Eric Elezuo and David Adeyemi Photo: Segun Lawal
Every day, thousands of young people jump into the music industry with high levels of gusto but very little experience. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these wanna-be artistes do not end up with a career in music because they either do not know how the music industry works or do not know how to use the information they learn to quickly advance their music vocation. This is experienced in the life of Peter Flames, a Sound Engineer, Producer, Teacher and obviously an upcoming singer from Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo state, South-east Nigeria.
As a Christian, Peter says he is a teacher of the gospel and teaches in the teen’s church, but was quick to add that “We don’t call ourselves pastors because today’s young ones will begin to see us as holy and larger than life.”
Every grown person will always have a growing up story to tell, as whatever will be will be, Peter describes his growing up as fun.
“Growing up for me was very funny because I grew up in a very humble background; I’m trying to make it look beautiful (laughs). You know my parents tried their best to actually give me the best they could, because I think their parents did not even send them to primary school. But they tried to give me the best they could and growing up for me was fun. My parents were poor, not poor in the other sense but poor in what people could see, but we could say we were rich because we could afford what we want like food and basic amenities for ourselves. We were seven children; we went from one shop to the other.” He added his parents brought them to Lagos while they were still very young.
Although it was an ugly experience, but he maintain that he does not regret it because it has really helped him see the other angle of what life is all about, saying he thinks differently from every other person he sees on the road.
“I can be pushed and I’ll just look for a reason to look at you and let you go, because I’ve been there before. I can handle stress and anger, because I’ve been there before; I’ve been beaten. I’ll fall and I still come back up, so it’s not something of a big deal for me.”
Peter started music while he was in the primary school, when he used to mime and rhyme songs, and continued even unto Omole Grammar School, Ikeja, where he had his secondary education. There, he started a music club and was the first president probably because he founded it. The club, he said, grew to become one of the biggest at that time in school. And obviously when he grew older, he didn’t deviate from his music calling as he is into gospel and motivational music.
In his 6 year spell of music, he has been going for radio tours, attending shows and even debuted a 13 track album in 2013 titled ‘A new day’.
As it is very important for any man or woman to have prospective and visions to guide them in their career, Peter’s vision is to through music, pass on good manners, good life and hope to the hopeless. “It’s more like I’m advocating for good music, because what we have today is something that is affecting the community.”
According to him, if all the people doing all these music that we all are hearing today are knowingly or unknowingly putting out music that will help the young people portray, encourage and preach good morals, it will even reduce the money the Federal government itself is spending to curb AIDS, insecurity and other menaces caused by these youths.
“This is because there won’t be need for that since these young minds don’t even know where to follow because these people are their role models,” he said.
“So I’m this kind of person that sees these errors and use my music to try and play my part, and I believe God will help me achieve the main goal. So my mission is like trying to remold the young ones because they are the future of tomorrow.”
In a quest not to deviate from the normal music every other person does, he states the difference between his song and others as lyrical content, stressing that the “sound is the normal danceable, pop, reggae and funk we hear every day”.
Many will say that education and music don’t tally, and that a musician does not have to go to school to become a successful music star, but contrary to this, Peter grounded himself in musical education.
He started his education at Comfort Nursery and Primary School and moved to Omole Grammar School and thereafter to Music School of Nigeria (MUSON) where he studied music in a bid to follow his dream career.
“I just felt going to the university will do me no good. I mean what will I do with the certificate when I come out eventually? The knowledge I need is either at MUSON or any other music school, and so I followed my heart.”
He regretted the excessive emphasis placed on university education, saying that one should be alert to know exactly what his calling is, and where his heart is leading him.
“I think that’s the major reason why we are not moving forward in this country, because people actually look down on their field and rely on certificate, they believe you can do it but most of us don’t even go to classes but we come out with good certificates. For me that was just what I thought about that why don’t I just go to MUSON School of music to learn what I have to learn because everything was just music.”
He does not despise university education though as it is still at the back of his mind to study Law.
“But I still want to go back to school to read Law. I actually want to have a firm of my own and defend my works by myself,” he said.
Peter, who said that his name was coined out of the flames of the Holy Spirit, said he is coming out with a bang, and would not mind a lover of good music to come to his aid in terms of sponsorship, pledging he would never disappoint anyone who took it upon himself to give him the required facelift.
“I am good, I know I am good,” he concluded.