The Nigerian music industry is set to witness a sizzle as talented, young and focused artiste, Adam Ephraim makes his entry. Based in the United Kingdom, the smooth-talking and confident guy who is known by his professional name Equation also a song writer and rapper.
Equation started recording music at an early age in Kent, where he surpassed his peers and was given the title and nickname, BIK (Best In Kent). The young man who has released a couple of songs has a juicy single, Faaji which is making hay in the airwaves at the moment. Equation is working on a major collaboration with an A List artiste which will be featured in his forthcoming full album project. He is currently under the Vanessa Bridge Management by Kese Jabari. He has another single Kobami that he has just finished. In this interview, he spoke candidly about his life, drive and plans.
Q: Tell us about your self?
A: I am a UK based artiste. I am 17, I started music at the age of 11/ 12 years but those days, it was not something I was serious about because I used to also play football. I actually thought I will be a footballer but after a while, I started to show more interest in music at about age 14. That was when I started to push and began to see a future in music.
Q: Who was your influence. What kind of musicians or sounds ignited the fire in you?
A: Drake and Wizkid influenced me a great deal. My Nigerian connection meant that I was exposed to a lot of Nigerian music. Wizkid’s story inspired me because he started basically from nothing to where he is now and I believed I had something,
Q: You said you used to play football, have you stopped?
A: I stopped now because, there is so much to do these days than playing football, I know that if it wasn’t music then nothing else, I felt like music was in my soul, it was a hard decision though but I had to make the decision at that time and from all indications, I made the right one.
Q: So how many songs have you sang so far?
A: I have so many songs in my repertoire. I also already have an official music video, I don’t know if you have seen it yet, it is on all digital platforms especially YouTube. I have another music video coming out soon as well.
Q: Can we get your Educational Background?
A: Yeah I go to college in the UK; I am in my first year of college.
Q: Which school
A: North Kent College.
Q: What kind of music will you say is your genre?
A: Afro beat, I am kind of versatile though. if I hear something I like, I can do something basically but mainly Afro beat.
Q: Afro beat as in Fela Afro beat or Burna boy Afro beat.
A: That is the only contention right now, Nigerian does not have a genre that is recognized globally apart from Afro beat so we are recognized as Afro beat or others, and the closest thing is Afro beat.
Q: How supportive has your family been?
A: I was in Nigeria in August just to bond with the family but the trip ended up being about me because my mom was in Nigeria too and before I knew what was happening, I was spending so much time in the studio, it became massively about music.There was a day, we worked till 4am. It was not too much sacrifice to make especially if it is part of what will make this dream of becoming a big musician come true. Of course, we also got stuck in the traffic so many times too.
Q: Earlier you said you began at about 11/12, was that when you started officially?
A: Around 14 is when I really decided to start music. Like I said, music was not really my thing at the beginning, I just grew into it.And now three years after, at 17, I feel I have come of age.
Q: Ok how did it really start?
A: It began with things like sitting in my room having ideas and thinking about melodies in my head, sometimes I sleep and when I wake up I would just think about some ideas and then write it down quickly so I don’t forget. It just began to build up, and it just occurred to me that music is my thing and it has to be the way God wants me to go.These were the signs that showed that music was it.
Q: Signs like what?
A: Like waking up in the night thinking of lyrics in my head, thinking of melodies I should be writing down using voice memories to record the melodies, I use voice memories so I don’t forget things, it was just in me. I was thinking, speaking, dreaming music.
Q: Earlier you mentioned the musicians that influenced you, which musicians do you admire now?
A: People like Teni, Burna boy, Wizkid, Fireboy, and Joeboy, these are young and up coming artistes who are making it big. Apart from their song, their story resonates with me, it gives me belief that if these ones can make hits, I can do too.
Q: What specific things do you admire about these artists?
A: I admire their creativity and the fact that they are making a mark in the Afro scene now. They are doing well here and evening in the UK, these artistes are also known which means they have been able to cut across. That is something I also want to be able to do.I want to rule the music scene, I want to be a super star.
Q: One thing that many people frown out when it comes to music lyrics of these days is the lyrics. The message these days is not deep.Musicians these days sing of sex, making easy money and things that are considered immoral, in terms of messaging, where does Equation fit in?
A: Because of my own upbringing, my lyrics are not trashy. I sing about positive things, I sing to encourage, to give hope and make people happy. I use my music to turn negative thoughts to positive.
Q:You said you now have a video, where was it shot?
Equation: My first video was shot here in Lagos that was in August. I have just shot another for my new single,‘Kobami’’ over the weekend.
Q: The first video you shot ‘’Faaji’’, what was it about, tell us about it and why is the song called ‘’faaji’’, do you speak Yoruba?
A: I was just in the studio when my producer, he was laying down beats, melodies so it was just a vibe, we were doing freestyle when he then mentioned the word Faaji, Faaji means fun, party, so it was that kind of atmosphere that we were at that time and like the song just happened. We were just messing around, playing around and it ended up becoming a song.
Q: Have you had the opportunity to perform professionally yet?
A: Yeah I have done a few performances in the UK, I have featured at some events.
Q: Would you say your kind of music is being accepted in the UK.
A:In the UK people are loving it a lot, Afro music is growing because they have seen it grow international so its kind of like force them into liking our vibe.
Q: So your performances here and UK can you just describe it?
A: At the moment in the UK, there is a better response to my performance,in the Kent area, I am relatively known. But here, I am getting into the flow and that is why we are having this interview (laughs heartily). I time, as people feel the music, they will come to appreciate me more.
Q: As a young artiste, you must have been so excited when you heard your song being played on radio or your video aired on TV, tell us about that experience
A: To be honest I was really thrilled when I first heard my song on radio, it felt good. My song was being played at the restaurant a few days ago, I felt good. My Video has been featured on Pop Central, TV, I have had radio interviews, have had interviews on Silverbird TV as well, Rhythm.
Q: What of the UK?
A: In the UK, BEN TV has played my song as well, working into the the main stream gradually
Q: You told us that you have a new song ‘’Kobami’, tell us about it and do you have any plans for an album?
A: Yes we are developing an album, it has so many different sounds, of course many Afro beats tunes will form the bulk of the songs there.Just expect something different fro Equation. So Kobami is one of the singles that will be on that album
Q: What would you say is unique about Equation.
A: My versatility and creativity. I can develop and make sounds. I don’t think many people my age can necessary hear a sound and create something with it.
Q: So we can say you can be very spontaneous?
Q: So do you have any advice for young people that want to be like you?
A: I would advice them to be patient, to keep working hard, a lot of people will try to put you down, try to discourage you, but stay focused.The most important thing is to believe in yourself.
Q: How do they perceive you in the UK, any hint of racism in the industry?
A: I am just an average 17year old black boy really.
Q: So you’re just an average 17year old boy?
A: Well not really, there is a stigma attached to black boys, but I am not seen like that, I am not average, they see me and know I have stuff, I am serious.
Q: How far do you want to go as an artiste.
A: Hopefully I can go far as much as I know I can get to on this project, I am trying to just make it to the top really, I want to be amongst the big names that people talk about all the time like the likes of Burna boy, Wizkid, I want to be a super star.
Q: Is your studies not suffering as a result of this adventure into music?
A: No it is not, it is not difficult really, I just know when it is time for school and I know when it is time for music. School is very important, I have been trained to see education as the foundation, so I don’t joke with my studies at all.
Q: Apart from music, what other profession interests you, are you not interested in being a doctor, lawyer etc?
A: No. maybe my sister,but for me, music is it. Don’t see myself being happy doing other things.
Q: So tell us about your family?
A: My real name is Adam Ephraim I have two brothers and one sister.You have met my mum, she is the one here (laughs heartily)I grew up and still live in the United Kingdom.
Q: Are you the eldest?
A: No am not, growing up was very easy and I would thank my mother for her love and support. She has been a pillar.
Q: How did the name Equation come about?
A: It happened when I was doing some mathematics, and I was asking my mum for help with the assignment, and totally and she out of context, she said something different, it did not even relate to what we were talking about. So she just said, use Equation, the name is Equation, just like that, and that wa show the name stuck.
Q: So your mum gave you the name?
A: Yeah she did.
Q: So how does that name relate to your music now?
A: The name makes sense, it is apt. It send a message that in life you have to have balance. And just like you solve an equation, when there are issues, you solve it.
A: Where are you from?
A: I am Cross Rivers State in Nigeria.