Interview

Poverty Shattered My Dream Of Becoming Medical Doctor – Rhymzee

RhymzeeHip-hop and dancehall artiste, Rhymzee (real name Omelli Ukamaka) talked about music, education and other issues in this interview with ORUKPE NELSON.

What kind of song do you sing?

I sing hip-hop and dancehall.

Are you working on anything currently?

Yes, I am working on two new songs titled, “Bad Girl” featuring Blacka of Naija Ninja and “Telemi” featuring Henry Knight. Both songs are produced by Holy Joezy, mixed and mastered by Jaystuntzonline.

Have you released any album or single before now?

Yes, I already released four dancehall singles which include Go-go Below, Ur Way, Thinking of U and Baby Mo which are all receiving bountiful airplay. Go-go Below especially is a song calling on everyone irrespective of your sex and class to come out and dance. It is a danceable song that can be played anywhere and you will surely shake your body. My aim is to hit the limelight with my singles while we wait for the album.

How and when did you start singing?

I lived with a reverend father and living a life in a parish house is about singing and Christian activities. It is either you are in the choir, an altar boy or you are in one group or another in church. The beautiful thing about all these was that we learnt all the basic music keys in the choir. That was how I fell in love with music and that was how music started for me. But I started singing professionally in 2011.

Why hip-hop and dancehall since you started from a choir?

Well, learning all the music keys in the parish house does not mean that I must stick to hymns just like the way we used to sing in the choir. I had my own calling. Everything about me is music because whether I am cooking, washing, bathing or walking on the street, I sing. Music is an important part of my life. I was able to dictate tunes and sounds even as an undergraduate.

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What did you study at the university?

I studied mathematics at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology.

So why mathematics and not music?

I actually passed JAMB to study medicine, but my parents could not afford all the financial demands that studying medicine entailed back then. So in order not to stay at home and waste the good result I had, I opted to study mathematics.

My choice of mathematics was because I needed to study a course that will keep me busy and challenging and it really did as I had to solve one mathematical problem or the other. I am glad that I read the course.

Are you engaged in anything else apart from singing?

I am a makeup artist. As an undergraduate, I was into beauty pageants and modelling. While we were in camp, the organisers usually brought resource persons to lecture and train us on the art of makeup, hair styling and even bead-making. They were not detailed though, but if you have interest in any area, it is left for you to develop yourself. With that privilege, I developed myself in the art of makeup. So during my leisure time or when I am not in the studio or performing, I do makeup for whoever needs my services. At least, this brings in some extra cash.

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Which artiste would it be if you decide to have a collaboration?

I actually have two of them in mind. I am looking forward to doing a collabo with Tiwa Savage and on the male side, I will like to feature Davido. Tiwa Savage has a unique style that stands her out. She has a unique voice and she is good at what she does. Also, she is energetic just like me. I believe that if I do something with her, I will be fulfilled. Davido has his own style, I love his songs. But apart from that, he is a hardworking young artiste who has really done well for himself.

How do you intend to have a breakthrough in the music industry with so many  gifted artistes like you?

I believe that being unique solves it all. When you know what you are doing, stick to it with prayers and you are going to excel. You don’t need to copy anybody; you don’t need to be someone else. To improve my musical skill, after my first degree I attended Tenstrings Music Institute in Lagos where I obtained a diploma in music training artiste programme. Besides singing, I can play the guitar, keyboard and piano. I know that I am unique, focused, always ready to learn and improve myself and above all prayerful. I believe that whatever price I have to pay today as an upcoming artiste will see me through the ladder of success tomorrow.

How do you view the Nigerian music industry?

I will say that the Nigerian music industry is growing every day. And I will say that I am proud of our music industry. The truth is that once you don’t try to copy anyone, you will stand out. However, there are some artistes who are trying hard to copy and be like other musicians. If you are passionate about what you are doing, you will be able to stand the test of time.

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What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from God. But I don’t leave home without a pen and piece of paper because inspiration can come from anywhere and anything at any time. Sometimes, I also record any tune or rhythm in my phone if the inspiration comes. Then go back to my drawing board and try to fine-tune it.

What was your childhood dream?

When I was a child, I always dreamt of becoming a great public figure. Back in school, I was a member of the drama society. I enjoyed acting, loved singing and performing as well. I was selected as the cultural dance team leader due to my level of energy and ability to organize people.

What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear in life is embarrassment of any kind because it lowers my spirit.

Tell us about your ideal kind of man.

I have always dreamed of a God-fearing, fun- loving and caring man. He must not possess heaven and earth but must be hard working.

How do you relax?

I always relax listening to Rihanna’s songs and playing games. I love dancing too.