African Musicians Should Be Proud Of Their Music – Flavour

flavour-nabaniaChinedu Okoli, better known as Flavour N’abania, or simply Flavour, is one of Nigeria’s best prolific musician, dancer and performer. In an exclusive chat with Solomon Nda-Isaiah and ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM, at the Glo mega event recently held at Sheraton Abuja, the artiste who was a guest performer expressed his appreciation to fans all over the globe promising to deliver many more hits

Flavour N’abania was born November 23, 1983 and began his music career playing drums at a local church in his hometown in Enugu State. He is popularly known across Africa and the world for his massive club banger, ‘Nwa Baby’ (‘Ashawo’ Remix). He is currently signed on 2nite Entertainment Music Label.

In 2008, he released his self-titled debut album, ‘N’abania’, which went viral in his hometown. In 2010, Flavour released his second studio album, ‘Uplifted,’ which included ‘Nwa Baby’ (‘Ashawo’ Remix), ‘Adamma,’ and ‘Oyi’ (I Dey Catch Cold). The album’s success made Flavour one of Africa’s most ought after artistes.

Flavour was booked to perform at numerous concerts and social events following the release of ‘Uplifted.’ After Flavour’s 2011 performances in South Africa and Botswana, ‘Uplifted’ was in high demand.

When asked how it felt performing in Abuja to a large audience, the easy-going artiste, who was relaxed and in a smiling mood with friends stated that it was wonderful performing to his teeming fans in the city of Abuja.

“I am so happy and excited and willing to continue doing what I know best, especially as it has to do with music.”

At the age of 19, Flavour broke into Nigeria’s music scene as a drummer and pianist for a local Enugu band. After learning to play drums professionally,  he received an offer to perform at City Centre, Enugu. The massive crowd at City Centre inspired Flavour to gain new grounds and reach greater heights. Flavour’s educational background in music enabled him to learn music production from Dekumzy, Is Charles and Nnachie.

Tracing his roots from MC Loph to his recording deal with a South African Label; he simply said it was awesome.

“So far so good, it’s been wonderful. A lot of ups and downs! You know, when you are aspiring to succeed there will surely be challenges but you learn to rock your boat to the final destination. Now I am here and so happy even though there is still  a lot to be done. I just believe it is all about hard work and faith in God. I believe so much in my genre of music, which is not just cutting across Africa but the rest of the world as well.”

His song by 2NITE Entertainment, ‘Ada Ada,’ directed by Clarence Peters and co-directed by Okey Oku. [The Oracle], was shot in the beautiful city of Enugu, as the 5th video off Flavour’s blessed album with guest appearances by Uti Nwachukwu, Mr Ibu, Chinedu Ikedieze [Aki], and KCee. The video features unique cultures of the Igbo traditional marriage ceremony.

On the source of inspiration behind the video, he said:

“I was looking at having something local and traditional because if you want to make it out there as an African musician, you have to be a proud African. That inspired me to consider something I composed long time ago, “Ada Ada.” I shot the video, which became a hit.

He chose Uti Nwachukwu as the groom in ‘Ada Ada’s’ video because he believed it suits him the most.

“No…I didn’t audition anyone. He is my friend and I just felt he was going to look very great on the scene that was why I chose him.”

So what next should we be expecting from you?

“More hits, I will keep working hard because we don’t know what tomorrow holds. All I tell myself is, keep up with the music, keep on being original and real in dishing out good songs’’.

His most cherished moment? ‘‘Wow, that should be the first time I performed in Guinea. I was happy and didn’t know I was going to perform for over 30,000 fans. The crowd was massive; I didn’t know my music had gone international. I was surprised when I got up stage and everything changed as the fans were chanting my song and that felt very good’’.

The award winning artiste was nominated as the Artiste of the Year, Ghana Music Award 2013, At the Channel O Music Video Awards, Won the 2012”Oyi(I Dey Catch Cold) (featuring Tiwa Savage)”Best R&B Video.

At the Nigerian Entertainment Awards 2012, Flavour N’bania won ‘’Best Indigenous Artist/Group.’’ While at the Channel O Music Video Awards2011”Nwa Baby (Ashawo Remix)” was nominated for the Most Gifted Afro-Pop Video, Most Gifted African West Video, but for the Hip Hop World Awards Nigeria 2011,”Oyi (I Dey Catch Cold) (featuring Tiwa Savage) won ‘’Best RnB Single and was also Nominated Best Collaboration’’ (with M.I), while Nigerian Entertainment Award 2011 had “Nwa Baby (Ashawo Remix)” won ‘Best High Life Video.’

On his teeming fans, expectation of an international collaboration like his other colleagues in the industry, he said we should keep our fingers crossed.

“Yes…many, I don’t want to mention names because I want it to come as a surprise.

(Cuts in), at least let’s know one”(Laugh) don’t worry; you will know when the time comes. All I know is that I will keep working hard,” he added.

You have been a part of this Glo tour, how do you feel being one of the performers, especially with fans all over the country in attendance to watch Flavour N’abania perform?

“It’s been fantastic. Globacom is doing a wonderful thing taking us round the country giving our fans the opportunity to meet us. It’s been a great show; all the ambassadors and artistes together have been wonderful. We are looking forward to more tours’’.

Message to fans:

‘‘I want to say a big thank you to everyone that loves Mr Flavour; I appreciate you for all the love you have shown and expressed for my music. I promise to keep churning out more traditional modern music. I thank you so much for everything, may God bless you all’’.

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