There are many young musicians waiting in the wings ready to show their talent. Among those musicians is Collins Osemudiameh Oribhabor, a young man who has put in so much work and consistency to get his art to a high level. He talked about his humble beginning and the challenges of being an upcoming artist. A vowed intent of the Finance graduate of the University of Lagos is to surprise Nigerians beyond expression.
Tell us about yourself
I am popularly known as “Cky”, pronounced as Sky (a name I got back in high school). My name is Collins Osemudiameh Oribhabor. I was born and brought up in Abuja and spent most of my life there till I moved to Lagos for my university education. I am also a Banking and Finance graduate of the University of Lagos. I like to describe myself as a bit reserved and quiet which might sound strange considering I work in the entertainment industry.
How was your growing up like Well, I am the fourth child in a family of 6 children. I have a brother and four sisters. I love my siblings and I am close to all of them, but my childhood was really quiet. I had to find ways of entertaining myself alone because my brother, who is the first child of the family was very strict and always wanted me to respect him because he is far older than me, but he was never at home because of school and some other reasons. As a result, I was closer to my sisters but still had quiet moments because my sisters would always be ‘girls’. Being the only boy around actually come with lots of privileges, though. While growing up, I also played a lot of soccer, which I wish I never had to let go of.
When and why did you start music
I started professional music six years ago. This was because I really fell in love with music and greatly admired the likes of Lil Wayne, Biggie and the rest. This inspired me to start practicing and writing my own songs. I was in a group in high school and we used to mime a lot of songs back then.
At what stage did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in music
I started by learning how to play the keyboard and I picked it up really fast. I also started picking up other instruments and realized that creating music always makes me happy. I could be having a bad day, but when I get in the studio and everything will change. It sets my mood right and I’m very passionate about it.
What has been your biggest challenge
That has to be combining music with my academics. This is because I started music professionally three weeks before gaining admission into the university, it was really hard trying to balance the two. A lot of times during lectures, I’d get inspiration for a song and I’d begin writing down my rap. I got so distracted that my GPA really suffered. I had to drop music for a while in order to concentrate on my studies.
How do you balance your music with other obligations such as jobs, mate and so on
Right now, music is my predominant occupation. I wake up in the morning and I do music till it’s time to call it a day. I also have a manager who really helps in making it all work. I think it’s all about prioritizing and balancing it all.
How often and how long do you practice
It is usually on average, about seven hours in a day.
Have ever you perform in public
Yes I have performed severally and I remember being very nervous because it was a really large crowd at a carnival. Once I began, I got a hang of it and ended up ‘killing’ my performance.
How do you handle mistakes during a performance
I’ve made several mistakes. When you’re nervous, a lot of things can go wrong. If I forget some lyrics, I just try to freestyle till I get back on track. If I miss a beat, I just concentrate and follow the beat.
Do you get nervous before a performance
(Chuckles) Of course I do. I think almost everybody does. Being in front of a large crowd is really intimidating. For me, I’m really nervous whenever I get on stage but once I start, I begin to relax and get in my zone. It always helps when you can feel the crowd’s energy and watch them enjoy your performance.
If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit
I’m mostly a hip-hop artist, but I occasionally branch out into R‘n’B
What was the first song you ever did and how did it make u feel
About seven years ago, I wrote and sang a love song. At that time, I felt it was good, but looking back now, it was absolutely terrible. I have no regrets because you live and learn, and the goal is to keep getting better.
Are you single
Yes, but I am in a relationship
How do you manage your relationship with your musical career
(Laughs) Perfectly, because my girlfriend loves my job and she understands how we operate, but she complains sometimes because when I’m supposed to spend time with her, an unplanned event might just come up, but I make her understand that I’m just building my career, and I am not ready to turn down any event even if it was not planned.
Are your parents in support of your career
When my mom was alive, she was in support of it; she even knew the lyrics of the first love song I wrote, but my dad has always wanted me to become a doctor. He even stopped me from playing soccer when I was very young, but I’m no longer a child, I think I know what I want now and what is good for me, so he has no other option rather than support me even if he still complains sometimes.
Alcohol, women and money are distractions, how do you intend to prevent them
I don’t take alcohol. I have a girlfriend that loves and understand my job, money is the root of all evil, but it’s not a crime to make money from what you do.
So it’s all about the money
No, I love music, but if you don’t make money from a job you do, then you have to double your hustle.
If you don’t do alcohol, how do you unwind
I have a way of making my friends feel I’m drinking with them whenever we go out. I love swimming, playing video games, and listening to good songs.