic. For the structure to really work, people need to get compensated for the music they put out. Music needs to be distributed in a way that makes sense. I think we have a lot of gaps, issues, loopholes but in fairness, the industry is young and it’s very dynamic and there has been a lot of growth but I don’t think the quality has matched the quantity but I think in time, it will be better. Everyone seems to be stepping their game up. There is space for growth in any young thing.
I’m not afraid of heights but I feel like in 5 years time, I’m going to be very scared of how far I have gotten to. I would have had a catalogue of songs that will wow people. Whether I’m behind or in front of the camera because I also wanna be into fashion. So whether or not I’m still rapping or not, I want people to look back and say some special things about me and my music and the impact it made. I want people to discuss about quality music and my names crops up. I can only hope for these things and pray. I hope to be associated with positivity and great music.
Your Top 3 male rappers in Nigeria?
Ghost, TEC and Mojeed.
Ermm, Female….. (sighs).. We don’t have many. I can only mention rappers that I know and I have met. I’d say EVA. I also like AT and Thelma Diji. These ladies hold it down any day, anytime. As for rappers, I’d also have to pick Nneka.
The same Nneka?
Yes! You guys obviously don’t know that Nneka raps. She is a great singer but also one of my favourite female rappers.
Your relationship with other rappers in the industry.
I’m cool with all the people I know. The people I don’t know I really can’t say much about them. I have met Mojeed a couple of times and we should work soon. You all know SDC are my family. It’s a very cordial relationship with every other person. I don’t have any best friends out here.
Finally, any word for the Poe disciples out there.
Mehn. Thanks a lot for supporting the brand – Poe. God bless you all. You can always reach me on Twitter/Instagram – @LadiPoe. Also check out my music on Soundcloud – LadiPoe . I will always holler back at you on Twitter. The website – www.talkaboutpoe.com will be live this year by God’s Grace. Go listen to “Slow It Down”, the latest single. God bless you all and major thanks to NotJustOk for the support.