By Augustine Ekamagule
& Godstime Osakwe
Ogechukwu Nnamdi Okoh aka
Onolyrics, is a young illustrious son of Ika nation, who is currently
making waves in the music industry in the United States of America.
The Sound Engineer and Audio Production graduate, from IADT-Nashville
TN College in an on-line interview with Ika Weekly from his U.S based
residence spoke about himself, his love for music and the way forward
for the Nigerian music industry.
May we meet you
My name is Ogechukwu
Nnamdi Okoh, aka Onolyrics. I hail from Owa-Alero in Ika northeast
local government area of Delta State. I attended Calvary Group of
Schools & Bethel Comprehensive College, all in Boji Boj, Owa,
after which I gained admission into Delta State Polytechnic, Oghara
Delta State Nigeria, from where I left for America. Today I am a
graduate of Sound Engineering and Audio Productions from
IADT-Nashville TN, United States of America. I grew up from a
Christian family of five kids, four girls and a boy. My father is a
priest in the Anglican church.
When did you travel to
I left Nigeria for USA in
late 2008
What was your reason for
My Major reason was to
further my education
When did you go
into music?
It all started when i was
a kid, i used to sing in the church and later i studied Sound
Engineering and Audio production, which I am now a professional and
licensed audio sound engineer.
What kind of music
do you specialize in?
Like I said before,
praising God was the best thing ever for me; it is something I enjoy
doing. As an artist, I can do any kind of music, but I choose to
stick to Gospel music that’s where I found joy and feel uplifted
whenever i am in His presence.
Do sound Engineers play
vital role in music production?
100% yes. Sound engineers
are the brains behind good music and audio sounds. They are in charge
of audio and sound quality, either in the studio, radio or TV
stations. Sound Engineers record music, edit, mix and master. Just
imagine what an engineer does and relate it to music and audio work
in general.
How many songs have
you sang or produced?
As a musician, Lifted
Higher is my very first full album. Although I had several singles
and videos online. Finally I have my second full album on the way
still in production process.
How many states in the
U.S have you been able to cover with your music?
America is a big country
and unlike Nigeria you can cover the whole country at once, but in
America it has to take you a long process, I do afro gospel and
America has different kind of music genres. But yeas, I have certain
states on check. And due to my kind of music I strongly focused on
African and Nigerian market
How will you
describe Nigerian Music Industry?
Nigeria music industry is
good. I don’t really have much to say about that but still on same
old process. They lack both professionalism, and technical know how.
I don’t know if the system has improved but before I left, music was
not something you might want to study in Nigeria. Although, Nigeria
music industry is growing fast in terms of creativity and talents,
but the art of professionalism is not there which is a major issue.
Do you have a firm
believe for the Nigerian music industry as regards the issues of
copyright and lack of professionalism?
There are lots of
imitations Nigerian musicians. Most of among them do music for the
money/making part of it and not for the passion and love for it. That
is why some artist have no message in their songs and sometimes. They
lack focus, tracks are filled with repetitions of what other
musicians have done. You can use the same beat for almost twenty
artists, same kind of song and style, just because it is the latest
music. I believe in originality. But the problem most times comes
from the audience. Most people want to be used to same kind of music.
How will you
described the American Music Industry?
American music industry
is organized, advanced and highly sophisticated. You don’t just get
into the America music industry for business sake, you have to
acquire the knowledge, skill and be certified. Even music in America
is licensed and regulated. You cannot just copy other artiste work.
All these are the things that Nigerian music industry is lacking.
Who are your
favorite musicians either in Nigeria or America?
Gospel music artists like
Asu Ekiye, Buchi and Midnight Crew are wonderful, coming to America &
UK. Kirk Franklin, Muyiwa, Uche, Late Paul Irabor and so on to name
just a few. Gospel or Christian music in America is totally different
and large. Every genres of music has its own style. Unlike Nigeria
here we just one or few genres of music “world” afrobeat”
Which of these
names you mentioned inspired you mostly?
Asu Ekiye and Buchi
really inspired me.
Do you have any
intention of launching an album in Nigeria in the future?
Yes, am actually looking
at launching my next album back home. When and where I don’t know yet
but we are still in process.
As a musician is it good
to emulate or copy other artiste
It pays to be original
and be yourself.
What is your
message to upcoming musicians or those who are having the dream of
venturing into the music industry.
Passion is number one key
to success. You chase your dream with passion, work hard and never
give up. People will give up on you until you make it. Nobody cares
how much you know until they know how much you care. Until you show
them, YES I CAN, they will never recognize you. Only you can make
your dream come through by hard work and confidence. And don’t
forget, prayer changes all things. No matter what, who and where you
are GOD ANSWERS prayers.


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