By Chinwe Ibe and Amarachi Amachukwu
For fast rising artiste, Greg Ewa, it’s only sensible to give back to the nation that has given him so much. Therefore, in celebration of Nigeria’s 57th Independence anniversary, he would be staging 57 free shows across the country, using his music to preach peace, love and unity.
In this chat, the Rivers State-born graduate of Economics, who is gradually captivating the hearts of many Nigerians with his lyrics, talks about his career, passion and vision.
Tell us briefly about yourself
My name is Greg Uyo Ewa. I am from Rivers State. But then my stage name is Greg Ewa. I am an Economics graduate of Niger Delta University, Bayelsa.
How did your music career start?
I started music at a very early age. I started playing the instruments (drums) from age 12 and I developed interest in music from there. I took up other instruments such as the bass guitar etc., but drum is my major instrument. I love it. I joined the choir too, so I will say music is in me.
You were a chorister in which church?
Universal Christian Mission Church in Lagos.
At what point did you take music as a career?
That’s way back in the university in 2011. I have been doing the stuff and I have been writing songs, which sounded good, and besides, music is the only thing I find peace doing, the only thing I see myself doing.
What did you study at university?
Economics. I wanted to read Mass Communication but along the line something happened. No, it wasn’t JAMB; it was my WAEC. I didn’t get a particular subject; I don’t want to mention it and Economics was the only option left.
How many singles do you have now?
Five. They include Official Girl (2017), Ife (2016), Always Dey For You (2014), Rara, and If To Say Na Me (2017). I don’t have any favourite; I believe all my songs are great in their own way. I might wake up and feel like singing one or the other, it just depends on the mood and the one that comes to my mind.
Can we describe you as an Afropop artiste?
Yes. I sing a fusion of Alternative and Afropop. Alternative is the music that deals with the guitar, a slow kind of music but full of lyrics and melody.
How does music come to you?
Music comes to me any time and anywhere. I could be walking in the street and I see a face or a scenario and it’s lyrics to me. In every situation, I see myself creating music.
You are doing 57 free shows to mark Nigeria’s 57th Independence anniversary, what inspired this?
My team and I are looking forward to doing something different. On October 1st, I’m supposed to release a single and also go on a tour of the country. Nigeria is turning 57, what better way to mark the nation at 57 than doing 57 free shows round the country? That was what inspired me. The fact that the country is coming out of recession, and people no dey smile, everybody is angry. My team and I just thought of what to do to give back to the society and pay our own quota.
What has Nigeria done for you to make you want to give back?
Nigeria made me who I am musically. I get my biggest inspiration from Nigerian artistes like Lagbaja, Asa etc. Every music I play is made of Nigerian beats. Nigeria made me who I am.
What are the modalities of these 57 free shows? Do you wait for the promoters to come for you or you go to them?
We have a couple of shows on ground already. The free shows are going to cost us a lot. To put a show together, the logistics is between N300,000 and N400,000. I get like five shows next week, which would kick off from October 1. We’ve booked shows already in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Benin, Bayelsa and we’re still traveling to other cities.
How do you fund the shows?
It’s from our own pocket but I still get help from family, friends and other people. I’m not an Island. It’s by the grace of God.
How did your parents react to your music career?
I’m closer to my mum. She actually knows that I love music. So, when I told her about taking up music as a career, she wasn’t surprised. My dad on the other hand didn’t understand. He is a ‘Nigerian dad’ and every ‘Nigerian dad’ would want to see their child become a banker, journalist, lawyer etc. But he came to accept it. My parents are in support of my career till today. I think my mum gave me the greatest push as far as my musical career is concerned.
What has been your greatest moment as a musician?
It’s the first day I performed at Eko Hotels to a massive crowd and they loved it. My songs triggered them. Their response was beautiful. However, my biggest show ever was at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt. It was at the Open Mall Fashion show held April this year.
Since you started music, have you had low moments?
I had one recently. In the music business, you get to a point where things you expect, especially when you’re working with human beings, you’ll get disappointed. There are times you feel music cannot guarantee financial returns. Music is not like a 9 to 5 job and getting paid at the end of the month. Sometimes, I get really, really down especially when I don’t get what I want. Yes, I get low moments but they don’t last. I probably would sleep off or I talk to God and I’m fine.
Which artistes do you like working with in Nigeria?
I’d say Niniola. I love her song.
Are you in a relationship?
Why? You have the swag and everything
Do I? I didn’t notice.
What’s your dream woman like?
I am attracted to the physical. I’m attracted to the body. You have to have a hot body, but that’s not all. I have to be able to vibe with you. It’s very important that I can vibe with you. It’s very important that I can be myself around someone I call my girlfriend. The reason I’m not dating is because I’ve not found the need to. I don’t think there’s a girl that would like to stick around me. Girls love attention so much and I’m so so – forgive me for saying this -in love with music and I wouldn’t want to cheat on her for anything. I don’t think she’d like it.
Have you been heartbroken before?
How did it happen?
She broke my heart. That’s what happened.
But you look forward to getting married someday, right?
Sure. I used to have this idea of having kids but not getting married, just my kids and me in a very big house, no woman. But that was a long time ago. I will get married, I will settle down someday.
Since you love music, would you love to marry an entertainer?
My wife could be anybody. I don’t discriminate. It could be a trader; I just have to be able to vibe with you, that’s the most important thing.
Aside music, what else would you like to do?
Film production. I’m always intrigued by how films pan out. I’m always intrigued about what goes on behind the camera.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Touring the world. I’m talking about world tour – Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Antarctica, everywhere.