I came to watch MI but ended up performing with him – Xbusta
Chinedu Okafor aka XBusta has risen from a street boy to an artiste celebrated around the country. Living his artiste life in the Myth of a freestyle King at Imo State University [IMSU], Owerri, he pushed harder beyond his comfort zone to conquer territories others have battled for in decades.
He spoke to CHINEDU HARDY NWADIKE in this interview where he talked about his beginning, controversies and the success story we know today as XBusta.
Leaving Imo State University comfort zone
I’m still in IMSU for the meantime in my finals. Nothing much really happened, I just got hooked up with a record label, Valencia Records and the promotion is now wider than it used to be; I’ve been going places and that is just what made the difference.
Why did Valencia Records pick you ahead of other rappers?
I won’t say anything special because it will look as if I want to brag. They got interested in me when I performed at Valencia Lounge in Owerri. That was when I was invited to an event and after performing, Eedris Abdukareem who was also a guest artiste at the event called me and I sat with him and Amb. Paul Okorie, the CEO of Valencia Records and there Eedris convinced Amb. Paul to pick me as his artiste because he really loved my freestyle.
Eedris told Paul that I could be a real deal and that was it.
Do you miss being the freestyle king?
Yes, I really miss the freestyle days because back then, I would bring three different instrumentals and will freestyle on them. I really enjoyed freestyling, but I will say that I don’t miss it that much because I have songs now and I also freestyle before performing my songs.
For every event I go to, I freestyle for some minutes before performing my songs but I don’t miss it that much because things have changed and I have songs people would love to listen to.
Do you get disappointed when the crowd is not thrilled like in freestyle days?
I don’t feel disappointed in anyway because I know that’s how it is supposed to be. When I’m freestyling, the crowd response is quite different from when I’m performing my songs; because in freestyle you give it to them raw, using the environment to create rhymes. They will always appreciate that more than the songs they already know.
Transition from freestyle guy to a regular artiste: What changed?
I’ve learnt how to put the pen to the paper. It’s not like I don’t write before, but I have learnt what it really takes to write songs now.
When you are doing a song it’s quite different from when you are freestyling; professionalism is involved when you’re writing a song. You sit and put your words together while in freestyle it is raw, you give it to them the way it comes.
I wouldn’t say anything has changed, but I now know the difference between the two and that has also built my brain to a certain level that I can actually create the kind of flows that will sound as if it has been written earlier.
Where are the vulgar words?
When we talk about releasing a track, we also talk about the track being played on the radio. When songs are taken to radio stations, they have to be screened and it’s not like I have stopped using vulgar words but I record a song for the fans and if I want my fans to listen to my songs, I want them to hear it on air and they won’t play it if those kind of words are in it.
Star Trek experience
I was just in the crowd chilling with my friends. I only came to watch MI who is a role model to me and somebody noticed me in the crowd and was like that’s XBusta. Before I knew what was happening, the crowd interrupted the show with the noise they were making and they carried me to the stage. Gbenga Adeyinka saw what was happening and said ‘who’s that guy all of you are hailing, if he could rap let me come on stage’ and that was it. I performed and the crowd felt me, at the same day, Gbenga introduced me to MI and I freestyled with MI live on stage the same day.
It was so much fun because I never expected it. I came to watch my role model and at the end of the day, I performed with him.
What happened after with MI
We are very close friends now and we are actually working on a song that will be released very soon. After the Owerri Trek, I’ve been touring with Star performing on stage with the likes of Naeto C, Mr Raw, Olamide and other. I performed with MI again at Nnewi.
The lesson from Star Trek
I learnt many things, but the most important thing is the exposure because the crowd you see there is quite different from a normal day crowd. The crowd was massive and the exposure was just worth it.
Shooting Shomo video in-between Star Trek
The video shoot was a wonderful experience and so far, my record label is working on the promotions on major music TV station in and outside Nigeria.
We have done the online promotion and the next thing will be seeing that both satellite and terrestrial TV stations in the country have it on their playlist.
Why was Icz Money missing on Shomo video?
First of all, Icz Money is my very good friend and Shomo is not the only song we have done together. We were on the same track with Eedris Abdukareem and as well other songs that belong to him and other artistes.
He wasn’t on the video because the director, Avalon Okpe brought his script which had provision for only me and as at then, Icz Money wasn’t in town. We tried to get him in but it wasn’t possible to reach him. So I did the video alone.
After performing with MI, people said you were bragging with it
You know jealousy and envy will always come between stardom, so I don’t blame them for doing anything. They all want to get to limelight with me and I wouldn’t advice anyone to pick on another person to get to limelight.
As for MI’s chain which people said that I bought in the market and claimed he gave me, it is online and people can watch the video and pictures by simply searching for ‘2013 Star Trek at Nnewi’.
I don’t even know the people that are saying this and why they are saying it but I will have to say a big thank you to them for promoting me.
Any scandal recently?
I’ve been trying to be careful to avoid it, the only thing recently wasn’t actually a scandal. It was when I saw my picture online reading in a night class with a candle. The picture went viral on the internet, but that wasn’t a scandal, it somehow turned out to encourage students to study.
If people like us who will do shows and studio sessions can find time to study and even taking the pains to do it with candle, anyone can do it.
How has it been with Valencia Records?
So far, I am very satisfied with everything that I’ve gotten from Valencia Records in as much as I am student.
They have done good promotions for me and I am still working hard; going places, all because of them.
It is not really easy to sign a student because there will be restrictions and distractions, sometimes he will say that he wants to write text or exams and lectures will also take some music time.
We are still working together to see that everything goes on well.
What next after the song with Splash?
The song I did with Splash was leaked, I and my label did not really drop it. But people should expect bigger things from me this time.
I did a song with Vector recently and by September it will be dropping by the grace of God while the song with MI will follow immediately.
I am presently focused on dropping more and good singles, anything like album should be late next year. I want my songs to be heard everywhere and I want my name to be a house hold name before this can happen.
How are you doing with fame and girls?
So far, we are doing well. I’m still a normal human being with a normal relationship; crushes everywhere but I still try my best to live a responsible life.
How is your family taking the music thing now?
When I started, they were like, this boy is not serious because all day all night it was all about the music. But right now, when they turn on the TV and see their boy, they be like ‘yeah, he’s getting there’. They are now proud of me which is good. I thank God every day for my family for my family and their support to me so far.
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