Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: 'Shoulder Low' Is a New Dance Step - Jay Walker

interview

Frank Ikechkwu Junior aka Jay Walker is one artiste making wave in the music industry today. The Information Technology graduate recently signed on the label of Iroko records. ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM had an exclusive chat with him.

What was the beginning like?

Rough and tough nut but we thank God. Jay walker is out to sensitise the youth and Africanise the world through music which is the job of my record label. I want to come out with something that has never been done. Even though I started at a very tender age, can't really remember specifically.

Those that motivated me in the music industry are great men. I love the likes of Fela, Bob Marley and presently Tuface because Nigerian artistes have taken music to the next level, making it generally acceptable by creating that international platform. I want to give kudos to those who have really contributed to the growth of the music industry in Nigeria especially the likes of Tuface.

Music style:

Afro pop. I was actually a rap artiste before my record label came up to transform me. Though I can sing any genre but I'm out for Afro pop.

Songs on ground:

I have got lots of songs. I can't even count. Like my fans in the UK have been hungry for a tour. Just to let you know we are going on a tour this summer with the Iroko boys. My song 'Medicine Man' which dropped January 2012 is still making lots of wave.

Though there wasn't much publicity but my single 'Shoulder Low' that dropped November last year, is really enjoying massive airplay. For the first two months when I signed to Iroko record, it was not easy but now we are like a big family, just like a tree and its branches. I'm one of the branches of Iroko records.

About shoulder low song:

Actually the song as it implies is a new dance that I'm coming up with just like the azonto. It's going to be wonderful when the video is out. It comprises great songs and dance steps.

How would you cope in a competitive music industry?

I'm not bringing down anyone but I will say that everyone today wants to rap or sing and Iroko records is reaching the world through music. We don't just do any kind of music. When I write a song, I make sure it goes through scrutiny. Though my dad never supported me until when I performed at the Miss Finest Girl in Abuja pageant.

He came, paid for the VIP and was really impressed seeing me performing on a big stage. During my 200 level through to my final year, I was crowned the best artiste in school. I was formally known as Baby Jay but when I got signed to Iroko records 2011, I became more advance. I decided to switch the name.

So I will say Jay Walker is the advanced version of Baby Jay. I was actually in a group called Fresh Boys. And we were all good. I didn't know I could write songs because it took me two months to write just a verse but now I could write three songs in 30 minutes. That is where you know someone is advancing in a profession- when there is progression.

Expectations from fans:

Expect great songs. Shoulder Low is out already. I have about 16 tracks in my forthcoming album. And I will like to thank my fans for the patronage and support. The album features the likes of Tuface, Ice Prince but I will like to work with Davido, Naeto C. For now, we are certain of Tuface, Vector, and Ice Prince.

Message to fans:

I will want my fans to know that I love them, especially the upcoming artistes. I want them to believe in themselves. If you are having a hard time, keep hope alive. Don't let anyone discourage you, believe in yourself. The truth is that it is never easy. I started on a difficult ground.

My parents were not even in support at the beginning, but they have seen what I could do. The truth is just believe in yourself. Just like I said, I'm the ladies' man, expect great things from me. Jay Walker aka Medicine Man.

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