Dynamite comes in small packages. She’s petite but a bundle of talent. She’s also charming and beautiful.
Indeed, Ugochi aka Guchi is the new kid on the block of Nigerian music. Determined, strong-willed and passionate, the 22-year-old is currently ruling the airwaves with her single, No Be Jazz.
In this chat, Guchi opens up on how she’s not afraid of fame and how she’s ready to swim the tides of stardom. Enjoy it.
Where were you born and what was your growing up like?
I was born in Kaduna but I grew up in Abuja. I am the second child of a family of six. I am 22-year-old. I was a student of Edo State University but I relocated to Lagos and had to start all over again at University of Lagos where I am now studying Theatre and Media Arts.
What inspired your going into music?
I have always had passion for music. Growing up, I sang in the choir and this helped shape my desire to take on music fully.
You’re now 22, at what age did you actually start music?
I started music at the age of seven. I remember the family having a get-together on my grandfather’s birthday and the children were called upon to sing. I was the only child that came out to sing that day. I sang with excitement and clarity.
Which song did you sing?
It was a song I got from a Barbie cartoon movie. The title of the song was ‘Wish For One Thing’.
Is any of your parents gifted in music and are they supportive of your choice of career?
My dad is a music lover. He was always playing Michael Jackson’s songs and he made me fall in love with him. For me, that was an early influence and inspiration. Yes, of course, my parents are totally supportive of my decision to go into music.
How would you describe your kind of music?
I sing Afropop, dancehall and highlife. I am not strictly everybody’s kind of Afropop musician, but I can do any of the three genres depending on what inspires me.
You sound a lot like Simi. Is it some kind of marketing strategy?
I have no relationship with Simi. I admire her like I admire lots of other artistes who are doing wonderfully well, but I don’t think I sound like her. I sound like Guchi and not Simi.
What inspired your song, No Be Jazz?
The inspiration came from the fact that girls of today seem more interested in money than in true love. ‘No Be Jazz’ portrays the old kind of love where neither money nor s*x was the basis for relationship or marriage, but true love. And that was why together couples could go through the good and bad times in love. My mother actually inspired the song. Taking a cue from her, she was always steadfast in the good and the bad times, always steadfast in love. So, the song preaches trust and love in the face of challenges.
Are your songs based on personal experiences then?
Most times, the songs artistes sing do not necessarily define the artistes. There’s a song I did entitled ‘Hennessy’. I did the song not because I drink Hennessy but because there are people it would appeal to. A song like that could also be used to promote the brand. That is why I said music is like acting.
The competition in the Nigerian music industry is high, are you prepared to cope? And how do you intend to balance your music career and education?
Yes, I am prepared and like I said earlier, I have been in music since 2012. I have dozens of songs already in the kitty, and I will be dropping them back-to-back. As for balancing music and education, I know it’s not going to be easy. But then, my course, Theatre and Media Arts, falls in line with what I am doing. So, I think I can cope. And again, I am not running a full time programme, I’m doing part time so I can have time for my music.
Show business comes with lots of negative stories and scandals, how prepared are you for these?
I wouldn’t let that bother me because I know who I am. My personal life is different from my life as a musician, which to me is more like acting. I think saying things about me would only make me more popular.
You are signed to which record label?
I am signed to Media Viva Productions Company (MVP) run by popular broadcaster and compere, Mr Israel Edjeren; and I’m the first artiste on his label.
Do you have plans to collaborate with some established artistes in the future?
I hope to collaborate and perform alongside some of the established artistes like Burna Boy, Kizz Daniel, Tiwa Savage and Davido.
If not music, what would you have done?
I don’t think there’s any other thing I would have done. Music is my love!