Saturday, March 6, 2010

SHAKAR EL SWAGGER INTERVIEW WITH BUCHI STEVE

 
Shakar El Swagga a.k.a The Official Swaggatainer is a Nigerian born artist presently residing in the UK. Shakar's music is presently making waves in Nigeria,UK and in fact all over the world.
Right now, Shakar's latest single has been tops on The Channel O Video charts for several weeks.
In this interview with Buchi Steve, Shakar speaks about himself, his music, his rife with Terry Gee and his upcoming album. Enjoy.


BUCHI STEVE: Well, Mr.Shakar, though a lot of your fans know you as Shakar El Swagga, who infact is Shakar El Swagga?
SHAKAR: My given names are Chukwudi Ezeagwa. I am from Nise in Awka L.G.A of Anambra state.
I Was born and bred in Coal city Enugu. I attended  University of Nigeria Secondary School and was later admitted into University of Nigeria Enugu Campus to study law before i moved to the United Kingdom to continue my life hustle.
I am the third child in a family of 4-one girl and three boys. My late dad was a gynaecologist while my mum is an educantionist.I grew up with my family which i will describe as a normal
Nigerian christian family.
BUCHI STEVE:I understand you reside in the UK right now but your childhood was in Nigeria, what prompted the move to the UK and when did you leave?
SHAKAR:I left Nigeria in May 2004. Let me say i moved to the UK to be more independent and to pursue my dreams. I was very young then when i made this move and i have no regret so far,it was a move of destiny.It is funny how time flies. Few years ago, I wanted to come here to achieve things but now in 2010,Nigeria is calling for me to come back home,the pressure is very high,but i am still working on the platform. Music is like politics, you might be the best candidate but if you are on the wrong party or if you have a bad campaign team then you might end up losing the election even if it is free and fair.So, moving to Nigeria is not just about me jumping on the next flight, a lot of things must be in place for me to be successful  in Nigeria
BUCHI STEVE: Wow, that is very interesting. Now,when did you get into music?
SHAKAR:I got into music at a tender age. Music was just everywhere...from the house to the church then finally when i started performing in the 'Children variety show' in my local  TV station ESBS [ENUGU STATE BROADCASTING SERVICE]. Those days i was miming other people's songs like LL COOL J, SHABBA RANKS and so on. I was about eight years old then.

BUCHI STEVE:I must say that was quite early. But, when did you start recording? 
SHAKAR: Professionally the first time I  recorded a song in the studio was in December 2008. I recorded my first ever studio work titled 'ORISHIRSHI'. That was my first ever song and it went into different radio charts and still commands massive radio plays around Nigeria.I am emotionally attached to the song because it was my first ever attempt and it wasnt bad at all. I never had demos and so on but i have been performing on stage and tv shows since i was eight. Those days i was miming other people's song,then i started composing my songs in secondary school but i never went to any studio because I knew I wasnt ready and i promised myself that i will drop a hot song anytime i record my first song and i think i did it..

BUCHI STEVE:Talk about dream come true. How many songs have you recorded? 
SHAKAR:I have recorded 3 songs so far,namely;Orishirishi swagga,Jangolova,Anyhow,these are my 3 works so far and I believe they are great songs. I am not recording any songs at the moment because of different reasons-I have to promote my already recorded songs,i am composing songs for my album and I chose to record them whenever I am ready to drop my album. That will give me enough time to update my lyrics, make it hotter and also to avoid my song or concept getting into any wrong hands because this artists are despreate to blow and they can do anything to be successful. I dont want any trouble so it is better I secure my concepts than recording songs when I am not ready to release them. If someone steals and drops it before me then that will be another bad situation which am not ready for. So basically I am not one of those artists that record anyhow and hey, I dont have my personal studio yet so it aint that easy and i cant just record in any studio. My motto is value of money or refund of money..
BUCHI STEVE: Are you on any record label? 
SHAKAR: No,i am not under any label. I am just doing my thing on my own so far with no help from any label. It is hard but I'm really enjoying it sha. Most people and labels think I'm signed because of the quality of what i do..if the right label comes then we can talk,if not then i will keep doing my thing...I love it so far.
BUCHI STEVE: Yeah, that is what matters.Do you have an album out already or are you working on one?
SHAKAR: I am composing songs for my album,bringing new concepts to the table. The album will be tagged 'ORISHIRISHI'. I wont be suprised if someone steals the name. People tend to copy anything I do or plan to do,but. even if 100 artists use that same name for their title,i wont consider to change it. I am happy when people copy my lines, my name and so on because it shows that I'm on point. If you you wanna copy more then follow me on  http://twitter.com/SHAKAR_EL_SWAGA 
BUCHI STEVE: How many songs will be on the album and do you have any singles from the album out on air?
SHAKAR: At the moment I have 12 songs that will be on the album and there is always room to compose more anytime i get inspired. I am not rushing anything at all,it is my music so i must make sure that i deliver..Yes!
'ANYHOW' is the first single off my album and the next singles will be out anytime i get to Nigeria,i wont be dropping any singles off my album until i get to Naija. I dropped anyhow and my other songs like orishirshi and jangolova just to get the much needed attention before I arrive Nigeria.

BUCHI STEVE: Who are the producers and guest artists working on the album?
SHAKAR: So far, i have only worked with JJC aka Mr Skills and i will still work with him,he is a good producer,i will work with any producer that has something great to offer me.
 My debut album will be more about me,the only confirmed guest artist will be my childhood friend 'FLAVOUR  N'ABAINIA'. He was featured in the popular hit song 'osondi owendi'. It just one of those things that i dont need to ask for, Flavour is a producer as well and we have that  chemistry needed in two artists to make a hot collabo so all i need is to get to nigeria and go to his studio and i am sure it will be a hit.
Guest apperance on my debut  album will be strictly on the chemistry between my style and the other artist style and also on the tempo of the song in question. I wont be doing stupid collabos just to sell records even when the song wont sound great..quality music still sells and promotes itself to a level as long as winchi winchi people no stand on ur way.
BUCHI STEVE: The BIG question: when is this album set to drop?
SHAKAR:  By the grace of God,the album will drop sometime this year. In my own definition, an album should be my best songs so far. Like back in the days,to have photo albums in our different homes and these albums are made of photos,but we made sure that we put the best pictures in the album,we take out the pictures that are not of good quality or maybe we just dont like them for some reasons,we make sure we only showcase our favorite pictures to our visitors.
Same thing applies to music,you will be the first to know when I"m ready

BUCHI STEVE: My Pleasure Boss.Thanks a lot. Now, how can people listen to your songs online? Any website or download links?
SHAKAR: You can listen to my songs on my offical website www.shakarelswagga.com or just Google and you will have a whole lots of sites where you can play and listen to my music.
BUCHI STEVE: How do you feel about your music hitting top of the charts? What was the magic formula? 
SHAKAR: I Feel great having my songs on different radio charts in Nigeria and my video reaching number one on Channel O Top 10 Chart. I can only thank God and fans for their support so far. The formula is simply hardwork, never lose hope no matter what people say. I cant wait for the day when things will be done the right way in Nigeria,when all the radio charts will depend on the votes from fans and judges and not on how much you paid. Few stations are already working on that and it feels good when you get things on merit,you feel on top of the world,suspense should be part of the industry.

BUCHI STEVE: Now,away from the album...Sometime ago, there was a rife between you and producer Terry G.Briefly, what was it all about and how was it settled?  
SHAKAR: Well,that has been settled long ago. I wish him good luck,he is a great entertainer!!
BUCHI STEVE: Alright. What else do you do apart from entertainment and music recording?
SHAKAR: I have  great interest in politics and i ghostwrite  for someone that writes for a top newspaper. It is something i do when i am free,call me a hustler cuz life is full of hustles.

BUCHI STEVE: I understand you represent Coalcity.Why is the East still not on the front line in the Nigerian music scene the way it ought to be? What have you done as a person or as an artist to move music in the East up to the limelight?
SHAKAR: Why I seem to rep coalcity is because that was where i grew up but originally I'm from Anambra and i rep my homestate. I rep Naija,i rep Africa..
  i dont know about east or west or north being on frontline but if you re talking about people from east then we have alot of artist from the east who are repping hard,you talk about P'Sqaure, Ill bliss,Naetoc,Jay Martin,Nigga Raw,Ikechukwu,Don Jazzy who to me is the best producer in africa till the better one shows himself,so i think the East are represented well. Before it used be the people in the east trying to put some Yoruba lines in their song but now you will hear many artist orginally from the west puting lines like 'chineke muoo eh' , una ka egbu mmadu' and so on,this is what it is supposed to be,we must be able to share things together and am happy that we re doing that through our music. We must be able to see ourselves as Nigerians more than seeing ourselves as people from south east,south south or west,it should be Naija all the way. I love playing with other languages in my songs,i love being Nigerian..most people are not sure if am Ibo but they are sure that am Nigerian.That is what it is supposed to be.I dislike tribalist people,u can find some of them in our music industry.Music and sports are supposed to heal the wounds of our country but some people are bringing in dirty politics into our music industry..
BUCHI STEVE: Where do you see Nigerian Contemporary music in the next five years? How do you think the ideal can be achieved in Nigeria?
 

SHAKAR: Well,i will tell you that we have gone very far already and i pray that we will continue moving till we get to our comfort zone. A lot of factors will determine where our music industry will be in the next 5 years,we must reduce piracy,we must reduce sabotage during promotion,some people tend to get more airplays than others not because they have better songs better because they paid more,it is like that in many countires but still they are able to watch and control it. But you know, everything Nigerians do we take it to another level,if not for some credible djs and stations that will promote artist without obtaining them,i wonder how some artists will be heard. Those kind of djs and presenters that support good music must be rewarded,we believe that because we must eat garri that means we must collect bribe,that is the system so how are we going to rebrand Nigeria then? Lets forget the rebranding because our problem is deep rooted,we can continue living the way we are used to. I dont have much problem with that as long as we are proud of what we do and collect from others..We must not complain of our leaders beacuse we re not different from them.If you collect money to play a video that means you will collect money to sell aso rock if you ever becomes the president...we must be proud of what we do.we have many muttalabs in our music industry,people who wants to kill the industry..lol
BUCHI STEVE: What advice do you have for upcoming artists in Ngeria?
SHAKAR: My advice is that they must be sure that they are ready to do music. Music business dosent stop in the studio. Dont rush it at all. You must be able to critize yourself.You will be ready to learn a bit of everything- how to promote yourself,i have promoted myself without the help of label or promotion company.You can promote yourself to a level as long as you have a good product.

BUCHI STVE: What are your hobbies? 
SHAKAR: My hobbies are chillin with friends,surfing the internet,snooker,i can go on and on

BUCHI STEVE: Lastly, send a holla to your fans worldwide who might be reading this.
SHAKAR:
Shout out to all my fans around the world,you guys have been wonderful,i just wanna say thank you for your support so far,may God bless you all,I pray to supply you guys more good music...!

Ladies and gentlemen, that was the ish! Let me know what you think by dropping your comments below. Remember to support Shakar El Swagger. Cop his  album when it drops. Do it for the love! One.

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